Swansea So Much Better Than Newcastle – Let’s Face It

We were lucky to get a point on Saturday and several players have come up with their own explanations of the lucky win.

Steve Harper – at least we got a point

And today veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper, who now has 157 appeances for the Magpies and turns 35 next month, offered his own view of the disappointing game:

“On Saturday we knew we could have played better, but we know we can play better sometimes and still lose.”

“So it is a big point. It puts us back on top of the league and we have a game in hand on Forest.”

“We go into home matches against Coventry and Preston hoping to take six points.”

Newcastle started the game slowly, and actually never ever got into second gear, and were completely outplayed by a good looking Swansea side -= let’s be honest.

Maybe Swansea manager Paulo Sousa would make a good future Newcastle manager, if he continues to improve his Swansea side – certainly he plays the type of football that Newcastle fans love to watch.

We have to remember that Swansea were a good side when they visited Newcastle on 28th November, and many of us thought they would be a big threat.

But we were ready for them and won the game in the first 28 minutes by going 3-0 up, with goals form Lovenkrands and Harewood (2).

Near the end of what looked like a second successive away defeat for Newcastle on Saturday, something seemed to go right for Newcastle.

Leon Best put in a  good cross which was met by the ever improving Andy Carroll, who headed the ball into the back of the net, as he’s done 5 times in the last 6 games.

Harper added:

“It was a good point at the end of it – there will be teams (many of them we would think) who have probably played better than us here but lost.”

“We will take a point back up the road.”

“When we have won away games this season, we have dug in and after an hour it has been goalless and we have scored a goal when the opposition have been going for it.”

“It was a good point at the end of it – there will be teams who have probably played better than us here but lost.”

No doubt it was a good point, but it was the performance that upset Newcastle fans, not the result.

Swansea had long spells where Newcastle couldn’t get the football, so good were Swansea at keeping the ball.

Harper continued:

“Swansea are the best footballing side we have played.”

“We knew they would do that. When we played them at St James’ Park we were 3-0 up after half an hour and they had more than 70% possession in the second half.

“In the first half on Saturday they did not hurt us, they did not create much and we knew at half-time if we stepped it up a gear we could hopefully go on and win the game.

“They scored a cracking goal, but I think the pleasing thing after going behind was the fact we produced a response.

“We saw the spirit in the camp. The manager made changes and we went for it in the last 20 minutes. We had a response and in the end we were happy to take a point back up the road.”

We’re not sure many fans saw Newcastle go for the win.

Newcastle were lucky to draw, but after they did score, they did go for an unlikely win.   That would have been the ultimate smash and grab win, but it was not to be, and would have been more than cruel on Swansea.

Pity we couldn’t treat away games as if they were home games – certainly the really good sides do.

Oh well – two wins in our next two home games is what we all want to see.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 15, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #1

    They are a great footballing team but lack a cutting edge up front.

    We deserved to loose, and Ed we didnt win as you say in the first sentence.

    Sousa been sputing crap about Carrols red card, but he must be frustrated.

    Nolan was terrible, Smith was outplayed and we only really got going when Guthrie came inside with about 15 minutes left.

    Once again Simpson was continuingly beaten, hes good at home when he gets forward but i think away from home against a proper winger, he just gets done everytime (jerome thomas and Cotteril).

  • Roy Cropper

    Feb 15, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #2

    Maybe Swansea manager Paulo Sousa would make a good future Newcastle manager, if he continues to improve his Swansea side – certainly he plays the type of football that Newcastle fans love to watch.

    there’s a few managers in this division that seem to be able to coach their teams into playing attractive football that wins games – were suppose to have the best footballers so why can’t we ?.

    i suppose if one of them was our manager we’d be well clear by now – nice football & top of the league , perhaps i’m asking for to much.

  • derekm

    Feb 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #3

    Chris Hughton COULD build a side like Swansea – brilliant passing and movement but with no cutting edge. And let’s be honest, would our fans rather be back in the premier league by keeping it tight away and attacking the opposition at home, or watch pretty patterns all afternoon without an end product?
    It amazes me how people dare complain at what Hughton and Calderwood are doing for this club – the ONLY thing that matters is promotion straight away this year to give us a massive financial platform for growth. The two cups were’nt even properly contested to enable us to follow plan A – get back where we belong.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #4

    lucky win ???

  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #6

    Effective football is generally attractive football, there’s no contradiction. I don’t see many top European teams winning games by fielding a bunch of goal shy donkeys in the middle of the park like we feel obliged to do.

    We have the defence (at times) and we have enough strikers to chop and change to make things work after a fashion, but the midfield is too often moribund and fails time and again to dominate the opposition and then break down defensive lines by keeping the ball on the deck and playing around or through them – not over the top.

    Oh for a Gerrard or a Lampard type of player who can maraud forward, link with the forwards, net 20 goals a season and force the opposition to break ranks and so leave gaps that the strikers can exploit.

    Truth is, it is our stodgy midfield that has been targeted in the last 8 games by opposing teams now that they have sussed how slow it is, in the process exposing the flanks (poor Simpson, he’s not looking half the player he did).

    I only hope Jonas and Routledge can shake things up a bit. My immediate suggestion is line up all out midfielders for a 100 year dash the day before, and simply pick the first four over the line.

    PS: There’ll be plenty time for a quick bacon sarnie and a cuppa while awaiting their arrival, and we can come back the next morning to check if Smudger’s over the half way line yet.

  • digereedo

    Feb 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #7

    @derekm There is absolutely no evidence that Hughton could create a team that has brilliant passing and movement. If he could I assure you he would. Those things arent bad things you know and don’t automatically mean that the strikers would therefore lack a cutting edge as I you are saying. Secondly the reason people get upset with the team is that we look on a downward slide and we want Hughton to change things and make the midfield create more chances for the strikers. If you are happy to see it slide then that is your shout.

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 15, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #8

    tom Mo….hes a dirty little rat just like the rest of the WBA defence.

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #9

    What i didnt write earlier….

    we have 3 prem class players…jonas, jose and Taylor and without them we are very average.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #10

    So you’d swap with Swansea right now?


    It is frustrating, our midfield is fine as long as we don’t get either of our wingers crocked but lousy otherwise. And yet we go to tough away games and nick a point.

    I’m not saying we played well, but I am saying CH is coming in for ridiculous stick from people who don’t have their eye on the same ball as him.

    If you want open, attractive football you’re watching the wrong team – at least away from home on lumpy pitches.

    I’m with Harps – win while playing badly is a trick we’ve been wanting to pick up for years. Now we’re doing it they STILL get stick!

    Roll on our first match with Jonas, Jose AND Routledge playing together at SJP. That should silence even the worst of the whiners.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 15, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #11

    Robby B: trouble is, they’re probably utter bobbins on a dodgy pitch.

    I’m just resigned to watching rather dull away games, perhaps with the odd purple patch. Home is a different matter. Our pitch, our size, our crowd. CH has shown he’s not afraid to go for it in those circumstances, and the players have shown it can work.

    Won’t always get 5 goals, mind…

  • MacToon

    Feb 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #12

    Well we’ll find out in the next 2 games how good a home team we are.

    Don’t think anybody has said they’d swap teams with Swansea, maybe their manager though!

    Robby Bobson, I’d add Harper to your list plus maybe Colo and hopefully Routledge. Strikers? well who knows……….

  • Lynxie

    Feb 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #13

    Chaps, its all very well saying that we are effective, and that we are a good home team, but the team is littered with players who can not do the basics. Take Danny Guthrie, somebody please take danny Guthrie. Lord knows what Keegan was watching when he said he was the best passer of a ball, probably Playstation. And Kevin Nolan is guilty too. said to be very sharp over ten yards, (if the queue in Greggs gets that long), his cowardice in simply humping the ball over his shoulder on several occasions on saturday was simply dereliction of duty. It is the senior players we look to when the chips are down. And Alan smith? Did he have a camoflage shirt on all day? Missing in action. In total, 3 midfield men all deciding that the journey south had taken it out on them. Diddums. Swansea didnt seem to mind the long trip at SJP. It sall down to ability and fitness. Get your fingers out.

  • Roy Cropper

    Feb 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #14

    Whumpie // Feb 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    If you want open, attractive football you’re watching the wrong team – at least away from home on lumpy pitches.

    newcastle’s pitch is like a billiard table yet the majority of our football at home is still shite.

    whumpie your’a numpty.

  • jimiley

    Feb 15, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #15

    We will never have an attractive team if we play men in rocking chairs in the CM. But, Guthrie, Smith and Nolan have to be the four most slow and immobile players in the league. You cannot play football if you cannot run. We have one of the worst centre midfields in the league and we are top of the league. We have a team with a second rate engine room. I suppose the rest of the team must be doing something right. The odds on Smudger going 100 games without a goal?

  • BrisiTone

    Feb 16, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #16

    Football is a fairly straighforward game, teams try to put the ball in their opponents goal by passing the ball between their team mates, generally in a forward direction.
    My last statement needs to be copied onto a large poster and displayed on Newcastle’s dressingroom wall.
    Newcastle’s passing was appauling against Swansea, especially Nolan and Guthrie who also got caught in possession way to often. Too many times I see square balls hit behind the intended player eliminating forward motion straight away.
    Swansea passed the ball fluently to feet, controlled the ball well, then offloaded the next pass to a player who had MADE SPACE and kept going forward. Please Chris, take notice. Even if our midfield is not the most creative or the quickest in the Championship then at least we can to the basic simple stuff like pass a ball, can’t we???????
    It’s not rocket science.

  • Mark-o

    Feb 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #17

    im with Whumpie on this one. Once we have our first choice 11 playing it’ll be a different story. Were playing bad but were top of the league, and a conciderable distance away from the play-offs too. The trouble with the majority of newcastle fans is that they are fickle. They expect us to be challenging for europe every season and we havent been good enough for that since the man mountain Sir Bobby Robson left. We are a good championship/ mid table premier league team and some people need to realise that sharpish!


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