Newcastle Still Very Well Positioned In The League

Some of us are just about getting over the shock of seeing a Newcastle side completely dismantled in the second half at Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

Danny Guthrie – after scoring great opening goal on Saturday

After bossing the first half and Danny Guthrie scoring a wonderful goal with his left foot,  everything looked set up to get all 3 points and move into 5th place and just two points behind Chelsea, who had only drawn at Norwich in the early game on Saturday.

But Newcastle conceded four goals in 17 minutes form the 52nd minute on, and looked like schools side trying to play against a Premier League side, at least at the back.

The way Alan Pardew put it after the game, too many Newcastle players switched off after Newcastle conceded a penalty, when Davide Santon pulled down former Newcastle winger Damien Duff.

We may even see some changes in the back four on Saturday, with Davide Santon looking poor in his positional play in the second half,  and big Mike Williamson being given a bit of a roasting by Bobby Zamora, who had looked hopeless in the first half.

Davide Santon is a good player, but he should have been sent off just before half time when he pulled back Andrew Johnson when the striker was clean through, and more than once on Saturday, Davide’s positional sense looked poor.

This is not the first time a defensive collapse has happened at Newcastle in the last 15 months with Bolton being a good example when we lost 5-1 in late November of 2010.

And we were hammered 4-0 in the first 26 minutes at home to Arsenal last February,  before that unbelievable comeback to square the game at 4-4.

And in the second half at Stoke last season we conceded three goals, two of them almost immediately after half time in that 4-0 defeat, after we had looked even the better side in the first half.

And would you believe that in the previous 6 league games Newcastle had kept four clean sheets?

Danny Guthrie had said this after the game:

“We didn’t get too high after the Manchester United game, and we’re not going to get too low after this,”

“It was a 20-minute period where it all went wrong, and we haven’t really done that all season. “

“We’ll go away, clear our heads and get ready for the FA Cup.”

That’s the right attitude, and the lads are today in their training camp in Tenerife, but Alan Pardew has to get to the bottom of what exactly happened on Saturday in that second half.

We could well see Ryan Taylor return to the left back position for the game at Brighton on Saturday, although young Davide Santon will have learned from his poor second half performance on Saturday.

We have to hope Saturday was just a bad day at the office  and other results over the weekend went Newcastle’s way, with Arsenal losing 2-1 against Manchester United yesterday and both Liverpool and Stoke losing on Saturday.

So even though we were absolutely pathetic in that second half,  we are still in 6th place and one point above Liverpool, and level on 36 points with Arsenal,  and 6 points better off than Stoke in 7th place.

Liverpool and Arsenal are both struggling mightily this season, and if Newcastle can get their act together and go  on a good run, we could even get more points that both those teams this season.

It’s unlikely we can do that – but nevertheless it’s possible in what has been a strange season in the Premier League.

If we had played the second half like we had done in the first we would have won the game, and Newcastle  would have been in 5th place just 2 points off Chelsea in a Champions League position and 3 points clear of Arsenal.

And yes we know that’s all woulda coulda shoulda.

So while it was just awful to watch on Saturday, and the performance  would have spoiled the Saturday nights of many Newcastle supporters,  we’re still in with a good chance of finishing high up in the league.

That’s the good news – but we cannot have any more Fulham surrenders, if we are going to continue to do well this season.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Jan 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #1

    Ed santon was rightly not sent off, for 1 simmo was on the cover and secondly not an obvious goal scoring oppurtunity. even gary cahill’s red card was rescinded

  • prashanth

    Jan 23, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #2

    i for one can only thank the gods that they werent telecasting this live… would have smashed the TV…

    But in a way its good that the lads got a proper grounding at this juncture in the season

  • Eastander

    Jan 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #3

    I’m almost glad this happened in a sence, with the Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool results not a great deal changed in the league but it gives the lads a reminder they have to work hard to stay where they are, its the premier league and nothing is a given

    We could have gone on a run of losing a handful of games by narrow margins and feeling sorry for ourselves, but this gives us a kick up the backside, I await our response against Brighton and Blackburn!

  • bills-son

    Jan 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #4

    There ia always one daft result for every team in a season – Man U beat Arsenal 8-2 and lost 6.0 at home to City and City lost at SLand 1.0.

    Just got to hope its a one off – got to say tho that Santon cost us big time at Fulham by being miles out of position time and again. That was an accident waiting to happen from the first 15 mins of his home debut against Swansea.

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Jan 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #5

    We have been dominated in this manner before and came through it with a win….Difference on Saturday….No Tiote to protect the defence and Cabaye looked injured to me and should have not played.

    We haven’t overnight become a bad side and Fulham have not become world beaters…..That’s Football.

  • ash1001

    Jan 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #6

    In the last two games Santon has had very little help from Jonas, I am not blaming Jonas as AP seems to have given him a free role to wander wherever he wants, this left Best out on the left who never got back to help out Santon, to me that was a disruption to the team that was not necessary, remember a few weeks earlier we had trashed Man U so why change things – over to you AP

  • YOY_Yorkshire

    Jan 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #7

    @4 spot on… Santon has, in each of the games he has played, been out of position on more than one occasion. He looks a good player technically but needs to regain his position at the back after his moves up field rather than gogging back aimlessly in a Strola sort of fashion. I think he just needs time and a few strong words from Colo…:-)

  • aussietoonfan

    Jan 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Am I the only one in the entire world that thought we had the game well and truly in the bag until the first penalty was awarded to Fulham?
    O.K. nothing is won until the fat lady sings but who for Fulham was gonna do anything remarkable in the second half?
    Answer: Dubious penalty gives Fulham a levelling score and what do you know. Jol’s boys think “hang on a minute, we COULD get a result here”.
    I’m not making excuses for our defense (not good at all) but anyone can see that that bullshit decision gave Fullham a lift, and an undeserved (based on the first half) chance. Even their gaffer said it was their worst first half of the entire season. Referees can change results (see Chelsea v Newcastle 2012).

    In conclusion, yes it was a bad result, but shit happens. We’re 5th (equal) and Fullham is 13th. Not by fluke, but by teamwork and spirit.

    HOWAY THE LADS!!!!!!!!!!!


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