Lack of Central Midfield Strength Costs Newcatle

Here is the Newcastle substitutes bench for this afternoon’s game against Stoke City at home.

Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, Xisco, David Edgar, Mark Viduka, Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor

The fact we didn’t have a central midfielder on the substitutes bench, turned out to cost us dearly this afternoon.

Danny Guthrie – injured and withdrawn at half time – cost us the win?

We had 3 strikers on the bench in Viduka, Carroll and Xisco, because it was obvious we were going to go all out on the attack against Stoke City, who had just 2 away points all season.

But what would happen if we had one of our central midfield players injured?

We really have only Joey Barton and Ignacio Gonzalez, in the squad as the other central midfielders,  but Joey’s out injured until at least mid-January, and Ignacio is out until March with an Achilles injury.

As we said in September, the squad is just not big enough for the Premier league.

Well we found out at half time what we would do if we had Danny Guthrie or Geremi injured, because 21 year-old Danny Guthrie had to go off with an ankle injury at the break.  Some would say that if he could have played the second half  we would have walked this game, as it looked like we were doing at the break.

But we had to bring on Steven Taylor at right back (out of position), move Beye to right midfield (out of position), and Gutierrez moved to central midfield (out of position).

We had an option to move young Charles N’Zogbia into the middle, since he’s played there a few times for the Magpies, and he’s got a great engine. We could have moved Oba to the left and brought in Viduka (or Xisco or Carroll) in the middle.

That would have seemed to be a better move, since at least it would have left the back four unchanged, and the defense only had to keep a clean sheet in the last 45 minutes to get all 3 points. They had also played great in the last 2.5 matches by half time today, and kept a clean sheet too.

So there’s an argument to be made that our small squad cost us this game, and it makes it even more important to get another central midfielder into the squad in January.

Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias and Dennis Wise, are you listening?

It also questions why Kinnear had three players play out of position in the second half, when it seemed there were more logical choices that could have left our defense unchanged, which we think would have been important.

Of course this is all being a Monday morning quarter back – we understand that.

Today’s result is like a hard low blow to the stomach.   🙁

172 comments so far

  • spiny Norman

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #1

    erm, sorry but JFK cost Newcastle today…..


  • The Entertainers

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #2

    Bloody ridiculous!!!!

    Whats the point in getting decent draws at Boro and Chelsea, if you drop points at home against WBA and Stoke!

    I would rather be stuffed by Chelsea and Boro and win at bloody home at least we would be 2 points better off.

    Yes no midfield played its part and that is down to Wise and Ashley.

    Sorry for blaming the predictable, but the 2 wise men knew we were weak and didnt spend enough cash, so when the injuries come (and yes every one knew they would, where Newcastle United for hells sake, the injury table is the only one we top) of course we would struggle with a limited squad!

    I’m so fed up!
    Spend or regret it Ashley come Jan’!

  • hisnameisjonas

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #3

    but why did he take out geremi for cacapa? and why did’nt he move colo to dm and taylor in the middle?? colo has played good games as dm, the loss of beye at rb was devestating, we could not play the ball up the sides at all because stoke where 3 againste one every time on the flank! and because of that we could not keep possesion! AND WHY DID THE MICKY GIVE A FOUL ON BASSONG WHEN HE DID’NT EVEN TOUCH THE PLAYER?!?!?

  • NotAGhostToon

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #4

    Ridiculous decisions and collocini panics when he’s anywhere near taylor! when cacapa came on i was open mouthed, 4 central defenders on the pitch at once, ridiculous.

  • The Alchemist

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #5

    absolutely gutted at the result…. More importantly im wonderuing what is going through JFK’s head… 6 defenders instead of playing 4-3-3?? Why not give xisco a run out if viduka isnt 100% fit?
    Why not play martins left wing…. Why play cacapa at all? Why play beye rm? I am baffled i really am…

    I’m all for giving joe a chance but 4-3-3 from now on is our only option!

  • hisnameisjonas

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #6

    he could even moved owen to the middle an brought on viduka! A draw is apperantly what you get when you have 2 fullbacks managing a footballclub.

  • spiny Norman

    Dec 6, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #7

    Surely at 2-0 going 4-3-3 wasn’t a risk??? What an idiot – can’t wait to hear his ‘reasons’ for the stupid substitution(s)…

  • Rich

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #8

    Just shows that JFK hasn’t realy a clue, and is out of his depth !! To loose two points to Stoke, at home, after leading 2-0 at half time should be a sackable offense !!!

  • Hadrian

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #9

    there was no need for edgar or carroll on the bench , our young midfielders have been making a really good account for themselves behind the first team this season , surely we should have them on the bench for emergancys instead of playing players out of position .

  • JonnyNufc

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #10

    This game has severely hit Kinnears reputation amongst fans.

    Its obvious now that ALL of us see exactly what happened today.

    Yes we were unlucky AS USUAL with Guthrie…but his reaction to that was absymal. The opposition manager could have made better subs for us.

    We HAVE to get in some midfielders…….

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #11

    when guthrie got injured we should have gone





    would have been much better and the strikers have their favourite partnership and we dont upset the defenders and knowone is out of position!

    JFK costs us again!

  • Xisco Stu

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #12

    We really need to sign Appiah now and get another CM in January, the midfield equivalent of Bassong would be great.


    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #13

    Its been obvious since Parker left for W.Ham the club has badly lacked someone in the midfield who can take charge.
    Sorry Butt is way past it and niether Barton or Guthrie seem capable of filling the role.
    Think N`Zog on the left wing and using Duff as an inside playmaker would give us a makeshift midfield with the players we have.
    But a Moutinho or Veloso is what we need, even Appiah, theres just no one at present who is capable of running the midfield.
    Its rumored Benayoun is on his way out of L`pool, a clever playmaker we were once linked with, he combined with any of those above would combine well in a strengthened midfield.
    We can strengthen the defense in the summer.

  • ron burgandy

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #14

    absolute rubbish today first half realy for the second they should hang there heads in shame no guts at all. feel ashamed was going to go on the lash but came home thanks for rouning my sat

  • shadow

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #15

    this is the same jfk that sum of u lot wanted to be given the job fulltime well i hope u r happy cause we r sh*te nd goin down unless sumthing isn’t done nd quick

  • Toon_Ksk

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #16

    Crap! I bet the morale is lower than ever before. Looking on the bright side, the season is not over yet.

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #17

    there is no brightside about today

  • KK FOREVER (Ross)

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #18

    alright lads, been out today so i havent been able to post on here, and didnt get to see the game.
    All i knew was i left my mates at half time and we were 2 up, i was happy. got a call at full time and was told we drew 2-2, before i forced a woman to move away from me on a packed train due to the language i was myself, to myself, which i’m rather ashamed of if im honest.
    I said to myself “what the hell are we doing, if we cant hold out for 45 mins, against stoke at home when we’re 2-0 up”. I then hear that Faye scored the equaliser in injury time, much like bramble did a week or two ago, and flipped.
    To top it all off, i visit the blog and find these atrocious decisions kinnear made as far as the squad went, and i’m clueless. no idea what to do or think, we should have had 3 points today without question. I admired Kinnear for taking the job and the impact he’d had but this was his fault. today was entirely his fault due to his horrendous decisions. we’re in serious trouble.

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #19

    if you think of it we’re heavily covered in cm but they’re all injured basically!


    i’m sick of it

    Everton(a) 1 point (should have been 1)
    Man City(h) 1 point (should have been 3)
    Sunderland(a) 0 points (should have been 3)
    WBA(h) 3 points (should have been 3)
    A Villa(h) 3 points (should have been 1)
    Fulham(a) 0 points(should have been 3)
    Wigan (h) 1 point (should have been 3)
    Chelsea (a) 1 point (should have been 0)
    Mboro (a) 1 point (should have been 3)
    Stoke (h) 1 point (should have been 6)

  • lezb

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Ed,This is the third blog on why we lost 2 points today.Players not learning from past results.
    Lack of midfield players,Panic by the players.
    I have read the blogs and the comments attatched to the same guess what !!!in excess of 99% of the comments blame the results on one thing JKs lack of Tactics .How about a blog on the real reason we threw it all away or does the buck not stop with those responsible anymore

  • Kinnear Is Ashley's Rent Boy (DanToon)

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #21

    This is the first time i have ever been seriously worried about Newcastle’s premier league future!

  • Spyro

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #22

    JK must take blame, but it can never be ONLY his fault, the team plays, not JK.

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #23

    the sade thing is that is if Guthrie wasn’t injured and we didn’t have to play anyone out of position we would have won 4-0 s0 i’m accusing Stoke for cheating because they injured Guthrie on purpose to ruin us

  • JonnyNufc

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #24

    True spyro but you can only ask so much of them. You move half the team out of its position & the opposition starts dominating its natural that theyll lose confidence.

    Any time a side starts dominating against you your gonna lose confidence…its becomes about holding on.

    Kinnear created all of this today. We should have gone on to win 3 or 4-0 ALL we had to do was switch to 4-3-3.

    It was the MOST OBVIOUS decision ever seen.

  • JonnyNufc

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #25

    Turkish i told you he wouldnt play 3 upfront mate !!! LOL

  • ToonKing

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #26

    I have respect for JFK for taking us over in these horrid times but today was all his fault… can’t make decisions like today….horrible…..

  • ronaldeano

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #27

    In my days as a regular Sunday league football player i was a right winger since i was a bairn. If my manager had asked me to play in the middle i would have looked like a clown. I cant play anymore due to a road accident but i can safely say that playing lads out of position when there is no need is a recipe for disaster, and thats what weve all seen tonight. 🙁

    Joe Kinnear can blame the ref all he wants but at the end of the day the blame lies completely with JK and noboby elce.

    Points were dropped and it was Ahleys puppet that dropped them unfortunately 🙁

  • iain

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #28

    collocini should of gone to cm and taylor to ch and we would of won simple.

  • JARROW LAD who is hurt

    Dec 6, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #29

    i m very disapointed and gutted , i lost any hope and confidence in our team , theres no way to survive tis year all the teams are better than us , no fighting spirit no passion , better support hull than our team , its a total disgrace joe kinnear its your fault you to blame you shouldnt took out martins and got in grandad lazy viduka we needed pace you twat.

  • Shot Bru!

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #30

    Poor performance by Kinnear today, especially getting himself sent off. Today should have gone a long way in showing the board that if they were thinking of flogging Owen in Jan then we will almost certainly go down.

  • Davey

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #31

    Please please bring back KEEGAN and his style of play .

    Have the players forgot how to pass to feet and not to heads. Is this a dream or have we returned to BSA. Short time Keegan was here we were like a completely different team!

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #32

    were we realy that bad

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #33

    and what happened to the mackems

  • JonnyNufc

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #34

    Mackems lost in the last min lol

    Only saving grace possible after today

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #35

    i hate to say it but thier is a real chance we will go down

    but i am trying not to think about that and just think that football can change and as unlikely as it is we could be a lot higher upafter a few games

  • Silence of the Llambias

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #36

    When Guthrie went it was obvious what to do, Colo to DM, Taylor to CD, Geremi to RM, Jonas in CM. I could not believe it when I saw Cacapa getting ready.
    Colo would have added such strength and calm to midfield. Beye would have kept his best position, Taylors strengths would have matched those of Stoke. etc, etc.
    I tell you, this is worrying. JK hasnt a clue on tactical substitutions. Well intentioned, but short of the mark, which is what most of knew.
    Ours for the season.

  • beyethegreat

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #37

    its hard to think that we probs wont be bought for a long time either


  • Davy C

    Dec 6, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #38

    Stoke didn’t show any threat at all for the first hour and we should have won easily. My mates and I at the match noticed Martins signalling to the bench about five minutes before he came off and he seemed to be limping slightly. Otherwise I think he would have stayed on.

    I thought that Gutierrez was totally ineffectual in the centre of midfield and we’d have been better served if he’d swapped with N’Zogbia.

    Either way we played too deep in the 2nd half and allowed a poor team to capitalise. We desperately need to start winning some games or we’ll be in serious trouble.

  • Toon Graeme

    Dec 6, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #40

    Cant wait to watch Football first and see on teh full screen the shower of shit our second half are.

    Everyone seems to think and feel the same.

    What the hell tactics – CHRIST!

    Dust off and start again for Pompey away. If anything else that 0 – 0 (last years result) or our win pissed off aint gonna be the word.

    Im gonna have to get off here before I get banned.

    The annoying thing is you just cant stop loving the toon and giving them your support.

    January – JFK and fat cash your gonna have a Championship team unless you buy – this proves where we lack depth!!!! How many times have we all said this…..

    SORT YOUR SH*T out Toon.

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