Posted February 22nd, 2014 by Hugh de Payen | 719 Comments
Who’ll win the tactical battle?
: Sunday 23rd February 2014.
: St James’ Park.
: Martin Atkinson.
: Sky Sports 1.
It’s a mid-table battle at St James’ Park on Sunday as Newcastle play Aston Villa and I reckon both teams will think they can win it too.
Villa will fancy their chances against us given our recent atrocious run of form. But having the home advantage against mid-table opposition should give us some hope that we might be able to use this fixture to halt our recent decline, which would be a welcome relief.
The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:
As you can see, Villa’s form is better than ours to the tune of five points over the last eight games. Villa managed a draw away to Cardiff in the last game whereas our last point was at Norwich on the 28th January. We haven’t scored a goal since the match before that – away to West Ham on 18th January – and it’s probably no coincidence that we’ve been without Yohan Cabaye for all four of the intervening games and without Loic Remy for the last three of them. Continue reading…
Posted February 12th, 2014 by workyticket | 253 Comments
Hello, good evening and welcome to a rather impromptu ‘match banter’ post for this evening’s game, which sees the Magpies at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
Bantam cocks vs headless chickens at SJP this evening?
I say “impromptu” because I thought I had already written the last blog on here for some time at least, and that the server this blog is hosted on would run out on 21st. Well, to get to the other reason for this blog, it is to keep all you regular readers informed that after intense late night discussions yesterday evening, it was decided between myself and Hugh that the server, including this site, could stay up after all! Things are still the same with myself, ie I’ve been doing stuff on here pretty much non-stop for well over four years now and I need a break to concentrate on other things. However, despite my previous information, the server will be staying up for the forseeable future, and Hugh might even have a bash at a few blogs if he can, although he is very challenged at the moment too so we’ll see.
So now you know! Continue reading…
Posted January 28th, 2014 by workyticket | 588 Comments
Goodbye from NUFC Blog!
Carrow Road, Norwich.
Tues 28th Dec, 2013.
Hello, good evening and welcome to my last match banter!
Please forgive me if it doesn’t follow the usual script but this piece is really just a way of saying thankyou and farewell to everyone who has read and contributed after almost five years of blogging on Newcastle United here.
A few years ago my ex-friend and colleague, Hugh, left the site suddenly. I’ve managed to struggle along on my own since then, but I now have other things to do with my life, and in the last few days, the abovementioned Hugh has also informed me that he’s going to cut off the server on the 21st February. Continue reading…
Posted December 14th, 2013 by workyticket | 80 Comments
The Saints are marching in!
St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Sat 14th Dec, 2013.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to my latest ‘match banter’ feature for this afternoon’s game against Southampton.
This could be the last one for a while, if at all. I thought I’d do one last set of matchday blogs though to let all you regular readers know that I won’t be doing any more for a while at least as there are far better things I could be doing with my life right now.
Anyway looking forward this afternoon’s game, one intersting statistic is that Southampton are the last team Newcastle United managed to score more than two goals against in a competitive match. That was way back on the 24th February when the Magpies won a 4-2 victory at St James’ Park on an embarrassing and contrived ‘French Day’ where Geordies collaborated with Mike Ashley in reducing the entire history of one of Europe’s greatest countries down to mustachioed Breton Onion Johnnies and Can-can girls. Continue reading…
Posted December 13th, 2013 by workyticket | 20 Comments
The 9th December marked the third anniversary of Alan Pardew’s appointment as Newcastle United manager, with the 11th being the third anniversary of his first game in charge, a 3-1 victory over Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool.
The Silver Fox: OK, but no fist pump.
So, bearing that in mind, I thought I would look at Pardew’s 113 Premier League games, crunch some numbers and see what we can learn.
As well as the results, one other thing I have used to assess Pardew’s performance is Transfermarkt’s table of Premier League clubs ranked by the value of their squads. I have been consulting this for quite a few years now, and when Newcastle United were first promoted from the Championship under Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, Newcastle had the 12th most valuable squad, worth around £90 million like Aston Villa or West Bromwich Albion today. However, some astute signings whose value increased such as Hatem Ben Arfa and Chieck Tiote took this up to around ninth by the time by the time Hughton was replaced by Pardew. With a further influx of cut price talent, mostly from France, they soon rose a couple of places higher to seventh. Since then Newcastle have slipped back to eighth behind Everton, who have been the closest side to Newcastle United squad wise over the last few seasons. Basically over that period there has been a top six of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. After that there is something of a gap until you find Everton and Newcastle. Then, after another fairly large gap there is the rest. Continue reading…
Posted December 7th, 2013 by workyticket | 72 Comments
Two teams needing to bounce back.
Old Trafford, Manchester.
Sat 7th Dec, 2013.
Well both teams go into this one still reeling from defeats in midweek.
For the Magpies, Alan Pardew’s four game winning streak was brought to a shuddering halt after a tactical masterclass in adversity from Swansea’s Michael Laudrup. After losing their third striker Alvaro Vazquez to a groin strain, Laudrup reacted by bringing on Nathan Dyer and using Jonjo Shelvey in a so called ‘false nine’ role. They went on to transform the game with a goal each, with Shelvey also forcing Mathieu Debuchy into scoring an own goal for a 3-0 defeat.
Newcastle United are still roughly where they should be in the league though, seventh. Meanwhile, Manchester United certainly aren’t after their midweek defeat to Everton. The Red Devils thought they’d try a grumpy Glaswegian as manager for a change, but now find themselves languishing two places below the Magpies in ninth place with only six wins from their fourteen Premier League games so far. Continue reading…
Posted December 4th, 2013 by workyticket | 128 Comments
Swansea: The victims of some pathetic refereeing this season.
Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
Wed 4th Dec, 2013.
Hello, good evening and welcome to our latest ‘match banter’ feature for this evening’s game against Swansea City at their place.
Poor old Swansea haven’t had much luck recently. Amongst other things they have been the victims of some of some of the most awful deciosions, and it has usually cost them points, as it did against Valencia and Stoke most recently.
Personally, I think Michael Laudrup needs to be a little more like Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho. They know that match officiating, like parking enforcement is one of those jobs that just attracts the wrong kind of people mostly, little Hitlers. They know that there is no point whatsoever in being nice and respectful to them as that will just make them respect you even less, you have to make them fear you. Swansea are too nice and Laudrup and his players really need to start getting in their faces a bit more. Having written all that, I do hope that the Magpies win this game fair and square this evening, rather than having to rely on some dreadful decision. Continue reading…
Posted November 30th, 2013 by workyticket | 95 Comments
Can we throttle the Throstles for four in a row?
St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Sat 30th Nov, 2013.
Sky Sports 1.
Could we be celebrating four wins in a row this evening?
If the Magpies do manage to wrestle a juicy three point worm from the Throstles at tea time, it would be the first first time they have managed such a feat since March and April of 2012. Back then, they beat Norwich, this evening’s opponents, Liverpool, Swansea, Bolton and finally Stoke in a 6 match winning run, before finally succumbing to a 4-0 hammering at Wigan.
Although that was in the Spring before last, the side had an unseasonal 4-3-2-1 ‘Christmas Tree’ formation with a potent ‘delta force’ of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa up front. During the West Brom game in that run I jokingly referred to Alan Pardew as ‘Alan Pardiola.’ The Guardian’s North East football correspondent, Louise Taylor, actually took me seriously and the phrase stuck amongst spme fans for a while. Continue reading…
Posted November 26th, 2013 by workyticket | 114 Comments
In case you missed it, Papiss Cisse had yet another perfectly good goal ruled out as offside against Norwich on Saturday, yet another linesman seemingly judging Cisse on his reputation, rather than what he could actually see.
The last Toon goal scored by Cisse which wasn’t ruled out
Luckily for Newcastle United, they still won 2-1 and got the three points so all was well that ended well. Even so, that hasn’t always the case and it is getting absolutely ridiculous now, to the point where lazy linesmen are just saying “oh it’s Papiss Cisse, it must be offside.”
I use the word “reputation” above, though it might come as a surprise to some so called fans (and Sports Direct News rent a quote, Malcolm MacDonald) that Cisse is not the most ‘offside’ striker in the Premier League by any means. Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and several others were caught offside more often last season.
However, when it comes to having perfectly good goals wrongly ruled out as offside, Cisse in in a league of his own. He had seven wrongly ruled out last season, including two in one game against Metalist Kharkiv, and one which robbed us of a derby win against Sunderland. This means that he would have scored at least twenty goals last season had those seven goals stood. Continue reading…
Posted November 23rd, 2013 by workyticket | 79 Comments
Chris Hughton returns to SJP..
St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Sat 23rd Nov, 2013.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our ‘match banter’ feature for this afternoon’s game against Chris Hughton’s Norwich City at St James’ Park.
As usual, I will keep this one fairly short and sweet, as I have already done most of my pre-match ramblings in the Norwich City mega match preview I prepared earlier. However, if you fancied a bet on the game with some great odds available, why not try Betfair? You can also follow events as they happen throughout the game on the NUFC official website.
What the managers have been saying.
Alan Pardew: “We’ve got ourselves in a poised position – now we need to capitalise on that, something we’ve not done well in the last 18 months. If we win we can put ourselves right in the mix. For us, it’s a great opportunity and we don’t want to pass on those opportunities. They don’t come around very often in the Premier League. If we get ourselves in a good place with 50,000 (fans) that’s going to make a big advantage and we need to make sure we carry that through.” Continue reading…