Poor Substitutions By Hughton Yesterday

With Newcastle’s tough run-in to the season, the team should have done better than get a draw at Hull yesterday, and the result has done absolutely nothing to quell the relegation anxiety that is gripping Tyneside.


Peter Lovenkrands – why was this player not used yesterday?

 And Hughton’s downbeat assessment of the 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium — despite other results meaning his side moved up a place to 16th in the table — underlined that Newcastle’s situation remains critical.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get the three points we came for.”

“We gave away a poor goal . . . but having scored at a good time, I was convinced we would come out and get three points.”

It was a poor goal to give away, and it was surprise that young Bassong couldn’t get a headed challenge in on Geovanni, who basically had a free header, and he took it nicely, to head home past a helpless Harper.

But apart from the first 30 minutes yesterday, Newcastle looked and were the better side.

Newcastle should have won this game with gilt-edged chances being thrown away by Martins and Gutierrez, in particular. We had to rely on local lad Steven Taylor, who started off as a center-forward while a young teenager, getting a wonderful opportunist goal when he fired a cross from Nicky Butt, on the volley, high into the keeper’s top right hand corner.

If that had been Owen everybody would have been going on about how great it was, but anyway, a great goal from Steven and a vital one too.

Jonas should have buried a chance he got after 60 minutes, when some terrific midfield play from Alan Smith, found the Argentine wide open on the left, but he skied his shot high over the bar.

This is the Achilles heel of Gutierrez’ game, he doesn’t or cannot score enough goals. In 24 appearances for Newcastle he still has to score his first goal, and in 95 appearances for Real Mallorca he scored just 5 times.

And when these half chances and clear chances were being missed what does Hughton do?    He brings off Owen and puts on goal king Shola Ameobi, who is hardly ever a goal threat.

Why on earth was Lovenkrands, who has shown he can put half chances in the net, and scored last time ouyt against the Red Devils, not used yesterday? We know it’s so easy to second guess but when Owen came off, it was obvious we needed more goalscoring power on the field, so we could clinch the win.

Lovenkrands had partnered Oba Martins well up front last time out, and scored Newcastle’s goal. Even Andy Carroll has more goal threat in him than Ameobi.

Ryan Taylor looked good when he was brought on, and it’s clear we need two wingers playing.  When we play Smith, Butt and Geremi all together, it didn’t work because we had no threat down the right wing, so the initial team selection at the start wasn’t good either.

Chris could have done better with his substitutions yesterday, but the lads didn’t have any luck either, and it was clear in the last 20 minutes, with both Chris and Colin Calderwood on the line,  that  Newcastle desperately needed and wanted all 3 points.

Hull were happy to hang on and why not – they are 4 points ahead of us and a Newcastle win would have brought the Tyneside club within a point of Hull.

We said there would be no excuses before the game, and we keep that attitude, and say that yesterday’s performance and result were just not good enough – full stop – period.

Comments welcome.

30 comments so far

  • cooldj

    Mar 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #1

    1st 🙂

  • Intergalactic Milkman

    Mar 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #2

    If we throw everything at Arsenal, like we did against Manure and with Nolan and Guthrie in CM i half fancy us to get something from that game. Aaah . . . . i’m a hopeless optimist. Just wish it was a night game, they don’t like it upem.

  • telsave

    Mar 15, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #3

    Well despite the poor result yesterday I am still confident that we will be playing with the big boys next season and I do not mean the six foot somethings of the fizzy league. Yes we have some hard games but look at the rest of the teams Yesterday BEFORE the games I had us for a draw, pomet and the smoggies to draw, everton to win arsenal to win and will have to see what happens tomorrow with WBA but I think they are down anyway. Looking at the rest of the fixtures I believe WBA Stoke and the Smoggies will drop into the fizzy league.P/mouth have to play Man utd and Arsenal Blackburn Livers and Man City Smoggies play arsenal and Man utd I think Stoke are down also. More important though P/mouth have to play B/B and WBA B/B also play Stoke and P/m Smoggies Stoke and N/c Stoke WBA Smoggies WBA N/c and B/B that is where the season will be decided not Arsenal man U or Livepool.

    I an confident and although miles away in Spain will be behind the team 150%

    I do agree however that we need to have performances better than yesterday from the senior players and a complete rebirth in tactic from Hughton and Calderwood Someone send them the FA coaching and Tactics Manual cos they just do not have a clue, to play Shoal and Geremi I would pick them for a Pub team.

  • giimps

    Mar 15, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #4

    TROUBLE IS, Houghton is not up to the job, poor choices on the pitch, poor choices on the bench and absolutely no idea how to (or indeed when to) change a game during play.
    Why the **ck was Shola (Laziest man on the planet)Amoeba even on the bench?
    We have Lovaman and LuaLua who have more get up and go in their toenails than that lazy lanky streak of P*ss.
    We need rid of Hughton ,now, before were too far gone, if its not too late, my blind auntie is free, she cannot do as bad a job as him, he`s proved that on loads of occasions, but still ,its cheaper than paying someone to come in, and if were really lucky, he might not lose all of the games.
    We need action by Ashley NOW ,instead of sitting and waiting for us to get points, then in 4 games time (when its too late) get Venebles or someone in.Act now and maybe survive, or leave Cheap Chris in charge and lose your prem league status and all the T.V revenue.
    Your choice ,i know what i would prefer………

  • Sav

    Mar 15, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #5

    No surprise. It was all so predictable. You cannot accuse us of being inconsistent anymore.
    But this is the regime that awarded a 3 year contract to Shola when he was finally winding down towards the SJP exit. So what do you expect?
    That was the least creative midfield I can remember in B&W. Gutierrez is just Kevin Kilbane in a ponytail. Martins and Owen is not a great combination but Houghton was never going to have the bottle to start with England’s finest on the bench.

    We are reaping what we’ve sowed.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #6

    I think the lads proved yesterday that the fight has gone,the whole season has been a shocker and the transfer windows where a disaster.
    The appointments of Calderwood,Jk and Houghton have left little to be desired either.

    Offering Lucrative deals to JK was lunacy if you look at the points under his guidance he should have been replaced as soon as he was taken I’ll as we have already witnessed how inept Houghton was running 1st team affairs earlier in the season.

    Time is running out the team look like rabbits in the headlights.

  • Sav

    Mar 15, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #7

    That’s ‘left a lot to be desired….’, SJT?

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Thanks Sav..I was typing fast.

  • papalump

    Mar 15, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #9

    forget the patter from houghton he shows the fans no respect how can u put smith geremi and butt in a four man midfield then claim you set a team out looking for a win! the hull defence were there for the taking,the game hinged on which manager had the nerve to really go for it with attacking substitutions and lovenkrands had to be the obvious choice for owen but yet again ameobi lumbered into action. why leave our youngsters out of the squad and have both carroll and ameobi on the bench? i cannot see any scenario in which both players would have been used. team for arsenal-
    beye taylor bassong enrique

    r taylor butt nolan jonas


  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #10

    I would start with Lua Lua..least he might create something.

  • Dragonera

    Mar 15, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #11

    Poor decisions and a lack of quality cost us yesterday. If we had any one of Barton, Nolan or Guthrie we would have had enough quality in the middle of the park to cut through Hull’s piss poor defence and release Oba a few times. Owen was non-existent yet again and i can’t wait until he is gone.

    As for Hughton, he is clearly out of his depth and first team affairs clearly aren’t his strong point. He has no balls, shown by the immediate placement of Owen in the first team despite just recovering from injury and Lovenkrands looking sharp. Idiot.

  • papalump

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #12

    where was lua lua on saturday sirjason didnt even make the bench but ameobi and carroll both there unbelievable mate just left us with one less attacking option. i can see diaby runnin the show for arsenal and if geremi,smith or duff play it will be the final insult our only real threat is quick counter attacks.

  • Natureboy95

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Some of the team selections/subs just baffle me completly, geremi out on the right? you have to be kidding me! surely playing either R.Taylor or Jonas on the right and duff on the left,with Butt and Smith in the middle would have been more balanced and then to take off owen and put Shola on,jesus christ chris, what the hell are you playing at? lovenkrands would have been a better option I think, althought its easy to say so from the stands.

    i think the return of Guthrie and Nolan will make a difference to or mid field, what does everyone think?

  • Natureboy95

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #14

    one more thing, we have clearly missed beye and his return in a back four of Beye,bassong,S.Taylor and enrique will see us improve defensivly.

  • sirjasontoon

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #15

    Lua Lua and Ranger should be played end of story..we have nothing to lose and they have a point to prove.

    Give the old ponies a rest get the young stallions in.

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #16

    vital newcastle reports:-

    1. Negative mentality played a major role in how the Toon went about the match. For almost 30 minutes, Newcastle United fended-off attacks from every avenue but did not dig into The Tigers for a goal. The attacks came slow. The aging lot looked uninterested, and the team were highly ineffective – not because they are poor players, but because they did not know whether they were playing for a draw or win.

    2. Allowing Geremi to take free-kicks, and corners was a highly dangerous decision. The Cameroon International rarely ever managed to beat the first man.

    3. Playing Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, and Geremi in midfield by United’s clueless stand-in manager was another low-point in the match. Neither player has any pace, or ability to switch play. They are all in fact defensive midfielders. Why play defensive players when going to the KC Stadium for a win?

    4. One of the biggest mistakes Hughton made was changing a side which had shown tremendous grit, and ability against Manchester United, and replacing in-form players in favour of supposed ‘big-name’ returns. Peter Lovenkrands should have kept his place, and Michael Owen (an unfit one, at that) should have been on the bench.

    5. Fishing for the offside trap was a terrible strategy considering, none of the midfielders have the pace to track back and defend, if the defenders get caught out. This ensured that Butt, and Geremi stay inside United’s own half for most of the second-half, as they feared (genuinely) that a lapse in concentration from any of the defenders could result in an open net for a Hull forward.

    6. Sure he got us a goal, but let’s be honest. Steven Taylor at right-back? He made no real runs down the flank. Made zero contribution in any of the attacks. Gave away the ball on more than one occasion, and showed no coordination with his central midfielders. He misread passes on at least three occasions, which easily could have resulted in something useful. Ryan Taylor should have been brought in as a late substitute in place of the ‘local lad’.

    7. Substitutions came too late in the match. Michael Owen deserved to be taken off on the 60 minute mark, and should have been replaced by Peter Lovenkrands, or even Andy Carroll, with the Dane in midfield in place of Alan Smith. But Hughton played the waiting game…

    8. Lack of motivation, and no team talk. Jonas Gutierrez had an abysmal game, and the Coach should have pointed it out to him so that the Argentine came out after the break with all guns blazing. Hughton’s half-time ‘team talk’ had no impact on the player, as Gutierrez exhibited one of his worst performances yet. Hughton should have also warned the 25-year-old to refrain from shooting, as the Argentine is a horrible finisher.

    9. Hughton’s love for Shola Ameobi should be kept behind the scenes as it has no place on a football pitch. Ameobi, as always contributed nothing significant, and was a dead-weight dragging the other players down. The equally useless, but more passionate Andy Carroll would have been a better option, one might feel – although, with Lovenkrands on the bench, why was Ameobi even considered?

    10. Long-ball tactics adopted by Hughton is a disgrace because neither Michael Owen, nor Obafemi Martins are tall enough to adhere to that style of football. Steve Harper was misguided as to the height of the forwards, as every time he got the ball, he skied it, and a Hull City player gathered the stray pass. By the time Ameobi came on, it was too late, and even if a ball did reach the man affectionately branded ‘a headless chicken’ – his control let him down big-time.

    The draw against The Tigers leaves the Magpies in dire straits as far as the league goes with relegation now a realistic possibility. If fundamental changes are not made in the side, expect to see the Toon plying their trade in The Championship next year.

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #17

    ashley wants kinnear, houghton, calderwood at the club until 2011
    at any cost.

    if that happens by then we will playing in the
    coca cola championship 2

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #18

    houghton:- world’s worst caretaker manager

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #19

    Joe Kinnear is statistically the second worst manager the club has had in its history.

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #20

    I do not even believe that Kinnear is good enough to take us straight back up if we go down

  • j a magpie from india

    Mar 15, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #21

    Two names that spring to mind are Roberto Martinez and Temuri Ketsbaia. They would come to Newcastle tomorrow if offered the job. A gamble yes, we have a better chance of avoiding relegation or achieving immediate promotion with those two than you would get with standing by Joe Kinnear, and in the long run, the rewards could be much greater.

  • coyote

    Mar 15, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #22

    watched the extended highlights on Sky last night and was disgusted at the display.
    No urgency from anyone in the team and I mean anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No real ideas either
    After putting up a fight against the manure I was hoping they’d come out with all guns blazing WRONG
    I think we need stability in the management until eos but that theory was sorely tested when he thinks Bambi is the man to come on and show some urgency and fight for the cause
    tactically inept yesterday
    the papers player ratings gave Bambi 3 “made no impression”
    its not the lads fault its the clowns that play him

  • Sav

    Mar 15, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #23

    No point berating Hughton. He isn’t supposed to be the manager, so I guess he’s doing his best.

    But as a coaching trio, 3 ex-Spurs defenders – does that sound like a balanced team?

    Hughton is no Carver or Steve Clarke – you can’t imagine him ever contradicting the manager or arguing his point of view. No doubt some managers prefer that in a no.2. He’s probably good with the cones at training. Right now he’s clearly out of his depth, but that’s not his fault.

    Anyway, we’ve already lost twice and drawn once with Hull, so why we should assume we were going to beat them handy yesterday escapes me.
    Is it because this time we just really, really had to win? Well what about the other 3 matches then – didn’t we have to win any of those? We have some better players but haven’t equalled the sum of our parts since Keegan left.

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 16, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    Comment #24

  • Darling27

    Mar 16, 2009 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #25

    This is the lineup we should play for the rest of the season. _______________Harper_____________





    We could hurt a lot of teams!!!

  • Winston Potski

    Mar 16, 2009 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #26

    Did I just read “terrific midfield play from Alan Smith”?
    Man alive!
    I’d have preferred to see Ryan Taylor start but that’s the manager’s prerogative.

    A point away from home isn’t the end of the world but it’s diffiult to see where the wins we desperately need are going to come from. We need to pick up results from the Arsenal, Pompey, Stoke and Boro games to stay up.

    Fingers crossed!

  • Sav

    Mar 16, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    Comment #27

    It might as well be the end of the world if that really was ‘a must win’ game, though.

    If you lose a ‘must win game’, what then?

    Why do these idiot footballers have to keep spouting s***e like that, and fail miserably to back it up with action. It just makes evetrything so much worse for the next (really, really, with knobs on) must win game.

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 16, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    Comment #28

  • Toon Sweden77

    Mar 16, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    Comment #29

    goal king Shola Ameobi – That was a funny one Ed! Embarrasing decisions there by Chris and he must be reaplaced before he take us down. But Vegetable is not the answer!!

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 16, 2009 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #30



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