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Initial Reflections on Newcastle Man City Game



This is the very lowest point of the season for Newcastle United, and Sam Allardyce will have lost even more support tonight, from Newcastle’s huge fan base. Here are some early reflections on the game tonight, but they’re not good. 🙁

  • Newcastle were in this game in the first half and should have probably capitalized on their many chances before Manchester City went ahead, when Elano struck after 38 minutes. But chances were missed, especially by Nigerian Oba Martins, who seems to have lost his way in the last few games.
  • Once ahead Manchester City controlled the game, and even invited Newcastle to come at them and then counter-attacked from which they got their second goal after 76 minutes.
    It was Sven Eriksson’s game plan played to perfection by his team.
  • Manchester City are a good side but have won only once on the road before their fairly easy victory over the Magpies tonight. They are beatable on the road, but obviously not by this current Newcastle side.
  • Newcastle have now lost 3 and drawn 2 of their last 6 home games. and their only win was against Birmingham City, when we scored the winner in the last minute. This home form is the worst at the club for a long time.
  • If we don’t have an immediate improvement in our form in the league, Newcastle will soon be dragged into a relegation dog-fight with both Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
  • Confidence means a lot in the game of football and Newcastle players’ confidence was seen to drain out of them tonight. Just where we go from here is anybody’s guess, but the fans cannot boo the players, given their complete lack of confidence at the end, and to their credit they didn’t tonight.
  • Tonight’s game, especially in the second half was very difficult to watch for any dedicated Newcastle fan. Fan depression set in when it became apparent the Newcastle side didn’t have the attacking prowess to get back into the game. We deserve better than this.
  • Newcastle will need some heroes for Saturday in the very tough game against Stoke City in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. A defeat then will send shudders through the Newcastle board-room.
  • This will heap massive pressure on Chris Mort, more than anybody else, since Chris has already come out and said Big Sam will not be sacked anytime soon. Just what exactly Sam and Chris will say after this performance, will at least be interesting. But it will hardly be anything else than we need to stick together etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

Comments are very welcome – but please keep the language decent – so our young supporters can still read the site – many thanks.

Newcastle United: Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N’Zogbia, Butt, Faye (Emre 73), Duff (Enrique 64), Milner, Viduka, Martins (Owen 46)

Subs: Harper, Rozehnal

Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Ball, Onuoha, Ireland (Fernandes 76), Elano (Etuhu 71), Vassell (Bianchi 88), Petrov, Corluka, Hamann, Dunne.

Subs: Isaksson, Garrido.

Ref: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 50,956

69 comments so far

  • Jaypro

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #1

    Our midfield is woefully slow and lacks any sort of quality. We need a complete redo starting with Nicky Butt.

  • iain

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #2

    2 defensive mf players in cm says it all.

    how was that ever going to help break down one of the best teams in the league. who our manager stupidly had a pop for being too defensive against liverpool. he then goes and plays butt and faye in cm.

    martins may of wasted some chances but we all know hes a confidence player and tbh sam has done nothing imo since day one to make oba who is still our top scorer play the best way he can.

  • Mat

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #3

    It’s too late to do anything but wipe the slate clean. Sacking the coach and letting the boys play 4-4-2 with the best players playing in their best positions is what is needed. Even though they lost tonight being allowed to do that in this game, they looked very good at times. A lack of confidence and the sheer novelty of being allowed to play is what made them come unstuck. Let them play a few games this way, sack Sam and hand over to the assistants and let the players take control of their own destiny for the second half of the season. The numpties are being weeded out, (Barton, Smith) so the team is in a position where they can run sans heavy managerial influence.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #4

    faye was brilliant in dm, enrique was fkin brilliant at lb, butt was crap, mkilner was crap, oba was crap, duke was crap, martns was crap, duff was good, n’zogiba was immense, beye was good, capaca was ok, taylor was good, emre was ok, given was ok.

  • Grunde Axelsen

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #5

    Well, to be fair. We´ve seen worse. I think we played well in big periods. Cobining nicely down the left and right, but very ineffective in front of goal.
    We just need to keep beliving and things will turn. I support Sam 100%

  • steve

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #6

    I just can’t see Sam turning this around, what did he say to the players at half time to make them stop playing!
    We lose a third of our squad to the ACN after the stoke game and with the points gap we had between us and the bottom clubs quickly diminishing it’s looking more and more like a crisis.
    Whats even worse is that we can’t seem to beat the bottom clubs so we are deep trouble (draws against Sunderland, Boro, Derby – defeats against Derby, Wigan)
    No doubt Sam will come out and say some of his layers didn’t do their jobs and it isn’t his fault but it’s his job to get the best out of players he has, bloody hell Wigan managed to get a draw with Liverpool at Anfield, is he saying our players aren’t as good as that lot!

  • Mat

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #7

    Brilliant summary Tom_toon… looks like we have a ready made replacement for Sam.

  • steve

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Tom_toon – yeah I’d probably agree with that assessment, although why is Martins singled out for being crap twice? to be fair to him neither Viduka or Owens would have been in those positions to score, Oba gets to them due to his speed, unfortunately he is so low on confidence that he keeps fluffing it.

  • Toon_Under

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #9

    Was impressed when enrique got a run out. For mine, he should be our starting left back and get n’zog alongside faye or butt in CM where he can be closer to the action. I know N’Zogbia is more of a left winger, but he started of as a central mid before he came to the club, can run at people and puts in some really good balls – exactly what we are missing from our midfield. At least it is a step up from Butt and Faye, and if he’s there then Smith will be up front with Owen which means no more Viduka (though he played ok tonight).

    We need to change something, and for me it should be to start using our attacking players more.

  • Ashton

    Jan 2, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #10

    Milner is pure shite

  • nightfall

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #11

    Toon_Under – agree

  • Jon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #12

    Sack Big Sam now!!!!

  • graham

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #13

    I said In one of your blogs yesterday that I thought we would play with defensive mf and get beat.

    My next prediction Is that allardyce will be gone by the end of the month. Or is that just wishfull thinking?

  • Ashton

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #14

    We need Barton

  • Michael

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #15

    Time is something we do not have. Look at man city they did not need ‘Time’ players adapting to the league, you make it seem as though Newcastle are the only team in the league that have foreign players. Times are bad. Just a question, In comparison to the last two seasons, how were we at this stage. I think what makes it more apparent this season is we do not have UEFA cup to camouflage our league form.

  • scotty

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #16

    I’ll repeat myself again. He will be sacked on Monday once we’ve been knocked out of the cup on Sunday by Stoke.

    I was there tonight and believe me – there is no fighting spirit in this team at all. I thought Faye was possibly the best player for us and he takes him off for Emre? Surely Butt should have made way?

    This is the worst xmas period i can remember for a long time. I’ve never felt this low in a very very long time. Sam is losing support quick and that usually spells only one thing………. A nice 3mil handshake and an extented holiday – ok for some!!!

  • scotty

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #17

    here here toon_under

  • elanos studs

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #18

    Got to admit a draw was probably a fair result ,if youd of scored first a different outcome maybe,the difference is the managers, Erikkson knows what hes doing.Not going to gloat because being a city fan i know how you all feel,you have the potential of a very good side,i just dont think big sam has a clue which one

  • nate-toon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #19

    Very very frustrating game, especially since by the last 15 minutes we seemed to have our strongest squad out yet they still didn’t do anything.

    Martins had a frustrating first half, which is not a surprise, but I agree that he really seems to lack confidence. Bringing on Owen at half didn’t accomplish much, he played decent, but also missed his best chance, so what’s the difference? I agree that Sam’s treatment of Martins hasn’t helped, since Sam always seems to prefer Owen when he’s healthy; the problem is he’s never healthy for long, so we ought to be making Martins our first choice.

    Other than that, the changes Sam made were the right ones, although I would have started the game with Enrique and Emre. Zog was clearly our most dangerous player and really needs to be playing in the midfield. Emre also needs to be playing; it’s silly to play 2 defensive mids and then wonder why we aren’t creating more chances. I believe Emre started the Chelsea game and didn’t do much, but he really needs a run out of games. Emre is, without question, the best player we have for free kicks, corners and general creativity, and I really don’t understand why he doesn’t get a run of games when the likes of Butt and Smith are guaranteed a place when healthy.

    But, as I said, by the end of this game we had probably our strongest team on the field and we still couldn’t do anything. And that’s probably the most frustrating thing.

  • Hammy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Comment #20

    Ashton…Warren maybe….Joey has just been refused bail for the second time.

    I’m not being funny but we’ve had a pretty easy fixture list up until now…..Ashley has some tough decisions to make.

  • Edd Case

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #21

    Far too comfortable for Man City.

    First half I actually thought we looked quite decent – even though Martins was appauling and Milner was doing his usual party trick of ‘smashing a cross to the opposition or into the stand’.

    N’Zogbia looked great going forward with Duff looking really good too.

    Duff must start on the right for me, or allow N’Zogbia on the right or left, either way, Duff and Charles as our wingers, while Enrique comes in at left back and Milner spends more time in the reserves, learning about keeping it simple and crossing to a team mate.

    Owen, given some form of service, will score, without doubt. Viduka could do with running a few extra miles in training this week to get rid of what looks supiciously like another stone in weight.

    Beye, exceptional, again – this lad IS quality.
    Taylor and Cacapa, not too bad, lazy defending cost us the second goal though.

    Faye – another class performance, wrongly taken off, Butt looked average at best.

    I think we must start with Faye and Emre from now on.

    The signs are there from the first half that we are a decent side, and with some luck and some key decisions going our way, we should be ok.

    By the way, didn’t the team look good without Smith?

  • Craig

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Apathy has set in…

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #23

    How can you say Milner is shite when he has been our most consistant player all season! He may have had a bad game today for a change but I don’t blame him after the mess we’re in. I am getting really sick of whats going on at Newcastle it always seems to end this way. Another manager that needs the kick up the ass. Nothing is going for us lately and sad to say I am losing patience with Allardyce. Our players have no confidence whatsoever and too many changes never give us stability, be it the manager or the players. We should have never sacked Bobby Robson!! Damn ass Fat-Fred’s worst move!!

    What happened to ‘The Entertainers’..we can’t entertain anymore we can’t even pass, create chances let alone score! 🙁

  • lewdavies

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #24

    OMG just got back home after that utter tosh performance. Milner is just way out of his depth, and quite simply isn’t good enough.
    Absolutly no atmosphere in the Galowgate stand tonight, because there is nothing to chant about.
    Center defence fell asleep for the first goal….AGAIN. Its just so easy to score against us these days. I would drop Given, every time he kicks the ball its the same ……aerial ball straight to the oppsition, because we have no one in midfield who can win a header.
    Exactly what ALL the coaching staff are doing defy’s understanding.
    Our central midfield is a shambolic joke. Butt stank yet again and Faye doesnt know what to do with the ball when he gets it.
    Martins just does not deserve the number 9 Shirt, and dont give me all this horlicks about confidence……. He just isnt good enough, he always needs an extra touch and and shoots straight at the keeper every time.
    It really hurts when the citeh fans out sing SJP, but we really had nothing to sing about.
    MO will come good but needs service and should start next game.
    Zog is good and so is Duff.
    Finally its not just BSA at fault. We have all called for a proper 442 and tonight we got it, but 90% of the players just aren’t good enough and the end result is we stink all over the park.
    Cant see anything but a defeat at Stoke on Sunday. Oh and Manure must be rubbing their hands…………………
    ……….Another large brandy me thinks.!!!!

  • Phil

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #25

    i thought butt and faye both had decent games. the problem is that they shouldn’t both be in the same team. you can’t criticise nicky butt for not being creative enough because that’s just not his game.

    milner and duff didn’t have great games but again that is because we have no centre midfield attacking outlet. man city knew we were going to attack down the wings and we able to double up without worry because they knew faye and butt weren’t going to creat much in the middle.

  • lewdavies

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Comment #26

    Phil – shut up … Butt was awful tonight.
    Too slow, cant pass, cant head forwards, cant tackle without fouling, showing his age big style. Yes he has heart, but that just isn’t enough at this level. We desperatly need a midfielder with skill, attacking flair and can pass to our own players or at least put the ballthrough for MO to run onto, and not behind him.Aaaarrrgggghhh.

  • Greg B

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #27

    I think there are a few positives to take from all the doom and gloom. Enrique looks ready to start games and will almost certainly start at left back against Stoke in the cup, this means N’Zogbia will be free to take up an attacking midfield place where IMO he will be like a new player!
    Duff seems to be getting back into his game nicley and Owen must be getting fitter and more match sharp. Faye is looking very good and Taylor and Baye hboth had decent games tonight.
    My main complaints are Martins and Viduka looked out of sorts, we all know they can perform much better and its up to the manager to sort this one out although Martins is off to the Africa cup. Butt didnt seem interested and Milner is better than his performance tonight showed.
    However my biggest complaint is the ‘untouchable’ Shay Given, dont get me wrong I am a big fan but why is he never critisized? Tonight I felt he should have done much better with Elano’s miss-hit shot, in the past few games I feel he could have done better too.
    Like I say, Im a big fan but come on, you are not telling me he isnt capable of keeping some of these efforts out?
    All in all, whist down beat and annoyed, I do think we can turn things around with Allardyce in charge, however a defeat against Stoke would put immense pressure on Mort and Ashley to have a re-think.
    Howay the lads!

  • andyc290

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #28

    First half we were the better team and were unlucky to go in behind.

    Erikson is a master of the italian game which is all about protecting 1-o leads and that showed in the second half bcos they shut us down.

    Plus points – love Faye in midfield, Beye had another very good game, Zog goin forward was very good. Owen looked like he wanted it when he came on.

    Negative points – Oba looked quite frankly shit, didnt make any runs. Nicky Butt tired ealry doors. BSA couldnt come up with the tactics to break them down second half. Terry Mac the alcoholic is still at NUFC.

  • Eve

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #29

    lewdavies..blaming Given for the lads not being able to header a ball is a bit harsh. He’s (obviously) told to kick the long balls or whatever. But saying that he should be dropped cause the mids can’t header is, like I said a bit harsh.
    Given..couldn’t be blamed for either of the goals, made a couple of good saves, one in particular was amazing.

    And Greg B..Given, “untouchable”..eh, ok. Never criticized, are you serious. Try all the time. He’s always criticized on here.You probably have started a big long line of posters who will come on and criticize him..anyone seen Johann??

    Our defense, a bit slopy at times, cost us twice.
    It’s a pity that our only decent defenders will be gone come the African cup.
    Butt, oh dear God, that man is beyond it. When it comes to him, Sam is beyond reasoning. I honestly think that he was kept on cause he was captain. Which was a joke to begin with.
    Martins was bad, really bad.
    Zog was good enough.
    Duff did his best with the little ball that he got.
    But em no, what we need, what the team really needs is to beat the crap outta Stoke.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:43 PM

    Comment #30

    Enrique is bloody immense!

  • Toon_Under

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:46 PM

    Comment #31

    Greg B – I’m starting to think the same thing with Given. In years gone by he would have stopped a lot of the goals that have been conceded this season. I wonder if the BSA ploy of starting Harper has messed with his head? The conspiracy theory would be that he doesn’t rate allardyce highly and is not putting the extra effort in, knowing full well that we’d lose a couple of games and he’d be given his P45.. Don’t really believe he’d do that though..

    As said elsewhere, it’s time for a shakeup against Stoke. Harper and Enrique to start, maybe put someone like Edgar alongside Taylor, replace Butt with N’Zogbia and if he has to play, put Smith up alongside Owen, else give the donkey a final chance before he is moved on.. And maybe even give Triosi a run on the right wing and rest milner??

  • lewdavies

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #32

    Last comment for me tonight…
    Habib beye is pure class no doubt and will probably put in a transfer request at the end of the season , rather than stay with this bunch of muppets.
    The manager can only take so much flak, but ultimatly in my book, the players just aren’t earning their coins, and that sticks in the throat of everyone paying their wages. ie ME and YOU.
    Its hard to keep the faith sometimes, but I just cant help myself.

  • lewdavies

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #33

    EVE- To say our defence is a bit sloppy, is like saying the TITANIC is a bit wet. Come on man, there is no improvement game to game. Straight through thr middle like a hot knife through butter. Its not just BSA’s fault, the players are just not good enough.

  • Ben

    Jan 2, 2008 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #34


    Beye Faye Cacapa Enrique

    Duff Emre Smith N’Zogbia

    Owen Viduka

    Martins is a waste of money,confidence player is an excuse fans use who have never played the game!confidence is mind over matter, they are professionals in what they do…which believe it or not is football (martins) so we can all forget about that excuse for missing chance after chance this season…he was second string to an acoholic Adrianao and a very average Ibrahimovich!They must of been rubbign their hands at £10 million!

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #35

    Martins is losing my support.

    Chikhaoui or even that Domochivskiy would be nice or even Leonid Kovel who i mentioned for a talented small striker, we need to start looking for gems further a field.

  • Halliday

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #36

    even the attendances are dipping 🙁 sad time at Newcastle United Football Club.

  • Ed the Duck

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #37

    Some great perspectives previously… mine for what it’s worth…

    I thought there were a few positives:
    4-4-2 made a big difference and we must continue with this…
    Zog was fantastic and Enrique showed he can play a so perhaps BSA will now think him “settled in”…
    We played better without Smith in Midfield… I have no problem with him playing as a CF but that’s it!

    On a player by player basis:
    Given – so/so… fair enough for the goals but the big issue I have is his distribution… it’s just poor… he doesnt really do good, quick, wide throws out and his kicks come straignt back.
    Beye – super stuff, we are going to miss him especially if Carr comes back in..
    Taylor – good, no nonsence…
    Caca… er the Brazilian bloke… actually I like his positioning and passing and reading of the game and he is getting more physical… promising I thought
    Zog… superb
    Millner… mediocre, once you have beat them whip the cross in… it doesn’t matter that neither our Forwards would have got it today, that’s not your problem my son…
    Butt – poor today, few late challenges, poor distribution
    Faye – very decent game… not sure why he came off
    Duff – clealry getting fitter, looked lively, could have tried to go around full back more rather than wait for Charles to overlap
    Martins – he’s a confidence player and at least that looked OK but dear oh dear his first touch would be slagged off in a pub team and his passing… poor but not the worst…
    speaking of which Viduka… sorry a disgrace! The sunken Bizmark is a more mobile battle ship than him… lazy, careless and pointless… I’d even rather see Shola in…
    Owen – not bad, clealry not sharp, not good either but my word he sorted them ballons out!
    Emre – has to start in the cup he looked lively and creative and clearly will be out on that basis in January to someone that will get the best out of him.
    Enrique – good enough to start!

    BSA – 2 DMs at home plus a back 4 against one CF… great stuff, muppet! No doubt he will cite the stats and say how we had more corners or passes over 6 inches or whatever… bugger all points though… and at Bolton he seem on permanant volcano status, passionate and committed… where is that on the touchline now…

    Bah Humbug

  • Craig

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #38

    Still unsure on Enrique.

    Ball watches all the time and caught out a few times on the little time he was on.

  • stk

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #39

    wrong manager, shouldve never been appointed.

    shearer, mourinho, or klinsmann

  • lewdavies

    Jan 3, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #40

    ANDYC290 – Thankyou, spot on.

    Especially about T Mac…..Cooooont

    (sorry ed – But it just boils my waste fluids)

    Exactly what does this bin dipper get payed for????????????

    It certainly shows in the performance of the players though, so he must be class!!!!!!!!


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