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Maggies face Baggies in top of the table clash.

Posted on January 17th, 2010 | 69 Comments |

Maggie bird v Baggie bird. Who'll get the juicy 3 point worm?
Maggie bird v Baggie bird. Who'll get the juicy 3 point worm?
Newcastle United take on West Bromwich Albion in a crucial top of the table encounter on Monday night at St James Park. With the Toon drawing the Baggies in the FA Cup 4th round, the two teams are forced to play each other twice in the space of six days.

We will be looking to extend our unbeaten home run of nine wins and three draws at SJP but Albion will be a real test for the lads. Recently knocked off second spot after a defeat at home to in form Nottingham Forest, Roberto Di Matteo will be looking to his team to win the two games they have in hand
over Forest to position themselves back in second place.

Di Matteo was a great midfield player, who, you will remember, enjoyed a very successful playing career with Chelsea and Italy before being forced to retire following a horrific injury. His first steps into management in 2008 with Milton Keynes Dons proved successful, as he led the League One club to within two points of their second successive automatic promotion while they played attacking, attractive football.

He took over WBA in July 2009 and has the Baggies playing well. Their away form is good with an unbeaten run in the last six, including 4 wins. Those away games have seen the Baggies score 13 goals, while conceeding 4. We need to make sure we don’t fall asleep later in the game as Albion have scored 11 goals in the last 10 minutes. Top scorer for the Baggies is Graham Dorrans who has netted 8. However our own home form cannot be sneezed at, winning five of our last six games and drawing the other one. During these games, Newcastle have scored 13 goals and conceded only 1. We still hold the only unbeaten home record in the Championship and let’s hope that continues tomorrow evening.

Di Matteo is still a very close friend of ex Newcastle United’s ex Director of Football, Dennis Wise, and speaking in an interview, he said on Wise’s somewhat controversial Toon spell:

“Yes, we spoke about it but I don’t really want to go into any details.”

Moving on to Chris Hughton and the club in general, he then commented:

“It’s not an easy managerial job but Chris Hughton is doing a fine job,” then adding:

“It’s a big club, every week it gets 40,000 to 50,000 people so the sheer size of the club shows you the importance of the football club in the region up there.

“They are a bigger sized club (than Albion) in that sense.

‘‘They’ve obviously been in the Premier League for many years so I guess they (the fans) probably expect them to be in the Premier.”

With 6 points seperating Newcastle and West Brom both having played 24 games this will be a vital match with both teams going for the “six pointer”. I was looking forward to watching Peter Lovenkrands starting on Monday night following his hat trick against Plymouth Argyle in the cup on Wednesday night, but sadly, we now know his father died late last week and the player has returned to Denmark to be with his family.

So who does Chris Hughton go for up front? It looks like Shola and Carroll with young Ranger on the bench again. Let’s hope Shola is up for this one as he seems to have slipped into some of his lazy ways since coming back from injury. It will be Danny Simpson’s last match for the Toon unless a deal can be agreed with the player and Manure. It will be a real shame if we don’t sign him as I think he is a solid player with good potential. With no new signings yet it looks like Chris Hughton will pick a variation on the team who played against the Pilgrims last week with Harper to replace Krul, and Enrique and Smith to start.

Albion Team who faced forest last week and played 4-4-2: Carson, Zuiverloon, Tamas, Olsson, Mattock (Koren 65), Brunt, Jara, Dorrans, Thomas, Cox (Miller 77), Moore (Bednar HT)

I’m going for a close 1-0 victory to the Toon.

Howay the Lads.

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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69 Responses

  1. This result depends on if we let them play. Like Arsenal, if you get in at them they can’t handle it, and we’re good at that this season.

  2. Baggie bird looks like he fancies himself a bit like. You can see he’s got quite the swagger even just from that still of him above. I reckon Monty would drop him early on in the second. Dont let that smile fool you. 2-1 we’ll do them tomorrow night.

  3. Yes important for both teams in a psychological sense, Whichever team comes out on top will have a boost in confidence.
    It appears the race for promotion is becoming obvious, in which case it`s important we beat the Forest`s and W/Broms, which can be regarded as six point games.
    For US residents, the game has been advertised as being available on the internet @ 2:45 pm EST.
    The address is; ESPN360.com

  4. Ross says:
    January 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    “Baggie bird looks like he fancies himself a bit like. You can see he’s got quite the swagger even just from that still of him above. I reckon Monty would drop him early on in the second. Dont let that smile fool you. 2-1 we’ll do them tomorrow night.”

    Monty has a proud, manly beak, a bit like my nose, but Baggie Bird’s is just a floppy excuse for a beak. Baggie Bird looks flabby and out of shape too.

  5. Looking forward to the match tomorrow night. The prize for winning is more than three points. The losers confidence will be severely dented. Hope they bring a few fans up north despite it being a Monday night and we get a olf fashioned cup tie atmosphere. Would like CH to go with the tried and tested back five of Harper, Simpson Colo S Taylor and Jose. In the middle Guthrie, Smudger Nolan and Spidey. Up front Shola and Ranger (presuming lovenkrands is unavailable) Shoala ahead of Carroll for his goals and Ranger for his pace.
    Bring it on. Hawaaay the lads

  6. “Monty has a proud, manly beak, a bit like my nose, but Baggie Bird’s is just a floppy excuse for a beak. Baggie Bird looks flabby and out of shape too.”

    Thats because Baggie bird is a throstle and it’s one of their characteristics.

  7. Just been looking at the origins of both clubs nicknames.

    Absolutely fascinating actually! Both are represented by species of birds native to Gt. Britain.

    The toon have the Magpie.

    Part of the problem with magpies, and the reason for their current unpopularity, is their huge increase in numbers over the last 30 years. Numbers have tripled, and they now occur commonly in areas where they were once absent.

    I hate to say it but it sound like SJP.!

    But its not as bad as the throstles or thrushes –

    The Thrush is a fungal infection which affects the genitals in males and females and include the following symptoms:

    Itching, soreness and redness around the vagina, vulva and anus
    Unusual vaginal discharge – this may be thin or thick and look like cottage cheese
    Pain on passing urine or pain during sex

    Men might notice:

    Irritation, burning or itching under the foreskin or at the tip of the penis
    Redness or red patches on the penis or under the foreskin
    A thick or thin discharge, like cottage cheese, under the foreskin
    Discomfort when passing urine

    What a ridiculous bird to have as your mascot!!!!!!!!!!

  8. toonsy says:
    January 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    “Thats because Baggie bird is a throstle and it’s one of their characteristics.”

    Surely a floppy beak’s no use to any bird? Or did you mean that throstle’s are all fat barstewards?

  9. it will be a tough old game tomorrow night,we will have to play a hell of alot better than we have the last four league games.

  10. When did dumb ass mascots first make their appearance, do you guys have to import every stupid idea you see.
    Have a Cheer leading section next.
    Then you can “step up to the plate” and estimate a ball park figure,at the end of the day, twenty four seven.

    Big Dave
    Come out fighting, as in, “went to the fight`s last night and a hockey game broke out”
    I`m just bored !

  11. toonsy says:
    January 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “chuck – I always thoughts mascots started off in the military?”

    Mascots go way back to ancient times Toonsy.

  12. Worky-exactly, he looks potentially responsible for that strange pie shortage they’ve experienced at the Hawthornes for a few seasons on the trot.

    We’ll have to go all guns blazing from the first whistle tomorrow night like. They’ll be determined to come away with a result given their position and this is their chance to really close the gap. Hopefully we’ll be aware of that and will use the home advantage to put them under pressure from the word go

  13. Got a draw down for tomorrow. Neither team will want to lose so it could be a real bore draw.

    Also I think due to the in-activity in the transfer window we could only be 2 bad results from anarchy!

  14. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    “weird one from the witch.”

    Clint, I think she may fancy Hughton. Her tone towards Toon has changed progressively since he has been in charge, and she seems to be quite fascinated by him.

    If I’m right, Chris needs to stock up on crucifixes and garlic pronto!

  15. worky – And wooden stakes, you forgot wooden stakes!

    Also some of that trampy blue council pop the mackems like.

  16. Worky,
    that’s what i’ve been thinking lately too.
    Again, weird!

    Don’t know what to make of it other than: All the press are slowly trying to get back on-side with us, just so they can hack us down again when it suits ’em?
    Tension/release kinda punch/stroke philosophy?

    Maybe they’ve had a marked drop in sales in the NE?

  17. Worky,
    that’s what i’ve thought lately too.
    Again, weird!
    Maybe the press are slowly trying to get back onside with us, just to hack us down again when it suits?

    Tension/release kinda punch/stroke philosophy?

    Maybe there’s been a marked drop in sales in the NE region?

  18. That Mackem Louise Taylor has just got bored of constantly slagging us. End of the day half her articles where she did tear into us contained complete rubbish anyway, shes clearly just ran out of needless lies and is now being forced to write something somewhat complimentary as our season so far hasnt gone according to plan for the footballing neutrals who wanted to see us slump. You dont see any articles giving Boro a hard time, they’re in the bottom half of the bloody table!

  19. Ross says:
    January 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    “You dont see any articles giving Boro a hard time, they’re in the bottom half of the bloody table!”

    I think she may be turning her talons toward Gordon Strachan now that she has become smitten with the enigmatic Chris. She compared the Smoggies unfavourably with the socialist utopia that is the Newcastle United dressing room in a piece about the Middlesborough game.

  20. Clint-haha, i didnt even realise i had accidently grouped her into the neutral bracket. No, she is well and truly in the “lets hope they fall flat on their arse because im a mackem” category, lol. But aye, the press in general will be struggling at the minute. I’m just waiting for the “Toon cant even sign league one striker as Beckford withdraws transder request” headlines.

  21. Worky-i haven’t read it, i will have to take a look. To be fair, Boro deserve a pasting. I dont hate them with anywhere near the venom i do the mackems but at the end of the day they’ve been terrible at times this season. Strachan seemingly doesnt realise that he can sign all the fringe celtic players he wants, its not going to change anything.

  22. Solano back in toon…excellent future prospect no doubt,fits the Ashley mould well,out of fashion,old and cheap.

    Tosser.

  23. jasontoon-where are these solano rumours appearing from? I saw someone on here mention the other day they claimed they saw him training or something?

  24. I hope to goodness we do get Solano back. I’ve always rated him. He is a truly great player and Newcastle always did better with him on the pitch. He will add exactly what Newcastle need. He can put in superb crosses for our strikers and he can score a few goals himself. I don’t care if he is older, his quality will still be there. I’d be so happy if he signs for us.

  25. Jill, agree, he cant be any worse than Butt and Geremi and im sure he will inject some skill into the midfield, would love to see the little fellow back.

  26. I’m not too optimistic about tonight’s game. I think the squad were anticipating additional recruits to see them through to the end of the season. It is obvious now that Ashley has no intention of doing so! Therefore I believe this could affect the squads morale. Done the hard work so far but there not being given any support! CH has changed his vocabulary over the last week from being confident about players to we can look at the loan market in Feb.
    I don’t believe Simpson will be in the right frame of mind to play tonight and will be a mistake if CH plays him. How can he be? He has declared he wants to play for us yet Ashley has offered him the lowest wages for the 1st Team. Thanks for all your hard work – Not!
    Heaven forbid we get one or two long term injuries over the coming weeks!
    Sorry but I thought we were almost nailed on for promotion this year, in what I agree is a very poor league. However the way Forest are playing and the bigger squad at WBA I think we will now be lucky to remain in the play-off places. His big gamble, no new players, will come back to haunt Ashley and us.

    Result tonight, unfortunately I think they will beat us 2-0.

    Sorry for being so negative but the situation over transfers a farce. This is what the press want too. NUFC to fall from grace this year and give up another 12 point advantage and win nothing.

  27. Newcastle United has signed a new four-year sponsorship deal with Northern Rock worth up to £10m.
    The deal will see the nationalised bank remain as Newcastle’s main sponsor from season 2010/11 to 2014.
    Northern Rock’s chief executive Gary Hoffman said the agreement represented a good deal for taxpayers.

    I am sure the taxpayers don’t think it’s a good deal…wish we could start breaking with the past,s’pose it beats having lonsdale or sports direct junk shop on our shirts.
    More cash in the Ashley coffers.

  28. Chess I agree…very similar situation tyo when we needed fresh recruits last year to assist in premiership survival.
    Like I have said before expect nothing under this regime and you will never be disappointed.

  29. Northern Rock: what amazes me is that none of the top-heavy lasses you see in Toon colours ever think to just add that bit of marker pen to make it ‘Northern Rack’.

    I hate to see a good gag go wasted…

    However, I do like to see a top-heavy lass get wasted, so here’s to the Big Market, eh.

  30. sjt,that is typical mike ashley in all his splendour,another half heated empty gesture because he cannot deliver imo.
    he,s failed yet again in the transfer market,so he goes for his tried and tested plan b.this is to pull on geordie heart strings,by rolling out another old hero.
    this is moron ashley,s warped attempt to try and get people on side,the sad thing is some fans are falling into the trap.

  31. Oh, the football, yes. I think it does look a bit bore-draw-ish. 1-1. Sorry to be pessimistic, but I rate this lot.

    Intimidating the hell out of them on and off the pitch will be vital. Those attending, please don’t let the noise drop below ear-bleed levels.

    As for team, I think Carroll’s ability to beat up defences may be useful against this lot. I’d go for:

    ————-Harps
    Simpson – Colo – Taylor – Bull
    Guthrie – Smith – Nolan – Jonas
    ——- Shola – Carroll

    Bring Ranger, R.Taylor, Pacrate on as needed if that ain’t working.

  32. llambias said we,d be challenging for everything in 5 years,the only things we,ll be challenging for= league one play offs,ldv vans trophy,and trying to make the third round of the fa cup.

  33. While Ashley is right not to give into stupid January pricing, he also needs to realise where he really has to make exceptions in order to avoid a high risk of things falling apart. Not getting a striker is not the end of the world. Not getting a centre-back is a bit worse, but ok given Kadar’s progress. Not signing Simpson is probably the worst of the three, and that ain’t dead yet.

    The up-side is that we’ve not sold anyone yet. That (with the exception of Geremi) is most important of all.

  34. Mike Ashley-Epic Fail.
    Worst thing is I can see him staying a long time and I just worry what he is going to do next.
    If we fail to get promoted (which I think we will),I see a massive clear out of the rest of the big earners and we will end up slipping further behind next season.
    We are becoming unrecognisable.

  35. SJT – as you know I see things from a different perspective -as someone who knows the costs of business.

    I dont see the failure to buy players this window as a fail – as long as we get loans.

    I would see your general argument having validity after the summer window should we have been promoted – as the club at that point could afford to buy players and pay wages.

    Thats the time to buy players in my opinion – I couldnt care less about this window.

    On young Simpson – I expect him to sign on loan for the rest of the season.

  36. I think we’re overreacting. We didn’t get a striker with an attitude problem and a promising (not 1st-choice) defender who’s quite rightly seeing out his contract to go free agent in the summer. No big surprise there, and no disaster.

    Losing Simpson would be more worrying, and if we don’t plug that gap it’ll be a huge error by Ashley. I still think we’ll see this one sorted.

    A rather sad side to this is that it’s the first bite out of Hughton’s rather puppy-like trust in his employers. I think his naivity towards Ashley’s (read: any of the current regime) arrogance and ignorance led him to say some very over-optimistic stuff and he’s come unstuck just like Allerdyce, KK and Shearer before him. Let’s just hope it doesn’t remove the good feeling at the club which has got us this far.

  37. I just think a minor investment right now would not go amiss,I think our dark future will all be revealed should we fail to gain promotion 1st time of asking.

  38. I think we have to keep our eye on what we’re trying to acheive NOW rather than long-term. For me, that is:

    1. Mitigate risks created by thin areas of the squad.
    2. If possible, do this using players who also fit the ‘young, promising and cheap’ template.

    Any building for the Prem can happen in the summer. I just hope we don’t fail completely to add to the ranks, because we really have been lucky so far in all kinds of ways, and that luck WILL run out at some point.

  39. Whumpie says:
    January 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “Any building for the Prem can happen in the summer. I just hope we don’t fail completely to add to the ranks, because we really have been lucky so far in all kinds of ways, and that luck WILL run out at some point.”

    I think that it has been more careful management than luck, Whumpie. Careful rotation has kept the players fit, but not knackered and injury prone in a season that is longer than the Premier League one.

  40. how long do we have to put up with ashley pulling the same scam window in window out,why are people ready with excuses for the bloke.
    this is nothing new,he does it all the time.

  41. worky,come the summer he wont do anything,as the fake for sale signs will go up.
    the way mike ashley is running us in this siege mentality,suits him down to the ground.
    listen to llambias also,he,s only giving commitment for this season,mike wants to get them promoted,scoreboard,sccoreboard,blah blah scoreboard.

  42. So Trojan – what exactly DO you want them to do? Pay through the nose for players? I think it’s worth compromising for Simpson, but not the other two – the cost/benefit just doesn’t stack up; better to use loans and sort it properly in the summer.

    Of course, as you’ve suggested, there’s no guarantee they’ll do what’s needed then either. He may just spend the entire window trying and failing to sell the club, then wonder why we’re back in the fizzy 10 months later…

  43. Worky – fair point, really. I didn’t give credit where it’s due. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that an upturn in our injury ‘fortunes’ came just after our chief physio left either. Our conditioning team deserve as much credit as whoever is managing to let injuries heal when they do happen.

  44. whumpie,i am basing my assumption on the way he has handled every transfer window since he has been here.
    do i want mike ashley to pay through the nose for players no,and for the record when did i say this?
    the point is whumpie he doesn,t sign players fullstop,there are already suggestions that if we get promoted he,ll put the club back on the market.

  45. i believe we need to concentrate on the here and now at the minute. We need reinforcements now! We have been very fortunate with injuries so far this season. Other players have also stepped upto the mark when required (with the exception of Butt, who’s legs have gone). Unfortunately we are now 3 players down (after tonight) and it looks very much like no one will arrive to replace them. Shola is bound to get injured again and we are in real trouble if Tayls, Colo or Enrique get injured. No one to replace them.
    NUFC need to stop messing about and get decent players in now. I would actually be quite content with the three lads that have left. Two on loan and Simpson on a 4year contract. We could see it through to the summer then and then look at what we need to do. No point doing it now, as the way things look, we won’t be getting promotedat this rate.

  46. I think people are being unrealistic and overreacting. Yes, we need cover at left-back, but there are no other glaring holes – just a general need to up the quality all over the pitch if we get promoted.

    Ashley HAS signed lots of players – just none of them on rip-off fees and wages, and not all that many have turned out any good.

    I just have two worries:
    1. He’ll end up with nowt this window, which amounts to a £100m crossing of fingers.
    2. If we do go up, he’ll STILL not do what’s necessary and again gamble (his MO, after all) on selling up before the end of the window. I foresee lots of familiar excuses about the new owners wanting ‘their own men’ in.

    Still – right now, while it would be exciting to see lots of new faces, we have to see that this is January and very little good every comes from this window for any club.

  47. This is a very hugely thoughtful response. Thank you for this. I don’t agree with everything, but I do with most of what you posted. Either way it began a lot of thinking about this. I will keep pondering about this and get back to you.

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