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Points over performance? Coventry game afterthoughts…

Posted on February 18th, 2010 | 27 Comments |

Another one for the Bensham Bomber.
Another one for the Bensham Bomber.
Apologies for tardiness but with one thing and another, I never got round to my “full report to follow” from last night’s report of the Newcastle v Coventry game. As a result I left out a lot of the gory details. No doubt you’ll have read other reports in the meantime but as I’ve not said much today, here’s what I thought…

Coventry City came to St James’ in some decent form but in all honesty never looked like they had much belief of getting anything out of the game. With Hughton reverting to the 4-4-2 formation that was so successful against Cardiff, but pairing Carroll with Lovenkrands instead of Best, there was a lot of promise of a repeat performance.

However, thirty minutes later and it looked like it might be a frustrating night with Guthrie’s blocked free kick from the edge being the closest we came to breaking the deadlock. Coventry set up stall and defended well and didn’t give us much of a sniff, although mercurial wing wizards Gutierrez and Routledge were just warming up their wands, so to speak. So it was slightly against the run of play when they fashioned a half chance that veteran Clinton Morrison hooked into the bottom corner for his first Toon goal. Probably the only instance last night when we didn’t look solid and we should have cleared the ball initially or certainly defended better when we didn’t.

Fortunately, we didn’t take long to respond and when a short corner was headed out to the edge of the box, Routledge fired a superb volley into the bottom of the net. Coventry weathered a bit of a storm until the break and probably would have been hopeful of trying to see out the draw and take home a point. But Newcastle were in no mood for any favours and when Guthrie’s superb reversed pass found Nolan in the box, the skipper turned a cross back to Carroll who couldn’t miss and powered a header in for his sixth goal in eight games.

The game was soon over as a contest when Routledge latched onto a sloppy pass and set off through the heart of the Sky Blues defence. Routledge was felled by Barnett in the box, and my feeling at the time was that he could probably feel a little hard done by as the penalty was awarded and the defender shown his second yellow. Video footage doesn’t suggest I was far wrong but you can probably see why the decision was made. Lovenkrands despatched the penalty with aplomb to make it 3-1.

With Ryan Taylor, Pancrate and Best brought on for Gutierrez, Routledge and Lovenkrands, the three substitutes combined to make it 4-1. Pancrate helped to start the move in our half and when Simpson’s long ball was nodded down by Carroll, the Frenchman crossed well. Leon Best dummied brilliantly (see footage to confirm sarcasm) and Ryan Taylor was on hand to finish, though to a strangely subdued celebration.

Last night’s game proved several things. The first thing it proved is that we can’t take our defensive strengths for granted and that by switching off you can be punished, because Cov’s goal literally came out of nowhere. Their passing was sloppy and they rarely looked like troubling us until we weren’t on our toes. It also proved that with the right players deployed in a 4-4-2 and perhaps arguably in the right games (i.e. certainly at home), it gives us the platform to really punish teams with the quality that most people concede we have. The defence were solid apart from that one lapse and Stevie Harper only really picked the ball out the back of the net, otherwise he didn’t do much. The forwards put in a good shift and the ‘big man/little man’ combination worked well.

Ultimately however, what it also showed was the we have been crying for our wingers to provide us with that sort of ammunition all season. Now it’s here, we’re reaping the rewards. And though it will be countered by some, Danny Guthrie proved what a great asset he is with a combative performance full of invention and incisive passing. Played in the middle of the park, he really makes a difference. And Kevin Nolan was as energetic and impressive as he was sluggish and awful against Swansea.

Some supporters are happy to forego the performance as long as we get the points. I see the logic in getting back up to the Premiership and then worrying about how well we play but personally I’m also holding out for some decent viewing as well and don’t agree with sacrificing the means for the ends. Last night’s game provided something for everyone and long may it continue.

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

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27 Responses

  1. ok ok we have wone a game wirt CONVENTRY stll not a big team does any of u guys belive that nufc can bet any club in the premiership …lol that wont happen because they are still very bad ….eg look at
    WILLIAMSON…a player who isnt even wanted by pompey …and pompy is 20th.
    WAYNE…a player who had a bad experiance wid totenham and villa…
    r.TAYLOR …well i cant say much the only thing i know we shouldent have exchanged him for n’zogbia…a player who is becoming a star…
    NOLAN..very very low class comparing him with the likes off spped and jenas and even sold by a club that the fans love but he can still be a star next year with pompy..lol
    DANNY BOY…he is a future star and i think he is the only classy mid fild player left in the club
    COLO…i think he wont stay next year but if he did he will be some asset
    GEORDI BOY STEVE…well good defender but one problem he have the worst spped in the premier leauge..look at the game against man city big sams firt game wid them
    JOSE…i think he will follow colo out but if he stays i hope he will do some thing he didnt in his LIFE score a goal
    SIPSON…useless..un wanted by blackburn…who signed him any way cause any one who signes him must have a huge plan on staying at the coca cola
    HALL…who the fuc** k is he …
    KRUL…the next van der sar
    KADAR…the next nesta
    LUA LUA…why dont any one play him insted of thet french dud
    FABRIC PANCRANT…WHT EVER His name ….he the the least player nufc have signed since i dont know…zmaberela …if boby robson were alive he would shoot him self…i think if hing kev heard that he will probably stop watching us
    CAROLLLLL…good progress but stll not like our no 9…he needs at least a year or 2
    AMIOBI….what happend to him…why dont he just give u football and start doing some thing like giving chances and teaching the acadamy kids some thing
    LOVEN…ABSOLUTE CLASSSSSSSSSSS
    BUTT…USELESSSSS…BUT BETTER THAN FABRIC PANCRIAS..LOL
    JONAS…can any one show him how lampard passes the ball …sriously i bet he cant pass the ball in 8 meters
    BRADEN INMAN…..the best and the next “bressiano” according to some paper
    HARIS…give him a chance
    Donaldson and Godsmark…both talented and will be sucessfull if they move to a club where they have real coatches like MILLNER did to villa

  2. HenCOCK
    your post is crap, your spelling is embarrassing, is that your real name or a misspelling?
    You are the weakest link………….F11CK OFF!

  3. Bowburn I’ll disagree with you over Guthrie but what the heck we got a much needed win and smiles are back on everybody’s faces. The goal this year for the club is to get promoted sort out those players we cannot afford to pay ridiculous wages to.For me Jonas is the real difference to the side he can do things no one else in the squad can do. Before anybody says he cannot deliver he put over a cross in the first five minutes that Sandra Redknapp could have scored from instead Loverboy missed.
    Three points tomorrow and the pints will taste sweeter.
    Same starting X1 pull the strikers off after a hour and get Best and Ranger on fresh legs to finish off a tiring north end. Come on the toon.

  4. What’s the weather like in Newcastle I’m going up for the match tomorrow from Birmingham but we have snow down here and disruption on the railways is it bad up there any chance of the match being called off?

  5. Hencock WTF are you rambling about, we may be playing in a lesser league but you can only play what is put in front of you.
    It’s given us chance to get player up to speed with the English style of football (Jonas, Enrique, Collo, as for the player he has brought in Williamson didn’t play at pompey was released for financial reasons not cause they didn’t want him.
    The positive about coming down to this league is we have had chance to bring players on and get a solid commited team of players, not a load of wanna be’s turning up each week for there wages and not playing.

    At times we have looked poor, especially away from home. But what you have to look at if/when we make it to the premiership, it’s not all about beating the top teams. There are a lot of poor teams in the premiership from 10th down this season in my opinion, and reckon we could survive which would be are first goal.

    So stop picking faults and try getting behind the toon, it’s people like you we can do with out.

    As a side note has anyone looked at the last 14/15 game run in of the top 3???
    We have 3 teams in the top 8 to play and they are all at home, where as Forest & West Brom have some tricky games against the like of Derby/Leicester/BackpoolSwansea

    HWTL

  6. Great post BBM, like you i enjoy us playing with some style, but this season has to be about one thing only and that is promotion, how we do it is not really that important and something we can moan about in the summer as we await our return to the promised land.

    Good luck to the Lads tomorrow, 3 points and a step closer to the magic 90 which should see them up comfortably.
    Howay the Lads

  7. Good spot Sir BR, in fact if you look at the fixtures Forest have Leicester away, Swansea at home and us away in the next 8 games. WBA have Swansea away Blackpool at home and a couple of tricky Midland derby games against Coventry and Derby, our games look slightly easier, on paper anyway!!! with only the home game against Forest featuring a team in the top eight, other game that might be interesting is the Smogs away. Lets hope the lads are at it, cos i think the others will drop points a haul of 18 points from the next 24 available will have us almost home!!!!

    Haway the Lads

  8. We also have Sheffield utd and Blackpool which are in the top 8.
    On paper it looks positive, but after all this is Newcastle united so we can’t take anything for granted LOL. Doncaster away is going to be our trickiest away game, they have quitely picked up some good results at home.

  9. Lets get out of the championship before we start banging on about players not being good enough for prem – we’re doing ok in this league, admittedly our football hasn’t always been the prettiest but we’ve scored 9 goals in last two home games and if we can continue in that form and get a couple of wins away we should easily be promoted.
    Pancrate, Hall, Butt are all off at end of season which gives us some room for new players of prem quality although I’d have liked LuaLua, Kadar and Ranger to be given more playing time in this league, we’ve also got Barton coming back in a few weeks, I reckon we could wrap up promotion by end of March if we win all our games

  10. It looks like CH, with his nicely embellished squad, is settling on attack at home and caution away. It makes for some boring and frustrating away games, but I’ll take that as long as we get more home games like the last two.

    …starting tomorrow.

    Flying in just in time for the match (I take it Flybe don’t check footie schedules) and fully expecting a 15-hour binge, kicked off with a pre-match pint and a sound thrashing of Preston Bell End, bless ’em.

    Sticking my neck out here, and agreeing with BBM (really must stop that, eh) – I think Guthrie is going to become a key player in the middle. Needs time to bed in, but the signs are already there.

    As for after the match and into Sunday… I need more suggestions for good venues, please!

  11. Was at the game and i thought we played really well ( from what i can remember ) the 2 non newcastle utd fans who came with me were impressed and thought we were worth the 3 points

  12. Johno – glad you enjoyed it pal.

    Whumpie – let me know if you’re around after the game and I’ll catch you for a pint. I’ll drop you an email if you like?

  13. Cheers Bowburnmag , Newcastle really is a great place! The 3 of us had a ball and cannot wait to go back over , i dunno where we went but I know we were paying 4.50 for 3 bottles n 3 shots after the game in some place, amazing!

  14. Nice one. You got a mention in the match banter piece and I was trying to catch you to see if you wanted to grab a beer but I presumed I’d left it too late and you were on your way.

    Get yaself back over again soon, you’re a lucky charm.

  15. I actually did see that but wa sin the airport on one of those pay machines and my time ran out before i could reply , but lookin into flights again , hopefully get something cheap enough

  16. I was about to start slagging off Henock but in actuality a lot of what he was saying I agree with, terrible spelling and grammar notwithstanding. 6/10 for content I reckon. I don’t think the transition to the EPL will be as bad as his prognosis as several of the youngsters he mentions will be stepping up by then, and I think this time around there will be more movement in the transfer market now Ashley is getting the finances in order. Skelbred for one in.

    Roy there was never much action in Gateshead high street when I was living and carousing there, I take it not much has changed. Dunston was livelier!!

  17. Hi BBM – yep, up for that pint. Any idea how you exchange details on here without ending up on Stardust’s mailing list for Mike Ashley memorabilia?

    (Off to demolish fish & chips in the canteen; back later…)

  18. batty – i’ll be clearing over £1000.00 @ 8.30pm when they cart miss swanson off to the nick & at approximatley 8.35 i’ll be about to down my first of many pints :)

    ….mind you i wouldn’t be suprised if that dodgy character – david platt – was somehow involved…think i’ll check his odds..

  19. batty says:
    February 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

    komfort >>> Becca Swanson now 9 to 2 so some mugs must be backing her lol

    komfort says:
    February 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    “mind you i wouldn’t be suprised if that dodgy character – david platt – was somehow involved…think i’ll check his odds”

    I thought that that David Platt was an ex England footballer and Becca Swanson was the world’s strongest woman. Are they soap characters now?