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The worst Newcastle United performance I’ve ever seen [updated].

Posted on July 25th, 2009 | 13 Comments |

Krul and Forster spent much of the game like this.
Krul and Forster spent much of the game like this.
Well, it all seemed like it was going to be such a nice day. The sun was shining, the drive across London remarkably swift, and I was looking forward to a few nice goals against a supposedly much inferior team. Lady luck shined on us in the form of a helpful passer by, who informed us that our car would be towed away if we left it where we intended to park it. No such luck for Newcastle United however, not that luck had anything to do with it. Today, United managed the seemingly impossible feat of making Leyton Orient, a team that finished 14th in League One last year, look like Spain, on a good day.

It only took four minutes for Leyton to score, when woeful set-piece marking led to a fairly easy header from Leyton’s Jimmy Smith. “OK” I rationalised to myself, “the lads haven’t woken up yet, it’s only a friendly and now they’re a goal down, they’ll respond, the class will tell in the fullness of time etc etc. A distinct chance by Beye after around a quarter of an hour offered some hope, However, time moved on and Leyton were still generally the dominant force when they were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute. Adrian Patulea had Beye under great pressure in the box, where he eventually handled the ball (according to the ref he did anyway), and the spot was pointed to. Ex Sunderland player, Sean Thornton, whose free kick had led to the first goal, converted well. Ever the optimist, a famous ‘Keeganism’ came to mind at this point, “The good news for Nigeria is that they’re two-nil down very early in the game”.

Newcastle did start to rally a little and at the half hour point, Obafemi Martins’ pace managed to win another penalty after he was tripped in their box at the half hour point. Barton converted and a spell of genuine pressure did ensue, a bit, forcing several saves from the O’s Jamie Jones, most notably from Nolan and a typical Steven Taylor attacking raid. While Nolan forced a bit of a canny save, Taylor’s effort just went straight at the goalkeeper.

Half time intervened and after the break, things didn’t look too bad for the first few minutes. A decent right side raid by Gutierrez had potential, but the resulting pass was cracked over the post by Xisco. At this point it genuinely looked as if Newcastle could possibly work their way back into the game, and perhaps scrape something back form what was certainly a very disapointing perfomance, even at this stage. Then, things rapidly went from bad to worse, and the real carnage began.

It has to be said that John Melligan’s third goal for the O’s was a sight to behold, a stunning overhead rocket which completely knocked the stuffing out of United’s resistance plans. From this point, Leyton were just penetrating at will, and I can honestly say that I witnessed perhaps the most hapless, demoralising passage of play I have witnessed in my many years as a Toon supporter. It must have taken Leyton a whole two minutes to crack off another one, this time a McGleish header falling nicely for Mkwandire to slot home. My Arsenal supporting companion’s sarcasm really started to go into over drive at this point. The final two goals from Orient, by Jarvis and Baker respectively went like a blur. I was completely ‘punchdrunk’ by this point.

Some of the bairns trotted out for the last few minutes, and things actually improved a little with the injection of new blood, however the damage was already done.

Other observations:

As the game progressed, general encouragement started to descend into much negative chantage. “If you hate Mike Ashley stand up / clap your hands etc alternating with “There’s only one Alan Shearer” was the order of the day mostly, once the truly abject nature of Newcastle’s performance began to sink in. Captain Smith was heckled along the lines of “Yer sh*te! Do One!”

Postscript

Our caretaker manager, Chris Hughton was right to decribe the game in the post match interview as “Disappointing and embarrassing” , with Colloccini, Enrique and Nolan being the worst of a throughly bad bunch. Only perhaps Beye and Martins came out of the game with any credit, with Gutierrez, Duff and Taylor, and perhaps Carroll (after he came on) being the best of the rest in a truly awful display.

Further quotes from Hughton on the game included:

“We didn’t win and we didn’t perform.”

and

“There are ups and downs in football and this was very much a down.”

It certainly was.

Newcastle United: Krul (Forster, 46); Beye (Tozer, 80), S Taylor (Lough, 80), Coloccini (Geremi, 46), Enrique (Kadar, 73); Gutierrez, Barton (Xisco, 46), Smith (Guthrie, 60), Duff (LuaLua, 73); Nolan; Martins (Carroll, 46). Subs not used: Donaldson, Ngo Baheng.

Leyton Orient: Jones, Purches, Chorley, Mkandawire, Melligan, Thornton, Demetriou, Daniels, Smith, Scowcroft, Patulea. Subs: Morris, Ashworth, Gilbert, McGleish, Jarvis, Cave-Brown, Pires, Baker, Sydes, Hall.

Goals: Smith 4, Thornton pen 23, Barton pen 30, McGleish 52, Mkandawire 53, Jarvis 82, Baker 86

Bookings: None

Sent off: None

Referee: Jarnail Singh (Hounslow)

Attendance: 3,615

Match lowlights here and here. (Youtube)

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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13 Responses

  1. Just watched the highlights, our boys took a hell of a beating.

    My worst fears are being realised, we’re not even good enough for the 2nd and 3rd tiers. We may consolidate but it could get pretty hairy. Nobody looks interested do they?

    I thought Forster’s positioning was poor for a couple of goals including the overhead kick but to be fair, with a defence looking more interested in getting the first round in, you’d probably look out of sorts.

  2. I’m sick of those who constantly whine about Harper, saying Krul should be number one, both him and Forester were appalling yesterday which shows why Harper needs to be first choice keeper.

  3. UTD111 – Good to hear from you fella.

    I think it was more of a crash through the floor to the next level!

    We can only hope and pray we were on ‘1st’ though.

    worky – my title would have been ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. Your’s is pretty catchy though……

  4. lads that was embarasing but it was a friendly i mean look at tottenham last year with the pre season they had and then the follow up

  5. Toon_Factor says:
    July 26, 2009 at 7:59 am

    “I’m sick of those who constantly whine about Harper, saying Krul should be number one, both him and Forester were appalling yesterday which shows why Harper needs to be first choice keeper.”

    I agree with you about the anti Harper whingeing, but in fairness, Krul and Forster weren’t nearly as bad as Coloccini and Enrique. They were just being walked through at will, leaving the two goalkeepers as the last line of defence.

  6. Thanks for the welcome BowburnMag!

    Having seen some of the championship games last season – and the pace & power that underlies the way they play…..my fear is that our midfield of “Senior Strollers” will just be blown away by most of the teams in our new division.

    If Leyton Orient had been a boxing match, it would have been stopped…..

    If we can’t defend ourselves against Orient – we have no chance against the likes of Sheff Utd

  7. UTD111
    ‘Having seen some of the championship games last season – and the pace & power that underlies the way they play…..my fear is that our midfield of “Senior Strollers” will just be blown away by most of the teams in our new division.’
    Agree with you. If we are left with this shower it’s really looking desperate. I know it was a friendly, but the same type of gutless performance that we have come to expect from many of them will continue. They will be torn apart if they are forced to stay and show the same lack of passion and commitment. Desperate times

  8. geordie deb says:
    July 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    “Worky
    Have you recovered from the trauma yet?”

    Deb, my friend would tell you that I was in a daze for several hours after the game. I simply couldn’t beleive what I had just witnessed, let alone write a report about it.

    I think I’m over the worst now though.

  9. I’m a fan of Enrique but he looks as disinterested as anybody and totally distracted.

    UTD111 – aye, I don’t think it’s exaggerating the situation to say we could be in for some hidings next season unless someone comes and gives them a shake.

  10. I was at the game and being from around orient it hurt even more to take a hidden from a team i have always looked at as my “little” team. Yeah i agree that Harper is our best keeper and we need him next year if were to well at this rate stay up!