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West Brom 3 Newcastle 1 – Magpies Just Pathetic

In a game we really expected to win at West Brom, Newcastle put in an unacceptable sub-par performance and were well beaten 3-1.

Since we won three games in a row, the 5 games after that streak ended, have produced just two draws, and the inconsistent form is there for all to see.

We were hopeless against Blackburn, solid against Fulham, hopeless at Bolton, solid against Chelsea, and today we were pathetic in the first half at West Brom and recovered only slightly after the break.

But there’s no doubt that West Brom deserved their win today, and we still have no idea which Newcastle is the real team – the hopeless one that turned up today with no fight and no flair, or the side that walloped Sunderland 5-1 and Aston Villa 6-0.

But if inconsistency was Newcastle problem before today’s game, here is another game that we had always done well in – and yet we looked fairly hopeless today with no penetration up front – and it looks Newcastle are badly missing Barton and Nolan.

But this is our squad strength, and we expect players like Guthrie, Campbell and Routledge to be able to come in and get the job done, but today Newcastle were second best in almost everything.

West Brom started by far the more energetic side, which is completely opposite to last week’s game against Chelsea when Newcastle started great, and they had all the possession, and it wasn’t if they were going to score – but when.

Sol Campbell in particular looked very hesitant today, and his bad mistake after 21 minutes almost gave a goal away, when he passed the ball straight to an opposing player, but the other Newcastle defenders were able to cover well.

Newcastle did nothing in the first 25 minutes but defend but from their first corner, an overhead kick by Carroll gave Steven Taylor a half chance but the local lad couldn’t quite connect.

And what seemed like the inevitable goal for West Brom duly arrived on 31 minutes, when Tchoyi got the ball just outside the penalty area, and was allowed a free shot on goal, which gave Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal very little chance.

Half time came with Newcastle lucky to be only one goal down, and Newcastle had none of central midfield whatsoever in the first 45 minutes, and if Chris Hughton ever had a reason to blast the lads at half time – it was this afternoon.

And with Newcastle players late out after the break, we have to hope that Chris told them a few home truths in the dressing room, for a performance in the first half which was simply unacceptable.

Newcastle replaced Ameobi with Lovenkrands in the second half and we suppose we would play 4-5-1 to try to get more of the central midfield, because 4-4-2 just never gave us the ball in that first half – Guthrie is just not strong enough right now in the middle of the park to play that formation with any success.

Newcastle did better in the second half but the killer goal for West Brom came after 70 minutes and it was a gift to WBA from Newcastle – and it’s not even Christmas yet.

Danny Guthrie had the ball just inside his half and he fell and West Brom got the ball, found Newcastle short at the back, and Peter Odemwingie made it 2-0, and this game was over.

Danny seemed to have injured his ankle and he was taken off on a stretcher, and Alan Smith came on, and it was noticeable we had no attacking midfielder on the bench, an area Newcastle will need strengthening in – especially if Joey Barton, who was badly missed today, starts to pick up injuries again.

Newcastle tried to come back, but they looked really very ordinary today – and to say Newcastle had any creativity at all in this game – would be an untruth – at best.

Just to rub it in, Peter Odemwingie got his second, and West Brom’s third on 89 minutes, and then after two minutes of injury time Peter Lovenkrands for a consolation goal for Newcastle – but that was ll it was,

Newcastle looked very poor on this showing, and while we cannot over-react, the fact we now have just 2 points form our last 5 games is worrying.

Since we are playing a team next week we should lose to – Liverpool – we may get some points – maybe – but if we play like this we’ll get buried by Liverpool.

We feel really sorry for the faithful Newcastle fans who travel to see the team, when they turn in displays like this – especially in the first half.

The only difference today between the fans and the Newcastle players today, is that at least the fans turned up for today’s game – but the players didn’t – that was the difference and a good and accurate way to describe today’s game.

The fact that Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling may be back soon is good news, because this squad lacks creativity, and we know Chris says he’s satisfied with his squad he’s got right now, but if there’s a player with any creativity available in January, we should go for him.

Adam Johnson of Man City immediately comes to mind.

Today Newcastle put in a below par performance that didn’t deserve anything at all – which is what they got.

And for every other game starting 5 games ago, Newcastle players have come out and said they’ll make up in the next game for their poor performance in the last one, and it’s odds on we’ll hear the same party line tomorrow.

But we’d prefer they turn up for every game and put in a good shift in every single game, otherwise we could slide quickly down the league table with displays like this.

And Newcastle players picked up 5 yellow cards, but to try to bring in some good news – one of them wasn’t Tiote.

Sorry to be so negative, but this was a surprisingly poor performance by the lads in a game we must have thought we could win, but we were completely outplayed today.

The inconvenient and embarrassing truth for the Newcastle side today, is that this was  a disastrous display and a disastrous result for the Magpies, and we have to hope it’s a one off.

And if we were owner Mike Ashley after this game, we wouldn’t know if we had a good team, a mediocre team or a poor team, but today Newcastle were worse than poor – and as we said – we have top hope this is a one off game.

Comments welcome.

Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Campbell, Enrique; Routledge (Ranger, 73), Guthrie (Smith, 72), Tiote, Gutierrez; Ameobi (Lovenkrands, 46), Carroll.
Subs: Soderberg, Perch, Best, Kadar.

West Brom: Carson; Jara, Scharner, Tamas, Cech; Tchoyi, Brunt, Dorrans, Morrison (Reid, 85), Thomas (Barnes, 77); Odemwingie.
Subs: Myhill, Ibanez, Shorey, Fortune, Cox.

Goals: Tchoyi 32, Odemwingie 71, 89, Lovenkrands 90

Bookings: Gutierrez 20, Enrique 57, Guthrie 62, Smith 75, Campbell 86

Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral)
Attendance: 23,486

58 comments so far

  • Moreno

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #41

    Guthrie – awful, give vuckic a chance, anyone really, I would play better.

    Lovenkrands – to say he ‘was relieved to get his first prem league goal’ is ridiculous. If you had ever seen him play (or not play) for schalke, you would no what I am talking about

  • JohnNUFC

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #42

    Nice article ed. sad day to be a toon fan but I’m taking solace in the fact that our central defence and midfield wasn’t there today.

    We still haven’t shipped out the dead weight from the season we went down. smith, xisco, guthrie and few others need to be told there is no future for them at the club. bring in a few more tiote like signings.

  • Moreno

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #43

    To be honest, well played Sol! Going forward our biggest threat

  • chuck

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #44

    Hmm ! seems everyone`s looking for someone to blame, with Guthrie taking the lions share.
    Hey on any weekend, there are shock results, this season has proved to be kinda crazy, just look at Man. U. vs. W/Ham !
    Fact is without people like Barton, Nolan, Ben Arfa and possibly Gosling, we are a very ordinary side.
    Carroll needs someone to help up front, Tiote needs someone to cover when he gets his fifth yellow (Gosling)
    A winger is needed on the right (Kranjcar is available for three mill. )@twenty five and a regular in the Croatian side, a good buy.
    We have to retain Taylor, would be foolish to sell him, as Campbell is getting a bit long in the tooth.
    Although Simpson is showing improvement still need cover there, understand Everton are interested in Smith, a deal involving Smith and cash for young Coleman sounds good to me.
    But we are by no means a team that can compete yet and as stated by CH, the goal is EPL survival.
    So ! looks like Raylor, Guthrie, Lovenkrands, Smith, Routledge, Perch and perhaps a couple of others are expendable, when we can afford replacements.
    In which case we will have to be patient and try to survive, but there`s not that much difference (point wise) between us and the bottom sides.

  • Toonmania

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #45

    i know everyone will start calling for Hughtons head, but if you look at the facts ever since Colin Calderwood left we have been terrible, we are using the same team week in week out but unfortunately we have been found out, Hughton needs to change the shape of the team and get the players playing as if they want to win otherwise he will be on the dole queue come Jan,
    we have some very hard games coming up starting against liverpool next week and if we play like that we will be heading southwards in the PL

  • balubas1

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #46

    I will question CH now.

    It is when injuries hit that the manager can show his abilities with both picking the team and with tactics. Chris has failed miserably in a series of vital games. Bolton, Blackburn and now West Brom..

    when 100.000 fans can see that Guthrie isnt made for the premier league, why cant CH? And WHY dont we play VUKIC instead?? CH just plays him again and again.

    Ameobi can only be played against sides with smaller CB’s… I was shocked that Lovenkrands wasnt played against both Blackburn and Bolton.

    I know Houghton want to play “powerful” with both Carroll and Ameobi up front, but we loose the whole power-aspect as most teams have CB’s that can cope.

    Lastly I want to urge you NOT to slate our wingers too much even though Jonas was below par today. Wingers TOTALLY rely on our CM’s to give decent service and make runs to create space.

    I’m NOT calling for CH’s head. But he has performed very poor as a manager lately, and he needs to learn from this.

  • kieranuk

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #47

    F**K Me I can’t believe how critical some of you are. You seem to forget we are without 6 of our first team players in Harper, Colo, Williamson, Nolan, Barton and Ben Arfa. How can you not see any team is going to struggle with over half of the first team missing?

  • kieranuk

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #48

    in the Premier League.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #49

    toonmania we had 3 wins on the spin when calderwood left. calderwood isn’t the reason.

    The problem is everyone can see where our problems lie, but the most important person – CH can’t !!

    Our one and only tactic now is ”hoofball” and it’s basically no better than Allardyce’s alledged football. No one makes runs behind the defence. There’s no passing or any movement off the ball. We are so static and predictable it’s so easy to play against us.

    CH is so over cautious though and coupled with a lack of any plan B, we’re heading he wrong way.

    WBA have far less funds than us but play football. We don’t !! Di matteo is an excellent manager tactically and with man – management. CH is just good with man management but is getting really found out tactically.

  • colwell

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #50

    Alot of people on here seem to think Gosling is well as crucial as Ben Arfa, he is no where near has good potential but with our normal starting 11 won`t be starting many games at all, he`s not quick or skillfull he`ll be a good squad player and will at least push Smith and Guthrie further back

  • sammydolan

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #51

    I went to the game today and the team didnt look interested, no one tackled for 45mins. We didnt have that drive and grit we usually have.

    I live in Telford and I try and like Guthrie but I am sorry I was happy when he was injured he was awful today. All he did was pass side to side nothing forward, nothing at all.

    We could of really gone to Baggies and beaten them and beaten them well but we just didnt turn up.

    Now I gotta put up with the grief from my mates who are Baggies fans!

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #52

    Pathetic? we weren’t that good. Withouth Nolan & Barton we lack guile & the will to win. We need Gosling & Ben Arfa to get fit ASAP. If this form continues we will be in the relegation fight. 2 points from 5 games is relegation form

  • bentoon

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #53

    What a load of shite. Ameobi was awful and so lazy in the first half, didnt deserve the captains armband, he should be embaressed. Guthrie is just woefull. The only players to look half bothered were Enrique, and Routledge when he actually got the ball. Im sorry but CH subs just didnt cut it either, why bring on Ranger and take off Routledge? He was the only person trying to make runs. Carroll was crap today aswell, didnt have any movement off the ball just expected to have whacked onto his head.

  • sammydolan

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #54

    Bentoon is spot on – did you go? The fans around me all echo the thoughts of most here – OK you might not be the greatest prem player but if you put 110 in for the team then thats acceptable. But there is nothing more annoying that someone like Guthrie only in the team because Barton and Nolan arent there and play that bad – what happened to playing for the position?!

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #55

    What we need is players in in January. We need cover for Nolan (I’ve never knocked him), Barton, Coloccini (Sol isn’t cover for him) and if Andy gets injured we are Knackered. Shola (who I have tried to protect) was rotten today, he plays at a walk. Smith 1 minute and a yellow card should be sold, as should Guthrie. I still think Routledge can improve (made a couple of nice passes today). Only good thing that could come out of today’s game is Ashley may realise he has to give Chris money in January and may have taken that on board today

  • Johann

    Dec 5, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #56

    For the silly one trashing Viana do you remember http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJkOypS8K4c ?

  • puffinmuncher

    Dec 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #57

    What annoyed me horribly was the fact that you could predict what the team’s next move/pass would be 10 seconds beforehand. Obviously, WBA could too. Very sloooooow and predictable. Having said that, I think some are being too harsh on Jonas, when he did get the ball he usually had two WBA players on him already. I have never seen Guthrie do anything worthwhile. I don’t think I’ve seen him deliver a single set piece well

  • Brutooon

    Dec 5, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #58

    Slow Campbelly Bell is slow and old

    I m a fan of Guthrie but not last night, he remain anonymous. His replacement Alan Smith is even worst

    Ameobi is back! the lazy ameobi is back!


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