FT: Everton 3 Newcastle 1 – Magpies End Poorly

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Newcastle limped to the end of the season at Everton today and were well beaten 3-1 by a better Everton side. Newcastle ended their season on just 43 points, which equals last season’s worst ever points total in the Premier League. 🙁

In fact in 3 of the last 4 seasons Newcastle have recorded their worst points totals with 44 points in 2005, when Graeme Souness was manager.

No wonder Newcastle fans are so fed up.

It was only the brilliance again of our goalkeeper Steve Harper, that prevented Newcastle suffering a much worse defeat today, and our 2 defeats in our last 2 league games, illustrate the gulf there is between Newcastle, and the teams above us.

The combined scoreline of 5-1 suggests we have a lot of improvement to make.

However, we must reduce this gap, and sign several good players in the summer, and it’s good that we have publicly stated that 5th place is the target for next season.

Kevin Keegan gave Smith, Carroll, Duff and N’Zogbia a start today, and we knew this wasn’t our best side, but Kevin had to give some of the fringe players a chance.

We’re not sure exactly why Smith started up front, since he hasn’t scored a single goal all season, so he can hardly call himself a striker. Am I missing something here?

It wouldn’t surprise us at all if Smith leaves in the summer.

It was fairly even in the first half and young Charles N’Zogbia was prominent. Andy Carroll had a shot from 25 yards that Howard had to save smartly, and then after 29 minutes Everton went ahead with a poor goal from Newcastle’s viewpoint.

After 27 minutes, Newcastle missed a great opportunity to go ahead. N’Zogbia managed to get in an excellent cross, but not one Newcastle player was anywhere near the ball.

Then, as if to rub that miss in, Everton went ahead on 29 minutes.

Duff received a yellow card for his foul on Pienaar and from the free kick, which Pienaar took, Yakubu rose above everybody, to easily head the ball home, giving Harper no chance.

Yakubu was unmarked and just 8 yards from goal, so there has to be lots of questions about our defensive marking, but it was an extremely poor goal to give away.

It looked like young Andy Carroll was at fault, as he couldn’t get near the ball, and was supposed to be talking care of his opposite number Yakubu .

After 36 minutes Anichebe played a nice back-heel to Fernandes, which put him through, and his swerving shot was well saved by Steve Harper, who was at full stretch.

After 2 minutes of added time, the half time whistle went and Everton lead 1-0 at the break.

Everton were well on top in the last 15 minutes of the half, and Newcastle were rather lucky to go in only one goal in arrears.

Cacapa replaced the injured Abdoulaye Faye for the second half.

But straight after the break, Newcastle were right back in the game as N’Zogbia made another excellent run into the box, and was summarily upended by Nigerian Yobo.

Captain Michael Owen then hit his second successful penalty in a row, firing under American goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Newcastle were right back in the game and Michael Owen took his goal tally to 13 for the season, and Newcastle’s leading goalscorer.

Then Harper had to pull off yet another fine save just nine minutes into the second half. A Fernandes free-kick was going in, but Harper managed to tip the ball over the cross-bar.

Newcastle were trying to hang on, but with 20 minutes left Everton regained the lead as Steven Taylor could only divert Fernandes’ dead ball right into the path of Joleon Lescott.

Lescott side footed the ball in and only just sufficiently to beat Harper, into the bottom corner of the goal. It was a well taken goal by Lescott, his 10th goal of the season, and from another Everton set play.

There were question marks again over our defense for this goal.

But Harper was still keeping Everton at bay and he denied Anichebe, who was straight through on goal, but Harper brilliantly turned his effort wide of the post.

Newcastle were seemingly starting to fall apart, and Keegan couldn’t have been happy with a lot of the performances from his players in the last 30 minutes of the season.

On 77 minutes 17 year-old Lua Lua was brought on to replace Jose Enrique.

On 82 minutes Leon Osman made a good run into the box but was unceremoniously brought down by Taylor, and the referee awarded the obvious penalty.

Yakubu stepped up and sent Harper the wrong way for his second goal of the game to make it 3-1.

Peter Ramage, who may join QPR in the summer, was brought on in added time for his final appearance in a black and white shirt.

We wish Peter all the very best, as he’s got black and white blood, and always gave his best for his home town club.

But this was a disappointing display from the lads, and it shows that we haven’t got too much strength in depth.

It could well be that Ramage, Smith and N’Zogbia were all making their farewell appearance for the club, but it’s not a good way to end the season, our joint worst ever in the Premier League.

It was a disappointing day for the Tynesdie club, and we hope we’ll do much much better next season.

Hope springs eternal.


Everton: Tim Howard, Joseph Yobo, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville (c), Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman, Yakubu, Manuel Fernandes, Lee Carsley, Victor Anichebe
Subs: Leighton Baines, Thomas Gravesen, Daniel Gosling, Stefan Wessels, Jack Rodwell

Newcastle United:
Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Steve Taylor, Abdoulaye Faye, Nicky Butt, Charles N’Zogbia, Damien Duff, Alan Smith, Michael Owen (c), Alan Smith, Andy Carroll
Subs: Fraser Forster, Claudio Cacapa, Peter Ramage, Ben Tozer, Kazenga LuaLua

Referee: Peter Walton
Attendance: tbc

38 comments so far

  • Davy C

    May 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #1

    Well, that’s another rollercoaster ride of a season over! Phew!!

    Disappointing end but worrying with the exclusion of Martins. Everton had some of their best players missing, especially Cahill, but still showed that they have far more strength in depth than we have.

    Lets hope we start to build a suitable squad for a decent season starting in August. I’ve already got my season ticket so … howay the lads!!

  • rlw

    May 11, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #2


  • alex

    May 11, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #3

    to be fair everton had a lot more to play for and we were missing some key players.

    i really hope we get rid of duff and smith in the summer but our squad is already small so i can’t see it happening.

    we will need to rely on new blood if we are to improve next season

  • ObaFan2

    May 11, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #4

    Ed, first of I like to thank you for providing us with imo the best Toon site about and has given us fans a chance to debate all kinds of topics over the season.

    Yes indeed we were poor today and highlights the importance in strengthening the squad this summer.

    Zog was good today and would be a shame to see him go.

    Oba imo must stay as he is a shining light in the team even more so than Owen even though I’d like him to stay too.

    I am not filled with too much optimism for next season after what has happened the last week or so but hope I’m proved wrong with some good and great players joing the team for next season.

    Most consistent player this season……. Beye

    Worst player…….. Smith

    I personally think 5th spot is out of our reach for next season but believe a top 10 finish a reality. Again I hope I’m proved wrong and we can fight for a chance to play in Europe the following season.

    Fingers crossed and thanks again for this great blog.

  • nitro

    May 11, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #5

    the smogs won 8-1 btw..protest by mancity against thaksin?

  • Alex

    May 11, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #6

    well at least we did not get relegated this season,but thats about the only bright spot. lets see who we bring in over the summer , hoping that there is a couple of quality signings and that Taylor ,Owen &Oba are here too kick off next season .

  • nomis_jade

    May 11, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #7

    At least we didnt get relagated, and had a fairly good end to the season. 2 months ago, we were all nervous of a relegation battle, and although the last 2 games werent great they were against good opposition.

    Its been a really poor season, no doubt, so lets look forward to the next.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    May 11, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #8

    special thanks ed, kept us all well updated throughout this rough season, you have done a great job.

    shining light of the season- Micky mo after getting us out of the brown stuff.

    most consistent player of the year harper or monday,tuesday habib beye.

    waste of space- we al would agree on that one.

    highlight of the season- 16.20 pm on a cold january wednesday afternoon- David Craig reports, “you might need to sit down a second footballing fans, the king is back on tyneside”.

  • Frankie Wild

    May 11, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #9

    What happened to Martins?

  • MattyDread

    May 11, 2008 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #10

    For the players we’ve got/want I think we really are going to have to qualify for Europe next season.

  • niko

    May 11, 2008 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Our team is garbage

  • Nick Dryden

    May 11, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Smith = we lose.
    I’ve got no problem with Ashley trying to bomb out these underperforming, over rated, often injured high earners who have seen us a soft touch for far too long.
    To those who say we have a small squad, it’s no good keeping the squad stocked with mediocre money grabbing has beens like Smith, Duff, Geremi, Emre etc whose heart isn’t in it.
    Taylor still makes stupid costly mistakes, N’Zogbia wants out and Owen is always a kick away from another bad injury.
    Owen’s wages alone are totally unsustainable.
    I think Ashley’s new policy is on the right lines whether we like it or not. KK is a great motivator. However, we do need good quality technical coaching from somewhere to come in and develop young players – not KK’s forte.

  • daiv

    May 11, 2008 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #13

    SMITH will stay. KK has stated that he would like eleven Alan Smiths in the team. God help us!!!! Still, at least SMITH did not break his duck. No goals in 30 games and no league goal since 2005. If hed scored, KK would play him every game next season. Im not religious but I was praying that SMITH would not score.

  • Hadrian

    May 11, 2008 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #14

    keegan has got no chance at anywhere near 5th as things stand , hopefully my opinion will have changed come the first game of next season after a great and busy summer . im not confident in that tho .
    the teams a proper mixed bag , firstly its tiny by premier league standards , then half the players legs really have gone , shipped out from there clubs for a reason , the other half dont have enough experience . who have we got out there that you could say were ontop of their game ?
    its normally between the 27-31 age but all ours are knackered after injurys and peaked years ago .
    we cant not strengthen this , young prospects are great n all , but they dont plug holes in teams that have finished in the bottom half for going on half a decade .

  • ToonKing

    May 11, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #15

    well it’s over, another typical Toon season. as things stand right now i have no idea what will happen during the summer but i really hope we can strenghten the squad and finish top 8 next season.


  • Leo

    May 11, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #16

    hears to next season and 5th place 😉

  • stjames

    May 11, 2008 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #17

    First let me second obafan2 #3 regarding this site. After getting rid of Big Sam it’s the second best thing that happened this season. Thank you Ed.

    A very strange season I might add. But we are used to that aren’t we? In spite of some weird reports toward the end I’m looking forward to next season. Let’s not forget that we have a new owner and a new managerial structure that will be put to it’s first real test this summer. This goes for KK too as he’ll have his first real chance at improving the squad with new players.

    So chin up, smile and happy holidays.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • toonoholic

    May 11, 2008 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #18

    Ed you might want to add owen in that list

  • ObaFan2

    May 11, 2008 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #19

    One major highlight I fogot to mention was not replacing BSA with ‘Arry (the dodgy) Redknapp as manager.

    What a relief.

  • geno toon

    May 11, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #20


    I want to thank you for this site and the great job you have done with managing the site.

    I hope we see our team cut the dead weight and add some talent and keep the talent we have. The idea to to add depth!

    I am sorry but every time Smith is on the pitch we lose….

  • goalcentre.com

    May 11, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #21
  • Fozzy

    May 11, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #22

    First let me express my thanks to ED for having the foresight to set up this blog in thefirst place. Second why are we so hung up on 5th place? We are a club in transition and it will take more than a few good signings to make us any where ear good enough to start a realistic challenge for the upper league positions. Ashley is a business man first and foremost, he willnot throw money at the club no matter how much we shout and scream. We have squandered HUNDREDS of millions onnplayers over the years and still won nowt. It will take time and shrewd dealings in the transfer market before we start to see serious results. In the mean time KK has said his job is to win something over the next three years. That’s what our real target should be. If KK manages to bring a trophy to St James then 5th 4th 3rd or 12th will be irelevant.

  • Eamonn

    May 11, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #23

    Alan Smith = A Scapegoat!! Give the lad a break people, he’s not the reason United were crap this season. ( Big Sam’s caveman football would be fairly high up the list) but to dump so much blame on one player in our squad is totally unfair. Personally I hope he stays and under KK he can prove his detractors wrong next season. At least Smith gives 100% effort for the cause, and will play wherever he’s asked, unlike some departed pre-madonnas (Dyer, Bellamy) . I’m just happy this carcrash of a season is behind us. Methinks it will be two seasons running without a season review DVD! But just maybe they will release a “best of 06-08” and call it “The Good The Bad & The Ugly”!! (Keegan, Roeder & Alderdice fit those parts nicely). Keep up the good work Ed, only one criticism, how about using the word “United” once in a while in your blog! 🙂

  • daiv

    May 11, 2008 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #24

    Alan Smith is total rubbish. I know he tries, I know he runs arouns alot, I know he picks up yellow cards for condfetti, I know he will never score a goal. He is rubbish. Easy. Thats the truth so why should I give him a break. He plays and my team loses, so he can……..

  • Eamonn

    May 11, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #25

    Daiv I know Smith hasn’t done well for us since he signed, but you could say the same about so many others in recent times. I just think any player with over 60 appearances for ManUre can’t be that bad. I recall Nicky Butt had a horror show of a season for us back in 04-05 (I remember Cardiff in particular caus I was there, his misplaced pass to one of his Red mates led directly to one of their goals!). I reckon these x-ManUre players go through a sort of depression when Ferguson cuts em. I’m just hoping like Butt that Smith will recapture some form next season. Also my ManU supporting mates were all sorry to see him leave. He’s never been a goal machine but maybe Keegan could convert him into a defensive midfielder as Butt is getting on a bit?

  • daiv

    May 11, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #26

    NUFC is a mid to lower mid table team. Look at the stats over the last five years. They do not lie. We need better players and we need to get rid of the worst of the bunch here now. That means Smith goes pronto. I dont know how he’s got the front to pick up his wages. A striker who has not scored for three years. Its an absolute joke. If you think Smith is Ok we’ll just have to disagree but I bet you won’t have too many people agreeing with you….not that its a reason not to stick to your opinion.

  • Tom_Toon

    May 11, 2008 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #27

    Alan Smith is the worst player in the premier leauge.


  • Eamonn

    May 11, 2008 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #28

    Tom _Toon, I think mackems McShane would be a shoe-in for that award!! remember mackems v Everton away, how happy I was when McShane turned out against us in St James 🙂

  • Whitt

    May 11, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #29

    i’ve read a lot of the comments on hear regarding today’s game…it sounds like most people didn’t actually WATCH it…

    we lined up in a straight 442:


    once again, Zog was easily our best field player, with Harper keeping the game closer than it maybe should have. nobody really had a howler, but Zog was the only one who looked up for it.

  • Toon_Ksk

    May 11, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #30

    I won’t be surprise if Smith stays. That will no doubt be disappointing to alot of people here.


    May 11, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #31

    Thank you ED HARRISON for your fabulous work throughout the season.
    Let’s hope that the Newcastle United players WHOEVER THEY MAY BE can show as much passion and commitment as the contributors do on this web site !
    I am looking forward to adding my thoughts come August.

  • Tom

    May 11, 2008 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #32

    Three key things from todays game

    – n’zogbia should stay – was best player today.
    -smith has to leave, along with many others.
    -we need some quality in, and quick.

    by the way eamonn, dyer and bellamy may have moaned but they were a damn sight better than smith when it comes to playing football.

  • Todd

    May 11, 2008 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #33

    I also want to add my name to those who have thanked Ed for this wonderful blog. It’s been a long, hard season, but hopefully the squad will be strengthened in the summer.

    You can count me among those who think Smith should be sold, but only if suitable replacements are found. One problem KK has pointed out is that this squad is very thin. Here’s hoping we’re much better (and stronger) next season!

  • Eamonn

    May 11, 2008 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #34

    Tom , in fairness to Bellamy he was quality on his day and took the winner out in Rotterdam so well ( seem’s so long ago now). I bumped into Bellamy in Newcastle back in 03, he was good enought to chat and asked about my accent, then said he loved Dublin as the nightlife was so good!!! 🙂 I blame Grim Souness for his departure. Now Dyer is another kettle of eels entirely, I was hoping Bowyer would have flattened him during their Villa bust-up. We should have sold Kieran years ago and got more for him, totally overrated. He was gonna knock Paul Scholes out of the England setup back in April 03 if memory serves me, just before we got hammered 2-6 by ManUre in St James. Going into that match was the last time we were title contenders. 🙁

  • Jon

    May 12, 2008 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #35

    NUFC suck without Oba!

  • clinta

    May 12, 2008 at 2:34 AM

    Comment #36

    That’s an out of form in reason weeks everton team we just easily lost too, and while we didn’t put out our best team everton’s two best players in cahill and arteta where injured, we won’t get fifth or sixth next year were too far behind.

  • Nick Dryden

    May 12, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #37

    Eamonn. 7 games with Smith dropped, we were unbeaten. 2 games with Smith back we lose. Do the math. People who leave utd are only heading one way. Fergie’s no fool.

  • Ian

    May 12, 2008 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #38

    I think that was couldnt have been a better last match for us before the transfer window, except I would have liked Fabio to play the last 20 minutes and he wast even on the bench.

    Why was it good??

    We now know Carroll should be sold, no effort due to this lack of effort we saw no skill and this was again another big chance for him, they dont happen often for reserve players.

    A competitive but not one of the country’s best midfielders in Zgobia continously got ahead of the strikers and was near goal with no options, what does that tell us? Without Martins we have no pace, we need another very fast striker (my choice Djibril Cisse).
    Once we have a couple of injuries at the front we dont have a team, so what do we do? Buy two strikers, sell Smith and keep Ameobi as a last resort striker? We need to do something otherwise we are knackered if we have two key injuries, especially Martins and Owen.
    We know we need two excellent midfielders and Emre needs to go, but also Lua Lua should always have been our second choice above Smith as he is a talented player, Lua Lua permanent on the bench and in increasing numbers of games for me.

    We are getting some strength in defense we are told so that is happening anyhow.

    Man of the match and probaly the season Steve Harper absolutely amazing, so good I would consider cashing in on Shay and bringing in a younger keeper who is good for our longer term future and using Shay’s cash where we desperately need it.

    That was the best match of the Keegan games to make sure we buy strikers as well as the other players which are more obvious needed.

    Thanks Ed for the site.


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