Two poorly conceded goals in the latter end of the first half was just too much for Newcastle United to recover from this afternoon, as they went down to their 5th successive defeat and the 4th defeat since Kevin Keegan resigned from the club 3 weeks ago yesterday.
With Joe Kinnear looking on from the Director’s box, and in front of a small crowd of just over 44,000 fans, Newcastle started quite well and had lots of possession early on, but didn’t make too much of the ball when they had it.
But again it seems like the Newcastle central defense is so fragile this season, and after 31 minutes an innocuous free kick by Villanueva found Samba blindside Steven Taylor, to head nicely past Shay Given to Shay’s left. It was a simple goal from Samba but schoolboy defending from the England under-21 captain.
Then it seems like conceding a goal is almost giving up the the game at the moment, and after 41 minutes a cross from the right found the impressive Santa Cruz simply out jump Coloccini and the Paraguayan headed down diagonally past Given into the net. A nice goal from the 27 year-old former Beyern Munich striker.
2-0 down at home at half time, against an ordinary Blackburn Rovers side – hardly what the noisy and supportive Newcastle fans wanted to see.
Then after 5 minutes of the second half Blackburn center-back Ryan Nelsen, gave away a penalty against Michael Owen, but in slow motion it looked like the Blackburn player had hardly touched Michael, but we’ll not complain.
Michael himself took the penalty, and like many penalty takers now, fired straight down the middle as goalkeeper Brown dived away to his left, and it was 2-1, and the lads were back in the game.
The crowd also came alive, and made their presence felt as they willed on their team. Geremi had a chance shortly after Owen’s goal, but he tried to control the ball when a first time effort may have seen the Cameroon international score.
Newcastle tried hard to get the second goal with both wingers N’Zogbia and Duff doing well, but it just wouldn’t come, and it was our third defeat at home on the trot. We are second bottom of the league right now, and a Tottenham win tomorrow at Portsmouth, will see us hit rock bottom.
The players seemed to be a lot more energetic and purposeful in the second half, but it was another defeat at the end of the day.
There would have been something positive in the last 45 minutes that will give new manager Joe Kinnear some hope. Joe watched the game from the stands opposite Managing Director Derek Llambias, who turned up so that at least one person from the Newcastle Board, was represented at the game.
Kinnear will now have a week to work with the lads before the next game at Everton in the 4:00 pm game next Sunday.
We would expect the players to be a lot more enthusiastic and purposeful in that game, following their decent showing in the second half today, but a win is what we need to get our confidence back.
It’s like January and February all over again, but we have to turn this form around before the season goes on too much further, otherwise we’ll be at the bottom of the league again come January.
We hope Joe Kinnear can instill some pride and passion into our players, which is really what is needed right now, to pull us out of this death spiral.
Joe needs our full support, that’s for sure.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Geremi, Sebastien Bassong, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Claudio Cacapa, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Xisco
Subs: Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi, David Edgar, Ben Tozer, Mark Doninger, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger
Blackburn: Jason Brown, Stephen Warnock, Christopher Samba, Tugay, Ryan Nelsen (c), Brett Emerton, Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Villanueva, Danny Simpson, Matt Derbyshire, Martin Olsson
Subs: Andre Ooijer, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Keith Andrews, Robbie Fowler, Keith Treacy, Jason Roberts, Alex Marrow
Referee: Steve Tanner
Attendance: 44, 935