FT: Middlesbrough 0 Newcastle 0 – Magpies Get Good Point


Newcastle gained a second successive away draw and their second successive clean sheet as they held Middlesbrough at The Riverside this afternoon, in front of over 32,00 fans in an evenly fought contest with few clear cut chances.

The teams were well matched and it was a good open game at the Riverside with both sides playing more than decent football, and Newcastle came closest to taking the lead in the first half, when a beautiful shot on the turn by Oba Martins had Boro goalkeeper Ross Turnbull well beaten, but the ball hit the cross bar and went over.

But all in all the first half was evenly matched with few clear cut chances and both sides looking for the opening.

Then in the second half Middlesbrough began to get more of the game but Bassong and Coloccini were again outstanding at the heart of the Newcastle defense and were able to hold the Boro forwards at bay.

Then after 65 minutes manager Kinnear made a strange decision when he replaced the effective and sharp Oba Martins with Mark Viduka, but left Michael Owen in the game, when Michael didn’t show much all afternoon.

It could be that Joe’s thinking was that he wanted to give Michael some time on the field, but it was a little unfair on Martins, and we cannot have Martins be the fall guy this time, as he was under Big Sam.

But Alves should have done better when he was almost clean through on 67 minutes, but his shot from just outside the area was wide and high, when he could have scored for the home side.

It was one of the few times Alves got away from Sebastien Bassong, who handled the big Brazilian brilliantly all afternoon.

Viduka looked good when he came on, and since we haven’t scored for a couple of games look for Joe to maybe start in a 4-3-3 formation next week in our home game with Stoke City, which is now a must-win game.

This is also our third draw on the trot, and we’re not going to get away form the relegation zone quickly with draws. We must start winning these games, when we can, but to be fair to Middlesbrough, they played well today, and it would have been very hard on them had Newcastle captured all 3 points.

But we still wouldn’t have minded too much to have won the game.   😀

A draw was a fair result and Newcastle fans can take away another terrific defensive display form the lads, and again Coloccini and Bassong were superb for Newcastle. Young Seb Bassong is starting to look like a great player for Newcastle in central defense.

We think Kinnear will be well pleased with the display, if not the result, because Newcastle looked solid and kept their shape, and found Middlesbrough in good form.

Kinnear and our coaches have done a great job with the defense, they loook solid these days, and now we need to learn again how to score goals. Viduka back from injury will help and maybe Alan Shearer could come in a few days a week, and show them how to do it. And as we said maybe we play 4-3-3 at home so we can get some goals and some wins.

Oh yes, one more thing is that Newcastle move up one place, and above Sunderland who were hammered 4-1 at The Stadium of Light this afternoon by Bolton, of all teams,  who beat Middlesbrough last week away.

Sunderland’s failing was their defense as every goal they conceded was questionable at best.

They may have beat us 2-1 at The Stadium of Light, on October 28th, for the first time in 28 years, but we must have put a curse on them, because since then they’ve lost 6 of their last 7 league games.

Their next game is – yes – Manchester United away.

TEAMS

MFC: Ross Turnbull, Justin Hoyte, Andrew Taylor, David Wheater, Emanuel Pogatetz, Jeremie Aliadiere, Julio Arca, Didier Digard, Stewart Downing, Tuncay Sunli, Alfonso Alves
Subs: Adam Johnson, Marvin Emnes, Mido, Jonathan Grounds, Seb Hines, Josh Walker, Brad Jones

NUFC: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Nicky Butt, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Charles N’Zogbia, Oba Martins, Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, Steven Taylor, Mark Viduka, David Edgar, Andy Carroll, Geremi

Referee: Alan Wiley
Attendance: 32,160



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93 comments so far

  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m a bit dissapointed, but I think boro had more of the game so we must be happy with the point.

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #2

    Owen needs to be dropped for Viduka. He has been poor for the last two games, yet both times Martins has been subbed. Not good enough from Kinnear. Grow some balls JK.

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  • Zero Cool

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #3

    Game showed how absolutely desperate we are for a LB. Jose Enrique is simply not capable of the job. I disagreed w/ JFK in taking Oba off for Mark Viduka. It should’ve been Michael off, he was completely invisible for the whole of the game. Guthrie did well, as usual, to find and create space, he might just turn out to be that Steven Gerrard-like player that we do desperately need. Too bad Joey is injured, he could’ve really…”put his stamp” on this game today. All the while, could’ve been much worse. Like the damn smog conditions in that Shite city!

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #4

    Pundits agree with the fans. Martins should have stayed, Owen shoudl have gone. Lets hope JK is listening.

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  • IndiaMag

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #5

    I still don’t get why Martins was taken off, I wish they had removed butt and played a 3-3-4. Or if he had to make a like for like change , then he should have taken off owen as he obviously was hardly involved in the game. I hope Joe goes by the performance and not the reputation. On the bright side, Our defense will be just great with a better performance from enrique or a new left back.

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  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #6

    i dunno if phil thompson will make it to soccer saturday next weekend, he might still be lost up bassongs arse. He cant say enough good about him! haha. I’m looking forward to football first tonight purely for how much he’s bigged him up, he sounds like he had an outstanding game. Thompson went as far as to say he thinks that has to be the backbone of our squad.
    also said he couldnt disagree with Oba taking the hump, because Owen should have been the one coming off.
    Apparently only Arsenal and Chelsea have stopped us scoring this season, strange stat.

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  • Big Gaz

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #7

    Just got to start scoring….its OK to say the defence had a great game but what is happening in the middle…they are not providing the chances for the lads up front…

    Still a point better off and as Ed says…above the great unwashed…

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #8

    Ross

    Bassong was fantastic. Especially in the first half.

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  • CDN Toon

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #9

    Owen will put one away soon which will revive him… a revived Owen is exactly what we need right now

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  • dan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #10

    Owen should have been dragged off and made to give the Armband to Given first. 😉

    Trouble is , top 4 arn’t interested and no1 else will pay his wages. We are stuck, he is stuck, he knows it and that is why he will hang on for a new contract. Would prefer Beckford from Leeds to him. Utterly lazy today.

    Spyro- I totally agree, you said u had balls JK, where are they?

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #11

    The only reason Alves had chances in the second half was because he switched to Coloccini’s side. Who, despite putting in a good performance, wasn’t a speck on Bassong today.

    If Bassong carries on the way he is he will undoubtedly be our best defender with Colo close behind.

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  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #12

    I also agree, that martins and Duke would have produced something. But I think JFK did not want to take out MO becouse of the contract talks that will start soon…in the end I think it’s clever – but JFK needs to also keep Martins happy!!

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  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Would also love the see guthrie forming a partnership with barton, when he (the later one) is fit again.

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  • dan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #14

    JK is really starting to p”’ me off now.

    I hope Rory Delap is knackered sometime between now and next week, or we will bw back in the relegation spots.

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  • amir7

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #15

    wat did you huys think of zoggy? did he do enough t owin the starting spot next week. i thought he played a sub-par game, but still provided more sparks today than duffer did in his last 5

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  • dan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #16

    N’Zogbia wasn’t great today but needs games. Duff and Owen are over the hill. Viduka wont be able to play a whole game yet tho. JK get some balls. Nxt week, Martins and Ameobi first half, Viduka second half. Zoggie and Bassong aswell. Or the fans will hate u!!!! hahaha

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  • craig chisholm

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #17

    our central defence is good but draws are no good for us anymore. it would have been ok if we had stuffed wigan ande drew with fulham but these thrown away points are going to bite us on the arse when it gets down to the wire. we are still third bottom on points and with the second bottom team having a gane in hand plus most of the ones above having a game in hand, it makes us look in a ever increasingly desperate situation. basically its not looking good.

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #18

    Zoggy was poor in the first half, better in the second. He did spark the game to life at times with his charging runs, but made the wrong decision each time it came to the end product. However, i do feel he just needs a couple more games to improve.

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  • Xisco Stu

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #19

    Here’s a stat for you. In Premiership matches we have earned points from Boro matches 88% of the time.

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #20

    Starting 11 was fine today.JK just needs to grow some balls and sub Owen when he is clearly not performing. The press will drum this into his head throughout the week and hopefully he will learn from it.

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  • AndrewNUFC

    Nov 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #21

    Ahhh well a point is better than nothing, 2 clean sheets in a row bloody hell we struggle to get that in a season.

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  • adaaaam

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #22

    the mackems wasn t october 28th like was it, we drew at home that day

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  • DanToon

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #23

    1. Bassong was absolutely superb again.
    2. Owen should have come off for Viduka.
    3. Martins should have not been taken off.
    4. Another great clean sheet.
    5. Kinnear is tactically inept (his team just don’t attack).
    6. Edd Case is a complete and utter tw@.

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  • dan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #24

    Is it just me or is Jonas half the player he was at Man U? There was very little attack down the wings.

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  • DanToon

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #25

    Spyro – Spot on mate!

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  • Spyro

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Dan

    In order for us to get the best out of Jonas we need more threats in midfield. It is far too predictable right now.

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  • Hugh Jorgan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #27

    Sebastien Bassong was AWESOME !

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  • Obafan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #28

    Given: Had to make 1 save and it was no surprise that he made that vital safe. Lie I say every week; HE IS WORLDCLASS!!!

    Beye: fantastic defending today, tho’ ti was tough against a very inspiring Downing

    Bssong: simply the best player on the pitch today. First central defender (since Albert) who is full of confidence).

    Colo: is playing very good, but playing next to Bassong or Taylor is a huge difference. With Taylor he has to be aware of the silly mistake which will follow a few times in 1 game. With Bassong he just has to focus on his own work, cause Bassong is a solid rock.

    Enrique: good defending, poor in passing the ball and nearly cost us a goal with his awful clearances

    Guti: I expect more from him; should attack his opponent much more

    Butt: okay game, but that’s it

    Guthrie: sees where to create space for himself; is getting better every week

    Zogs: good and bad things combined. For me he is too selfish!!!

    Owen: nothing, big zero!!! Did do nothing to deserve to be on the pitch.

    Martins; I feel sorry for him, he was going for every ball, created some space for others, a few good shots at goal. And then … let’s sub him, can’t understand it at all.

    Vid: will be very usefull for the team. Looked okay and he should partner Oba.

    Kinnear: a loser who is afraid to:
    1. go and attack an average team
    2. take of the worst player on the pitch, just because his name is Owen.

    Combined feelings:
    + clean sheet and another away point
    – tactics are shite and we have to win games like that to get out of the red zone

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  • NorthernPaul

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #29

    I’m sorry, but I dont think a point is a good result.

    This was pretty much a must win game today. The table is starting to take shape after the early season ‘everyone is beating everyone’ weirdness.

    If results go against us on Sunday, we could end up 3rd bottom, and 3 points behind 5th bottom. Have a shot on the BBC predictor and see for yourself.

    Stoke is an absolute must win six pointer, and I cant say I’m confident that we’ll beat them.

    We’ve shown that we can defend, and it’s great to see two clean sheets. Why can’t we score goals when we defend though? If we can’t do both, we will be relegated.

    Personally, I’m getting very worried.

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  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #30

    I think zoggy was very poor and didn’t take his chance. But I think duff has a small groin so zoggy will get another chance at home. Hope he will do better, but if not Duff should get his place back!

    Now we must get all 3 points and don’t sit back anymore at home! We need to go out and attack at St. James’

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  • Hugh Jorgan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #31

    Agree with you DanToon with regards to Obafemi Martins,
    I would rather have sent Michael Owen packing.
    Owen was almost invisible this afternoon !

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  • Turkish Magpie

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #32

    should’ve been 3 points!

    anything less than 3 points against Stoke and we’re goin down

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  • Hugh Jorgan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #33

    Have not seen the Sunderland score yet, how did they do today ?

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  • canada willie

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #34

    This game was terrible and wasn’t worth watching. It was as boring a game I have watched this year. However I presume this is Kinnears style

    Kinnears decision to keep Michael Owen instead of Martins was stupid. Owen is nowhere near the player he once was and is totally ineffective.

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  • Turkish Magpie

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #35

    and i’m usually optimistic!

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  • dan

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #36

    Obafan- Couldnt have put it any better myself mate.
    All in all an away point…. but… A point a game may not be enough this season. We need to clear our lungs of the smog and play our socks off against Stoke, who should no way be above a team like NUFC.

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  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #37

    Not really constructive, Turkish Magpie. Yes we need the 3 points, but going down if we don’t win that game is a bit harsh.

    I think we are starting to build something. The problem with the NUFC fans always is to be more patient. I’m sure we will do more to attack next week, becouse we play at home! We easily could have lost the game today, so we need to build on that 2 defensive solid displays.

    I agree, maybe a 4-3-3 would be something to try, but I think in midfield there would be a gap, becouse JFK will drop guthrie and not butt and that just wouldn’t be very good…butt cannot do the job alone (missing barton a lot). So I guess we will again start in 4-4-2 – and I would love to start Duke and Martins, but it won’t happen.

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  • Piers

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #38

    Not a bad result, we had our chances. Yes Kinnear was wrong with his decision to sub Martins for Viduka. He’ll learn though and with the way the game was going, it probably wouldn’t of made much of a difference.

    However, what i want to say is why don’t we think about transfering Owen. I know he is superb when he is in but he hasn’t been in in half the time he’s been here. Say what you want about our summer, but you have to agree we certainly got some good young players: Colo, Jonas, Bassong, and Guthrie to name a few. Think about it, Owen would be worth more than all of them. It’s not that bad of an idea, its not like we’ve won anything with Owen. Hopefully Kinnear will realize that he could invest in a pure young, injury free, and talented striker. Just a thought

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  • Heavy hitters

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #39

    If you win home games and draw away games you will be up there near the top. Bassong has made a big difference to the defence and to Colo. Colo will be able to focus on his own game and not have to keep an eye on Taylor and his errors. Why Cacapa was on the bench is beyond me?? Good result for us imo !! KEEP THIS CB PAIRING !!!

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  • ELFER

    Nov 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #40

    Mates, does anyone agree that the display of MO against chelski was good? I mean defensively (and as a possible playmaker?). So I think as a midfielder he would be better than up front…what about the swith back to 4-3-3?

    I think MO can work defensively and I think at the moment (also to keep everyone happy) that would be a good try?

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