Swansea 1 Newcastle 1 – Magpies Losing Their Nerve – And Form

A late Andy Carroll goal on 87 minutes saved Newcastle from a second successive Championship defeat this afternoon at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium.

And it was hardly the performance most Newcastle fans had expected as the Newcastle side dropped their 5th point in the last two games, having gone down 3-0 at Derby County last Tuesday.

Although this point now takes Newcastle one point above WBA in the Championship to regain the top spot – this form will hardly be good enough to give Newcastle an automatic promotion spot come May.

And if we make the playoffs, then don’t bet on Newcastle not causing more heart-break for their very long suffering Newcastle fans.

It’s the worst possible time for a Newcastle side to start to lose their nerve, but that’s what seems to be what’s happening.

The first half was best forgotten in a poor game, with Swansea always looking the better side, and it was only after 56 minutes that Swansea brought some life to the game.

A cross-field ball to David Cotterill, on the left-hand edge of the penalty area saw him clear.  The midfielder avoided two onrushing Newcastle defenders to put a beautiful curling shot beyond Newcastle goalkeeper, Steve Harper from 20 yards out and into the net.

On 67 minutes Leon Best was brought on for Peter Lovenkrands, and Newcastle tried to mount a come-back – but they were insipid today – again, and it was rather a lucky break when Andy Carroll equalized with just 3 minutes left on the clock.

It was Leon Best who put in a decent cross to the far post for Andy Carroll, having again lost his marker, headed back across goal and into the far corner of the net, for his ninth goal of the season, and a point for Newcastle.

So we have 60 points from 30 games, and if we keep this up we should still be able to get around 92 points, which should be good enough for automatic promotion.

But the side has looked rather inept these last couple of months, and something better than what was served up today is needed for Newcastle’s promotion charge to get on track.

Newcastle now have Coventry and Preston at home on Wednesday night and Saturday afternoon respectively, and normally you would expect 6 points in the bag.

But there’s little doubt that Newcastle are starting to struggle, and to us it seems due to a distinct lack of mental strength – maybe promotion is just too much for them.

It’s not unlike last season when in some games we should have won, we didn’t, because we didn’t have the fight and spirit necessary.  And everybody kept saying there’s no way Newcatsle will go down.


And promotion is now by no means a certainty, whatever those knowledgeable pundits may say — and in any case they are nearly always wrong.

We need some Newcastle players to stand up right now and be men and show some courage and pride in adversity, and not be the wimps we’ve seen far too much of recently.

In short, this performance just wasn’t good enough.

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Timmers

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #1

    One of the worst performances I have seen, if i was a Swansea fan i’d feel livid right now.
    The players all looked lathargic and playing as if they were winning. To have no shots on target (bar the goal) is awful. Im not gonna single out players as there was some truely absent performances today. Hughton needs to mix it up not much but just to say “/look im not afriad to drop you if there’s no effort” need to blood some of the youngsters to add some pace and other teams wont know of them. Thats why Ranger is a handful when he plays there unknown quantities.

  • coxonfamily

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Like i said on the previous post, Chris has been insisting all season that we are only concentrating on ourselves and not looking at Forest or WBA… now read the past few blogs on here from Ed where they have interviewed Chris, he totally contradicts himself, he knows more about WBA than he does about our own team… Guthrie on the wing again for an example lol Dont get me wrong Chris has been doing a good job but he needs to step it up a gear now or its all been for nothing!

  • MacToon

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #3

    Coventry at home next the Preston at home, we need ATLEAST 4 points if not max points.

    We were so lucky today to get a point and no way did we deserve it. Carroll was so frustrating, either offside or giving freekicks away but to his credit he was in the right place at the right time for the goal.

    midfield was terrible most of the game, out muscled and outclassed.

  • gunnarnufc

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Awful game. Nice to get the point. But we never deserved it. There is no one in this team who seeks to get the ball and take it farward. We need a creative midfielder who has the slightest idea of how potentially to attack. Watching this really frustrates me. How many times did Guthrie and Nolan loose the ball in midfield becouse they basicly did not know what the hell to do with it so they just waited for someone to tackle them from behind. No need having 4 decent strikers if you have no-one who knows how to give the ball to them.

  • Sav

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #5

    Its looking very much like the theory that Hughton has been letting the players and Nolan and Smith in particul;ar, do his team management for him is true.
    The two overpaid clumsy sods came up short yet again – especially Nolan who hasn’t had a good game in months. The can’t pass, run, or create anything and give the ball away and dangerous frees time and again. Looks like Hughton can’t dispense with either of them and that is no good. Nolan, especially comes up with all the platitudes between games but does not deliver on the pitch.
    Were it not for some decent strikers, we’d be sunk. They are the difference between us and almost every other team in the Championship. Imagine if Swansea had Carroll and Lovenkrands, we’d be dead and buried. No drive, guts or plan.

  • Eaststander

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #6

    Midfield with the exception of Routledge get 1 out of 10 today they were the real problem. Absolutly no service today as usual with the added factor of giving the ball away at every chance. Barton back in the starting line up please as he cant be any worse than Kevin Nolan or Danny Guthrie

  • Sav

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #7

    I’d blame Nolan for Carroll’s booking. It was just another aimless lob forward, closer to a Swansea player than Carroll. Can’t blame the lad for taking out his frustration and earning a card.

  • JAM

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #8

    I state again Gutrie is a horrible player, I actually was laughing at him at one stage when he went to take on Dyer down the left and just fell over himself looking for a foul. Pathetic!!! And Oba open your eyes, when he was moved into his favourite postion in CM he played well, not true, he was basically playing CM the whole match as he kept drifting in and crowding the middle giving Nolan and Smith no room to work in. This meant that with no one on the left, Swansea couldDouble mark Routledge!! Leaving us with no forward thrust all day.

  • Sav

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #9

    We did a Nathan Dyer on Swansea – we pinched their handbag while they weren’t looking only we got away with it.
    Whether Hughton gets away with this sort of performance is another thing. But it looks like Smith & Nolan are calling the shots.

  • jimiley

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #10

    I’ve seen faster players than Smith and Nolan in wheelchairs. We are suffering a blip which will be over in April. We are Championship quality. It’s not a lack of form. It’s a lack of class. we suffered from this so called lack of form all last season. We have beaten two teams well this season and the rest of the time its been struggle. We have found our level. Arsenal at the Emirates would be a nightmare. Men against old men.

  • Sav

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #11

    Yep. If the Swans had teeth instead of hissing and flapping in our penalty area this would have been another 3 – 0 drubbing for Hughton’s rabble. The blip was against Cardiff.

  • Fozzy

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #12

    Nolan and Guthrie were shocking.

  • clooneytoon

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #13

    Midfield seems to be the main problem. Nolan was terrible today,no legs and dwelling on the ball, he has lost form and should be benched for a few games. Smith same story. We improved a bit when guthrie went CM, quicker legs and trys to find a pass.

    You dont know what your going to get from one game to the next with carroll. His general play some times is awful. But at least he popped up witha goal.

  • Smithy

    Feb 13, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #14

    Thank fu*k we are at home our next 2 games.Guthrie was really poor he didnt have the sense to drive forward when he had the ball, instead stood still turned around lost the ball or made a bad pass. I like guthrie but he needs to be dropped

  • liam85

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #15

    Poor, Poor, Poor!!! – The way we played we didn’t deserve a point..
    (that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to get that point)

  • Kevin

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Our biggest problem today was that our midfield just CAN NOT keep the ball. Swansea looked like Arsenal against us – easily moving the ball around and controlling the tempo. We were children out there. Thank Christ Carroll is tall – not that he’s a good footballer, but that he’s TALL – for if not, we would have lost. At this point, I have confidence we’ll be promoted this season, but what does it matter? Playing like this will only put us in the hell of yo-yo club status. If Manager Hughton can’t devise a system where the players know how to keep the ball and be productive, he does not deserve to stay on after this season. He’s reaping the benefits of having a poor Premiership side playing in the Championship. Whether it was him at the helm, or Shearer, or Kevin Nolan, or my dog Spot, we would be in the same position we are today. While many players haven’t been playing well recently, we DO have a good squad – so why are we playing so rubbish so frequently??

  • bill

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #17

    Unless Enrique and Jonas are playing we have no skill. Most of our good work comes down the left from them – hurry back or we could be in trouble.

  • MacToon

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #18

    1 point from 6
    4 points from 9
    5 from 12
    8 from 15
    9 from 18
    10 from 21
    11 from 24
    14 from 27
    15 from 30

    16 games left, 48 points available so another 24 points (average) would leave us with 84. Probably enough to take us up.

    West brom loosing 2-1?

  • Flan

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #19

    Pity its not a league game they’re losing though>


    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #20

    yep reading 2-1 wba


    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #21

    crap 2-2

  • Smithy

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #22

    2-2 hope they have replay and dorran gets injured

  • Edd Case

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Reading – West Brom is an FA Cup game.
    Forrest are losing though

  • Turkish Magpie

    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Forest have lost 😀


    Feb 13, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #25

    oh haha got me down

  • jimiley

    Feb 13, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Does anybody know how many games Smudger has played for us without scoring a goal? I reckon its 80 odd and I believe we should celebrate his centenary game, Thats quite a record for a forward/midfielder. Perhaps a world record. perhaps we should pay him 80K a week instead of 60K.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #27

    Out of jail and then some !! One effort on goal in 93 mins !

    I’m afraid our tactic of hoof ball to Carroll and no midfield is getting found out and I’m quite pleased about that. God forbid we may actually have to try to start playing some football.

    When Harper has the ball, our full backs turn their backs on him and run upfield for yet another upfield punt. Harper never rolls the
    ball out, but steps way out of his area and launches it. We are the new Wimbledon.

    We simply can not pass the ball. God knows what Calderwood and Hughton are doing in training. They are out Allardycing Allardyce !

    Smith and Nolan look clueless and worse,
    seem to have no legs at all. I thought they had found their level – sadly not it seems.

    I supect even Carroll would occasionally like the ball played to feet, his neck must be aching, I know mine is !

  • ende

    Feb 13, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #28

    I would say we need an upgrade on management if we get promoted, but that would only do so much. Really we need an upgrade on players, particularly midfield, and that requires new ownership. MA and CH have stumbled upon a situation where they can more or less coast to promotion, but as others have said what’s the point? We don’t want to be down again up again down again up again.

    Ashley *needs* to go for the long term health of this club. CH probably needs to step down as manager as well after this season. As much as I am a proponent of developing from our youth within, upon promotion we would really need to spend some money on premiere league quality upgrades.

    Defense might be ok, but I would certainly swap out parts wherever possible if the price is right. Striker is sorta the same situation; I think we’d be fine if we swapped out Shola for at least one quality striker. Mostly we need to swap out much of our midfield. Our entire central midfield consists of either DMs or box2boxers. I would plunk cash down on a solid, near world class creative attacking midfielder. Then I would buy a couple more of standard quality. Then I would pick up some competition on the wings.

    Make no mistake, there’s a good foundation here we’re working with. I think Nolan could easily play an important part in an improved system, and be an asset within it.

    None of this will happen of course. Not as long as Ashley is holding the purse strings.

  • Smithy

    Feb 13, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #29

    swansea’s coach would be a good addition to our staff and maybe steal dorran from west brom

  • pdiddy

    Feb 13, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #30

    WTF does Ashley holding the purse string have to do with these types of tactics or lack of.
    We have a squad capable if winning every game.
    Players are bieng picked on experience not on merit.

  • Strauss

    Feb 13, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #31

    no pace in central midfield, guthrie not a left winger, full backs are still raw, there needed to be more bite today, nolan appeared to be ambling around midfield offering no options for the defenders, chris has to be some big decisions soon about nolan and smith because they were inept today, they are both off the boil and need a rest..

  • SirAlan

    Feb 13, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Comment #32

    Sav you made some good point…Nolan needs dropped so does smith, i agree with you that those 2 are managing the team as Chris Hughton dont have a Clue..the only reason we are top is because some of our players are a CUT above what they have in the Championship..

    “Nolan should of been benched a couple of month ago “

  • bakerman

    Feb 13, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #33

    A little of topic but IF we do go up, I hope that we could snap Kevin Prince Boateng from Portsmouth who would be on their way down. I think he would be an ideal player to add to our midfield!

  • Sav

    Feb 14, 2010 at 5:07 AM

    Comment #34

    Can’t believe folks are saying Carroll had a bad game today. I don’t mean just because he scored a goal we didn’t deserve and saved Hughton’s bacon, but whatever you think about Carroll and whether he’s a journeyman bruiser or has true potential to be anothe Big Dunc, today he never saw the ball. Balls he did get arrived thigh high, or were flung in his general direction. The lad could hardly be blamed for lamping their bloke with his forearm. He must have been choking with frustration.
    It looks to me like they went out on the batter after Cardiff and haven’t recovered yet.

  • spiderpig

    Feb 14, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #35

    yeah sav.i watched the game and felt embarrassed when we scored.daylight robbery.nolan is so slow its unreal,both him and guthrie got caught running /jogging with the ball about 5 times each.we have got very static with no movement off the ball.everything is a big hoof up to carroll.felt sorry for him yesterday,he worked hard for next to no service.lovenkrands dived and whinged.best looked a better proposition when he came on.if swansea had got the balls to shoot we would have got caned big time.lots of work to do.get nolan out of midfield and put the fat git upfront so he can score goals.good time for barton to come in and start spreading play.we will prob win next 2 games to paper over the cracks but we have been found out by the good footballing sides.

  • spiderpig

    Feb 14, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #36

    prately would be a good buy too.

  • christos

    Feb 14, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #37

    the problem with the team at the momment is that we miss the only two players with the ability to move the ball forward and attack – Jose Enrique and Jonas. When these two come back the team will be completely different.

  • stk85

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #38

    agree christos jonas and enrique are integral to our team.

    still doesnt mean we can’t learn how to pass the ball around iinstead of ugly up and unders. that kind of football makes me sick to watch


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