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Newcastle 1-2 Stoke – The final inquest.

Posted on September 27th, 2010 | 80 Comments |

Hughton has food for thought.
Hughton has food for thought.
A big nufcblog.org welcome to Fernando who has decided to jump into the writing of articles for us all to read. May this be the first of many and I wish him all the best. Fernando joins our other new signing, Paul Reece, and will now link up with his new team-mates, Toonsy and Workyticket. Take it away Fernando.

As far as a complete letdown goes, I think our lads just about hit the nail on the head yesterday.

We let a chance to cement fifth position in the table slip right through our fingers, and it was a chance that could and should have been taken I might add. The performance wasn’t a complete disaster however, but the inability to take points against teams we should be looking to gain points from at home is worrying.

Having analysed our performance from last night, this is pretty much how I would rate the seemingly lacklustre showing that our players put in.

Tim Krul – Decent enough. Seemed a little more comfortable with crosses into the box than a few weeks ago. Never afraid to take on the last man. Consistent shot stopper.

James Perch – At the risk of getting slated by posters, I honestly don’t think he put a foot wrong other than the own goal. Which in all fairness may have gone to the attacker right behind him. Needs some work on anticipating overhead passes though.

Williamson and Collocini – Sturdy at the back but, like any defence, were bound to give in to the constant pressure that Stoke were building up.

Jose Enrique – Was fairly impressed by his performance, especially going forward. Seems to link up well with the person in front of him irrespective of whether it is Jonas or not.

Wayne Routledge – Good bursts of pace, but woeful crossing. Caused no end of problems to their fullbacks but the lack of end result killed his own moves off.

Cheick Tiote – Impressed me to no end. Good control. Neat tackling. Good distribution. Maybe just the odd mistake, but nobody’s perfect, eh?

Joey Barton – A tale of two halves to be honest. Fairly decent in the first-half but woeful in the second. Played too deep, & was kept out well by their midfield.

Hatem Ben Arfa – Mediocre at best. Drifted in far to much in a very Guthrie-esque style for a winger, which in turn very often left Enrique fending for himself.

Kevin Nolan – Was fairly decent. Put in an alright shift. Gets far too much stick although he does his bit.

Andy Carroll – Disastrous night. Bordering on terrible. Was blocked by their defense & couldn’t find any way around it.

Our subs frankly didn’t have enough time to create or do much. But it’s rather apparent that we need to find a way to unlock defences, improve overall in the final third and have more than one game-plan. If we can achieve that, I honestly feel we’ll be a serious force to be reckoned with.

Oh well, onward and upward I suppose. HWTL!

NUFCBlog Author: fernando666 fernando666 has written 8 articles on this blog.

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80 Responses

  1. Good wrote up, and a fair assesment of the players IMO. Fell a bit sorry for Carroll mind as he got left up front on his own an awful lot whilst Nolan tried to catch up.

  2. I could not help but think that Joey Barton was injured early in the game, but stayed on either because no physio noticed, or CH let him stay on. My evidence was that Barton did not take the free kicks and his corners were a far cry from what is normally seen. In the second half he never pushed forward.

    I would think that if players are being left on their injuries will get worse. Leaving such a condition un attended also hurts the team (as we saw) and demoralizes the lads in the squad and on the bench.

    It is surprising that CH is so careful to make sure someone is fully fit before coming back from injury, but leaves in players injured in a game. In several games Nolan has gotten knocks that made him even less effective, yet he has been allowed to continue. No matter how experienced and “leader-like”a player may be, if he is tagging along behind the game, it hurts the entire squad.

  3. Routledge’s problem is that when he gets a decent early ball into the box, as he did yesterday, there’s no one looking to anticipate it & get on the end of it.
    No matter what people think of PL, at least he understands the necessity of getting to the front stick, early.
    Something that Carroll seems to have no concept of.
    Same when Jose put early balls in.
    No attacker gambling near post.
    Just ‘hanging’ around in the middle. Waiting for the ball to get to them.
    Movement in the box is none existent right now.

  4. Beeguy,
    fair enough,
    but,
    that’s assuming they were ‘actually’ injured, & it’s not just a thinly veiled attack on messers Nolan, Hughton etc.
    by you?
    ;)

  5. “Kevin Nolan – Was fairly decent. Put in an alright shift. Gets far too much stick although he does his bit.”

    I’m sorry, but ‘doing your bit’ is just not enough when you play in the position Nolan does. It is arguably the most important attacking position on the pitch as almost everything goes through him. He offers too little as an AM and needs dropping in my opinion.

  6. ET,
    Aye,
    Nolan is more AM when there are 2 in front of him, making late runs into the box. Not ‘in the hole’, that’s HBA’s role, plain as day.
    But seeing as we’ve got Tiote as DM & Barton front of diamond, that negates Nolan’s role.
    Great away to tough teams of bruisers, but not at home v repugnant, bruiser monsters packing the defensive line.
    Hey?
    ;)

  7. Don’t agree on carroll but the rest spot on. He can’t really do allot up top by himself. The likes of drogba and rooney struggle against stoke with a much better supporting cast. Despite not being at his best he chased down tirelessly resulting in some sloppy play from sorenson and a few corners and throw ins won. He also must have won at least ten flick ons but can’t really do allot without someone up beside him. I rate nolan but he’s more knockdowns than flick ons. He did also win the penalty. He wasn’t at his best by any stretch of the imagination but to say terrible is ludicrous. Good article though, keep it up.

  8. @ el toro: agreed…he may have his off days, & they may be more than other players, but he has the tendency to find himself in the right place at the right time nearly everytime there’s a scramble in the box. & he’s scored 3 or 4 already, if I’m not mistaken. I’m not saying he’s prolific, but he does commit to the cause…

  9. Carroll did well first half, pressuring the ‘keeper etc.
    But played too deep & less effective in the second.
    Like he was waiting for hoofs up & allowing himself to be marked out of the game.

  10. batty,
    aye mate, we have to be smarter than that & more patient.
    Give y’stoke mates a bop on the nose from us mate.
    ;)

  11. Clint, I did not mean to imply an attack on any player. I’m just thinking how my teammates and I felt when we were playing, or on the bench, and we had a “weak link” created when an injured player was left in the game. The best example of this was when one of our baseball pitchers would have as sore arm, or a nagging leg injury, and we fielders were reduced to watching the other team shell our most important player, and having to run down those long hits. By the time it came time for us to bat, we were exhausted from all the extra defensive work, and demoralized by how far behind we were on the scoreboard. So, to me, if someone is not fit, he should be replaced by someone who can do his job 100%, even if it may not be quite as good as the injured man. Get the better player healthy & then tke full advantage of his abilities.

  12. Away teams should fear a trip to SJP but they don’t, bring back the noise. Only the leazes corner make a sound.

  13. I’ll agree with the majority of that, we need some pace up front to support Carroll – as much trouble as bellamy was, he and shearer played a blinder together in the old days, carrols strength is great for holding up the ball and muscling his way through but we need another option alongside him (or behind him if CH wants to stick with his current formation) to pull the defenders out of position

  14. We are seriously missing a striker. Nolan IS NOT a striker, he lacks the pace flair and raw talent. The one that he put round the post, a striker like Bent would have buried that. I think it will cost us coz when Carroll dries up, and he has, I can’t see where the goals are coming from. ITS SO annoying because teams like Stoke and Wolves really are cr@p footballing sides but we were so nieve against them and they look like they are getting used to this league and we look like we’ve forgotton how to play at the top level.

  15. fair assesment of players, not blaming Carroll for having a bad game, not much he could do with our insistance on lobbing long balls into the box – he needs support.
    prob need to drop the 4-4-1-1 at home as teams have alread yworked it out and just defend deep and attack on the break ala Blackpool and Stoke, if we don’t change it then we are gonna get a hammering of one of the better teams.
    I’d bring Ben Arfa into the middle which is where he spends most of his time anyway
    Tiote is a stone wall starter for me on current form so we need to prob drop Nolan if we’re going to use Arfa with routledge and jonas on the wings

  16. Morale Officer @22 agree. Was like a morgue yesterday. Just needed a bit of tumbleweed flying around and would have got the atmosphere about right. On the back of the Chelsea result etc when everyone was buzzing late last week, it was weird that the atmosphere was so none existent.

  17. tell you what we need, ASHLEY OOT! lol

    On a different note, anyone see how Steve Sidwell’s leg breaking challenge on that Wolves player has received no coverage, but if it was the other way round there would be hell on!

  18. FAir assessment of the players Fernando and it seems to gel with the more enlightnened elements of the popular press too. Sorry if you take that as a sleight – it was intended as a compliment!

    nufc337 says:
    September 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm
    just been on some other blogs some people are really thick and wanting CH to get the chop!

    Can I take it nufc that the same mob’s calling for the sackings of Ancelotti, Wenger, Rednapp, Moyes and Hodgson too?

    These so called fans are as ignorant as the boo-boys we heard at the end of the game. Thay should really wake up or get back to playing with Football Manager!!!

  19. I thought Perch was one of our best players until the own goal, he’s becomming a scape goat when people are playing worse than him.

  20. Toonsy-not wrong mate. Everyone around me were moaning like mad, I did my fair bit but some of it was pointless. I had a German couple behind me and Irish infront. Doubt they’ll be returning to sjp after the shift I put in. Reckon I might have ruined their day given the amount of times I kicked off at the ref/lineo, lol.
    Did anyone notice our reluctance to take a chance yesterday btw? Few wicked balls into the box from Jose and there was just neeone there to get on the end of them in the 6 yarder. Disappointing!

  21. I would blame on toonsy fault for predicting a win for us…. :lol:

    Joke Aside,i see us getting beaten 6-0 by Man City, 2-0 by Wigan…

    Then after that, Winning Hammers and hopefully Mackems….

    With that i conclude my statement. ;)

  22. Ross,
    aye mate.
    Jose, Jonas & Routledge put decent balls in, but no one gambling in the box, no near/front post gambling either.
    Too late getting up with the play & lack of movement, pulling defenders out of position, in the box.
    Our downfall, right there.

  23. The next three games are huge! A draw/win @ citeh followed by a convincing display @ home against Wigan are a must! And West Ham should poise no threat! But we do need to pull our socks up! Big Time

  24. nathandio says:
    September 27, 2010 at 2:50 pm
    “And West Ham should poise no threat!”

    Like Blackpool and Stoke?

    Howay man…

  25. Well if we can’t beat Wigan at home then we are in big trouble IMO. Three teams that will be around will have come to our place and taken points.

  26. That’s why i want to see Guthrie back….

    My Blind faith on him,u can put that…Without Him…CH will always stick to 4-5-1….Cause without him,no one currently now can be replace.

    IMO,at home games,we actually no need any Defensive mid-fielder from start. Maybe can bring in from bench once we leading 1 or 2 goals.

  27. ILM i agree with you but thats what i meant by ‘should’. I would like to think we are a better team that West Ham. I know we’re not exactly showing it at the moment but hopefully we’ll turn things around. We are, however, starting to get a bit of a yo-yo reputation at the moment!

  28. west ham should pose no threat? just like the last 2 home games then,an easy win with goals galore.think the appointment of nolan as skipper is proving tricky.every body can see he doesnt work in the hole,he has absolutely no pace what so ever.i remember in the 2nd half the ball broke to him in the middle of their half and he had time and space to take it forward,but he looked so slow and im sure he was sprinting! the stoke lad just strolled up behind him and took the ball easily.nolan has that rare capacity of being in the right place at right time to knock in rebounds and such but if he aint doing that then he is redundant and pointless.think hba should be tried in hole with jonas back on left and routledge on right,but hoots wont drop nolan.our best midfield/attack is only capable without nolan…barton/tiote/hba,jonas/routl

  29. Just to Add On: I already mention the most likely reason on why CH always stick to 4-5-1 be it Home or Aways games in previous post already…

    So stop asking why oh Why CH be so negative at home,because he have no choice but to use that.

  30. We are being a bit hard on the team after yesterday, fair enough, some didnt punch their weight and CH made some seemingly bizarre substitutions yet again but lets be fair, who can play football against Stoke?
    They are set out to stop teams playing football, they are good at it and on another day we could have been three up at half time.
    And what about that Tosspot of a manager, why make an issue over our team for simulation to cover up his own planned thuggery, did he not see Jones apparently sparked out for three minutes and then run around like a spring chicken and what about the free kick they equalised from when Fuller hoyed himself to the ground?
    We arent going to win the league and i agree with Hughton that we are learning, we were beaten and not hammered, over reacting to a marginal defeat is as bad as squealing on when we win away from home, we have the nucleus of a decent side and we need to calm down a bit.

  31. Barton was quieter in the second half because there was no Ben Arfa. He was opening up so much space in that first half. Hardly say he was ‘mediocre’. If Nolan was decent and HBA was mediocre then you’re as weird as Houghtons tactics and subs.

  32. chris hughton OUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT~~~~~ :lol:

    but seriously…we need to get consistent form at Home Games,if not really CH job at staying beyond this season will be very Shaky/unlikely~~~

  33. toonsy says:
    September 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Well if we can’t beat Wigan at home then we are in big trouble IMO. Three teams that will be around will have come to our place and taken points.

    How if we get to 40 points then it is completely and utterly irrelevent who we get them off, What was your expected point tally at this stage was it many more than 7?? because i expected wins against Stoke and Blackpool and a draw at Wolves with defeats in the rest.

    We will go to Man City, Who are very cautious at home more so than us, Probably play a lot better than yesterday and pinch something, We are better set up to play a counter attacking system away from home.

    The bright spot of the blackpool defeat was the inclusion of Benny and Tiote in the starting 11, Lets see if Hoots solution is dropping Routledge and Nolan and bringing Jonas and Guthrie back in giving us better counter attacking and ball retaining options.

  34. Very good article.Even though we were very unlucky and too easily shattered in defence when Stoke started to show glimpses of decent attacking in the second half.Looking at NUFC playing this season,I’m feel pretty sure we wont get relegated,unlike some supporters who push the alarm button after every game we loose,characterizing Guiterrez as a headless chicken,and our manager as useless because he takes off Ben Arfa.I think he did it cause we hardly saw anything of him.Or maybe to tell him his not God’s gift to our club,at least not yet.

  35. Well we were up 1-0 when he took Ben Arfa off… And I’m not sure we were unlucky. We created maybe 2 good chances all game, and that’s when we were down 2-1. Jones hit the bar twice for them.

  36. toonsy says:
    September 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    ‘It’s the gadgies in the East Stand :)

    I’m telling you, the rigomortis they have is spreading’

    :lol:

    Thats my favourite stand but the punters are a bit quiet tho. Its not fair just to rely on the South East and L7 corners, take them away and it would be like watching a boro match! I don’t shout or sing like so I guess I got no right to complain.

  37. ————-Butterfingers———–
    Hoofit—Fatty—Braindead—Punchdrunk
    OnePace—-Dimwit–Donkey—–Shotshy
    ———-Snailpace—LankyLarry—-

    Thats the team to wallop £100,000,000,000,000,000 City.

  38. toonsy he pisses me off with his smileys :) and if ya read trough sum of his post he tryin too put little jokes in what arnt even funny and hes put the lowlights up from yesterdays match the prick

  39. Batty – Have you seen his Premier League blog? That confirmed to me that it’s all about hits for him, and not Newcastle.

  40. im sure we wud beat man city wiTh our style of play cos im sure we wont draw many games this season.i hope ch would allow hba play for atleast 75mins each game.sol campbel should b a last option not a 1st choice

  41. Let a message on hs log the other day criticising his criticism of Ben Arfa. I then got a weird email from him thanking me for comment …

  42. Toonsy – yeah that was weird – why do a premier league blog? Who gives a monkeys about the rest of them. As you say hits makes dosh for him

  43. Welcome in, Fernando – nice start!

    I think we’re all pointing at different views on one thing: nobody getting into a shooting position when the ball gets knocked in. While Stoke’s defence has to take some credit for that, you do have to wonder about Nolan and Carroll, and Barton too; it’s their job to be there.

    Yet all I saw time and again was a big green space when a pass went in, or a red and white shirt in front of the black and white one.

    Basically, a bit like around December last season, the opposition seem to have worked out how to play against our standard line-up and strategy. Plan B didn’t work on this occasion, and I can only assume CH knew something we didn’t when it came to sub choices. Tiote off for Shola just seemed to open up the middle even more, although I thought Jonas looked very decent indeed. Shame he had to go for goal himself because nobody was waiting for that final ball.

  44. Beat man city? Not a chance. Theyve just beaten the favourites for the league. Their first team too, not the bench warmers.
    I love the optimism lads, but just because we beat Everton away, who are bottom by the way, doesn’t mean we will beat other teams we are expected.to lose to.

  45. Whumpie – But don’t you think it’s a problem if other teams have “worked out how to play against our standard line-up and strategy” only 6 games into the new season and with the next chance of getting reinforcemnets in still 4 months away?

  46. clint,you cheeky barsteward , i’ve seen your post , calling me an auld git lol.
    i’m only 36 ,plenty life in the owld dog yet.

  47. think the problem begins and ends with kevin nolan.he cant play in the hole because he has no pace,flair,skill,vision.the only thing he brings is tap ins and rebounds and when they arent happeing its like playing with ten men.we have ben arfa now who was born to play there,get jonas back in the side to carry on the cracking partnership him and jose have down the left and either stick benny down the right instead of routledge or stick him in the hole in place of nolan.but nolan wont be dropped.wouldnt be surprised to see benny on the bench v man city,i love hoots and am so grateful we have him,but the only thing that worries me is this nolan love in when for the better of the team he needs dropped.tiote is a shoe in every game,same as joey barton,they have been superb.nolan in the hole wont work in pl,so the only way we can improve our forward play is to drop nolan.i admire what he done for us last season but hoots mustnt let his heart rule his head.to be honest has there been any posts saying nolan should stay in the team? thats when you can tell if a situation is debatable or just plain obvious.i think the dropping of nolan is plain obvious and would meet with universal approval……but still cant see it.

  48. Fernando welcome aboard and I wont abuse you on yer maiden thread :)

    saltysellars I tend to agree with what you have just said. I as many will know am not one of Nolans biggest fans but I can honestly say that I do appreciate what his goals have done for us but I have always believed that if Lovens took the place of Nolan last season he would have scored more than Nolan, My main gripe with him is that he seems to be undroppable and knows it, so many times last year he was sh1te and done nowt but it was never him that had to make way for subs coming on, it was always guthrie or one of the other less senior player that had to make way, but now with guthrie injuried it seems that Jonas is the one that has to warm the bench even though he played a cracking game at chelski.
    Here endeth my rant :lol:

  49. salty, mate.
    Get some punctuation on the scene dood.
    It’s like reading the ingredients off of a post-nuclear foodstuff.
    :)
    You make decent points, but me heed hurts now.
    :)

  50. clint mate writing has never been my strong point,its just luck that this is typed and not handwritten then you would really have a head ache! lol think r taylor deserves a crack in the team instead of perch (regardless of the own goal) or even routlege.i dont understand why most dont rate him,i think he has usually been pretty solid an knows where the goal is.either way hoots needs to show now that he has what it takes and can shake up a stale and clearly not working home attacking system.we have the players,just not in the way they are being deployed atm.nolan being droppedor at least cut down a peg or 2 inside the club is whats needed.now,where is that big number9 with the right hook?……

  51. Trojan-its kool here for every one except me.the game was over when hba was out.i dont have any complains with perch and nolan cos they were under pressure.isnt it obvious carrol lacks pace?i some times miss oba pace

  52. salty,
    nee sweat mate, i get ya’.
    Soz man, i wasn’t taking the piss mate.
    Just stick a space after y’full stops & commas & it’ll look a f*** load easier on the eye mate.
    Hey, i think Raylor does a job too, cracking shot on the lad & a good delivery too, mostly.
    Although, i do think Perch is doing alright & was unlucky yesterday. Shoulda been someone on the near stick, for me like. It might not have happened then.
    Perch made a couple of great tackles, something he’s better than Raylor on.
    CH’s got some thinking to do like.
    ;)

  53. Big Bad Bob says

    “but lets be fair, who can play football against Stoke?”

    The answer to that is at least the Mighty Wolves, you know those hack them up high merchants who saw to Joey B.

    I’m sorry BBB but the truth is that ANY team worthy of the name should be able to out think, out play and out score one of the most talentless teams ever to hit the top division.

    I listened to Pulis whingeing about Barton at the same time as telling us that they “really got their game together” in the second half and realised the bloke is living in another world.

    His team didnt get their game together they just began to play normally (having had the proverbial arse kicking at HT) and that was all that was needed to turn the Toon into a bunch of rabbits caught in the headlights.

    We were so abysmal in the second half, not that we were great in the first, that we needed injections from players not deemed good enough for the first team.

    However we came off second best even though our team (and squad) are light years ahead of Stoke in terms of quality and ability.

    So how does that happen ?

  54. One thing that boggles my mind, is the fact we kept going to the byline and put in a cross, time and time again, against a Stoke team which is, basically, a team of giants, instead of using our superior footballing side, and try to break them down more by passing through. We were playing great in the first half, very confident, and we should’ve just kept playing about and make them run for the ball.

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