Newcastle threw away two points today at home to Stoke City, as they allowed Stoke City to come back from two goals down with just 30 minutes remaining to tie the game at 2-2, with an injury time goal by former Magpie Abdoulaye Faye.
This result is just not good enough, after a great performance in the first half, and if we cannot win when we are 2-0 up at home with just half an hour remaining, when will we?.
It was the second time in successive home games that the the team has conceded an equalizer right at the end, and it’s cost the side a valuable 4 points. 🙁
A win would have seen us move above Stoke, and this is only their 3rd away draw of the season in 8 away games, the rest all being defeats. Stoke had only scored 3 goals before today, so you see what we mean that this is just not good enough. The lads let the fans down today in the second half – big time.
The thing that may have been key in this game is that at the break, Steven Taylor replaced the injured Danny Guthrie who had taken a knock to his ankle in the first half. Taylor moved to right-back with Beye moving to right midfield and Jonas switching to the center, and that may have been what unbalanced Newcastle in the second half.
But it shows just how weak our squad is if one player going out, makes that level of difference.
And as we said this morning if we didn’t win this game there are no excuses, and there are no excuses, no excuses at all for not winning this game. What a downer.
It all looked so rosy at half time with Michael Owen having scored after just 8 minutes from a cross from Jonas Gutierrez, and then after 24 minutes Michael scored again from a wonderful left-wing center from fellow striker Martins.
It’s right what Kevin Keegan said, that Michael will always score goals, but whether he wants to stay at Newcastle now is an open question, and he may be sold in January, if the England striker decides to move on. Better to get some money from him in January than nothing in the summer, so Michael has a decision to make soon.
But we said at half time when we were 2-0 up, that Newcastle needed to keep attacking to add to their tally, and not do another WBA when we also 2-0 up at half time, and nearly threw that game away.
But we did throw this one away, and the confidence in the side disappeared towards the end, as panic took over. We amazingly conceded two goals to present an unlikely point to Stoke City, who were about the same standard as WBA – teams we should beat.
The worrying thing is you’ve got to say there was just not enough composure in the Newcastle defense in the last few minutes of this game, as Stoke piled on the pressure, and had two great chances to score, and took one of them to equalize.
Amazingly Newcastle could even have lost this game with some more bad luck. And Joe Kinnear was simply furious after Stoke equalized in what was a must-win game, and was sent off by referee Mike Riley.
It’s now 6 games since we last won, and these are relegation results even though we are playing quite well, but if can’t get wins when we are so much on top, and at home too, it doesn’t auger well for the future.
Draws will not get us out of the relegation zone, and we’ve now drawn the last 4 games, and that’s just not good enough – we need wins and we should have walked this game in the second half.
Maybe it’s the mental strength of this team or something, but that’s two home games in succession when we’ve succumbed under pressure right at the end of the game.
As we said, it’s just not good enough.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Sebastien Bassong, Geremi, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, Xisco, David Edgar, Mark Viduka, Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor
Stoke City: Thomas Sorensen, Andy Griffin, Danny Higginbotham, Richard Creswell, Mamady Sidibe, Danny Pugh, Salif Diao, Amdy Faye, Rory Delap, Abdoulaye Faye, Ibrahima Sonko
Subs: Steve Simonsen, Seyi Olofinjana, Leon Cort, Glenn Whealen, Ricardo Fuller, Andrew Davies, Michael Tongue
Referee: Mike Riley