Keeping A Clean Sheet Will Be Massive

Tomorrow night will be the biggest European night for Newcastle since we were last in the quarter finals of the Europa League, back on April 7th, 2005 when Graeme Souness was manager and we beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0 at home, with a goal from – who else – Alan Shearer – but we lost the away leg 4-1 after we went ahead 1-0 in that game through Kieron Dyer.

eme souness craif bellamy

Graeme Souness was manager last time Newcastle were in the quarter finals
Seen here trying to strangle Craig Bellamy

It was called the UEFA Cup in those days and the year before, in 2004, we reached the semi-finals  under the great Bobby Robson, and lost to Marseilles by an aggregate 2-0 score, with both goals coming from Didier Drogba in France.

Newcastle won a huge league game on Sunday against Fulham, with a sensational Papiss Cisse winner in stoppage time, but let’s not forget two fantastic saves made by Tim Krul to keep a clean sheet for the first time for a long time.

And it seems we will need another clean sheet tomorrow night against Benfica, who are an excellent side and beat us 3-1 in Lisbon last week.

Newcastle were in the UEFA Cup as it was called in those days the next season but we lost to AZ Alkmaar.

Tim Krul has talked to the local press today and this is what the Dutch International goalkeeper had to say:

“Keeping a clean sheet will be massive, we can’t give away a goal,” “We are the ones who should be scoring first. Hopefully, we can do that and it will be a very special night.”

“We need to score two and keep a clean sheet but we won’t be going gung-ho, we can’t do that because if they score it give us a massive job to do.” “We can’t just throw everything in attack.”

“Hopefully, we can get a quick goal, then a second.”

So our defensive play will be the major element that can see us progress to the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2004, and it’s good that Tim seems to be in his very best form since he returned last week in Lisbon, after recovering from that ankle injury.

And it will be no easy matter keeping Benfica scoreless, because since they have won 12 games in a row, they have scored in every one of their last 12 games – at least.

Tim is simply an excellent goalkeeper.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Transfer Sage

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #1

    No reason we can’t go through. They were ok against us but we gifted them two goals.

    Sure they kept the ball nice but didn’t create many clear cut chances and we had the best chances in the game, just didnt finish them.

    They are a decent team and the score line plays until their hands but we can do it. We beat Chelsea 3-2, bet spurs 2-1 and they are both wetter than benfica.

    We turned man utd over last year 3-0 an kept all their attacking players quite that day.

    On our day, if all our lads turn up and we get behind them we can take anyone down. They will be looking at us thinking about yohan cabaye, papiss cisse, sissoko, krul, mbiwa, mr Newcastle himself Steven Taylor and then the guy who has crushed many fans hopes and dreams from the other stadium of light shola ameobi.

    I say we win and go through to fight in the semi final…..VICTORY!

  • Dannyo

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #2

    I hope the words “be patient” from Pardew doesn’t mean sitting back and wait with attacking until the 70th minute.

  • leeb1982

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #3

    not sure if this is old news but the club have released another couple of blocks for the benfica game if people are still wanting tickets.

  • TorqToon

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #4

    Just been speaking with colleague who works in the UK and he has told me that we have a contingent meeting with QPR today.

    He has told me that we have genuine interest in, you guessed it, Loic Remy. He has a minimum release fee and QPR need him off their books next season.

    Samba is interesting Liverpool apparently, but he thinks he may even stay in London with spurs and follow Townsend (although harsh on Dawson who has done well this season).

    However the player they need out, yet can’t shift is Bosingwa. Sticking point is his £65k per week wages!! Crazy!

  • pawl250

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #5

    Think we will struggle to get through, but hope we do.

    SAGE – I agree we gave away 2 very cheap easy goals, could have been different story had we not gave those or atleast 1 of those away.

    My team would be –

    ———————- Krul ——————–
    Simpson – STaylor – Mbiwa – Haidara
    ——— Cabaye – Tiote – Jonas ———
    Sissoko ———- Cisse —— Marveaux

  • bills-son

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #6

    Jail, stuck on a ship off the coast of Norway…

    Shouldn’t let the cat out of the bag on here … Ashley might be straight owa keeping your lass happy.

    I’ll drop him an email 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #7

    Torq…what do you think about these so called news about us being interested in Remy again?

    …Mike has always stroked me as someone who doesn’t forgive and forget easily!

    …you think it’ll fly?

  • pawl250

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #8

    We need to exploit the gaps behind the fullbacks when they move forward.

    We also need to PASS the ball should a squared ball be an easier scoring opportunity. This is no time for heroics!

    Hope we drum them 4-1, but cant see it happening. My heart says 2-0….. head 2-1 I just dont think we will stop them scoring!

    Hope my head is wrong and we do it! Then to drum the Mackems would be the best week in a long time! …… Alot of hope in the above!

  • pawl250

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #9

    I would take Remy and Carroll in the summer. That would be a massive positive move for the club to have 3 very different strikers.

    Cisse – fox in the box
    Remy – pacey striker
    Carroll – hold up, aerial striker

    Could be interesting to see if this could happen. We would only need a defender to cover Colo leaving and call it a very successful window!

    I would like to see Belhanda, although that is ….. unlikely =(

  • TorqToon

    Apr 10, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #10

    Morning jesp.

    Im torn about the whole thing. I too can’t see Ashley the person being all too forgiving, but at the same time, Ashley the businessman might.

    QPR have done the donkey work and settled Remy into the premier league, and now we could (stress COULD) sign Remy ready to go for next season.

    Nobody can doubt his ability, and GC clearly felt he was a fit for this club when it comes to personality, but his loyalty etc is something only the club cab decide on.

    I don’t know whether it will happen, as much as fans state he had his chance etc, if he starts scoring 10-15 goals in toon colours, he will be quickly forgiven.

    Are his wage demands too high now? Or would he be happy to accept the original offer made to him by us in the last window?

    Who knows…


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