Newcastle Survival Stakes – Rather Dismal

With the draw yesterday, Newcastle actually are now just 2 points from safety in 3rd bottom place, after starting the game 3 points from safety.


But if the lads are going to get clear of the relegation zone before our last game of the season at Aston Villa, wins are what the team needs.

We wanted a win yesterday, but because we were a but lucky not to lose, we were satisfied with a draw, but that tells you how desperate we have become.

Here were the results of the teams in trouble yesterday, apart from Newcastle

Liverpool 4 Blackburn 0
Sunderland 1 Manchester United 2
Chelsea 4 Bolton 3
Middlesbrough 3 Hull City 1
Portsmouth 2 WBA 2

The day started well with Liverpool and Fernando Torres taking Blackburn apart 4-0, and it could have even been more, and that’s good for Newcastle bacause it worsens the Blackburn goal difference. But Blackburn are still 4 points ahead of us, and we will not catch them with draws, that’s for sure.

However, we still have to go to Liverpool unfortunately, and we must try to get a decent result there, and try to keep the score down. Of course by the time we go there we may have some confidence, and even try to pull of a shock win, and it seems something like that will be necessary if we cannot start winning games soon.

Sunderland did us another favor yesterday by eventually losing to Manchester United 2-1, when it looked they may be able to salvage a point, but it was that man Federico Macheda once again, who got the winner for the Red Devils after 76 minutes. Sunderland are now just 2 points ahead of us with a slightly better goal difference, which is why we need some wins.

And we watched the amazing game at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea looked great with a 4-0 lead after 63 minutes, but then Bolton scored 3 goals in 8 minutes and it was a huge scare for the Pensioners. Certainly Petr Cech looked hesitant at times, and was responsible for at least one of the Bolton goals, but it just shows that anything is possible in these games at this time of the season.

Bolton are 7 points ahead of us so they will take some catching now.

And the really siginificant result of the day was Middlesbrough’s first win in quite a while as they beat Hull City 3-1 at the Riverside. Their last goal was scored in the 90th minute so it was touch and go, but it shows that Hull City may still be in danger being just 4 points ahead of Newcastle, but with a much worse goal difference.

Middlesbrough are now level on points with us, with a worse goal difference.

And Portsmouth missed a good chance of all 3 points when they could only draw with WBA at Fratton Park, and in fact they had to come back from being 2-1 down, but they too are still 4 points ahead of Newcastle.

We know Shearer knows only too well we need wins, and we’ll go into each of the remaining games with some plan and appropriate team to try to win the game.

But we’ve done this in the past and then when we get behind we somehow get the draw and are then satisfied with the result – but that’s what relegation teams do, so we must get a win soon, and we’ll have to go all out at White Hart Lane on Sunday, and hope our overpaid stars start earning their wages.

If we can win our 3 remaining home games then we will probably survive, but anything less than that, and it will be perilously close.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • nufcindia

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #1

    Its not right to judge a manager on 2 games, but i think Alan Shearer has to think more about his tactis because

    1- With the system we played in we were wasting duff completely. Whenever ball was played to him there were 2 opponents covering him and he could do nothing with the ball. We could see the difference when he was given the chance to run at defenders in the 2nd half.
    2- i think nicky butt is in the team as a defensive midfielder. He played atleast 10 long balls and not even one reached the target. The balls he was trying was very low percentage balls. i dont think even if those balls reached the target anything could be done with it. he could have tried short passes but no. if this is a deliberate tactic then shearer has to take the blame. other wise he should take the blame for not stopping him do that. Butt is not alonso. his best quality is defending. let him do that.
    3- habib beye is a good playing at centre back. but he is even better at right back.
    4- even after we changed the formation we were strugling to get crosses in. there was no wing backs supporting the wingers but the center midfielders are running into the box. and then we give the ball away and there is no one to defend.we full backs were used duff would have been a very good attacking wise. i DOnt like ameobi but we cant blame him yesterday because he was given no services. only service was from nicky butt which was no at all good enough

  • Girth

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #2

    “Of course by the time we go there we may have some confidence, and even try to pull of a shock win”
    hahaha good one

  • Matt

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #3

    Butt is not good enough simple as. Barton/Nolan and Guthrie would be my first choice in the centre.
    Duff was not good as a wing back.
    Ryan Taylor’s crossing was dire for the most part. We had massive spells of possession and just did nothing because our delivery was terrible.
    Jonas and Carrol should both start against spurs.
    Lennon is going to cause us all sorts of problems.

    Ameobi was ENTIRELY at fault for the goal we conceded. Completely ignored his marker and went to attack the ball instead. If you do that you have to 1) communicate with the guy on the line to tell him to pick up your player and 2) WIN THE BALL. It was embarrasing watching him play yesterday. As soon as Carrol came on we had so much more threat up front.

    But why the hell was Nicky Butt playing long balls against Stoke of all people. Stoke who are renound for their physical prowess and height in their side. What was he thinking? He’s not Carrick, he’s not Fabregas, he can’t float lovely little balls into the feet of Owen so why bother trying. It’s like Paul Scholes thinking he can tackle.

  • Joey Barton 666

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #4

    ed- i dont like to criticise, as you normally are spot on, but seriously, we got a good result yesterday, were two points behind with very winnable games remaining. sunderland have a harder run-in, and also t be fair, it was a very good result yesterday, against a horrible team with support that would match ours.

    im delighted for young andy. stunning header.

    and please would everyone take the tongue out of macheda’s arse, he has the potential to be great, butttttttttt………….. we dont want him getting to big for his boots do we?

  • MarkO

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Oba is our only chance of survival. We need him scoring the goals we know he can and then we might just stay if , but if Oba doesn’t play for the rest of the season we have no chance of staying up.

    Yes Carroll proved he can play a part, but he can’t be solely relied upon to score our goals. If Oba played yesterday we would have won and if Shearer doesn’t play him then we are down.

  • Jezza

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #6

    We are down for certain. We just can’t buy a win and were very lucky to even get a draw yesterday. I don’t think we have any winnable games left. Quite simply we have only even won 20% of our HOME games since Keegan’s departure. When you have that kind of form there is no such thing as a winnable game.

  • jimiley

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #7

    Can anybody tell me why we should win our last three home games? 3 out of 3 when we have won 4 out of 16? We have won SIX games all season. Thats the lowest in the Prem!!! There’s blind faith and there’s being realistic. Even 39 points may not be enough.

  • xfer

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #8

    Someone need to tell Butt to stop his one touch flick! Its crap! The team needs to learn to pass! We cant even string passes together.

    Or just play Carroll every game now, 4 defenders, 2 defensive midfielders, 2 wingers and just go direct.

  • Bill F

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #9

    You do have to wonder what goes on between the training ground and match days. I seem to remember that Smith was getting “bigged up” and that managers were seeing him as a first choice player. Now it’s Shola’s turn, he has had some reasonable games for us but yesterday he was again looking a bit of a donkey. He won nothing in the air, had no physical presence and little ball control and his positioning skills were non existant. Any thinking manager would have had him off well before the hook came out, AS might well still be our saviour but he needs to be a little sharper in his decisions.
    Carroll played exactly as I expected him to, wtf hasn’t he had more starts as I and others on this blog been suggesting for a very long time. Him with Martins or Owen would see them with a few more goals in the bag and probable safety by now.

  • jimiley

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #10

    There was no sign of Shearer lifting the team at Stoke. That first half was as bad as we have played all season and thats saying something!!!! So where do we go from here. You are right Ed. The future is dismal. We were so bad we are happy with a draw when we needed a win. Its all talk, talk talk and no walk. Shearer ” the trainig is going well” etc etc etc. Training counts for nothing when you play like that. Butt ” we were the better team.” Well if you believe anything else Butt says after that, you must be mad. Butt is one of the reasons why we are relegation bound. He should shut up because he talks rubbish. he is either a liar or delusional.

  • Ollynufc

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #11

    I think Beye and Bassong were excellent yesterday and they surely have earned there place at CB.

    When S.Taylot gets back i would put him in at RB and play Coloccini LB.

    Coloccini has been poor lately but he is a good player , just a players with no confidence,
    Players like Colo WILL come good and i think we should be playing him……….if not his confidence will plumit and surely be a gonna next season.

    So heres my teams:

    team 1 – 4-4-2


    S.Taylor Beye Bassong Coloccini

    Gutierrez Nolan Barton Duff

    Owen Carrol

    team 2 – 4-4-3


    S.Taylor Beye Bassong Coloccini

    Gutierrez Nolan Duff

    Owen Carroll Martins

  • Sav

    Apr 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #12

    Howay lads. We may be mired in the bottom 3 but its not Shearer’s fault. At least we kicked back in tyhe second half at Stoke.
    We have Martins, Barton, Taylor, Enrique and Viduka(?) to come back. That will make a difference and help win those 3 home games. Worse sides than us have done it. Look at Fulham last year. Shearer has also tried Shola and learned Carroll is better.
    When Dowie and the manager start bigging up Smith and saying what a great pro he is, than is time to worry. Until then, keep the faith and give Al some slack.

  • hitman

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #13

    stoke have only been beaten 3 times this season at home,to manure,chelski,everton..a draw was a good result.

  • MarkO

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #14

    Ideal team for Spuds:






    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #15

    It’s offical we are safe I have done the maths and we won’t gan doon. I am better than Carol Voderman at maths so nowts the bother. Right let’s start preparing for next season to make sure this doesnt happen again.

    Here is the final table
    15 MACKEMS 38 39 -12
    16 BLACKBURN 38 39 -22
    17 TOON 38 38 -15
    18 HULL 38 36 -26
    19 BORO 38 33 -27
    20 WEST BROM 38 27 -38

    Nowt to worry aboot then.
    Just incase you wanna make some money here is our final games
    Spurs Away LOST
    Pompey Home DRAW
    Liverpool Away LOST
    Boro Home WON
    Fulham Home WON
    Villa Away DRAW

    Ding dang doo jobasgoodun.

    Next years squad
    GH Harper
    GK Krul
    GK Forster
    RB Beye
    RB R Taylor
    LB Enrique
    LB ?
    CD Bassong
    CD Kadar
    CD S Taylor
    CD ?
    RW ?
    RW Lua Lua
    CM Barton
    CM Nolan
    CM Guthrie
    CM Vuckic
    LW Jonas
    LW ?
    CF ?
    CF Ranger
    CF Carroll

  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #16

    How the hell is it dismal?!?!?

    We got a point where 95% of the country and myself thought we’d lose.

    All the results were perfect for us.

    Jus take a look at Sunderland’s and Boro run in, go on.

  • roscoe

    Apr 12, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #17

    37 PTS = SAFE

  • roscoe

    Apr 12, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #18

    Spurs Away LOST
    Pompey Home WON
    Liverpool Away LOST
    Boro Home WON
    Fulham Home DRAW
    Villa Away LOST

    37pts = SAFE

  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 12, 2009 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #19

    I recon we’ll get 40 points.

    Wins v Pompey, Boro and Fulham and a draw with the Spuds next week.

  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 12, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #20


  • vic

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #21

    Does not matter we stay up or down. Anyway we must drop few players who are not good enough to play in EPL/CC or slow/expensive:
    Cacapa, 34
    R.Taylor, 26
    Nolan, 28
    Barton, 28
    Duff, 31
    Gonzales, 28
    Geremi, 32
    Butt, 35
    Owen, 31
    Smith, 30
    Ameobi, 29
    Loven, 30
    Viduka, 35

    The team will be still viable and mature:

    KEEPERS: Harper, 35
    Krul, 22
    Foster, 22
    Soderberg, 20

    DEFEND: S.Taylor, 24
    Colo, 28
    Enrique, 24
    Beye, 33
    T.Kadar, 20
    Edgar, 23
    Tozer, 20
    Morris, 20
    Lough, 24

    MIDFIELD: Lua Lua, 20
    Gutrie, 23
    Gutierres, 27
    Donninger, 21
    Marwood, 20

    FORWARD: Martins, 26
    Carroll, 21
    Ranger, 19
    Godsmark, 21
    Danhuah, 21
    Baheng, 21
    Zamblera, 20
    Xisco, 24
    Donaldson, 19

    Our “youngsters” are not youngsters any more.
    19-21 years old is enough to play 1-st team.
    Ranger is playing now as good as Owen or Fowler in they 18th. They are also keen to prove… Look on our current “dogfighters”- Nolan, R.Taylor, Butt, Owen, Ameobi. It is a shame…
    I do not think we able to get 40 points with these “dogfighters”.

    In summer we still DESPERATE need to buy PROVED LB, CM/Playmakers, RW.

  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:47 AM

    Comment #22

    vic – You got pretty much everybody’s age wrong.

    Most of them are 2 years to high.


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