Newcastle – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

It was a disappointing result for Newcastle yesterday at The Riverside, since 71% of our readers expected the lads could wrap up all 3 points yesterday against Middlesbrough.

Sebastien Bassong – Man of Match again yesterday

But it wasn’t to be, and here are some of or observations on the game yesterday.

  • Another tremendous performance by the defense and especially Coloccini and Bassong, and of those two, particularly 22 year-old Seb Bassong, who seems to have picked up his second MOM performance in a row. As we write this of 230 votes so far cast 63% think Bassong was man of the match with Martins second at 19% and Shay Given in third place with 4% of the votes.
    Still time to vote if you haven’t done so.
  • It is becoming obvious that Jose Enrique, for some reason, cannot play anywhere near his best form, and the difficulty Jose has is that he gives the ball away far too much. Just look when he gets the ball how often he gives the ball away.
  • Steven Taylor is back from injury and we hardly expect Joe Kinnear to displace Coloccini and Bassong, because they are playing so well together in central defense. But Joe may elect to bring Steven in at left back. Steven can play decently at left back and it wouldn’t be the first time he’s been deployed
  • Good teams keep clean sheets and now we’ve had two clean sheets in a row.  Of course we also have to score to be successful, but Joe seems determined to create a good defense at Newcastle. and that will be a very nice change. The lads have certainly played their best two games defensively in a row, and it’s a pity we couldn’t have nicked a goal yesterday.
    But on the positive side, if the defense can keep things this tight, when our forwards get back to some kind of form, hopefully future games will be there for the winning.
  • The attack looked fairly tame against Middlesbrough, with only Oba Martins looking threatening, and Joe took him off.    🙁
    We don’t know if Owen and Martins together are a good pairing and Joe will be tempted to start big Mark Viduka against Stoke on Saturday. But it would be tough luck on Martins if he starts Owen and Viduka, and Martins was none too happy being replaced yesterday after 65 minutes.
    Joe could start all three in a 4-3-3 formation with Gutierrez on the right of midfield, and that’s what we’d like to see, at least to see how it works at home.
  • We have to get back to our winning ways against Stoke City next Saturday and we just have to get all 3 points. If we can do that we’ll have a chance to extend the winning streak to two games at Portsmouth the following Sunday. That’s a winnable game for us.
  • It seems like we need a center-back, a left-back (for sure), a commanding central midfield player, and a right winger in January. If we can four good players in, we should have a decent squad. We feel Mike will be especially keen to strengthen so he can maybe get back in the fans’ good books.
    Certainly the players Joe is going after in the Dutch league are much better then we currently have.
    We think Geremi, Cacapa and Xisco will be on their way in January.

That’s our take from yesterday – let us know what your views are – thanks.

Comments very welcome.

45 comments so far

  • Turkish Magpie

    Nov 30, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #1

    Taylor for left back!

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #2

    We dont need a CB or a RW.

    We need a LB, DM, St and maybe an AM.

    I wonder how well Beye can play LB because I remember one of my favourite playes, Anyukov saying he wanted to come to the prem and I am not convinced by many LBs we could realistically get.

  • JT

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #3

    Why do we need a centre back?
    Collocini and Bassong look set to become first choice, and we have Taylor as back up. Beye could even play there.

  • cause I got the girth

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #4

    JT, you said it yourself why we need another centre back….we have steven taylor as cover!

  • NotAGhostToon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #5

    I recon we should play against stoke so to get everyone in that i’d like to see…
    owen martins
    Its harsh on enrique because even though he’s playing badly he needs to have some stability, but i just feel that that is a winning side, and enrique could jepordise that

  • Dillon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #6

    Dose anyone know if it’s true about Joe having to sell before we can buy? Am really looking forward to getting rid of Owen, just isnt doing it and freeing up alot of money £120,000 a week crazy money.

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #7

    Agree with tom_toon and JT, dont think we need a CB or a RW. Priority for me would be a LB. we could then in a perfect world do with a holding midfielder to replace Butt (nothing against him he’s just losing his legs), and an attacking midfielder.
    However, i dont think we’ll end up with that sadly. I really dont know who will come through the door in Jan if anyone. Probably a below par left back, and a CB we dont need.

  • Gun the Indonesian Geordie

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Sorry Ed, there’s one point I’m sure you’ve written wrong or maybe it went unnoticed by you. In my opinion Jose was getting better. Well he made one serious mistakes but overall he didn’t give the ball away too many times and he was quite okay if not improving. One player that continuously made my heart stop beating was Butty. His passing was tremendously awful and he gave hell lot of balls to players in wrong jersey. Do you agree guys?

  • Griff

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #9

    We dont need any wingers we are brimming with them. Need a LB and a CM. If Vidukas fit i reckon a Owen/Martins combo means we dont need a striker either as Xisco might have settled then.

  • wigaz

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #10

    There is no possible about it we need AM big time!!! the only midfielder we have who can slip the strikers in is Barton but he likes to track back & get stuck in too. I think we should sign Brian Howard from Barnsley, he’s 26 i think wouldn’t cost much, has a good range of passing on him & most importantly scores goals! he also showed he could do it against some of the best mids in the world when he outshone both Lampard & Gerrard in the cup last season. I would try & sign Scott Brown from Celtic too, tough as nails can defend and attack box to box player would be great partner for Barton & we could have Guthrie as back up. I would have McGeady from Celtic too can play on either wing.

  • wigaz

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #11

    Would also sign Warnock at LB! we need LB big time.

  • workyticket

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Obviously, both Owen and Martins are top strikers with lots of goals in them, but they don’t really work together unfortunately. They need a big lump alongside who can hold up the ball for them. Hopefully, Viduka won’t be too old to return to his best again, Xisco will turn out better than we thought or we’ll get someone else in if those options don’t work out. Kinnear has been very good with Strolla, but he still isn’t quite there at the highest level.

  • dan

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #13

    I agree with most of the comments.
    Dont need another CB in january, three decent ones is enough. We need to spend;

    Big on an experienced but not old LB.
    Small on a young reserve RB.
    Big on a AMF.
    Butt is finnished, Guthrie is learning but not the finnished article. Barton is unreliable. Non are really creating or attack minded.

    We have enough strikers. Cant keep them all happy allready.

  • wigaz

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #14

    What would guys think about trying to get Dyer off West ham on loan? I’m sure someone blogged it other day at first i thought EH? but give some thought & he was very fast & creative on his day. Still think we should try & get Appiaph!

  • Jonny

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #15

    tom toon, maybe an AM???? what r u talking about we have no creativtiy in the centre, butt and guthrie do nothng going forward and barton is only slightly better, we need someone the most there.

  • dan

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #16

    The only thing I would say about that is that Dyer has been out injured for a LONG time and will be nowhere near the player who left.
    It was a good deal ( and timing) to get rid then and I think we would be silly to try and get him back now. Plus he wanted to move to London, so would he even want to come back. Just my opinion.

  • The Entertainers

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #17

    The Good : Bassong
    The Bad: Enrique
    The Ugly: Wheater!

    I agree with your summary Ed.

    The Owen / Oba debate is an interesting one.

    For me we need a Viduka type player to play with Oba/Owen.

    I was hoping for one all summer and then we got Xsico!!!!!

    Oba and Owen can not plat together, unless its a 3 man attack and we have a target man in there.

    At the moment Oba is the better player, but when fit and on form theres not many better than Owen.

    Fully fit, i’d play Viduka and Owen !

    Come Jan’ or the summer can we please go out and buy a TOP quality target man.
    or Derdiyok

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #18

    Im talking ‘maybe an AM’ if we have time in Jan, which I doubt it.

    AM in the summer.

  • The Entertainers

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #19



    Beye Colocini Bassong New Signing

    Jonas Barton New Signing New Signing

    Owen New Signing




    Beye Colocini Bassong New Signing

    Jonas Barton New Signing

    Owen New Signing Martins

    Even with this formation the least we need is 3 more players.

  • Oga

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #20

    CB, LB, RB (For the future) and CM are mandatory requirements.

  • rem

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #21


    i would search for a AM before a DM thou. Butt, guthrie, barton or geremi will do till summer, but we have no AM, we have DM. And butt is playing well, he will till the summer, then we think about a DM. So plenty of time

  • ObaFan2

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #22

    The Entertainers, I see you expect Owen to stay? I have my doubts.

  • Terry Mac's Crossword

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #23

    We never hear anything of Zamblera these days. Wonder why?

  • nightfall

    Nov 30, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #24

    first of all we need to get rid off dead wood…ffs we’ve got 7 strikers…and only 1 or 2 of them deserve a toon shirt

    viduka – dead wood…old, injured all the time…on high wages
    owen – was good when he had pace..he’s a good finisher, but EPL demands more…power+skills or pace+skills…
    ameobi – not consistent…ok he’s a gordie, but is that good enought…dead wood
    smith – wood
    carroll – he’s ok but not good enough
    xisco – he’s supposed to be a talent, so if we bought him, give him 2 seasons to show us what he’s got
    martins – world class to be

    so we’ve got 7 first team strikers, who cost us over 300k/week (wages + app. fee) and they can’t produce a goal…

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #25

    Why the hell do we need a CB!

    We bloody dont!

  • rem

    Nov 30, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #26

    Terry Mac’s Crossword

    cause he is only seventeen!!! what do u expect.

    it annoys me when people say give him, or ranger a chance.

    they are too young, look at wallcot and rooney, they didnt become first teamers till after 20.
    To young and it knocks there confidence, u21 level is a different world to senior level.

    (p.s. Terry Mac’s Crossword i know u didnt say give them a chance, but others do you just inspired my rant)

  • Tom Poland

    Nov 30, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #27

    First we need creative AM. We have 3 great strikers but nobody who is able to play them good balls. Viduka is clinic goalscorer and king of penalty area but he must get 5-6 good crosses to score. This same is Owen. He can score from nothing but he needs someone like was Gerrard in Liverpool. We must find replacement for Butt. He is too slow, gives free and penalty kicks and 90% of his passes are back. Guthrie is only bench player now. Usually he pass ball 10 m to closest partner and is unable to open any defense. Big disappoinyment for me was Zog who lost many balls and played very selfish. I think we should keep Jose and give him more time to learn PL. We must start to play much faster , one touch football and players should run much more. Standing football will not give us success.


    Nov 30, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #28

    Seems no one suggested Bassong for the LB position, having closely watched him play there I think he has the making of a terrific LWB, with great pace, good defensive ability, height etc. etc.
    Leave taylor @ LCB , pared with Colo. has the
    making of a decent back line with Beye and Bassong attacking on the wings.
    All Bassong needs is a better delivery from the wing and a bit of playing time.
    As for the Martins Vs. Owen, Iwould play Martins with Viduka (if he holds up) no pun intended. Owen has the habit of dissapearing for long periods , whareas Martins chases the ball.
    We do need an experienced defender who can fill in accross the back line, afraid Enrique is just not going to make it.
    And as everyone can plainly see we need someone to boss the midfield, preferably someone who can employ the killer pass and at the same time put his foot in , Guthrie has no finished product, poor passer though tries hard.
    Guess he is still young and learning, but thats not good enough for a starting role.
    But its all wishfull thinking as it seems Ashley is finished investing in the team, for which he may be sorry, low finish = lower price for the club.

  • Terry Mac's Crossword

    Nov 30, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #29

    Hi rem, just meant in general, i look out for the U18 teams and results and he’s rarely mentioned. Think he was included recently but that was outa the blue. Sounded promising when we took him on? Was it Atalanta who were furious to loose him, can’t remember. I agree these kids need time to grow.

  • mickvic

    Nov 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #30

    We continue to play with 10 men so long as Butt is there. Disappears from the game gives dodgy headers away, and a red card waiting to happen. Midfield, midfield, midfield -that where we have to concentrate; we have the players for the other positions, but the engine house is put putting along, thus the defence under stress and lack of decisive passes tro our front runners; don’t negotiate a new deal for Butt, he is championship class.

  • Desmond -

    Nov 30, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #31

    if we cant forge a good offense, let’s just forge an awesome defense that noone can penetrate.

  • Michael

    Nov 30, 2008 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #32

    bassong played bloody class he should play all the time taylor is over-rated, no offence but he isnt good enough we should of sold him to liverpool a couple of year ago.

  • Sav

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #33

    As well as RB, DCM and ACM, we need a RB (you can’t have Taylor covering for 2 CBs and RB at the same time). We also could do with another RM and especially a mobile striker with a bit of presence. Shola isn’t it and Viduka is always AWOL, so we need Kevin Doyle or someone like him.

  • Sav

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #34

    That should be ‘As well as LB…’

  • Paul:D

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #35

    rem – rooney and wlcott were first teamers at the age of 16 – 17….they were getting there debues for england at that age…muppet…and this is really $hit….joe kinnears a to$$er, we arnt winning enough games, we are too defensive, we dont need a great deal of signings in january, despite some thinking we do, cm is all we really NEED, lets face it, who would really trust jk with lots of money….another thing, i dont get all of these ashley lovers and keegan haters
    1) we wouldnt be this deep in $hit if keegan was still here, we would of had more points in 4 games with keegan that we have with jk in 9
    2) its ashleys fault, no matter what anyone says, he is the owner, he can overule any decision amde, he could have resolved the situation, it is his responsibility, and unless he can undo all that has been done, i for one will not be forgiving him, every, full of bull dont know how so many of you fall for it
    3) this is total $hit the worst times ive had as a toon fan by far….i miss keegan, we need keegan, and if i get bashed for it, so be it, but face facts, were run by a bunch of cockney to$$ers, we have a useless cun+ as manager, and the ONLY person who is capable of takign us through is keegan

  • Tommy_PA

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #36

    Bassong and Collocini should remain at CB, Bassong has played OK at LB but he is not proven so why change a promising CB partnership to accomodate Taylor. Defensively Enrique had some good play yesterday, but he loses concentration, makes risky moves going forward and his distribution has been terrible. Young and under pressure … [if Hughton hasn’t got time to spend on helping him give him Cacapa or Geremi as a mentor they aren’t doing anything else for the wages] …

    I noticed someone said earlier that we don’t need a RW, I disagree as I think Jonas has looked better on the left than he has ever done on the right. I would rather see one of Duff or N’Zogbia go and look for another RW, unless we are going to take a risk on Lua Lua at some point.
    Commentator got it spot on yesterday saying Beye was left exposed as Jonas had a tendency to drift to the left/infield.

    I think Guthrie has been playing OK, but with Butt as his partner we are going nowhere. We need to decide where Barton is going to play, and adjust the midfield accordingly. We certainly had no-one yesterday who could come up with same level of invention as Arca, now that’s something that needs remedying!

    The only sense I can make of the striking options are:
    1) Owen and Viduka will play, they are being put in the shop window as Kinnear can only buy if we sell. It’s the quickest way of reducing the wage bill.
    2) Ameobi should be on his way to the Championship, he’s had his advertising slot.
    3) Somebody needs to make up their mind on Carroll and Xisco over this season or next.
    4) Unfortunately after removing Martins yesterday I suspect more people will be enquiring about his availability, and given the current regime everyone is for sale.
    5) Maybe we get to blood some of the youngsters if we end up making it to mid-table mediocrity before the end of the season.

    We will hold on to Smith, Cacapa and Geremi as “utility” players until they can be moved on.

    For all the crazies out there that still think Wise is doing a good job and should stay, get a grip. KK needed a LB, he got nothing, he wanted a replacement for Milner and got a young/unproven CF and an unproven AM [and will stay that way before his loan is up]. I suspect that Colo and Jonas had little to do with him, and Guthrie was most likely a KK selection.
    As far as the youngsters go, if we are using the Arsenal model then Denis Wise is not the one to do it. I’ll let Barton make amends on the pitch, but I want him heading up my youth recruitment team about as much as Wise. How many good scouts could you get for 20k a week.

  • Paul:D

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #37

    agreed tommy_PA
    another thing is all of those who say keegan threw his toys out the pram, but, so would any decent manager…if it was all down to keegan why didnt we manage to get a good manager instead of joke….bad times at present and most liekly fort he future

  • Paul:D

    Nov 30, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #38

    and ed, not pleased with the banner, why replace keegan….if you wanted joke on there, why not put his picture on instead of ashleys, better to have only 1 joke than 2 ey

  • BT9MAG

    Nov 30, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #39

    Paul – Because Keegan isn’t our manager anymore!

  • Brutooooon

    Nov 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #40

    i never seen steven taylor at left back, right back – yes but not LEFT back

    Martin is better than Owen but any manager would prefer Owen to start despite spending 90 mins joging and doing nothing.

    Jose Enrique is better than our previous LB (babayaro) and i still got fate on him. Give him a chance lads….(Remember Ameobi was given 6-7 seasons to prove…)

    Our weekness is nicky “old” butt. we got lots of cover for other position but we need a new defensive midfielder….

    This season should be nicky butt last’s season (he should retire)


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