Newcastle United – News Roundup – 09 August 2009.

Posted on August 9th, 2009 | 2 Comments |

Duff on target for the Toon.
Duff on target for the Toon.
We got our Championship campaign under way with a 1-1 draw at West Brom last night.

In the first half we looked the more fluent side in possession but, rather like last season, the final ball into the box often lacked quality. Duff probably had the best chance of the half when Carroll set him up from 20 yards, but he shot wide.

Our defence was typically fragile and we can be thankful that The Baggies failed to capitalise on some of the early chances they had. They got their goal on 39 minutes though when Harper failed to clear from a set piece and a scramble in the box saw Shelton Martis punt it home.

During the goal mouth free-for-all, Ameobi tried to clear Harper’s head off the line and, although the goalkeeper played on until the whistle, he was substituted for Krul at half-time.

After the goal our heads went down a bit and there seemed to be some bickering amongst the players, but we managed to make it to the interval without conceding again.

Fortunately they pulled themselves together a bit during the break and Krul made a fantastic save early in the second half to deny West Brom.

Our goal came from a tidy move on 55 minutes when Nolan set up Duff who managed to finish well. We then came under the cosh for a while and Krul had to pull off a few more good saves to keep us in the game.

Nolan had a chance to put us ahead when he had a free header in the box but he made a mess of it. Then, right at the end, The Baggies had the ball in the back of the net after a free kick, but it was ruled off-side.

I thought it was an odd game because in possession we looked by far the better side. We managed to pin the Baggies back for long periods and Jonas and Duff regularly got the better of West Brom up the wings, but the final ball often left a lot to be desired. West Brom exposed our weaknesses with their counter attacks though; our defenders often found themselves out of position and we only survived thanks to some rusty shooting by the Baggies and some excellent saves by Krul.

Of course, it is difficult to assess how things might go for us after that one game, but it looks like we have the same problems we did last season, which I suppose is hardly surprising as we have roughly the same squad we had last season (minus a few of the better players). West Brom are, like us, recently relegated and I think we’ll face faster-paced, harder-tackling, more Championship-typical games than that and I have no idea how we’re going to cope.

Still, let’s take what we can from it. The club is in disarray at the top yet we’ve gone away to one of the promotion favourites and snatched a point.

Onto other news …

According to The Chronicle, Barton had a bit of a bust-up with Jonas and Coloccini during training and stormed off, which is why he was only brought on as a substitute for our game at The Hawthorns. Hughton didn’t deny the incident when asked by the BBC but he said:

We are getting used to rumours at Newcastle United. It is something that we have to work around.”

Shearer told the BBC he still wants the Newcastle manager’s job:

I’m still in limbo.

I wanted it sorted either way because of my love for the football club.

I’d dearly love the chance to finish what I started last season.

As far as I’m aware the club’s up for sale, they haven’t got a buyer.

My last conversation with Mike Ashley was on the Tuesday after we’d been relegated.

I told him the players I wanted to keep, the players I thought had to be moved on, and the players I wanted to bring in.

He said he wasn’t going to put any more money into the club, and that is it as far as I’m aware.”

Rumour has it that Ashley is flying back from Hawaii to discuss Moat’s bid for the club. I’m guessing that this is his last attempt to get rid of the club and I would imagine we’ll know whether he’s staying or going by the end of the week. That will leave just a few weeks of the transfer window during which we’ll have to try and strengthen the squad somehow.

If Ashley stays I suspect he’ll try to get some players on loan to make up the numbers, although what he’ll do about a manager is anyone’s guess.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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2 Responses

  1. joey barton = mountains and mole hills one suspects!
    One of two things happened I believe, one, he was told he was dropped and stormed off in a huff, irrespective of this, he was on the bench yesterday and took it on the chin, and furthermore came on and contributed!!
    Or, tried to give some underachieving, uncommitted players a kick in the pants, to which I say, good for him!!!
    Irrespective, big player for us this season, just makes good headlines that’s all, I would recommend seeing past it….

  2. Girth

    I agree re the media hype regarding Barton. Probably some kind of spat that goes on all the time but it gives the hacks the opportunity to keep us in the news and on Barton’s case.
    Regarding yesterday’s result,I was fearing the worst before kick off, and despite some dodgey moments I thought we played with much more commitment and effort than we were used to seeing late last season. Credit where it’s due I thought Smith had a great game and hopefully it will get some of our moaning, heckling fans off his back. If this is what happens when he gets a bit of responsibility with the captain’s arm band I say let him keep it all season. e must have covered every blade of grass during the game. I think the lads deserve some credit, managerless, rudderless with poor Hughton doing his best, 3 of their team mates who they played with in preseason have suddenly left and they have had to adapt to that. I thought a fair result overall.