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Archive for category: Fabrice Pancrate.

What do we think of the Newcastle engine room? – Part deux.

January 7th, 2010 | 66 Comments |

Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
Looking and feeling a little rusty in the middle?
The previous review of the current squad, took a look at the Newcastle defence, an area that this season we’ve been surprisingly strong in, given our poor reputation in recent years.

Today’s review looks at arguably the fulcrum of a successful team, the midfield, the place that could and should control a game and dictate the style of play. Our midfield this season has been very much part of a strong defensive ethos, and while we have grafters in there, we’re also lacking some natural creativity and pace.

Looking at the current crop, it really makes you pine for some of our former midfielders who have graced the hallowed St James’ turf in the last couple of decades. Reminisce about the grace of French wingers David Ginola and Laurent Robert. Recall the guts, determination and drive of Robert Lee and Gary Speed. Consider the guile we had in Emre, albeit fleetingly, and the sheer brilliance of Nobby Solano. Even having pure pace a la James Milner, Keith Gillespie to worry the opposition. You can even look at some of the less popular characters. We would kill for the pace of Kieron Dyer and dare I say, I could forgive Jermaine Jenas. Possibly even Damien Duff is a big miss? Maybe that’s stretching it…

Anyway, that was the past, what about the present? (more…)


Argyle look forward to replay! Plymouth 0 Newcastle 0.

January 2nd, 2010 | 20 Comments |

'Road to Wembley' slightly longer now...
'Road to Wembley' slightly longer now...
John Anderson probably summed it up nicely towards the end of his Radio Newcastle commentary, that both managers would have been happy with a draw before this game. But as the referee blew the final whistle with the score at 0-0, it will surely be Plymouth boss Paul Mariner who will be happier than his Newcastle counterpart Chris Hughton. Obviously this despite the inconvenience for their fans of another 800-mile-round-trip to St James’ for the replay, a week on Wednesday.

The FA Cup throws the form book out of the window, and even though Plymouth have improved in recent games, that suited them due to their lowly position. Newcastle, conversely at the summit of the Championship, made several changes to protect the squad from a demanding run-in ahead. And so if anything, with home advantage, you’d have been excused for putting Plymouth as favourites. However, Hughton still fielded a strong team, and but for some good goalkeeping and wayward finishing, we did enough to win this game. (more…)


Tayls of woe! – Newcastle 0, Derby 0.

December 29th, 2009 | 159 Comments |

Possibly some Derby fans. Or possibly not.
Possibly some Derby fans. Or possibly not.
I was just going to write the word ‘garbage’ and leave it at that for my write-up on the Derby game, my feelings shared by many Newcastle fans spilling out of St Jame’s Park after last night’s game. However, my choice to indulge in some enjoyable ales on the way back to the station for the last train, has given me time to ponder.

And yes, we were still garbage, but there is more to it than just that. Even as I made my way from Durham, I sensed that things seemed flat amongst the supporters, and undoubtedly that was evident on the park for some of our players last night. This word ‘complacency’ has almost lost all meaning, as the doubters and knockers rub their hands in glee at the prospect of another black and white collapse following an impressive lead. While the ‘Class of 96’ was certainly more high-profile, something tells me that our detractors would enjoy our demise just as much this time round. (more…)


Newcastle United – A Half Season Summary.

December 22nd, 2009 | 38 Comments |

Toon supporters: Happier than last season?
Toon supporters: Happier than last season?
As you’re probably aware, Newcastle United’s Boxing day trip to Sheffield Wednesday will mark our 23rd league game of the season, marking the half-way point in what is turning out to be a fantastic season so far! This article takes a look at some of the happenings since the season began way back on the 8th of August.

With a team seemingly devoid of confidence, direction, application and the uncertainty surrounding the owner, managerial position, and who was next to be sold, the toon set off for the season opener at West Brom. After being 1-0 down at half-time, a superb finish from Damien Duff earned us a share of the spoils. That was to be Duff’s only appearance for us this season as he was quickly snapped by Fulham and he followed the likes of Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins, Seb Bassong and Habib Beye out of the club. (more…)


Tyking liberties! Barnsley 2 Newcastle 2.

December 13th, 2009 | 126 Comments |

Toon didn't need the Hassell!
Toon didn't need the Hassell!
How very dare they! With their short arms and deep pockets, those tight Yorkshire gets refused to give us three points and Barnsley 2 Newcastle United 2, was probably as fair a result as we deserved in the end. Backed by a minibus short of 7,000 fans, it was set up for and Newcastle were probably expecting, a perfect return. As it happens, apart from a spell in the first half, Barnsley were more than good for their point and battered us for spells. And this time we couldn’t sneak a win, though we came very close and it took a last gasp equaliser to spoil all of the black and white fun.

With roughly 7,000 fans spilling down the A1 and from various parts of the country, there was promise of a special day out and as the masses gathered behind the North Stand (and West Stand) in the bright wintery sunshine, the mood was vibrant. Hughton made several changes to the team that played against Coventry, as Ryan Taylor game in for Danny Simpson, while Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll (a surprise inclusion) replaced Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Amoeobi. The formation began as a 4-5-1 with Nolan playing mostly as a second striker but as the game progressed he dropped deeper. (more…)