Newcastle – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Let’s take a closer look at Newcastle’s game yesterday and see if we can analyze it a little, and see the task Alan and the coaching staff, not to mention the players, have on their hands for the final 6 games of the season.


20 year-old hero – Andy Carroll – played great!


  • The fact that when all seemed lost the lads came back and put in an excellent final 30 minutes and could have even won the game with a little luck. But let’s be clear there’s no way Stoke deserved to lose this match and Stoke manager Tony Pulis was upset they didn’t win it
  • The goal and the general play in both attack and defense by local youngster Andy Carroll. The lad’s only 20 years old but he showed the way for the more experienced and much better paid players in the team. He must start at Spurs!
  • The general play of our three at the back – Beye, Bassong and Edgar who all had sterling games, and it was really good see 21 year-old David Edgar have such a good game in such an important match for the Magpies. Joe Kinnear never seemed to rate him, but there’s a good player in there, and on this performance we should keep the lad when his contract ends this summer.
    He has the spirit of Newcastle in him, that’s for sure, and if the older players cannot show that, then play the youngsters. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be dropped on this performance. How about S.Taylor Beye Bassong and Edgar as back four for Spurs?
  • The general  play and leadership of Habib Beye, who had another excellent game at center-back. Yes, he’s playing out of position and he may be better at right back, but he’s the best center-back we have right now, apart from Bassong, and he can organize the defense and use his immense experience – he gave all he had again yesterday and Sebastien Bassong was his usual sturdy self – great to have him back. If we survive this season both these players need new improved contracts.
  • There were some signs yesterday that some players – Beye, Bassong, Edgar, Carroll and Guthrie could be warning to the Shearer management, and they could become the key players in the run-in as Alan tries his best to reinvigorate the lads. He must play the players who will play for him and not rely on the more experienced ones who continually don’t peoduce – we just dont’t have the time left.


  • We started the game without any confidence and could easily have lost this game in the first 55 minutes. In fact it was Stoke’s own fault they weren’t 3-0 up before we woke up on the hour mark. But this will not be good enough in our future matches against better teams.
  • After practicing for a week together, how was it that we couldn’t string a couple of passes together in the first half? Even the TV commentators rightly said we gave the ball away every time we got it in the first half.
  • While the individual defenders had good games yesterday there was not good enough communication or marking in the defense, and it’s the first time for a long time we’ve played just 3 at the back. We got away with this yesterday but against stronger teams we would have conceded more goals – let’s have 4 at the back – please.
  • We were disappointed at the leadership and play of both captain Owen and vice-captain Butt, our two most experienced players. They will need to step up to the plate soon, if we are to survive this season. Alan must have also been disappointed, but he’ll probably not mention it – not yet anyway.


  • How come Abdoulaye Feye was left unmarked from the corner that gave Stoke City their goal? Another bad mistake by the defense and one that will have Shearer fuming on something they practiced all last week. Shearer in his first management experience has gone in at the deep end – and that shows his immense courage and love of the club, and that’s why he’s such a hero on Tyneside, and around the world.
    If only more of his players showed the same courage!
  • We expected Newcastle to be the team to come out in the second half all revved up but no, it was Stoke who did that. And they could well have had a couple of goals to seal the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but for some luck on the Newcastle side.
    We have to hope Shearer can inspire the players in the games ahead. Show them a tape of the 1955 FA Cup Final Alan.

Let’s have your opinions, good and bad, on the game yesterday.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • Ben_BKK

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #1

    I agree about Stoke being the ones fired up at the start of the second half, I would’ve expected Shearer to have had the lads come out all guns blazing, but as it were we could’ve lost the game at the start of the half. That was really disappointing to me.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #2

    Ryan Taylors performance needs to be pasted in to the UGLY section. He was awful and against decent wingers i.e Lennon, he will be absolutely raped.

    Nolan was also very very lame. He had on e or two 10 minutes spells where he was average. However, for the majority of the game his passing was as bad a Butt’s.

  • Ross

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #3

    Dragonera-long time no see, and i completly agree sadly. I thought both R Taylor and Nolan were woeful at times and if im being brutally honest with myself, neither have done anything of real significance since turning up and our January business looks pretty poor.
    Taylor is supposed to have set piece ability-i think i saw a couple of decent balls into the box from him yesterday. Far too many either going out on the full, or straight over everyone in the box and Duff having to have a go.
    Nolan is supposed to be a midfielder who likes to get forward and score goals-i’ve barely seen him shoot on goal since he turned up. The only thing i’ve seen him do is come inches away from putting Anichebe out for the long haul, not exactly impressive.

    Cannot wait for the return of Joey Barton if im honest. Even if its only for a couple of games he will have a positive impact on our chances of survival.

  • BT9MAG

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #4

    I think it’s unfair to say Faye’s goal was another bad mistake ‘by’ the defence…It was Shola’s man, Shola had his head in his hands after they scored, everybody pointed at Shola afterwards, in set pieces after that Shola was marking him…It was the defence’s fault that a striker can’t stick to his man!

  • batty

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #5

    Dragonera your right m8 taylor and nolan were shite and i was at the game

  • Ross

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #6

    BT9-i agree, i said this yesterday that it was Shola’s man and sorry but it was shola’s fault. He’s meant to be man marking, Faye just moves away from him into open space, shola doesnt follow and we’re 1-0 down.
    Did you notice Carroll marking Faye after he came on?..he got above him and made at least 2 good clearing headers, which proves it was simple enough. Carroll HAS to start over strolla from now on.

  • batty

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #7

    BT9MAG watch stokes goal again m8 i was right be hind the goal and bassong was marking faye then faye lost him and our defenders got in the way of each other

  • batty

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #8

    6 Ross before the coner was took bassong pushed shola of to go mark shawcross and he was marking faye m8

  • Dragonera

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #9


    Exactly, mate. Barton is crucial to us, and i do believe our best midfield pairing is Guthrie and Barton. Butt is finished as a top flight player and set’s a poor example in the middle of the park. All the man does is get the ball and hoof it 35 to 40 yards up field. This gives no confidence to our other midfielders and we just end up playing long ball to the woeful Strola and ineffective Owen. I have read all of the criticism towards Jonas over the year and yesterday proved without a shadow of a doubt that he is vital to our survival. He sparked us in to life and ran at Stoke’s defenders. Our team for Spurs should be.


    Martins and Butt must play as both like to score against the Yids.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #10


    I disagree, mate. When Strola was on Faye escaped him about 3 or 4 times, including for his goal. Carroll came on and beat him everytime.

  • Jan Stavik

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #11

    Team for Spurs:
    Beye – Coloccini – Bassong – Enrique
    Jonas – Guthrie – Nolan – Duff
    ——-Carroll – Martins

    I’m sick and tired of watching Butt give the ball away, and Owen is not up to speed yet. Harper will cost us soon, take him off before he starts committing his mistakes. Very average goalie, I can’t believe many of u still compares him with Shay.

  • Ross

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #12

    Dragonera-butt its nothing but a pitching wedge these days. i like the guy but he just seems to whack the ball up field and hope for the best. Strolla at times looked alright knocking the ball on but it was mainly fruitless. Carroll was winning everything in the air both trying to flick the ball on and in our box when he had defending duties. On top of that, he scored what turned out to be an excellent header to get us a point. I also agree RE guthrie and Barton. As for Jonas, he turned the game on its head when he came on. He’s strong with the ball at his feet and like you say he ran at them, something we’d been lacking all day. When the game kicked off i said i was pretty disappointed that both Jonas and Carroll werent getting a start, especially after Carroll’s midweek performance. Hopefully Wor Al will have seen that both are big assetts to us and they will see the majority of the action for the run in to the end of the season. Also, nice to see Ranger on the bench even if he wasnt used, maybe unlike JK, shearer has confidence in youth.

  • batty

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #13

    if we played like we did in the last 30 mins we stay up and there was 4 players that threw there shirts into the crow beye bass carol and ryan taylor wish i cud of got taylors shirt ide ov threw it straight back at him ha

  • Dragonera

    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #14


    I agree, mate. Carroll should start ahead of Strola everytime as he is like the Centre forward version of S.Taylor. Brimming of passion and geordie pride. I have a feeling that Nile Ranger is going to be our very own Federico Mecheda. THROW HIM ON FOR THE LAST 10MINS SHEARER!

  • Brutooon

    Apr 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #15

    yupz i agreed stoke goal is because of Ameobi…when Caroll played, he did couple of defensive header from stoke city corner.

    Caroll is 5 times better than Ameobi, 3 times better the attitude of Ameobi and 6-7 years (if i m not mistaken) younger than Ameobi.

    Nicky Butt and Owen (both our experience players) seem to be one of the worst performer.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #16

    Owen is NOT a leader. Where was he when it all started to kick off? He is a plastic captain and this nonsense about him saving us from relegation is just that, NONSENSE. He hasn’t scored for god knows how long and hasn’t even looked like scoring. He is a striker for gods sake!

  • Marty-Toon

    Apr 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #17

    ED,it was Shola that left Faye`s side to try head the ball himself-Terrible defending and not our defenders mistake but Shola`s.
    Don`t like to pick out one player but he did very little yesterday and i can`t understand that every manager vhas to give him a run,especially that Al has played and trained with him for years.
    R.Taylor saved us on the line but his Free kicks are poor but he is a better player than BUTT and more dangerous.
    DUFF did well too i reckon.

  • stjames

    Apr 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #18

    We were dreadful yesterday. The passing sometimes reminded me of 12 year olds instead of PL professionals. And now long balls without anyone at the receiving end too. I’m not saying that Shola isn’t better than nobody at all but that’s it. Butt looked very very old and MO hasn’t had a good match since Keegan. We are going down. 🙁

  • Matt

    Apr 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #19

    How the hell is Beye the best CB we have Ed? You’re off your rocker. Bassong is clearly the best CB we’ve had in YEARS. Beye shows great leadership yes but all too often was caught massively out of position. Edgar is too inexperienced at CB to know to cover properly when Beye went up and it left us exposed.

    If you want to play 3 at the back they ALL have to sit or have the kind of understanding that takes a whole season to get in order to cover for each other effectively.

    We’re being massively hamstrung by having no cover for LB yet again though.

  • Ed Harrison

    Apr 12, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #20

    Matt – you’re right – didn’t mean that – have corrected it – agree Bassong is our best CB. 😀

  • Danish_Magpie

    Apr 12, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #21

    Great article, Ed.


    Apr 12, 2009 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #22

    There’s one problem in the team and that’s the midfield. it’s the worst in the prem by a country mile.

    The midfield can’t keep the ball which causes major pressure on our defence.

    The midfield can’t create anything which means we don’t score goals.

    The midfield’s legs are gone which means they don’t join the attacks quick enough and can’t track back quick enough.

    The midfield can’t string passes together so possesion is lost.

    The midfield can’t cross so all our wing attacks are fruitless.

    this is why we’re in the bottom 3.

  • Sav

    Apr 13, 2009 at 2:52 AM

    Comment #23

    Everyone seems to have his favourite player to have a go at. Why so? We were odds on to get beaten but we drew after a decent performance yesterday against a very tough side. Lets get off their backs.
    Even so, Butt is a scapegoat while Guthrie gets off. No-one mentions Guthrie having a bad game but either he did or Al made a bad error in taking him off. Some players are just flavour of the month while it seems others haven’t a chance.
    Finally, I don’t think enough praise has been made of the fact we finished strongly against a very tough opponent. If the new management have improved that already it is a fantastic achievement and a major problem addressed.

  • pagama

    Apr 13, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    Comment #24

    We need all the lads to get Carroll´s spirit.
    Our great NUFC Spirit , and let´s fight all until de last game.
    Due to Newcastle situation, here in Portugal I ´ts growing the fans.
    Because it´s great club with great people

  • Tom_Toon

    Apr 13, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #25



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