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We’re Never As Good – Nor As Bad – As We Think We Are

Steve Harper, the Newcastle goalkeeper, kept Newcastle in the game after just 12 minutes yesterday against Blackpool, when he made  a terrific double save.

Steve Harper – two excellent saves after 12 minutes yesterday

But Steve couldn’t do too much about the goals Blackpool did score, a penalty from Adam just before half time, and a last minute  goal from DJ Campbell, completley against the run of play in the second half.

And on Newcastle United TV after the game, Magpies’ captain Kevin Nolan was very disappointed with both the result and the Newcastle performance, but he asked the Newcastle fans not to panic (too much) after just one bad result.

This is what Steve Harper said today:

“Over the years, there has been too much of a roller-coaster.” “After Aston Villa, we were probably going to finish in the top eight. Now people will be mentioning the ‘R’ word.”

“But we won’t be doing that. We know we will win games that we are not expected to and in this league, you can lose games that you are expected to win.” “We have got a tough game next week and we will battle on.”

The Tangerines played a good game yesterday, and for them it was just a fantastic result, but on the other side of the coin, it was a game Newcastle had been expected to win, and win comfortably.

And of course the game was never 2-0, but after hardly having the ball in the second half, and with Newcastle pushing up to try to get an equalizer, Blackpool broke away and made it 2-0 on 90 minutes, so it even looked like a comfortable win for the Tangerines.

And after thinking of those two goals again – I just got a pain in my right arm.

The Newcastle keeper continued:

“I had watched a couple of Charlie Adam’s penalties before the game and he went the other way, so that’s the reason I went that way.” (that’s rather odd thinking)  “Their goalkeeper had one of those special days that can happen every now and again.”

“But it is a very disappointed dressing room in there.””Goals change games in the Premier League and when a team comes here, you don’t want to give them anything to hang on to,  and that’s what we did.”

“We gave them a penalty and they managed to hang on to that, and they caught us with a sucker punch at the end when we had to go chasing the game, so it was a disappointing day.”

But the result was much worse than the performance yesterday, and Newcastle fans should not over-react too much to  just one game.

It’s just like the 6-0 win against Villa, but we were never going to win the league after that one result.  Similarly we are not going to get relegated because Blackpool have won at St. James’ Park.

A good way to think of things this season is – we’re never as good as we think we are after a win – and never as bad as we think we are  – after a defeat.

And after a draw – no – we shouldn’t have won the game.

If we do that we may just be able to get through this season, maybe, but of course it’s never easy supporting Newcastle United. 😀

Comments welcome.

49 comments so far

  • Toon XI

    Sep 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #1

    We may not get relegated but it sure won’t be a comfortable ride. We’ll have many more days like yesterday, but will also have many good ones as well.

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #2

    KRUL for me I`m afraid, keeper should not get beat low down from 30 yards!! FACT.


    Sep 12, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #3

    This is more like it ed well done more of these postive mental thinking blogs please.

  • TheToonKing

    Sep 12, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #4

    kinda agee with CT, Harper has been shaky for a few games now…

    …on the other hand Krul isn’t ready imo…he’s a great shot stopper in the Given mold who can pull of spectacular saves but make mistakes when no one expects him to…

    Get Forster back and stick him in is what i say.

  • tdt

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #5

    I was at the game yesterday, and I agree that 2-0 doesnt tell the whole story. We crushed them for the entire 2nd half but just couldnt get the ball over the line.

    Smith, Nolan and Barton all looked lazy and lathargic. Carroll wont almost every header but nolan was always running in the wrong direction.

    Defence were good, however perch looked like a bit of a weak link. Wingers were also good, but as per usual the end product was lacking. I think we should hire a coach who can teach them how to cross! and also a passing coach for everyone.

    Lovenkrands came on and looked lively, made some good runs etc, but I dont think the passes to him were good enough.

    Shola was vintage shola, i.e invisible.

    Ben Arfa looks really good. He came on and looked dangerous.

    Overall I think we should have won easily, but we didnt take our chances, and they were lucky with their goals. On another day it would have been 5-0 to us. but it wasnt. However I’m not too downheearted because we played fairly well, were just unlucky.

  • Pradajames

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #6

    Just watched the replay in the states…We didn’t look as bad as it would seem from the reports. One massive difference this season v. our last in the PL is our ability to create chances. We just could not create anything last go around…but now we are creating them left and right, especially against the teams we should beat.

    I still feel confident, especially after watching the match. We out played Blackpool everywhere but in goal. Their keeper had a once-a-season type of game and we lacked the needed bit of luck it takes to win…we’ll recover. I’m enjoying watching this team.

  • Pradajames

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #7

    Does anyone else feel that Ben Arfa is going to end up making Jonas surplus goods?

  • Toon XI

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #8

    Our next 5 games will dictate how the rest of season will go for us.

    @ Everton
    @ Man City
    @ West Ham

    We need 7 points minimum from these 5 games or we will be in a deep hole. Points at Goodison and Eastlands will be difficult.

    Stoke, Wigan and West Ham will be fighting us to stay out of the bottom three. We need to beat all three or at the very least win two of these three matches.

    Yesterday’s defeat and decrease in goal differential, while encouraging because of our play in the second half, is still hurtful to our standing in the league. We must take points at home from teams similar to us. These lost points (or point) may haunt us in May. Every game matters whether it’s in September or April.

    I am excited to see the full 90 minute impact of HBA and Tiote. Let’s hope CH has the nads to play them from the start next weekend.


  • atom

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #9

    I am with you Pradajames. Just watched the game myself and the the result was disappointing, but some performances were very good.

    Positives: Carroll is no where near the finished product but is coming on leaps and bounds. Ben Arfa looks full of quality and given time could weave some magic. Williamson and Collo are rock steady. Routledge certainly has his moments.

    Negatives: Team looked off the pace (especially midfield) from the outset and let Blackpool dictate the game. Perch (although vastly improving) seems to be a bit error prone. Matter or fact team in general seems like it all too often lets down on concentration. Jonas and Enrique took a bit too long on the ball for me.

    Hopefully we bounce back next week like we bounced back from the Manure loss.

  • Toon XI

    Sep 12, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #10

    Pradajames –

    I pray that HBA makes Jonas a benchwarmer as he has performed poorly this year. You can see it in his eyes.

  • xfer

    Sep 12, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #11

    Good points tdt. Totally agreed. We simply didnt take our chances. Shit happens and we just have a bad day today while we had an excellent one 3 weeks back.

    Put it this way, imagine losing to Villa and then winning against Blackpool, our season wouldnt have looked as bad right? Well, we just did a reverse.

  • cynicaltoonfan

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #12

    I heard that a few clubs were in for jonas ( athletico and Lazio) and we willing to offer £7 -9 million if we could get that kind of money i would take it and spend it on a quality foward
    This is assuming benny plays the way he did yesterday.
    I was sitting close to the pitch and the kid was so comfortable with the ball so much so that when we were attacking people were shouting ” Give It to Ben Arfa”
    I hope he can keep his form up and then we are in for a treat he was the only positive in the game along with Colo who was really good !

  • GeordieTartanArmy

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #13

    Man City
    West Ham
    These games are so important to us – 8 points would be good if we can get home wins and a point each at goodison and upton park. Loss vs man city wont be too bad
    We will have 12 points in 9 games which is not too bad although I would have expected more towards the 17 mark
    Tiote should be tried out but has hoots got the balls?

  • burnsie

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #14

    I was at the game yesterday and i can also say that colo was absolutley fantastic. he is so good at reading the game if you just watch him. he was very attacking yesterday to. great sweeper. very comfortable on the ball aswell. aw and when he got booked for cleaning out one of their players – awesome. he ran straight back to his position with the whole stadium singing his song.

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #15

    CT, what are you on about? Yesterday?

    If so the shot was less than 20 yards out and was hit right in the bottom corner, and was hard.

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #16

    HOw T L. Harper has been shaky so far. The shot came from outside the box and across Harps body. His angles were all wrong, should never get beat from there. 20f the goals Manure scored again us Harps should have done better. Don`t like saying it as Harps been patient and loyal but no sentiment in sport! Krul deserves his chance!

  • Turkish Magpie

    Sep 12, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #17

    I think Hughton got it spot on last year by playing different teams and formations home and away, that is why i was slightly dissapointed we didnt get another striker

    I think the following teams could easily keep us up.










  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #18

    CT, I doubted Harps before the season, but I think yesterday he was class. His double save after 10 minutes was unbelievable. I sit in the Gallowgate and you could tell everyone thought it was gonna be a goal, but when he saved it the cheer was incredible.

    Also I think in the game against Accrington, Krul looked very shaky. Sometimes he’s brilliant and instills so much confidence in the fans, and in the defence, but other times, I’m on the edge of my seat when they shoot.

    He has potential, but is a long, long way from being the finished article.

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #19

    Turkish, agree on the team away from home except for Campbell and Jonas. Williamson doesn’t deserve to be dropped. He’s been given a chance to prove himself due to Taylor’s injury and he has shown he is one of the best CB’s we’ve had in the last 10 years.

    And I think Routledge is better than Jonas


    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #20

    CT he was in the box when he hit it more like 23 or 24 yards,i think harpers view might of been impeded just as he hit it and the fella hit it pretty well.

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #21

    HTL. Hoots must rate Krul more than Forster as who stayed and who`s on loan. Difficult decisions need taking sometimes, Harps double save was great yes, but ??? Happy for him to continue but any more ricks and we need to act.

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #22

    CT, agreed, if he plays looks like he might cost us points then switch, but definitely not after yesterday

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #23

    I think there are a lot of comparisons to be had with Capello and Hughton

    1) Both have very rigid and inflexible formations

    2) Both won’t drop ” untouchables”

    3) Both won’t play youth as much as they should, although maybe the penny is dropping with Capello with that one.

    I think we really only have 2 major problems which can be addresssed if Hughton has the cojones to do it.

    We have no pace in midfield. I would have preferred Leroy Fer, but maybe Tiote replacing Smith can do this for us.

    Secondly we are way too one dimensional looking for Carroll’s head all the time and Nolan has missed several opportunites against both Wolves and now Blackpool.

    Ranger, Lovenkrands and Ben Arfa would offer us more pace in that position. I’m not saying get rid of Nolan, but make him fight for his place and don’t let him assume he’ll play no matter what.

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Rotonda, are you kidding me?

    ‘Untouchables’? We won our last home game 6-0, with these so-called untouchables, we went to Wolves and got a draw, even though a win would have been a fairer result.

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #25

    Sorry, that sounds stupid. My point is this is Hughton’s first chance to drop any of them.

    I think he might drop Smith for the next HOME game and give Ben Arfa a strting role just behind Carroll


    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #26

    Think we would have beat wolves if the dumb ref had not let henry kick barton out of the game.

  • nufcmk

    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #27


    S.Taylor Will Colo Enrique

    Tiote Barton/Guthrie

    Routledge Arfa Jonas


    This is maybe our strongest line up. I think that if it’s needed Chris will drop Nolan no matter he is our captain. Let’s not forget, he dropped last season our captain.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Howay the lads

    You can’t afford to rest on your laurels. We’ve just got beaten at home by Blackpool and we are in need of a reality check.

    You have to be both pro-active and re-active and be prepared to change things around some times, even if it means dropping ” untouchables ”

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #29

    I agree, but if you also don’t give a team time to settle and start playing as a TEAM then you’ll never get any results.

    Last season Birmingham kept their team for something like 25 games in a row and finished 9th. Whereas Liverpool always chopped and changed and finished 6th or 7th.

    You do have to react, but you only have to react if things are going badly, a fluke result against Blackpool, I do not constitute as bad

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #30

    Well I don’t think mssrs tiote and ben arfa are going to sit on the sidelines watching Smith & Nolan forever are they.

  • alex84

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #31

    Arfa looked very good, he has too start next game. drop smith.

  • howay man

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #32

    We were desperate for Danny Guthrie yesterday.
    barton and smith who have had actually very good starts so far looked knackered against blackpool.
    nolan was sh1t against ManU, wolves and blackpool, and was decent against villa.
    perch has had 4 yellows in 4 games and hes not a dirty player, he’s just unbelievably sh1t.

  • murvar

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #33

    Our problem yesterday was that both Rout and Jonas were poor. Therefore Carroll’s service from the wings was awful and towards the end he spent too much tome out wide himself – esp when Hokey Cokey and Lover came on. Carroll won lots of balls from Harps or tyhe defence when played down the middle but had no chance to do so from the wings – this was odd when, within the first 5 minutes Rout absolutely skinned their left back and put in a (poor) cross – you would have thought he would take him on at every opportunity, but no – not once more in the entire game! Ben Arfa for Rout, Tiote for Smith, send Lover and Hokey to the Championship on loan. And forget about Krul – he’s totally unproven and Harps is total class.

  • howay man

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #34

    how has ben arfa been voted as this blogs best player against blackpool.
    he played 20 odd minutes and created 1 half chance. surely it would be more justified if it was williamson who was solid for 90 minutes and hit the post.

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #35

    MURVAR, I reckon you knowt `bout football! Lover is the only striker we`ve got who is intelligent and quick enuff to work the channels,long ball football will empty the ground and see us relagated! HBA to play off Carrol like Beardo used to, Barton and Guthrie centre mid f, Tiote holding, Rout and Jose as wingbacks because they have the speed and stamina! Wow, this lineup would be creative and counter at speed. SIMPLE REALLY!!!

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #36

    Not Jose, meant Jonas altho could work????

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #37

    Tayls/Sol/Willims/Colo/Enrique, back 3—- Take your pick!

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #38

    Or stick with 4-2-3-1 or got to 4-4-2…

  • CT

    Sep 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #39

    Nah!!! Back to king Kevs days. 1-1-10! nee choice, lets attack, attack !!!!!

  • Howay The Lads

    Sep 12, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #40

    CT, I like the sound of that. With 13 players on the pitch we’ll never lose 😉


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