Painful Observations on Newcastle Red Devils Game


Here are some thoughts and observation on another terrible loss in the Premier League today.

  • Our team selection was not good and as we had been half expecting Kevin started both Butt and Smith, even though their past performances should not warrant them a starting spot.
  • The team selection was even more weird when both Shola Ameobi and Andrew Carroll were on the bench, yet one of our most experienced tall forwards, Mark Viduka didn’t even make the bench. And Jose Enrique, our 21 year-old £6.2M left -back from Villareal, also didn’t make the bench.
    Note: It seems that Mark was out injured today but Kevin says he should be fit for next week’s game against Blackburn – we need Mark to start up front and for Smith to be benched. Why? Because we want to win.


Abdoulaye Faye – second goal for Newcastle today

  • This is the result Newcastle fans had nightmares about. That the Red Devils could take us apart again, only weeks after our humiliating 6-0 loss at Old Trafford. That was one thing we didn’t even want to think about. But it happened this afternoon. 🙁
  • We stayed with Manchester for only the first 20 minutes and then we were very much second best. One thing that is especially worrying is that Beye Faye Taylor and N’Zogbia is close to our best back four we can put out. Maybe Enrique for N’Zogbia would be better – but we still looked very poor and somewhat disorganized in defense, and gave away more sloppy goals.
  • We played decent enough football, but one of the big differences was that when Manchester attacked they looked dangerous and as though they could score with any attack. We looked to have no penetration at all up front. We must start a tall forward with Owen and give Smith a rest – he cannot get the job done up front despite his efforts.
  • We have now conceded 52 goals this season with 11 games still to go. Last season we conceded 47 goals in the entire season, which was our worst points total in the Premier league (43).
  • The Red Devils are so far ahead of us now that it’s almost impossible to think that 12 years ago we could give them a run in the league – those days are gone and Kevin will need to completely rebuild, assuming we can avoid relegation.
  • Teams below us in the league such as Sunderland, Fulham and Derby County all lost but Birminghan drew 2-2 with Arsenal at home, after being reduced to 10 men after just 3 minutes. Middlesbrough, who are one point above us also lost at Liverpool.
  • The fact we are still 6 points above the drop zone should stand us in good stead, but our goal difference is not good at -22.
  • Who would have thought we would have been in this position in late February following the euphoria at the club last August?

Comments welcome.

52 comments so far

  • Bob Aer

    Feb 23, 2008 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #1

    I don’t see much changing before the end of the season, just hoping that we don’t get relegated!

  • catchy

    Feb 23, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #2

    painfull very painfull…… was barton playing. zog at leftback smith starting.

  • Tripp

    Feb 23, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #3

    The sooner this season’s over the better. The good news is that Fulham, Mackems, and Boro all lost. Brum managed to nick a point, which sucks, but it’s just a point. Sadly, DC couldn’t help us out today, but that’s hardly a surprise. Given the fans (me included) discontent with the starting eleven (basically every week) I’d really like to know what the fook is going on in the dressing room. What the hell has happened to Enrique? Why Butt and Smith every week? Two managers were doing this and their styles are quite different so what gives? Trying times indeed. As least we put a point on the board, but the side is utter shite at the moment. Just hope we can make it through to next season and then tear the team apart and start over.

    As for mort and ashley. They certainly seem amateurish in certain respects. They’ve had a positive impact in other ways (got rid of the debt, seem interested in laying a good foundation) but they’ve got a lot to learn.

  • e

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #4

    i swear faye has already scored for us?? correct me if im wrrong

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #5

    e – you’re right – it’s his second goal – changed it – thanks 😀

  • magpie

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #6

    i think we should get rid of butt and smith, play faye in def midfield instead of butt and carroll upfront with owen. Cacapa should partner Taylor at the back, for me Faye looked good at def mid when he played there and offers us aerial threat at set pieces, something which butt doesn´t. Also i´d love to see enrique at left back, the boy deserves a shot under keegan and that would allow Zog to play att mid infront of Faye. But mainly get Butt and Smith out, they don´t do much for me but pick up yellow cards and argue with referees. Come on NUFC!

  • Big Gaz

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #7

    Can anyone tell me why we stick with Smith, Barton and Taylor at the minute. They are all rubbish. No argument, its a fact.

  • Rich

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #8

    Are the managers being TOLD they must play Smith ?? He is just a passenger. And what about Barton ???? The worst player on the pitch; did he make a completed pass ???? If Keegan is being told who to pay, he won’t be around for long !!!

  • Big Gaz

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #9

    And I hope they all read this fine web site and read my comments above. Rubbish. The team is broke so lets try fixing it with other players. Of Quality not just on a name.

  • Zoggy

    Feb 23, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #10

    I’m currently finding the whole Newcastle saga very interesting. Although I have no sympathy for you I at least know what it feels like being in such a dire situation.

    Your next game looks massive against Blackburn as you need 12 points for the magic 40 which should see you safe. I don’t see you winning away except maybe Birmingham. Other home games against Fulham, Reading and Sunderland should be wins. Obviously there is little or no chance against Chelsea. A loss at Blackburn would mean panic stations.

    Face it Keegan is not a great manager and the further this season goes on the more he will find himself out of options. The team, team selection and tactics are terrible. If you avoid relegation it will be clubs finishing below you which saved you and not KK.

    No disrespect intended. I’m often looking at football sites like this one. I’m finding it quite shocking what is happening right now to your club.

  • jimmer

    Feb 23, 2008 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #11

    good job there are so many shit teams this season. if we played like this last season we would not be in the premiership. easy as that. keegan out

  • Whitey

    Feb 23, 2008 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Ed Harrison and e – Who did Faye score his first goal against?

  • hanzemre

    Feb 23, 2008 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #13

    hard to stomach the result & even worse to see Butt, Smith,Barton to start yet again & played the entire game. Alas N’Zogbia in LB again? Just usual early signs of getting beat.

  • Leo*

    Feb 23, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #14

    hahaha just watched motd and gallas is crying like a baby about not winning the match…

    imagine what it would be like if he was in our team! lol

  • die hard toon

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #15

    it is time to give some of NUFC young blood a try what is the wrost thing that can happen get beat 6-0 or 5-1

  • Dazza

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #16

    We have too many battlers and not enough quality, our best back four looks a shambles and we struggle for creativity and goals at the moment. Complete overhaul needed if we stay up!

  • ToonJon(PSN ID: jnufcuk)

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #17

    What really annoys me is everyone saying Milner cant pass but is it just me or can Nzogbia not pass.
    For wingers none of them can cross. Not only them two but the rest of our players cant cross or pass when they get in good positioins.

  • ToonJon(PSN ID: jnufcuk)

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #18

    I hope Mark does play next week
    i would like to see this team played:
    beye faye taylor enrique
    milner geremi nzog duff
    viduka/martins owen

  • CJ

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #19

    Carroll showed when he come on he has a great touch good in the air big and strong with a bit of pace something Alan Smith never had or never will have.

  • AdamCF

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Why didn’t Enrique start? At least play a defender in a defenders roll. Get N’Zogbia forward or we’ll lose him next season. (But, by the way it looks, we mightn’t have the choice).

  • CJ

    Feb 23, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #21

    Adamcf- 100% agree play Zog on the wing him and Milner are the only midfield player’s at the club that can cause teams problems with there pace.
    I don’t think Enrique is injured the only thing i can think of is KK doesn’t think he is prem lge quality what i have seen of him i would agree but surely he is a better defender than Zog.

  • Ausgeordie

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #22

    We need an official statement on Enrique! Lets the fans know whats happening.

    What do these managers see in Butt and Smith. They win the ball occassionally yes but thats where it ends. They have no distribution skills and are not scoring goals.

    The Man U players could always find each other in attack because the ball carrier and the receiver were running whilst passing. Apart from the odd Duff and Milner moment 90% of our attacking runs involved us meeting a man u player, stopping, passing to another static player.

    Their goals came from Zog not being where he should have been, a faye mistake and Taylor playing like shite. His attempt to take out ronaldo rather than go for the ball was one of the most pathetic pieces of defending I have ever seen. Yeah he is from toon but he does not deserve to be in the team.

    My team for Blackburn


  • Jon

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #23

    Taylor sucks and I’ve said that for many weeks now.

  • Jon

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #24

    I wonder where Enrique was today. We need N’Zogbia in midfield.

  • CJ

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #25

    Jon- I have been saying for a while that Taylor is an overated player and fan’s are starting to realise he is not so good that is why player’s like Dawson Curtis Davies and Matthew Upson are being picked ahead of him for senior England squad all at best average defenders i rate David Wheater ahead of Taylor anyday.

  • Jon

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #26

    I really like Harper over Given because Harper knows how to kick a ball and that’s very important.

    My team for the next match:

  • Jon

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #27

    Smith runs around like a headless chicken.

  • singapore geordie

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #28

    Um.. guys. Maybe voting for the messiah’s return was never going to be the solution. It was just a move to appease the fans. Watching the match it seemed like our players were mere bystanders and they were not really tactically briefed on how to handle man ure…

    Another disappointing defeat and I fear that we might be relegated this season. . .

  • valle

    Feb 24, 2008 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #29

    Too many bad players to single any one out actually… ah well, lets try.

    Given: Liability… Painfull that this great servant have become one of our flaws, start Harper, he if anyone has been a better servant and deserve it.

    Zog, Taylor: Liability to defense.

    Butt, Milner, Barton and Smith: Liability to the attack.

    That kinda leaves us with Owen,Duff, Faye and Beye from the starters and Harper from the bench for todays match.

  • Macca

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #30

    What really gets me, is that we’ve no one to win us the game, no one, looking at Man U, they’ve game winners everywhere, we’ve a hopeless midfield, a headless defense and a poor front line, how are we supposed to win with that.

    Another thing struck me tonight when I was watching the highlights and I wasn’t really paying attention, they were praising Rooney, Ronaldo..etc, probably the last thing I wanted to here, not to mention I’ve had one or two too many at that stage but then they said something that made me very upset at the thought of it. They were saying how Newcastle need to fight off relegation and one of the main players they’ll need for that fight is Given, and they said that they’re worry is that this injury, the reoccurring injury could well force him in to retiring a lot earlier then anyone would want him to. And that just hit me really hard because it’s true.
    Like some people complain about him but like I physically can’t imagine the side without him in it. That’s heartbreaking like.
    Looking at Eduardo’s injury today it’s unfair because while he may never play again, Taylor will go on and continue to play and to think that one moment of stupidity from Harewood has really damaged Given. He can’t really kick it well because of his reoccurring groin injury, which he can strain like we saw with something as small as a slip, like all in all I think Given is a better keeper then Harper but what do you do, maybe surgery on it would fix it I don’t know. But that really hit me because I don’t know about ye but that’d hurt.

    My God I ramble when I’m post-drunk.

  • Macca

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:02 AM

    Comment #31

    Valle..the only liability is the fact he can get injured so easily, so do you play the better keeper or the one who’s not likely to get injured as easily. It’s not a decision I’d like to have to make.

  • marcus owen

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:00 AM

    Comment #32

    If KK keep his faith on some useless players. We will be like playing 8 men vs 11 every match.

  • scotty

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:07 AM

    Comment #33

    The thing that worries me is that KK is selecting the exact team that FSA would select.

    Unfortunately, this means only one thing. KK is NOT picking the team i’m afraid to say – but if he is……… he has truly lost touch with this sport!

    Either way we are in soapy bubble!!!

  • jj

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:34 AM

    Comment #34

    Macca given is shit total rubbish

  • AdamCF

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:37 AM

    Comment #35

    Can we all put in 50 quid each and buy the f’in club MyFootballClub style?

  • Gooderz

    Feb 24, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    Comment #36

    I agree that Taylor has not been performing of late but I still think he’s a good defender. The problem we have have is that are defenders are all fairly similar and are all trying to do the same thing, and not in the good organised way that actually works.

    As for Milner being an attacking liability, he was our best player today and put in some wonderful crosses. Unfortunately Owen wasn’t there because he kept having to come deep to get involved with Smith being either ineffective or passing backwards, or the play breaking down before he had a chance .

    Hopefully Keegan dispenses with this 2 defensive midfielder tactic of Allardyce. It doesn’t galvanize the defence and it takes away from our attacking threat. Also Parker and Butt never worked together, and surprisingly Barton, Parker’s replacement, doesn’t work well with Butt either.

    Carroll did well though; big and strong like Viduka, but with the effort of Smith and actually has some confidence in his own ability. He has yet to put a foot wrong in the first team so far in his career.

  • Dave Atkinson

    Feb 24, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #37

    KK has to drop his reputation players. Butt must go, Smith must go, Barton must go. None of these has the pace, guile or touch to warrant a place in the starting line-up. Keegan must play Charlie left wing – he’s far more penetrating than Duff. If he insists I’d play Duff on the right and put Milner in Barton’s position. Relegation a possibility and you have to start asking the question as to whether it might be somewhat poitive in that it truly would be a fresh start. And don’t quote Leeds at me. There’ll be 50k there if the team started winning again.

  • Alan Parkin

    Feb 24, 2008 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #38

    Lets hope the young Sky generation of fans stick with the club if we get relegated and return to the Bobby Shinton/Billy rafferty years

  • Man u

    Feb 24, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #39

    Lets hope they go down Newcastle arnt Premiership material , go back to ship building

  • Toon Barmy

    Feb 24, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #40

    Man u
    Go back to cockney land you glory hunter, youre comments arnt welcome you Mug


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