Let’s face it, Newcastle looked a relegation side in the first half at Stoke yesterday, and the Potters only had themselves to blame for not having the game wrapped up 10 minutes into the second half when they were all over the Magpies.
Andy Carroll – changed the game yesterday
That’s one way to sum up the game but that was only the first 55 minutes and with Newcastle still just one goal down, the lads found their feet and fought back over the final 30 minutes, that’s what was really good about the game yesterday.
And just a wonderful header from young Andy Carroll got the point, when we had all been talking about taking all 3 points before the game.
So it’s clear that a better team than Stoke (Spurs for instance) would have had Newcastle dead and buried with just 35 minutes to go and the team must start with a lot more confidence next Sunday at White Hart Lane than we did yesterday.
But at the end of the day most Newcastle fans were happy with the point, since defeat had been staring the lads in the face for much of the game.
And it was a young local lad, and a striker too, that showed the overpaid stars of Newcastle not only how to score, and how to defend, but showed the true Geordie Pride that still exists in Newcastle, if not in some of our players.
Shearer though, has a load of work to do with this team, and it’s good that he will have a week to prepare the side before most of the remaining games, because we looked a very poor side for a large part of the game yesterday.
Shearer said after the game:
“The attitude of the players has been great.” “In the second half I thought they showed me what they had done in training during the week.”
“They showed they can pass it, they can play, and with a little bit more confidence and belief in themselves then we will go on and get results – certainly that’s the aim.”
“After going a goal down I thought they handled the situation well because there have been too many times this season when Newcastle have conceded a goal, then crumbled and conceded another.”
“But it was far from that today as you saw players throwing their bodies on the line, throwing themselves into tackles and prepared to get cut.” “We’re going to need all of that, and a little bit more, if we are to survive.” “But the belief is there, which is okay in training, but you have to produce it in the big arena.”
“We did that in the second half, and they should take great heart from that – I take great heart from that because I’ve now seen it in a game.” “We’ve done it for 45 minutes, but we now have to do it in every game we play.”
Shearer of course has to accentuate the positive, but we can only imagine he gave the players a rocket at half time for their lackadaisical play, and if hadn’t been for Bassong and Beye in the first half we could and should have been a lot further behind.
But on the positive side there was a good fight-back over the last 30 minutes and Newcastle wanted the win, although that would have been unfair, to say the least to a well organized Stoke side.
It also showed the lads are getting fitter since this game was almost the opposite of most of our recent defeats, when we’ve played well in the first half, but then tailed off once the opposition scored their first goal.
And there was Andy Carroll, who even though he’s just 20 years-old has to be used, because he’s a big physical lad, who defenses find so hard to handle and he’s a great header of the ball.
That goal yesterday could be used as a study in how to head the ball, as he put the ball way beyond the Stoke goalkeeper, from what was just a half chance from a cross from Duff, who also worked his socks off yesterday. Certainly Alan would have been proud of that header.
If only some of our millionaire players showed the same guts and glory as the 20 year- old Gateshead-born lad, we’d not be in this trouble, but we’ll not dwell on that too much this morning.
Andy Carroll saved Newcastle yesterday, let’s make no mistake about that.