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Shearer Delighted At Back Three Against Stoke

Alan Shearer seemed more than pleased with the three he played at the back against Stoke City.


David Edgar – has never let Newcastle down

Of course Alan knew he had to combat the height and power of the big Stoke players , so he played Beye, Bassong, Edgar and Ameobi in the starting line-up, who are all over 6′ tall (Beye is supposedly 5ft  11.5ins  tall just to make things difficult, but the others are way over 6′ tall).

Shearer said today:

“The three big lads – Sebastien Bassong, Habib Beye and David Edgar – more than matched (Ricardo) Fuller and (James) Beattie and not many teams can handle those two,”

“I thought we defended the aerial bombardment very well and, although I don’t like to single out individuals, I thought the back three were magnificent.”

“We demanded that they tried to push out and get that ball because that’s where our extra man was and they did that second-half.”

“We tried to move them around a little bit more rather than play the long ball and it worked and I thought we might have gone on to get the three points.”

While the three at the back all had good individual games, we’re not sure the lads were organized enough, and we were a little fortunate not to concede more goals. Of course it was Shola’s bad marking that let in Faye for the Stoke goal after 33 minutes, and Ameobi must have fallen asleep.

But having the lads play well was very good, and it was particularly pleasing to see youngster David Edgar have more than a solid game at the back for the Magpies, in his 22nd appearance for the side.

Every time this lad plays he gives his all for the club, and never lets the side down, and we have a sneaking suspicion if Alan stays beyond the summer, then David will get a new contract at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

72 comments so far

  • Whumpie

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #1

    Edgar’s a good defender, but I’m not convinced yet that he’s a 1st-choice premiership centre-back. But I’m quite enjoying him proving me wrong over time.

    Such a shame that Shola’s brain-fart cost us the points on Saturday – but we did as well as all but 3 teams have this season and a point is a point.

    The best news is that Big Al seems to have the nouse and drive to put attack-minded formations in there. Ed says they looked disorganised, and that’s true – but given the last-minute re-shuffle that wasn’t too surprising.

    Colo’s going to have his work cut out getting back in past Steve Taylor and Edgar now…

  • brownrob

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #2

    i donkolo will get bak into the team for a while now…

    ps… fight my brute in my link 😉

  • brownrob

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #3

    ack… stupid keyboard…

    I dont think Colo will get back into the team for a while now If I will be honest. I can see us staying with a back 3 for the Spuds

  • toonarmyuk

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #4

    Ed your pop-up ads are becoming a real headache! Have you decided just to annoy us all by selling out to (even more) naff ads before you hang up your boots (or keyboard!)?

  • beyethegreat

    Apr 14, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #5

    brownrob you can fight mine

  • beyethegreat

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #6
  • Steve R

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #7

    Shearer is on to something, and i like it:


    I think that is the formation he wanted to play vs. Stoke, i just changed some of the players 🙂

    Can anyone represent it in another way?
    Does anyone agree that Duff and Jonas linked up well vs. Stoke?

  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #8
  • MarkO

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #9

    Best formation for Spuds would be:


  • Steve R

    Apr 14, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #10

    MarkO–i agree with that formation:
    Is this what Shearer will try vs. Spurs?


    ESENTIALLY a 3-4-3 when attacking, and a 5-2-3 when defending?-With Guthrie and Duff falling back (^) when defending?
    Could work but Guthrie and Duff will have to be SUPER-FIT-or alternatively having to be replaced after 60minutes of play.

  • Ed Harrison

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #11

    toonarmyuk – I noticed some of the new ones are a pain – try disabling the pop-ups for this site.

  • bennytoon

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #12


    I nice little tool for seeing how ineffective your players are in various matches.

  • DJG

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #13

    Players we need to get rid of in the summer…

    Stroller Donkeybrain (Ameobi)
    £2M a goal boy (Michael Owen)
    Kebab man (Viduka)
    Couldn’t score in the proverbial ( Alan Smith)
    ‘Football’s oldest 30 year old’ (Geremi)
    ‘Get him off’ after 20mins (Cacapa)
    Less hair than my dad ( Licky Butt)

    Im sure there’s more but I can’t think of any. Really I would like to see Martins sold to the highest bidder aswell. The lad just doesnt have the brain or team game to score enough.

    For keeps, Ranger, Carroll, (Who are by FAR FAR our best strikers and Im not joking).
    Xisco, Krul, Guthrie, Barton, Duffer, LuaLua, Spiderman, Edgar, Taylor, Bassong, Enrique, Beye.

    last chance saloon. Coloccini, Martins, Nolan, Ryan Taylor, and hate to say it Harper.

  • Girth

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #14

    hmmm though i agree that he has never let us down, however is that really what we are looking for when we give out contracts to people, adequacy??
    Reminds me of the Chopra situation, 2 schools of thought, one saying he was never given a chance, the other saying the people who matter saw him every day in training and thought that he didnt have it.
    When Chopra did play in the Prem, lets get real, he has been nothing but satisfactory, and im afraid it the same with Edgar to imo.
    Maybe a rolling contract is the answer as he could be useful as backup, but the answer to our defensive frailties he is not im afraid.

  • Ollynufc

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #15

    coloccini is a good player, just hasnt been gievn enough time.

    he has had over 30 caps for Argerntina so he must be good.

    we all thought he was great earlier in the season so lets not loose faith in players so soon

  • cosmicMini95

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #16

    Ed, I would rather donate to the blog than have the ads… Or how about an ad free version for people who donate?

    I would be going for this against Spurs:


    I don’t see a place for MO in a two man attack, hes a poacher and goal scorer but without three upfront we aren’t going to create the chances from our midfield for him to take.

    I think there is a place for Owen in the team and most weeks I would like to see three up top with Owen included but I dont think Spurs is the game for it.

  • DJG

    Apr 14, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #17

    Whats the point of keeping Owen. The only reason he used to score loads of goals, ( and I stress USED TO MANY moons ago) was because he was a pacy little forward who used to play the last man very well and burn through with a good finish. He never had physical presence. Now he has lost his pace through a combination of injury and age all he has left is the finishing. Shearer was pacy as a youngster but by the time he was Michaels age he had changed his game to survive as a target man type forward.

    The point im trying to make is Michael Owen will not be able to do that and he will just get older and slower and we as a team don’t create chances for people like that like Liverpool or England would.

    I have to say against Stoke we looked shockingly bad. Shearer needs to cut his loyalties to Owen and play Carroll and Ranger up front, but I don’t think he will have the bottle.

    All Michael Owen is now is a name, can people not see that, he does absolutely nothing.

  • Partizan

    Apr 14, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #18

    4-3-3 doesnt suit us at all,no matter of the good last 6 games from the last season.Our weakest point this season was not our defence,,,it was our POSSESION of the ball,cos we gave the ball too easily.We dont have players with high techinique who can stretch the oponents defences,thats why we need that extra man in our midfield.

    When everyone’s fit this would be the ideal formation for me.



  • Toon_Factor

    Apr 14, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #19


    What kind of a team is that. No height upfront, Smith ???????, Barton as a DM and Coloccini in the heart of the defence.

  • Doocey

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #20

    I ain’t getting any popups on this lads.
    And do Ed a little favour all of you. Click some Google ads on the page and he’ll make a little revenue 😀

  • Prince Bassong

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #21

    I’d almost be tempted to start again with our strikeforce and bring in Crouch, Dzeko and Derbyshire alongside Carroll and Ranger.

    Andy could learn from Crouch and improve his technical game and bringing others into play alongside his immense spirit and heading ability.

    We’d have 3 strikers with good pace as well (with other attributes as well) and Derbyshire would be the shortest of the lot at about 6ft /6ft 1inch.

    Unfortunately with the money that would cost Mike Ashley would probably look at whoever presented the idea like they are retarded but given their ages and abilities it would be worth shelling out on.

    I can still dream about Newcastle having a great strikeforce though.

  • DJG

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #22

    Prince Bassong

    Who does Dzeko play for?

  • Prince Bassong

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #23

    Dzeko plays for Wolfsburg DJG.

  • Partizan

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #24

    He plays for Wolfsburg,,previously with Teplice and Zeleznicar Sarajevo.

    Forget about it,Wolfsburg is in no position to sell their top player…..and certanly not below 15 mill pounds.

    Gignac from Toulouse is more realistic option,the French league top scorer…..interesting thing about this player is that he scored all his 19 goals(i think its 19)with his right foot.

    And why not Voronin aswell,,one of the most inteligent strikers who could explain to Martins that Football is not all about running like a headless chicken 🙂

  • Prince Bassong

    Apr 14, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #25

    Both good suggestions there Partizan!

    Whatever happens we need a squad that’s more well rounded player to player and not jus tthe squad as a whole.

    At the moment we have Owen who can finish, Martins who can run and Viduka who can create and all get niggly little injuries.

    If the same amount of care and thought went into the first team as it does the reserves and academy we’d have a belting team that would be an absolute pleasure to go and see every week.

    Right now the team is very piecemeal and very few of those pieces actually fit together because the board and managers we’ve had seem to look at players individually instead of how they’ll fit into the team. Therefore we need to find a style of play that our best players (those worth keeping at least) can fit in and build around them like any half-decent team does.

  • mcvicar

    Apr 14, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #26

    good comment from prince bassong theres just been no thought been put into bringing players in but now dennis wise has gone this will change surely and who evers manager can build a team with players who compliment eachother and play as a team if we stay in the prem are not we need to let a manager have enough time to do this

  • waddler

    Apr 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #27

    Carroll and Ranger will be our front two next season with Viduka and Martins going.
    I can see a role for Owen if he drops into the hole but this is Bartons role next year also Vukic will be pushing for the team probably at the end of next season.
    I think we need some pace down the flanks, is lovenkrands up to it?
    Most importantly we need Shearer for the players to learn from, especially the boy’s.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 14, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #28

    I cant believe no one is talking about that Chelsea v Liverpool match. That was the best Champions League quarter final i have ever seen and probably will ever see. Fantastic advert for football. Liverpool should be extremely proud.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 14, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #29

    Scrap that. That was the best Champions League match over two legs i have ever seen.

  • DJG

    Apr 14, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #30

    Having watched Chelsea vs. Liverpool, may I say what a brilliant game of football.

    Good skillfull willing midfield play, something sorely lacking in our team.


    I think our first team would struggle against them. Perhaps with the exception of the back four, this is the team we should be playing!

  • batty

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #31


  • JJJ

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #32

    Man, what a CL quarter final…

    Thoses players are so superior to what we have its scary. There technique and intellegence and speed of play just makes us look championship quality Im afraid…
    We had players like Shay Given, Shearer, Bellamy, etc who were world class, but ATM we hav nobody of that standard.
    Perhaps Habib Beye is the only one.

    We still have very good players, like Bassong, Taylor, Beye, Enrique, Martins but with our pathetic midfield they are always under so much pressure they are certain to make errors from time to time.
    Guthrie has potential to become very good, Barton has the ability, and Jonas is a very good squad player.
    But we have the following vital components missing:
    – A striker capable of holding the ball up…
    – A quality set piece taker (R Taylor sucks)…
    – A goal scoring midfielder…
    – A goal keeper that can pull off the incredible and give the defence confidence…
    – A winger who can take on the defence and whip in a good delivery…
    – A defensive midfielder who can actually pass (hopefully Barton can fill this role)…

    Without those six players we will always be in danger of relegation.

  • Rodzilla

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #33

    …yep, Aurelio’s free kick was well cheeky/intelligent, absolutely fantastic game.

    Mind you when you have midfield players like Ballack, Lampard, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun etc playing there are always gona be chances. I wish we could start doing that again! Creating chances that is. I know this blog has its Owen doubters but put him in a Chelsea or Liverpool side and he’d be banging more in than he is now I’m sure (which incidentally ain’t many).

    We need to get our ball distribution skills sorted out pretty quickly. At least with the option of Carroll upfront (and soon Viduka maybe) we’re now more likely to get people onto the end of long balls and crosses but I’d love to see a bit more ‘ball to feet’.

    Incidentally, I’m wondering if these forums have been a little quiet lately coz Ed still has the ‘posting’ time settings an hour behind for UK (since when the clocks went forward). I.E I posted this comment at 22:19.

    ….just wondering if less people are commenting coz it looks like the last comment was over an hour ago – given the usual conversational effect achieved on the blog.



  • Rodzilla

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #34

    …yep JJJ, our squad is a bit like an Oxfam jigsaw Puzzle at the moment. Serious er-building needs to be done.

    …(alreet bats)

  • Rodzilla

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    Comment #35

    …*re-building I meant

  • Dragonera

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #36


    We aren’t even Championship level. Wolves, Swansea, Burnley etc all play better football than us. We are an embarrassment.

  • Nobby_Long

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #37

    I don’t know how much thought has gone into the youth team recruitment, but there’s been bugger all for the first team that’s for sure.

    For the youth team to be the feeder for the first team, as the grand plan seems to have suggested, you would have though we should aim to get at leasr 2 or 3 players for each position. its well known that only a small number make it from youth to first team at this level, so you cannot expect that realistically more than 2 or 3 to make the first team squad each year. the problemmis that human beings mature at vastly different rates, and the other pressures mean that even if someone is good enough at 16 or 17, it does not guarantee making the grade.

    I can’t think of a team that has more than half home grown players. Its a very laudible aim, but it practice, it just does not happen. Plus you always get change in managers & direction. I can’t see Kinnear being too proactive in bring ing in youth.

    I watched Ranger in the reserves over the past few weeks – he is definately going to make it, as long as he keeps his head straight. He worked his socks off against Man City – never let their defenders settle on the ball, won nearly every long ball header, has a good touch and is no slouch. Carroll was excellent against Man city as well. I was also very impressed with Vuckic. Although he’s only young, he is big and strong and was always looking for the ball and trying to get forward. The main thing watching them all though, is that they actually put the first team to shame – they were trying to play football, pass and move – good stuff. Only defence was a little bit shaky.

  • Dragonera

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #38


    Apparently Nile Ranger’s work ethic is what got the reserve their first goal today. Baheng is back and amongst the goals. Can’t help but feel he would be pushing for a first team place if he hadn’t done his leg in.

  • batty

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #39

    Rodzilla we are already rebuilding that why we brought nolan and r taylor m8

  • JJJ

    Apr 14, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #40

    I think for 30Mil we could get those players here (if we survive) :-(…

    12Mil for Pogrebnyak (Strong striker)…
    5 Mil for Radek Sirl (left mid with exellent crossing and set piece ability and pace)…
    13Mil (surely for this we can get a goal scoring midfielder somewhere in the world)…

    Until then this is our best line up:






    or if we play a 4-4-2.





    We also need to bring on the likes of Lovenkrans and Lua Lua (on loan) and Ranger whent the legs are tired.
    Maybe start with Owen up front and replace him with Oba on 65mins and Duff with Lovenkrans as well to take advantage of tired legs.


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