Newcastle Were Great Yesterday – With No Luck

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While is was really disappointing to get no points again at home on Saturday, after watching the game a couple more times, you just have to admit the lads played really really well – and were plain unlucky to get nothing out of the game.

One thing we should say is that immediately after the game we wrote a piece which criticized the Newcastle United players – but in retrospect and watching their performance again today – that criticism was unwarranted and we take it back.

It was from frustration more than anything – and the players yesterday gave everything they had – without any luck at all.

Here some comments we have on the performance yesterday – trying to leave aside the plain fact that we lost yet again:

  • The team played very well and seemed to be a good team that had an understanding with each other. That was good to see and maybe the Keegan approach is starting to get through to the players.
  • The team must have created at least 8 good opportunities to score. While we missed them all it is a great sign that once again we are creating chances which has not been the case in the previous few games.
  • Newcastle played at last like a Kevin Keegan team. They attacked from the start and their natural tendency was to move forward. The wingers and full backs who of course were out wide all had good games as Keegan’s teams play out wide and create chances from out there. Beye, Enrique, Duff and Milner were all good yesterday and played a typical Keegan type assault down the wings.
  • While last week we thought we’d need a lot more than 5 new players brought in during the summer, yesterday’s performance was so solid and such an improvement over last week, that Kevin may be right when he says he only needs 4-5 top players to round out the squad. Certainly the players on display yesterday played very well together and kept their shape nicely the whole game.
  • Although lots of our readers do not like Butt and Barton in midfield, they nevertheless seemed to fit in well in the team effort that was Newcastle United yesterday. They may have not been outstanding and probably that is a player Keegan will need to bring into the club during the summer. A world class box to box midfielder.
  • We want to see Jose Enrique play every single game from now on. While he made one or two mistakes yesterday he is a breath of fresh air and his enthusiasm on the field is contagious, especially when we will be fighting against relegation.
    Early in the second half he was fouled near the half way line – he ran to get the ball himself, ran back to put the ball down and then looked up to take the free kick. In those 15 seconds there was everything you need to know about Jose.
    He is such an enthusiastic lad, and he can become a class act at Newcastle. But please give the youngster some games. He played extremely well yesterday and can certainly put in a great cross. It’s good when he’s in the team.
  • Steve Harper looked excellent in goal and while he didn’t have a lot to do he made at least two critical saves to keep Blackburn out before they score after 90 minutes. He had no chance with the goal as he was completely exposed, but Steve may just have a chance to claim the number one spot from an out of form and often injured Shay Given.
    Shay needs to get his groin fixed once and for all, because we think it has been the cause of his drop in form this season.
  • Owen missed a lot of chances yesterday but they were not as easy as it first appeared, and the lad got into the spaces beautifully. Michael was also man enough to fess up he should have scored some goals, and as captain of the team that showed great leadership.
    We have a feeling Michael Owen is becoming very attached to this club, and all he needs now is to slot in a few goals in the run-in to the league. You cannot say Michael’s had an easy passage so far at Newcastle but he’s still in there trying 100%.
  • Yes, we lost yet again but it’s hard to blame Kevin Keegan or the team after the performance they put in yesterday. They could hardly have done more – other than get the ball in the 3-4 times. But this type of performance will certainly get us out of trouble sooner rather than later. Just as long as they produce this type of effort in every game through the end of the season.
  • The Newcastle crowd was excellent yesterday and gave the lads tremendous support. But the way the team started out and the way they played deserved all the support they got. We hope the team can keep producing like they did yesterday – because the support will be there for that kind of performance – every time!

It was an excellent display of attacking football from the lads – and we hope to get the same at Anfield next Saturday and then at home the next weekend to Sunderland.

Who knows – we could even get 4 points from those next 2 games – if we can play like we did yesterday.  Some luck would also help.

Comments very welcome.

38 comments so far

  • cooldj

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM

    Comment #1

    wall virginity

  • oioi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #2

    clap clap clap
    respect for the retraction…
    f*** off all the’instant success’ socca fan doubters.
    keegan will succeed.
    who the f*** expected him to turn it round instantly-morons

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Rumour is that Jose wants to leave because he’s homesick. Aye, right.

  • cooldj

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #4

    i thought we were brilliant-match of the day didn’t do us justice compared with the actual dominance of the game we enjoyed. their goal was awful from us but there were positives. the only problem is that we at this stage of the season we need resutls as there are 4-5 “no hope” games ie chelsea, everton, liverpool ect….
    I’ve been saying for ages now that whether we stay up or not will depend on our games v birmingham, sunderland, fulham and reading.

  • Nick C

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Hey supercool DJ, I make u right. Although I have pretty much written off Brum away where we will get fcuked.

  • Lasse R

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #6

    Luck is something we have not seen for a long ,long time. It has been just as absent as Smiths skills as a goalscorer…Is there a connection? Maybe if we stick Smith on the sideline for the rest of the season luck might come back? If not he should still be sidelined for a long, long time.

    That said…When Enrique plays a he did yesterday our two fullbacks make up out strongest part of the team. Beye and Enrique should play every game…

    Will sleep with my fingers crossed every night this week. A point at Anfield would be very well appreciated…

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #7

    Bolton still have to play Arsenal, ManUre and Chelsea, too. So I think we’re staying up.

  • ToonBarmy

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #8

    After Liverpool we play Birmingham away and we don’t play the Mackems until the 19th April.
    Just thought I’d point that out.

  • Lee Smith

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #9

    I agree that Owen seems more attached to nufc of late .Sticking a few past his old team next week would be even more convincing though!

  • toon4lyf

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #10

    team fer liverpool
    milner…emre…nzogbia …duff

  • cooldj

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #11

    nick c you’re the one who doesn’t like my name right?
    btw toon4 i read somewhere that emre will be injured…

  • shay is shit

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #12

    yes harper has not put a foot wrong he should get a chance he has been here since 1993 and deserves it shay had a spell with sunderland

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #13

    toon4lyf, you’ve been told before man, Emre and N’Zogbia in the middle would be terrible. Who would protect the back four?

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #14

    Shay is also a terrorist loving fenian twat. Get him out in the summer.

  • shay is shit

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #15

    well said gp

  • Macca

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #16

    YOu can’t blame luck for everything. We lost yesterday because we didn’t take our chances and fell asleep at the back. It was luck, it was good work from their defense and keeper and bad finishing on our part and yet again, bad defending on our part as well. It was luck. They took their chances, we didn’t. Chances and almosts count for nothing on the table. It wasn’t back luck, whatever it was it wasn’t bad luck.

    And another thing. Can our so called “fans”, who’s a word or so away from being racist and Shay is..etc who can’t be more then a 10 year old Dunderland fan, leave please, your wasting our time and I’m sure it’s well past your bed time. Honestly you wonder why the media gives us a hard time. Where has the time gone, more importantly where have the ACTUAL fans gone. It’s very sad that it’s come to this.

  • adam

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #17

    it was a good performance on saturday. not a good result but they showed potential to turn these performances into wins. if we had scored early i think we wouldve won 2 or 3 nil.

    shit happens, and this is a shit season

  • Macca

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #18

    Potential, isn’t that what we’ve been saying all season, almost, maybe, if this, if that. We still don’t have the points and like, looking at our performances, looking at what seems like a lack of effort from some players in the past and looking at the awful football we’ve played, it’s a position that we deserve to be in. That’s not being negative it’s being honest, and if we’re all brutally honest, we’ve been playing some of the worst football in the premiership. Teams like that, teams playing badly and with no luck go down, I can’t remember who it was who said that Newcastle’s too big a club to go down, but no ones too big to go down.
    Looking at who else is there, looking at Reading, looking at Sunderland, they’ve been poor, they’ve been bad but they’ve been grinding out the results, draws, wins..etc. They both have heart, they both seem to score late, very late.
    We can’t score and we can’t defend, our midfield is poor at best and it’s been like that for the entire season. Honestly, if you’re being brutally honest, can any of us say that looking at all of that that we don’t deserve to be in the position we’re in at the moment.

  • Hilly

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #19

    I think you’re right to retract the negative commentary about yesterday’s performance. Over the past few months, we’ve hardly posted a shot on goal. In the first half alone yesterday we had at least 5. The team looks much better and I hope they recognize that fact. There were some great individual performances that we as fans can hang our hats on. At least there seems to be a burning desire to win with our current side.

    For me, the only substitution I would make for our side against Liverpool would be Martins for Smith. Smith whines and fouls more than he actually plays. He has a great desire to win, but he doesn’t back it up with skill. Also, N’Zogbia should be ready to come on in the 65th minute, but leave Duff on.

  • marcus owen

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Comment #20

    We can easily win the match if KK drop Smith for Martin.

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    Comment #21

    Smith is there for life. KK believes he is”golddust.” KKs love for Smudger is worrying. Drop him and Barton and bring in Martins/ Viduks and Nzog and we’d stay up for sure. If KK keeps picking his old cronies like Butt Smith Duff and Carr then we are going down.

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #22

    Macca – Are you Irish, or just some defeatist leftist? Ulster is British.

    Oh, and how am I racist? A fenian is an Irish Republican. Are they a race now?

  • ScottyT

    Mar 3, 2008 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #23

    Macca tbh i agree with you i consider myself to be a real SUPPORTIVE fan due to i always try to support the team when possible as i think thats when our team should play to its best .. all negativity does is just put pressure onto the players which isnt good for them. its our job as fans to lift them.

    the away support we get when ive been has been just brilliant and ive always said how much better itd be with home support like our away support .. also GP are u forgetting how unbelievably good and loyal shay given has been to us over the years, he could easily have left us to win trophies and at one point he was one of the best keepers in the world. honestly anyone who starts mocking and calling shay is an absolute disgrace and quite clearly arent real fans, yes he has been poor recently but fk sake yous must have short memories he has been a fantastic servant to the club and tbh is a legend.

  • GP

    Mar 3, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    Comment #24

    Not a real supporter? Please, I’d twice the support of anybody in the stadium on matchdays. People go on about how great our fans are but St. James is quiet as f**k and we only have about 4 songs everybody knows.

  • GP

    Mar 3, 2008 at 2:27 AM

    Comment #25

    Shay is also from Ireland, he supports Celtic. Were you lot not here during pre-season when they went around causing trouble in the city centre? Or at Shearers Testimonial where they were singing about how he was a wanker? Are you all that weak?

    Don’t bother with Macca, obviously an IRA sympathiser or some bleeding heart liberal determined to undermine the United Kingdom.

  • shay is shit

    Mar 3, 2008 at 4:53 AM

    Comment #26

    if u call given loyal u have to call harps loyal 15 years harps has been here i played with him at gateshead he was brill given has played for shitsurland

  • Archie Brand

    Mar 3, 2008 at 4:55 AM

    Comment #27

    To add to what has been said above.
    Yes we have said that we have the players and the potential, but we havent put a game together like we did against Blackburn all season.

    Still not a fan of Barton and Smith.

    Yes Harper has done well but there isnt a keeper in the league who has performed as consistently as Given and for so long.

    For the likes of GP – grow up. At a time when Faye and N’Zogbia are making waves about racism in football do you really think your comments make you a big boy?
    The trouble with most racism is that the perpetrators dont consider that what they are doing is racist. Sound familiar?

    Good article Ed – nice to see that we can see beyond the “3 points lost” syndrome and congratulate the lads a thoroughly good performance. Huge improvement.

  • shay is shit

    Mar 3, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    Comment #28

    Archie Brand given i have never rated him

  • hanzemre

    Mar 3, 2008 at 6:57 AM

    Comment #29

    Given was good for ages but lately mostly this season he wasn’t good so many prefer Harper to play now until Given is in good shape of health & back to his superb performance.

  • Spot The Zebra

    Mar 3, 2008 at 7:32 AM

    Comment #30

    On the whole a decent performance yesterday and a whole lot better than of late.However ive lost patience with Smith and i hope Keegan sees how he flatters to deceive.We also need to put NZogbia central midfield in place of either Barton or Butt or both!
    Positives from Saturday?
    Abdoulaye Faye was imense and is without doubt Allardyces best signing.
    The return of Enrique which SHOULD have allowed us to play NZogbia centre midfield.
    Owen was making great runs behind the defenders once again and will score if he keeps getting chances.
    The return of Oba which will give us some much needed genuine pace up front.This will be especially crucial in our remaining away games.
    The fans stayed with the team as we realise the importance of rebuilding confidence within the team.

  • Ryan Syahril

    Mar 3, 2008 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #31

    Team for Anfield battle:


  • ronaldeano

    Mar 3, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #32

    Good team Ryan

  • Howie

    Mar 3, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #33

    just thought id say i did the predictor thing for rest of season on bbc and the only results i gave us was 1pt vs sunderland and reading and 3vs fulham. we stayed up by 3 over wigan. its funny i remember saying at beginning of season how i wanted us to be competitive till 38th game. now i hope we have nothing to play for with 5 games left


    Mar 3, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #34

    I honestly cannot believe some of the comments about shay given some of you are plainly laughable
    no wonder the media call us fickle you are disgusting and the fenian twat comment very tasteful


  • Macca

    Mar 3, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #35

    GP, it’s people like you who give English people a very bad name.
    Does it matter where I’m from. I don’t condone anything that the present IRA DID (note the word did GP) and I deffinatley don’t condone any of the actions from the other side. I don’t think Given does either. He’s also from Donegal. Now if you knew half of well any sort of history, geography or you know current issues then you’d know that it’s not one of the 6 counties.
    The terrorist loving part seemed pretty racist to me but like a said you were a word or so away from being racist, which means you just implied it and didn’t have the balls to say it which is even more cowardly.
    Being Irish doesn’t mean that you support everything that someone some how heritage related to you does. Christ like. “Are you all that weak” you’re such a racist. You really are, let me guess, it doesn’t take a genius to work out who was singing with the Mido chant, and have you never sung “…. is a wanker” it isn’t weakness it’s rivalry. Does that make you weak? Now look at England’s pathetic violent record, fighting with fans, racisms, hooliganism, and look at Irelands. Guess which one is spotless and has never had a bit of bother only for England to go there and rip up their stadium.
    Oh and just for refernce, not all Muslims are terrorist, not all German’s are Nazi’s and not all Irish from Ulster are IRA supporters or are you to blind to see that as well.
    You really make me sick GP I actually have no words for you to describe how pathetic you are, you’re beyond belief. It’s supporters like you who give actual Newcastle fans a bad name. So just go away little boy. Grow up.

    Aren’t these comments supposed to be moderated or something.

  • ScottyT

    Mar 3, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #36

    craigg like i say its unbelievable absolutely disgraceful comments and yh i agree harper is better atm but shay has been immense for years and wtf has being irish got to do with anything. absolute fkin disgrace

  • toonypot

    Mar 3, 2008 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #37

    All you lot are forgetting how good Shay Given was until he has had a real bad run of injuries,especially the torn stomach.That has got to have effected his confidence and made 50.50 balls 60.40.He was one of the best keepers in the premiership at the start of the season.
    Give him a break as he has had a few this season due to injury .

  • Macca

    Mar 3, 2008 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #38’s not all of us, it’s one racist prat and one Sunderland fan. 2 little boys. Most of us are smart enough to see that he’s still an outstanding keeper, just injured, and him getting injured like he did, it’s something you can’t get away from and just forget. Most can see that some “fans” can’t. No doubt he’ll be as good as he was or hell better once he’s sorted the groin injury in the summer with surgery. He just needs time which as we know is something we never or wont give here.

    But tbh I’m sick shit of what a lot of people are saying around here. Childish to say the least.


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