Defensive Lapses Cost Newcastle Dearly Against Stoke

Chris Hughton has come  out and criticised Newcastle’s defending against Stoke City as the reason a game Newcastle were cruising through in the first half,  ended up being the second successive time the Newcastle side have been beaten at home this season.

Chris Hughton – poor defensive play in second half cost us

Newcastle have once again been brought crashing back down to earth after a couple of excellent results – just like we were when Blackpool, of all teams, beat us at home a couple of weeks ago,  after 26 games at home unbeaten.

The difference between yesterday and the Blackpool game is that yesterday the side couldn’t create any chances, and even through we pummeled Stoke is midfield in  that first half, we didn’t create any real chances and had to rely on a penalty from captain Kevin Nolan to take the lead after Andy Carroll was brought down by Robert Huth.

Andy Carroll also had a very subdued game yesterday as well.

The Newcastle manager said today:

“We should have coped with their set-pieces better than we did. We were able to cope with them for the majority of the game, but it’s all about pinnacle moments and in two set-plays we have been out done.”

“We knew going into the second half that we needed to get that second goal, but we didn’t do that.” “We were up against a Stoke side which upped the intensity of their game and we didn’t do enough to carve them open.

“They defended very well, they were very resilient and we couldn’t break them down.” “We didn’t create enough. We knew it was going to be tough, we knew they would play a certain way. We had to be good defensively, but we didn’t deal with the strengths they had.”

“We have to give them credit, they defended very, very well and got the two goals from set-plays. All we can do is prepare the team to play against them and the strengths they have got, but you are reliant on players doing their jobs and you are reliant on players marking individuals.”

“Sometimes you are up against players of quality and they have three or four who are outstanding in the air.” “It wasn’t a lack of effort, we showed a lot of endeavour, but once they got their noses in front they defended extremely well.”

It’s another big set back for the team, but manager Chris Hughton, as he did last season, is determined to keep everybody’s feet firmly on the ground, and not let us get carried away with the good results when they come, and not get too down-hearted with the poor results when they come.

It looks like it’s going to be real up and down season as the lads adjust to the top English league again, where mistakes are so heavily punished.

Chris continued:

“Results like this do put more pressure on us to pick up results away from home, but we are a newly promoted team from the Championship and we knew this was going to be a tough season.”“We knew this was going to be a season where we lost more games than we won.”

“The more consistent teams have better quality players. For us, it’s a learning curve. We’ve got to make sure the lows, and it’s a big blow today, that we’re able to bounce back.”

“We must not forget that this could have been the end of a very good week.”  “Did anybody expect us to win at Everton? No they didn’t. Did anyone expect us to win at Chelsea? No they didn’t, but we did on both occasions.”

“We’re still in a pretty good position. I’m realistic enough to know where we are at this moment. My thoughts haven’t changed.”  “It would be nice to say we’ll win more than we lose – that would see us in a very favourable position in the league – but we have to be realistic.”

In the second half we were beaten too many time when high balls went into the penalty box, and it certainly happened for their first goal, which was of course crucial, and it’s not as if Newcastle didn’t get fair warning of what was to come, after Kenwynne Jones headed the ball against the bar twice before scoring.

After the first half performance yesterday, it was a terrible let-down for Newcastle fans in that final 45 minutes, but we have to think this is the impact of coming back into a top league.

The teams are so much better than in the Championship – and can come back even after being completely outplayed in the first half.

That’s just exactly what Stoke City did at St. James’ Park yesterday,and they have to be given credit for that.

Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • GeordieGerman

    Sep 27, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #1

    Perch (3%, 4 Votes)? Take it that we’ve had a couple of Mackems on here…

  • Birts

    Sep 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #2

    We need to set ourselves out to be more attacking at home rather than sticking to 451 throughout the season. The biggest mistake yesterday was taking off both toite and ben arfa as they were a big influence on the game. I feel if anyone was going to come off it should have been Barton and Nolan. That IMO of course, but too late now, just have to keep my fingers crossed for a surprise result at Citeh next week now, but this has put a downer on my whole week.

  • DarloGeordie

    Sep 27, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    I agree with both of you Birts and GeordieGerman. Perch really is crap i have always said it and believe it even more now. Only 2 points away from relegation zone (not again please!!) not only were the players useless CH made some really bad decisions lets hope this doesnt happen again

  • StaffsToon

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #4

    I think playing 4-5-1, as we also did against Blackpool, was the main reason. We also need our wingers to get to the byeline more often, nobody really did that until Jonas came on.

    C’mon Chris, packing the midfield isn’t the answer at home!!!

    I like Tiote but that’s a couple of times I have seen him feck about with the ball near our box and lose it.

    Perch has moments when he is obviously a decent player but, unfortunately, reminds me a bit of Bramble the way he makes poor choices.

  • Oleg G

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Interesting if even in history, a manager came to a website like this, and saw what the fans think and took notes. hhh….

  • Malaysia-RASHID

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #6

    to me Barton is good enough for us all 6games he play, sub Nolan with Loern or Ranjer maybe a good point.

    Barton only Gutrie can replace him…

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #7

    Okay, here is my take on yesterdays disaster!!
    For me there is one person to blame for yesterdays result, HUGHTON!!

    Why did he take off the one player who could potentially turn the game on its head with one flash of brilliance?

    Why does he insist on playing 451 at home, when all teams have to do is pack the midfield with defensive midfielders and stop Carroll essentially putting three men on him!

    Why did he take off Tiote, who was dominating midfield alongside Barton?

    Why did he leave the ineffective Nolan and Routledge on?

    Why did he pick a player who is struggling with adapting to life in the premiership when he has a right back on the bench who played a stormer during midweek against the league leaders!! Lets face it, and im not one for getting on individuals backs but PERCH is out his depth!!

    For me the MANAGER has to take full responsibility for yesterdays performance!!

    My team for Man Citeh:



    Ben Arfa


    Play your form players Hughton, not the players who we are currently carrying, as in Nolan and Perch!!

    Joey Barton Captain!!

  • Malaysia-RASHID

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #8

    Lets pray for Simpson. We very2 need him this time.. Perch need to learn more if he want to be in first IX

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #9

    If we play 451 against Citeh and hope to defend, they will pummel us!!
    They have better forwards and better midfield!! We need to give them plenty to think about in their half of the pitch!!

    Wouldnt surprise me if hughton drops Ben Arfa from starting and plays Smith in his place!!!


  • Penguin PJ

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #10

    The thing I notice with our season so far with the exception of playin Man United at Old Trafford (which was a Champions League night in my book)
    the difference with the teams that beat us & were beaten by us is this :

    1. Aston Villa, Everton & Chelsea all underestimated us. They gave us no chance at all. Readin thru the respective club’s main blogs comfirms this. (with the exception of Chelsea coz it was a League Cup, but they still can’t believe they surrender their home record to a newly promoted club)

    2. Blackpool & Stoke both respected us, in the sense they knew if they get a draw at SJP would be considered a great result. I went to a Potters blog before the game, even they predicted their team to lose 2-0.

    All in all, fair play to Stoke for changin their tactics in second half & after Fuller’s omission. Maybe after 2 great result this week, we let ourself believe that maybe, just maybe, we are better than Stoke.

    As the great Chinese War General Sun Tzu said, ” If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. Never underestimate your opponent.”

  • Sav

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #11

    I think Hoots is culpable for the attacking play – 4-5-1 at home, taking off Ben Arfa and Tiote and the introduction of Shola didn’t unsettle Huth and Shawcross any – Ranger or Lovenkrands’ pace may have done better.
    But the way we flapped and panicked under Stoke’s one-dimensional attack is down to the team. Didn’t see much team spirit in evidence then, I’m afraid. Must do better.

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #12

    Reasons behind yesterdays result IMO;

    * Should Sol have been put into the middle with Williamson, (Coloccini has played in the right BTW)?
    * Why Perch played?
    * Why change Tiote when Nolan struggled?
    * Why not start Jonas on the right?

    *Although we controlled the first period, we obviously did not test their central defence enough, why not start 442 with Shola (or Lovenkrands) instead of Nolan?

  • RichK

    Sep 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #13

    Why am I not surprised to come on here and see people laying blame. Expectation levels for most of the fans (so called fans) on here are far too high. Yes, we didn’t play particularly well but it’s one result, lets move on and look to the next.

    Hughton has been superb and we all know it, don’t keep laying blame on him everytime we lose.

    Ben Arfa was ineffective second half and needed to come off. IMO Perch was one of our better players, thought he did a great job other than the OG, which happens. For me Hughton’s only mistake was not putting Ameobi on sooner. I would have been tempted to replace Carroll too as he was probably our worst player and was getting nowhere.

  • John

    Sep 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #14

    Colo is easy on the eye when given time and space, for me hes not up to it when it gets rough and tumble either in the air or on the floor, Jones made him look like a schoolboy, bring sol in for him, and S. Taylor at RB when fit. We need height at the back, Chips are trurely down now for CH to raise the troops to lose that game was a disaster!

  • stestickle

    Sep 27, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #15

    perch has to be dropped totally out of his depth saylor when fit at right back in my oppinion he,s always has looked like a better right back then at centre back.


    saylor collo campbell jose


    raylor jonas




  • darthkir

    Sep 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #16

    Pls dont blame the defense CH. Besides Perch the rest is ok. It was your formation, your selection & your substitution that lost it for us. What did the player (and you) really did to win the game yesterday? If not for the penalty (a gift really), we wouldnt have scored not even one goal.

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 27, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #17

    Blogs are all about opinions.
    This is the second game at ‘fortress StJames’ we have lost, so it isnt just one game!!

    At the end of the day, it is my opinion that Hughton got his tactics WRONG.

    It was his opinion that we have to get points from all of our home games, we havent!! He has a right to his opinion and we have a right to ours

    Playin 451 at home is the wrong tactics to play against anyone other than the ‘top 4’ teams. We should be going out to win games at home and set our stall out accordingley.

    So in MY OPINION YES HUGHTON was to blame. I am not saying he is a shite manager or anything, but on that game his tactical Nouse simply has to be brought into question!!!

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 27, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #18

    In My opinion, BRIEFLY
    * Perch is not good enough
    * Ben Arfa is the only player currently at the club of turning a game in our favour.
    * We persist with Nolan even when he is playing gash and hardly contributing
    * We take off the one man who was holding the midfield together tightly and not allowing Stoke midfield to get a grip on the game TIOTE
    * We persiste with Routledge, running up blind alleys and getting 2 decent crosses in in 90 mins!
    For me, the right thing to do on Sunday would have been Remove Nolan and Routledge, Bring on Shola and Gutti. Let Gutti and Benny roam, and sack Perch !! % yellows in five games….why…because he cannot handle any of the average left wingers he has come up against so far….wait until Malouda, arsharvin, Nasri, etc have a run at him!! He is simply not good enough YET. and he will never be good enough as long as the Manager Keeps picking him and putting him under pressure!!!!!

  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Sep 27, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Collo was our best player on tha park on Sunday!! What game were you watching??

  • BeeGuy

    Sep 27, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #20

    I’m no fan of the NAtional Foortball League, but they do one thing NUFC might emulate. The NFL teams have an offensive team and defensive team coach reporting to the head coach. It seems to me that CH is a great defensive coach and can be a great manager, but he needs advice on his attacking line-up.

    While many are concerned with the defense, they have only conceded 8 prem goals, which includes a pen and an own. That is not bad.

    It is the offense that looks out of sync, and some fresh parts or tune-ups are needed. When you think about it, if the offense had continue to carry the play, Stoke would never gotten back into it.

    Hughton wanted the second goal, so made his changes. Funny how removing two working spark plugs, rather than the ones having trouble, put the club back on its heels.

    If Hughton is angry, he has to be angry with himself. He fields the team, and he should know what to expect, and hold himself accountable for the good and bad.


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