Bottom Line – So Close But It Wasn’t Meant To Be

Alan Pardew had Newcastle in the position he had talked about before the game – 20 minutes to go and it was 0-0 – and then Papiss Cisse scored in the 71st minute and it looked like Newcastle could do it for the fourth successive game at St. James’ Park – by getting a stoppage time goal to win the game – and in this case the overall quarter final tie against Benfica.

papiss cisse and ben arfa afetr goal

Cisse and Ben Arfa after Newcastle’s goal

Papiss Cisse had done that against Fulham, Stoke City and Anzhi in the previous home games,  but he couldn’t do it last night = although there was a goal in stoppage time – scored by Benfica in a late breakaway.

Newcastle had got the goal through a piece of skill from Ben Arfa, who dispossessed a Benfica player on the right side of the penalty area near the bye-line, and the ball went to Shola Ameobi, who crossed the ball for Papiss Cisse to head home from a few yards out, and the St. James’ Park crowd just erupted.

And Shola Ameobi had a good chance after that, but slipped when shooting, and Ben Arfa got himself into a couple of good positions in those final frantic  minutes, but Newcastle just couldn’t get their second goal for the fairy tale to come true.

But Newcastle were glorious in defeat – make no doubt about that – and are getting great headlines in the press this morning – along with Tottenham – who went out on penalties in Basel after drawing the game 2-2 in Switzerland – the same result as at White Hart Lane last Thursday.

Chelsea were the only English team to progress against Rubin Kazan, in what has been the worst European campaigns for English clubs for many years.

Our lads were great last night, and in their 14 game European adventure, and after the game an inspired Alan Pardew talked about Newcastle in Europe:

“Once we got them on the backfoot they got very nervous, and we are so unlucky not to be in the semi-final, for sure.”“I’m proud to be manager of this football club. What a credit we have been to this competition and to Europe.”

“And I’m not just talking about the team, I’m talking about the whole club, the fans and the way they’ve conducted themselves on this little European tour of ours.”

Alan’s right, but we will not be in Europe next season – and now we have six games to go in the Premier League this season, and we have to try to amass as many points as we can to lift ourselves up that league table.

And anything but a win on Sunday against Sunderland at home, will now be a huge disappointment.

Comments welcome.

Note – today we are trying to help one of our readers, Bagus Asmanu – who is studying at INTO Manchester – in partnership with Manchester University – and Bagus is completing a dissertation – and some of the work is on the Wonga deal with Newcastle United – and he wants as many Newcastle supporters as possible to complete his questionnaire. Here it is – please help Bagus.

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27 comments so far


    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #1

    With No Europe Nxt Season… We Need To target Top 5 Finish

  • Bambams

    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #2

    Lets just hope after Sunday last night’s game is a distant memory. ….

  • BigKirky

    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #3

    Was a hard scoreline to overcome, but we did well and can’t ask for much more. Without the two silly errors last leg, I think we’d have got through. Shame, but the players should be proud of last night, as they did what they could against a good team.

    And now for Sunday… Can’t wait to get there.

  • Transfer Sage

    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Well with no Thursday football we can attack the league with no excuses. Also really push for a cup, ideally league cup as big teams take it less seriously.

  • MosesNUFC

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #5

    Jamsha-totally agree, with a better squad and no european football, theres no reason why we cant attack the top 6 next season.
    in the summer we need a bit of a clear out:
    Three purples:
    An attacking midfielder and a couple of youths

  • croftus5678

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #6

    this hurts but williamson played really well last night and ameobi did ok.

    arfa and marv definatly gave us a huge boost if only we had a striker who could stay onside lol.

  • Markaccus

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #8

    Will we stil be able to attract oir targets with no euro footy next year. Are we in danger of losing our established purples? Those are my only concerns

  • firebug666

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #9

    People talk about how fantastic Benfica are, unbeaten in their league. But we competed with them. We were the engineers of our defeat in Portugal, but out played them for long periods of that match, at home last night we kept to the plan and frustrated them first half, looking to contain them, and being very successful. Second half we were by far the better side. They are a great team, but we have shown we can be much better. Now we can concentrate on the league and get some points, Next season we may get a run in the cups, and a top six finish…We are definitely good enough. Hatem Ben Arfa has said he is going nowhere, he is staying with Newcastle. so more good news.

  • Rozzy

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    Ben Arfa says he wants to stay 😀

    This is what he said “I want to stay here,” Ben Arfa told the Gazette. “I’m focused on Newcastle – 100 per cent Newcastle – and I hope to stay here.”

    “We’ve had a good Europa League tournament,” hesaid. “It’s very important Newcastle to come back to Erope and play at a high level.

    “Everything is here. It’s a great club. We have a great squad, big ground and great fans – everybody in football knows that. It is all set up for a great future.

    “We have a great team, and I’d love to play for this team in Europe again.

    “We won’t next season, but after that we can maybe go again and do like last year (when United finish fifth in the Premier League).”

    Asked about the Sunderland game, he said: “Yes. I’m ready to play some part.

    “We know it will be a great game for everybody. It’s a great game for us, the crowd, the press – all of us. It’s going to be a great game.

    “I’m very happy to be back on the pitch at St James’s Park. I always like to play here, and I’m back.

    “I played well against Sunderland last season, so hopefully there is more of that.

    “Everybody in the city will talk about the Sunderland game.They won’t be talking about Benfica, they’ll be talking about Sunderland.

    “They think it’s more important We know that and we will give all we can.”

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11,,18932_8631418,00.html

    Always though Jamie talked a bit of sense, but …

    “Newcastle’s transformation from a side which narrowly missed out on the Champions League last season to one trying to avoid relegation this year isn’t good enough – in fact, it’s appalling, especially given the fortune they’ve spent on players”

    You sure you’re not thinking about your Dad mate?

    Mark…I don’t think our exit last night puts us in bad light at all tbh with our current players, nor players thinking of joining. We are a team in progress and players will either want in or not. There are plenty of signs of an amazing and young team coming together. I still think we have a good pull to the club, despite an overall disappointing campaign (well at least as far as the PL goes).

  • Markaccus

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #12

    Superb comments from benny there.

  • yo-yo

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #13

    Take out the two errors in Portugal and we matched them 1-1 both games. Okay they are a much better ball playing technical side and their tactics to close us down quickly and counter were exactly what they needed to do. We are still a mid table side. Dunno how many semifinalists in the Europa were parachutes from the CL – but that is the level of this competition. I fancy Benfica to win the tournament. We played with spirit and the whole team played well. Yes Cabs was under par and I’m unsure about Marv’s full match fitness (Bigi”s learning fast and will be a great player – but not last night) but that doesn’t take away that we can mix it in Europe with the best and give a good showing – even without our best starting 11.
    Thought Pards tactics were spot on and came very close to coming off – the stumble by Shola and HBA’s lack of finishing sharpness were two great chances.

    Did come on the blog after the game to argue with the sickos but gave up. I just can’t escape a visualisation of Catchy as Gollum.

    Unwashed are nowhere near the class of Benfica – never will be – but they’ll be up for a scrap – luckily their worst animals won’t be playing. Provided we keep our cool we should dump them. It is definitely worth forgoing the derby games to see them struggle in the Championship for a few seasons. Interesting to see if Stoke can stop their slide otherwise they might just beat the scum to 18th place

  • martoon

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #14

    I might be wrong but it is the first time I can remember playing Ben Arfa & Marveaux together – we looked magic with them on each wing. Goofy might struggle to regain his place!

  • mfarmer85

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #15

    I think we need to use the summer to adjust our position to where we want to be – do we want to challenge for honurs and therefore need money to spend to achieve that (meaning new firs choice striker as Cisse is a modern Andy Cole, needs 4 attempts to score per game), or are we happy using the current squad again which means a mid-table finish?

    Also, random questions, was does Haidara wear #19 in the Premier League and #35 in the Europa League?

  • Williamsonsuks

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #16

    No more disallowed goals for us, mind you we got lucky twice in the game against Everton 🙂

  • Markaccus

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #17

    Wtf is jamie on?? What fortune? Hes starting to talk loblocks like his dad, droopy redknapp.

  • Oldgit1

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #18

    @ markaccus don’t see us not being in Europe Being a problem in attracting or keeping our star players, any player that played in last nights match or any future player seeing the match will only encourage them to come to newcastle. The crowd was buzzing, and any player worth their salt would crawl to st James park to play for us. Also this is the best leaque in the world. Great game last night.

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #19

    Mark…Really can’t figure it out. Fortunes?!?

    Martoon…They looked amazing together, a real sign of what is to come. Plus we were still missing some other key players, notably in defense. We really do have some team and bench if they’re all fit.

  • lesh

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #20

    Great performance last night and the fact that we’re out of. Europe may be a blessing. Let’s play with as much determination on Sunday and we’ll get the points.

    Did I see Benfica’s coach commiserate with Pardew when their goal went in? If he did, that was a real sporting touch.

  • firebug666

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #21

    Yo Yo
    Catchy as Gollum lol, bit unfair on Gollum but…

    I think the Makems will have surrendered after the first half, they seem to tire very quickly and then it’s a case of find the ball for them. Think we can get a good result here and kick on for the remaining games. out of Europe but up the League Table. 4-0 Toon.

  • Mark the Mag

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #22

    Dreamt all last night that when Ben Arfa had his chance, he hit it hard and low into the bottom corner and St. James went crazy.
    Thought Cabaye came alive with Marv + HBA on. Cant wait to see them all in action + Debuchy, frightening !
    We had them exactly where we wanted them, through the gameplan, if we had our first team out and fully fit we would have steamrollered Benfica and won cup.
    Thought Haidara was class and Willo good.



  • Mark the Mag

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #23

    Missed out Jonas, forgot he can be a top player when he is on his game.

  • Mark the Mag

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #24

    Wow we should have a strong team/squad when every body is fit, plus a couple of signings hopefully. I forgot about Gouffran / Colo / Guti.

  • magpie6699

    Apr 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #25

    Jamie Redknapp means that we spent almost half as much on 5 players as his dad did on 2 (actually probably on one if you count the agents fees and wages).

  • Rozzy

    Apr 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #26
  • Footballwatch

    Apr 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #27

    If you wish you can watch the game in full and its highlights on


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