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Too much Christmas pud? – Sheff Wed 2 Newcastle 2

Posted on December 26th, 2009 | 23 Comments |

No repeat of 1988.
No repeat of 1988.
Controversy, casual defending and a lack of commitment put paid to a full three points at Hillsborough, and so our Boxing Day jinx continues, as it’s now 21 years since we last recorded a win on our travels. A sluggish-looking Newcastle might as well have been back on the bus as Sheff Wed took the lead in the 14th minutes as O’Connor played the ball into the box unchallenged, and Luke Varney similarly without black and white company headed the ball past Harper to make it 1-0.

A very determined Sheff Wed start had put us continued pressure, culminating in them taking the lead but that seemed to wake us up and it was only five minutes later that we equalised. A hopeful ball bounced awkwardly on the edge of the Wednesday box and fell invitingly to Guthrie who produced another magnificent assist to go with the one against Boro. Nolan arriving in the box was really his only option, and it was a great ball but Nolan still had work to and finished his header brilliantly, planting the ball back across defender and goalkeeper.

And it seemed like business as usual when Ameobi was afforded the benefit of a late Christmas present from the linesman, who refused to acknowledge he was at least two yards offside. Shola didn’t need any encouragement though, and with a lovely turn and sidestep past two defenders he screwed the ball into the bottom corner to give us the lead.

However, the officials levelled the playing fields on the hour when they failed to spot a blatant infringement as Harper went to collect a looping ball in his box. Varney who was at the centre of most of the action for Wednesday appeared to tug (albeit possibly unintentionally) at Harper’s arm and the keeper dropped the ball as O’Conner reacted far quicker than any of our defenders to make it 2-2. Whether Harper should have been more authoritative, as perhaps can be argued generally, is a moot point because it was no doubt a foul. Dion Dublin doesn’t think so mind, but then he built his reputation on his elbows, so it’s no surprise he enjoyed an old-fashioned challenge on the keeper. It wasn’t dangerous it was just a foul, pretty simple really Dion.

So one point gained or two points dropped? Coming into the game you’d say it was an occasion when we should have wiped the floor but after a lacklustre display from us and a plucky display from the Owls, I think we’ll all take the point and possibly wonder again just how we’re top of this league!

Toonsy was at the game today and will hopefully fill in the gaps with anecdotes, player ratings and an overall review on what happened out there, so full report to follow.

Us

Harper, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique, Guthrie, Butt, Nolan, Gutierrez, Ameobi, Harewood

Subs – Lovenkrands, R Taylor, Carroll, Krul, Kadar, Ranger, Pancrate

Sheff Wed

Grant, Spurr, Purse, Tudgay, Potter, Beevers, O’Connor, Varney, Simek, Johnson, Soares

Subs – O’Donell, Buxton, Hinds, Jeffers, Esajas, Clarke, Gray

Att – 30,000+ (with 5,300 Mags there…officially).

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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23 Responses

  1. if nufc get promoted need entire new team and that includes manager complete rubbish no football played at all just like most games this season.

  2. to be honest i do not think it was a foul on Harper , he seemed to hesitate instead of going for the ball . well if this is what they produce after a day off training then let them train every day. Still a point away from home and forest could only manage a draw so no harm done as long as we get back to winning against Derby .

  3. Replay clearly shows the arm of the Wednesday player pulls Harper’s arm and 99 times out of 100 the keeper gets the benefit. However, Shola was 2 yards offside when the ball was passed to him for his goal.
    A point is a point is a point. Cardiff lost to Plymouth(!) and Forest drew at Watford but baggies are going to win at home to Peterborough (no surprise). Still 10 points clear of 3rd place and we have reached 50 points milestone. Monday is crucial – must play better.

  4. The football has been wank all season lets be honest…but it is what I expect every match so I am happy with a dull point…I predicted dishwater and dishwater was delivered….this team would not stay up in the prem…we are just lucky that we are the best out of a seriously bad bunch.

  5. The foul on harper was blatant, i dont even know if he got a touch to the ball. He rose to take it in the box and Varney essentially pulled his outstretched arm away from the ball allowing it to bounce and they equalised. Justice i suppose given the nature of Shola’s goal however we were second to react for their first goal also. A pretty lack luster performance with both Enrique and Coloccini looking shaky at the back for the first time in a while, both seemingly thinking they had far more time on the ball than they actually did as Wednesday closed us down quickly and effectively. WBA winning and having a game in hand over us doesnt help but even if they win that and we get back to winning ways we’ll still be 5 points clear at the top. Looks like boxing day is just a curse for us. It doesnt help that we havent been at home in what…6 years on the trot or something now?….Need to put the record straight at home to derby on monday night and smash them into next week. Lads clearly were far too relaxed over the festive period, hopefully the excitement of getting hammered on New Years Eve will have them a little more up for monday nights game!

  6. If anyone had said to me at the beginning of the season we would have 50 points at the halfway stage I would have thought they were mad.

    Well done lads.

  7. Hear we go again, one draw and a shower of abuse.
    C`mon folks! we are ten points clear and yes grinding out results but what exactly do you want from this side.
    Look it`s not a Bobby Robson or a KK side we got here , so lets be a bit realistic in our expectations.
    The team is leading the league by a clear ten points, how many would have settled for that when the season began ?
    Jesus ! talk about demanding, some fans bring a whole new meaning to the word.

  8. CHUCK
    well said i thought we would be in free fall after reg,mind every time butt plays we seem to play poorly i think the def have the same comfortable feeling as they have with smith just my thought could be wrong?

  9. From a viewpoint of someone who was at the (not long got back home)can i just say a point is a fair result, maybe even a bit flattering for us. I said to my mate before-hand about the squad having the day off and how i didn’t think it was a good idea. This was proved right!

    For the first 20 mins, we were outplayed and outfought which resulted in us being 1-0 down. Nolan’s equaliser was good, Shola was offside, but we found oyrselves 2-1 up at half time.

    2nd half, and we started that how we started the first – poorly. Sheffield Wednesday grabbed a deserved equaliser despite the contentious circumstances. They say you make your own luck, and the Owls certainly deserved it!

    Time and time again our passes went astray. I caqnt recall stringing more than 3-4 together all game. Our defence couldn’t cope with the aerial balls and we weren’t winning the 2nd balls, and their right midfielder had Jose for pace a few times! Speaking of Jose, he really needs to forget his own hype and stop trying to play out of trouble. Him and Colo were responsible for giving away a few corners simply from trying to play themselves out of trouble and getting caught out by the Wednesday pressure.

    Ameobi and Harewood stand too close together, Pancrate thinks that becasue he scored 1 quality goal he can shoot from anywhere, Nicky Butt should write a book entitled “how to slow your team attacking down and pass sideways”, Guthrie effort excellent – executin lousy.

    All in all a good day out. A bit of a ding dong when some Newcastke fans rurned up in the home end, and bloody good sing-song! If the Owls play like that every game then will be fine and wont go down. Hopefully this will be a kick in the backside the players need and they can get back to winning ways on Monday!

  10. usual w8nkers gobbing off as soon as we get a draw, even though it was away from home and at a time of year when all results a mad anyway. half way and 8 clear – stop whinging you tw8ts.

  11. I am reading some comments on the BBC 606 page (where I post as funkyjesus) and some of the comments defy belief.

    People are actually ranting and saying Ameobi is rubbish and we should get rid of him. Seriously – he has something like a ratio of a goal in every game he has played this season and they are complaining.

    It’s spastics like those that give people a free reign to call Newcastle fans delusional because, quite frankly, most are. It’s pathetic.

  12. It was not a foul on Harper, but despite that, the criticism he comes under from some fans is just actually beyond belief…

  13. It seems that some fans look for anything to turn on the vitriol.Its 10 games without defeat ,8 wins,top of the league,10 points clear of 3rd,more than halfway to the number of points required for promotion.
    The team Arthur Cox had dropped unexpected points.I was at Cambridge when they lost 1-0 with a team that included keegan,Beardsley,Waddle,Mcdermott,etc.It happens!
    The play might not be that entertaining but for NUFC promotion and a settled period is more important this season

  14. StanHardy – It also seems that a result such as this brings out the people who moan at some fans for turning on the vitriol.

    I think a lot of it is disappointment. Yes, dropped points do happen, all of the time. I dont mind dropped points. I dont mind us getting beat (we’ll actually i do but…), I dont mind anything really as long as the commitment and effort is there from the players. It wasn’t yesterday and thats what annoys me. Especially having paid my own money to travel there, buy the ticket etc. I expect to see my team play for 90 minutes. Not for 15 minutes out of the whole match. When we drew against Barnsley people took a similar stance, except they used the excuse of Barnsley being the form team in league, there is no such excuse for yesterday. They had lost 5 on the bounce, are in the bottom 3, dont have a manager, and the chairman wants to split his share – sound familier? Yet they fought and outplayed us for the majority, why couldn’t we do that last season?

  15. Stan, we are playing in patches and whatever you say or how many positive stats you produce, its awful to watch our midfield being over run most games and our front pair ambling around and getting interested when they feel like it.
    Butt was named man of the match, this confirmed what most of my mates have said for years, i know ‘f’ all about football because as i see it, evry time he plays we are pants from front to back.
    I genuinely feel sorry for Danny Guthrie as he is the one creative player we have but he has to play out of position to accomodate the more senior players and the same goes for Andy Carrol who gliffed the shit out of Weds when he came on.

  16. @AndyNUFC: If you ran into a player, caught his leg and actually managed to pull him back when he was going to kick the ball you’d be booked. Harper had his arm pulled with enough force to pull him back INTO the goal and Varney made very sure he kept hold of him until the ball dropped to O’conner. Definitely a foul, but it’s all a moot point because we deserved nothing from how we played.

  17. We cannot win every game. Even Man Utd don’t do that.

    What I will say is though, I don’t believe that this performance was any better or worse than anything we’ve produced so far this season.

    We have consistantly played average football but the standard of teams were playing have been even worse. It just happens that Sheff Wed got a break with their goal (as we did) and took their chances.

    Nobody can deny that we still let teams have plenty of chances and our defence is good on paper due more to the fact that the teams were playing haven’t got the strikers to hurt us.

    aBut I suppose this season and this league is all about getting promoted..

  18. In agreement with most of the the last four comments. It does appear like we turn on each other quite quickly which is something I guess is more evident with the advent of forums and blogs.

    But at the same time, there does have to be an acceptance that we are relatively average. We’re just slightly better than the rest of the league, and I don’t really mean that in a disrespectful way to other clubs. I think it’s clear for everyone to see the gulf between the leagues in terms of quality.

    And the Sheff Wed game was much of the same. I even had a daft argument with my dad because I said I was disappointed. He said well you shouldn’t be surprised, we’re a poor team really relying on some big performances from individuals who can make a difference. But I was surprised because, we have got some big performers. And it’s been working, so I suppose if I’m disappointed with dropping two points, that marks progress of some sort? Or at least in comparision to what I expected at the start of the season.

    We missed Smudger yesterday. Butt played well and made some important contributions but I wish he’d pack in the long diagonal ‘Cup Final’ balls across to the wings Gutierrez rarely fancies a header or challenge anyway. But when you give a full back time and momentum to steam into him, there’s only one winner.

    Harper was fouled as far as I’m concerned. But it was a close call because the kid just about got a touch first. That’s really the issue. If he clattered Harper after heading the ball then it’s Stevie’s fault. But he caught Harper’s arm fractionally before he connected with the ball. At the same time, Harper should have been coming out with elbows and knees all over the shop and put the kid into next week if necessary. Even the intent would have put Varney off. I’m afraid Harper is sometimes far too ‘Mr Cool’ with his claims and something like that has been coming for a while.

    Colo and Enrique DID take unnecessary risks as the Sky pundits were more than happy to keep pointing out. And they shouldn’t show too much complacency. Jose did a few good things but he was just as poor in other periods.

    Ameobi and Harewood worked hard but only in fits and starts. I think we really need Carroll or Ranger for that natural enthusiasm and younger legs. And I’m not a massive fan of Carroll.

    Anyway, roll on Derby.

  19. I thought we played crap and in the end was glad we got a point, the wide players didn’t get foward enough and put in crosses and the defence didn’t try to pass the ball, just booted it down the pitch allowing the opposition to attack us time after time. it was also the first time i saw pancrate and already i’m thinking of calling him pancrape, must produce better, was his goal just a one off moment.

  20. jay jay – in the game I saw against Pools reserves he was getting the ball to feet on the wing, and was nice and direct and not afraid to run.

    The problem being, that the 1st team doesn’t play that way, and he gets closed down much quicker. He’s certainly about the level of our current squad but having seen him on about five different occasions now, albeit in fits and starts, I wouldn’t expect goals like that every week.

  21. BBM i wouldn’t expect goals like that every week, but what i mean is will that goal be the only worthwhile thing he does this season, he didn’t appear to have much pace, not much skill or grace on the ball. we would be better off with a 35 year old nobby.

  22. jay jay says:
    December 27, 2009 at 10:28 am

    That has been our stock performace this season. The fact wehave won gamesis really papering taking the attention off the actual performances.

    I hope it can continue all season but I don’t think it will be the stroll everyone thinks it’s going to be. I’ll be amazed if we get promoted with a big points margin.

  23. jay jay – I was just being facetious. My point being, unfortunately after that, many of us rightly or wrongly would have been thinking, get in here we go. The reality is, that he’ll be a bit-part player and then probably become surplus to requirements if we go up.

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