Newcastle Relegation Watch – Good Day Sunshine

Three teams below Newcastle United all played this afternoon – and they all lost.


Captain Owen – cheer up Michael – they all lost

But Middlesbrough continue to pick up points, however, and were just 5 minutes away from doing the double over Arsenal, before Kolo Toure equalized for the Gunners with a header after 85 minutes.

Sunderland went down 1-0 at home against Chelsea, with a 10th minute goal by captain John Terry that was enough to secure the win for the London side. It was Terry’s first goal for the club since August 2006, but Chelsea missed several good chances in the first half.

They were almost made to pay for the error of their ways as Sunderland mounted a terrific comeback, but in the end they were unlucky not to capture at least a point. Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had to make fine saves from Andy Reid and Grant Leadbitter on either side of the break. But impressive striker Kenwyne Jones should have earned Sunderland a point with 15 minutes remaining, only to head straight at the Italian goalkeeper, with the goal wide open.

Reading gave Liverpool a battle at Anfield, and even went ahead through Marek Matejovskyw after just 5 minutes. But Argentinian Javier Mascherano pulled one back for the Reds after 19 minutes.

The Liverpool winner was scored in the second half by …………. Fernando Torres – who else? . 😀

Reading continued to show tremendous spirit following their two successive wins, and they gave Liverpool all they could handle. Reading threw everything forward in the last 5 minutes and were almost rewarded with a penalty when Gerrard charged down a Kitson shot in added time.

But appeals for a penalty were turned down, and Liverpool hung on to win the game and secure 4th place above rivals Everton. It was a much better showing by Reading today, than Newcastle’s weak capitulation last Saturday.

Both Sunderland and Reading are showing great courage and Sunderland were warmly applauded off the field by their 44,679 fans at the Stadium of Light, after their valiant efforts. The manager Roy Keane, although disappointed with the result, refused to criticize his players for their effort and guts.

Note that both these teams have to come to St. James’ Park in the run-in to the season. We should remember that neither of these teams will wave the white flag.

Bottom placed Derby County were beaten 1-0 at home by the Red Devils, but Manchester had to wait until the 76th minutes for Ronaldo to make sure of all three points. Derby were outclassed in the first half but just hung on, and as the second half progressed they grew in confidence and their play also improved.

Paul Jewell is doing a good job of getting his team fighting for everything – and this is obvious preparation for Derby for next season. They would hope to come straight back up from the Championship.

Middlesbrough almost did the double over Arsenal at the Emirates this afternoon, and it took an equalizing goal after 85 minutes from Toure to prevent this. Middlesbrough had gone ahead with a goal after 25 minutes by former Arsenal player Jeremie Aliadiere.

Arsenal had all the possession but couldn’t get another goal for the win. They pass far too much inside the penalty area – they need a player like Shearer who gets the ball and just bangs it in the net. Scoring goals should be really simple.

That’s now 4 draws in a row for the London team in the Premier league, and Arsenal are now second with the same number of points, 67, as the Red Devils. But Manchester United had a better goal difference and also a game in hand. Chelsea are lurking just 3 points behind Arsenal and have a game in hand.

Here’s the standings after todays games.

Pos Team       Games Won Draw Lost GF  GA  GD Points

12  Middlesb.	30    7	  10   13  27  44 -17 	31
13  Wigan 	29    7    7   15  26  42 -16 	28
14  Reading 	30    8    4   18  35  57 -22 	28
15  Newcastle 	29    7    7   15  30  56 -26 	28
16  Sunderland 	30    7    6   17  26  48 -22 	27
17  Birmingham 	29    6    8   15  33  45 -12 	26
18  Bolton 	28    6    7   15  28  42 -14 	25
19  Fulham 	29    3   11   15  26  49 -23 	20
20  Derby 	30    1    7   22  14  64 -50 	10

If Newcastle can beat Birmingham on Monday night they will jump from 15th place to 13th, and get to 31 points – level with Middlebrough. Newcastle have a much worse goal difference however. We need some big wins to get that goal difference improved.

But a good day for Newcastle United today, on the relegation watch..

Comments very welcome.

25 comments so far

  • dragoner

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #1

    wigan didnt lose, it was derby

  • dragoner

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #2

    hopefully todays results will give the team some sort of reason to actually make an EFFORT on the pitch

  • Espen V B

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #3

    I’m afraid it will have the opposite effect actually, now they think they don’t have that much pressure on themselves so they’ll loose. It’s something totally wrong with the mentality of Newcastle Football Club, the whole organisation needs a reality check.

    Play Martins on Monday, if not I’m afraid we’ll loose again.

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #4

    Whoops – changed it. 😀

  • Leo

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #5

    hey good things, it will mean that i can enjoy match of the day tonight. doesnt happen often

  • dragoner

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #6

    good point leo, what scorline do people want to see tomorrow? draw?…personally i would rather see a bolton loss, their confidence is already low and i think a draw will give them some confidence….which we DONT want

  • Stamford Toon

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #7

    Never thought I would see the day when I would be so pleased to see the top teams win and the bottom teams lose. I always would back the bottom teams and enjoy the upsets, not now though because we need all the help we can get. It looks like it will be other failures that keep us up rather than our successes.
    Oh dear!!

  • Egar

    Mar 15, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #8

    Time to pick up the pieces, lads. Go and beat Birmingham on Monday night.

  • Ben

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #9

    Good results, yes, but what is worrying is the fighting spirit shown by the teams around us. If NUFC can’t find that spririt, we will loose on Monday and go down – and rightly so I am sad to say.

  • JEFF

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #10


  • Hen

    Mar 15, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Yeah, as much as I hate to say it Birmingham aren’t gonna be a pushover. Scored 8 in their last 3 games and unbeaten for a few now.

    But was a good day for us, like to see Wigan beat Bolton I think to keep them in that 3rd spot!

    What with the lack of creativity in the centre of midfield you feel Martins is a good option as he likes to hunt for the ball more, or give Nzogbia another go in the centre midfield role. Like the big man/small man up front but frankly they are useless if the ball doesn’t get to them so Martins and Owen to start for me.

    You just feel that one victory would give the boys a push. and with Fulham next week and confidence up could give us a nice buffer.

  • Macca

    Mar 15, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #12

    A good day, points wise ya, and at this stage maybe that’s all that matter but it’s not all sunshine and daisies either.

    Looking at the matches today..

    Sunderland were unlucky against Chelsea, just loosing. They’ve had a lot of bad luck. Looking at today, the way they worked so bloody hard and deserved more then coming away with a loss, I’m now convinced that Sunderland will stay up.
    When they play us, well we’ll have to, we’ll really have to mark this Andy Reid guy, he never looks fit to me but his passing and free kicks today were superb. He’s the playmaker in the team. They’ve a few other very good players as well, that striker up front, Jones is always a danger. This guy Roy O Donovan, I’ve no idea who he is, I’ve never seen him play before and I’ve no idea what club he was in, I’ve seen a good few of the Sunderland matches and I’ve never seen him play at all, but he shone today. They all did, they, as much as I didn’t want them to, stood up and fought. If they play the way they played today and in some of their last few matches, then I don’t think they’ll go down and I think they’ll beat us as well if we play how we’ve been playing. Which is very worrying.

    Reading, a bit unlucky as well today. Showed tremendous heart. I’d fear for us as well when we play them. They got a lot of breakers. God em, Long I think scored against us the last time we played them. They’ve got a few who can score out of nothing really.

    I think the 2 of them, Reading and Sunderland have shown, IMHO anyway that they’ve enough to stay up and definitely enough to beat us unless we cop ourselves on.

    Derby are going down, that’s for certain, but they almost grabbed a draw against Man U, they defended very very well. So much spirit.

    Reading, Sunderland, Derby, Birmingham lately, all play with tremendous spirit and heart and the coaches have got them working really hard. All of them, especially Sunderland and Reading score late, 90 mins late, they don’t give up.
    Now they’re in the same position that we are, worse in some cases yet why is it that they can play with so much fight and heart and when we play we just don’t look interested.

    I’m not being negative I’m being realistic. Today on points was good for us. And maybe at this stage that’s all that matters but I think in a lot of cases today the scoreboard, the points didn’t reflect the games.

    If we don’t cop ourselves on, then we’re in a lot of trouble. It’s our turn to stand up and fight and wipe the grins of the other fans faces because I’m sick of people looking forward to playing Newcastle because they think it’s 3 points in the bag. We’re a big club with a lot of pride, a lot of fans, a lot of passion. It’s about time we showed them and everyone else why.

  • richie

    Mar 15, 2008 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #13

    roy o donavan was signed from cork city won player of the year n eircom league the year a freind of mine came seond

  • richie

    Mar 15, 2008 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #14

    we need to unleash hell on the brum for the 90 and silence the critics

  • Jeff D

    Mar 15, 2008 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #15

    Its a bit sad when we are looking at other teams losing , to make our day!!! I’m thoroughly ashamed of our team. I reckon we are going down, and we richly deserve to. Weve been disgraceful
    to many times this season.

  • Whitt

    Mar 15, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Hen, B’ham beaten 4-2 by Portsmouth on Wednesday…some abysmal defending. hopefully we can take advantage the way Portsmouth did.

  • daiv

    Mar 15, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #17

    We are focused on rubbish teams losing and keeping us up. A sad reflection on our team. All the other teams are showing more guts and passion than our muppets. I hope we stay up obviously. NUFC need to be in the Prem but our socalled stars deserve relegation. No pride or passion but loads in the bank.

  • Hen

    Mar 15, 2008 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #18

    Yeah sorry Whitt, meant unbeaten prior to that and was focusing on the fact they are scoring goals and frankly we are leaking them and sruggling for goals ourselves!
    Still think we can pick a team of 11 for monday and get a result but if they get the first goal you can see it going bad.
    I feel bad for KK though as injuries to Martins, Emre, Viduka and now Milner means he hasn’t been able to find the best 11. Now having to swap partnerships all over the field can lead to more problems and we are running out of time.

  • Macca

    Mar 16, 2008 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #19

    Richie..Cheers mate. That’s where the 2 Reading boys are from Doyle and Long, isn’t it.

  • Whitt

    Mar 16, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #20

    you’re right Hen, they have been playing better lately. they really did not defend well at Portsmouth, hopefully we can benefit from that…

  • TooooooN

    Mar 16, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #21

    we rely on other teams? so does that mean we can lose but let the team below us lose with lots of goals?

  • Geordie John

    Mar 16, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #22

    “If Newcastle can beat Birmingham on Monday night they will jump from 15th place to 13th”

    i take it your banking on wigan getting beaten / drawing with bolton there, which wouldnt really help our cause with bolton only 3 points behind us and a superior goal difference.

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #23

    Geordie John – you’re right – I didn’t take into account the Wigan Bolton game today.
    But still not sure what the best result for us would be with that game – if Wigan win it will put Bolton down there – they seem to be favorites with Derby and Fulham to go down – but it puts Wigan 3 points above us. 🙁

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 16, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #24

    Macca – excellent post – think you’re spot on. It’s about time we started doing something big to help ourselves and those teams fought tooth and nail yesterday – in fact I would have been proud of newcastle if they had played like that last week – but they didn’t – they gave up.
    You cannot accuse us of playing with pride and passion too many times this year.
    That’s one reason a big clear out is needed.

  • Geordie John

    Mar 16, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #25

    ed, personally i hope wigan win, i know it moves them further away from us, but at least it keeps bolton at bay, and if they could beat them by a clear 12 goals, that would ease our goal difference issues!


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