Forest 1 Newcastle 0 – the law of averages?

Posted on October 18th, 2009 | 24 Comments |

Crucial goal
Crucial goal
Well what a miserable bloody night…..stuck in a pub where I could only just about see and hear the game in the first half and where the locals seem to treat the bar as a place to lounge rather than a place to buy a drink. I was already hacked off before the game kicked off. And of course my mood didn’t improve with the events that followed.

The law of averages suggested that our luck was due to run out sooner or later again, and that when playing badly, some team at some point would take advantage. That team was Nottingham Forest. Of course it didn’t help that our, surprisingly, solid defensive start to the season was shattered with the news that both Steven Taylor and Coloccini would be missing. Really, of all the recent admissions I’ve made over things I’ve said which I never thought I’d say, to say that I never thought we’d miss Colo is right up there with the corkers……

But it’s a fact, he’s settled in a unit and has looked half decent at this level so missing both him and the combative Taylor was sure to spell trouble. Particularly when Forest came into this game with some decent form and two strikers proving to be a handful. However that aside, staying with the word ‘average’, does the whole set-up still not smack of something distinctly average?

As a club, we’ve got to come to terms with the fact that we’re a Championship club and we have to earn our right to be here and to challenge for promotion. Therefore, it stands to reason that we shouldn’t expect to roll teams over and perhaps we should accept that our players are of a lesser standing.

But that first half was awful.

We didn’t have any answer to Forest’s football and to be fair, in my opinion, Billy Davies is a good guy and a decent manager but he hasn’t got a set of world-beaters there. They just played some neat football and got about us and we just didn’t have anything to offer in return other than our hopeful long ball. With Chris Hughton opting again for Carroll and Harewood upfront, the long ball largely came to nothing but wasteful flick-ons or spurned possession.

The front two were well shackled by Forest’s defence partnership of Morgan and Wilson throughout really and never looked in any real danger of troubling the keeper. However, Forest’s front two looked much more lively and Dexter Blackstock could have had Forest in front twice in the first ten minutes, once with a shot saved by Harper and another pushed onto the post after a header where he out-muscled the defence all too easily. With a snapshot volley from Tyson midway through the first half, a goal looked inevitable.

However, despite the early pressure from Forest, we did manage to trouble them with a free kick from Ryan Taylor which eluded everyone and bounced back off the post and into the grateful arms of the keeper. That was about as good as it got though, other than some hapless headed chances from Carroll and speculative and hopeful shots dragged across goal, we once again looked fairly toothless.

And so their inevitable goal came, just at the time you never want it, right on half time. With the central defence inexplicably absent Smith had to chase down Blackstock who ran onto a through a ball. He was played onside by both full backs and outsprinted Smudge to clip the ball past Harper and watch the ball roll agonisingly slowly into the bottom corner.

The second half was more us than them and we definitely tried to force the issue but once again relied on the long ball game with no real success. Lovenkrands spurned a great chance late in the half when he failed to follow the tried and test method of strikers who lean forward not back, get the head over the ball and strike through a ball not tickle it. That seemed to be just about all Hughton could take, and Lovenkrands quickly made way for Gutierrez who once again seemed to look busy but without anything to show for it. Save for two wayward strikes and his standard tumbles to the floor.

We had the ball in the back of the net when Nolan finished a flick-on from Alan Smith but the linesman had, just about, got his decision right when he flagged for offside. Harewood eventually made way for Ranger with less than ten minutes left and though either striker could have been dragged off, I think Carroll was the most likely having failed spectacularly to do well the one thing we recognise for him, his heading. His head was literally a cliched fifty pence piece. Ironically, given my support of him, Ranger then missed a half decent header himself and within a few minutes, the home side were celebrating an important win and a big scalp.

With Taylor and Colo out for long periods and with the squad looking more and more fragile, I only hope this isn’t the beginning of a crumble. There are a lot of average players in that squad and when they’re not 100% up for it and/or we need to swap things around, they’re found wanting. I have much respect for Hughton but I was genuinely concerned with footage in the game yesterday where he looked perplexed and unsure of his options or any plans. I just hope he can prove me wrong in the coming weeks but he’s sure to be tested further.

One thing which sort of made me smile was their goalkeeper and his top which read Camp 1. There were plenty of lads swapping tops at the end but I imagine he didn’t get involved for fear of accusations of shirt-lifting.

Ah well, there’s always Scunnie on Tuesday……

Us –

Harper, Ryan Taylor, Simpson, Khizanishvili, Jose Enrique, Guthrie, Nolan, Smith, Lovenkrands, Carroll, Harewood

Subs – Krul, Geremi, Butt, Kadar, Gutierrez, Donaldson, Ranger

Forest –

Camp, Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Cohen, Anderson , McKenna, Majewski, Moussi, Tyson, Blackstock.

Subs – Smith, Chambers, McGugan, Adebola, Garner, McCleary, McGoldrick

Att – 29,155 – approx (4,000 Mags)

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

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24 Responses

  1. worky

    i sent ahmed bilal of soccerlens an e-mail just to make him aware of the site and to recommend it as a contender for new blog of the year a and he replied with
    Had a look at the site – very nicely done. Will be included in the contenders for sure, but can’t confirm the category yet.

    so congratulations worky you could win an award for the site

  2. That game was like Blackpool all over again. Newcastle should play the same way Nottingham Forest and Blackpool do. When they did they had Forest camped in their own half. Luck was not on our side but I was looking straight at the challenge on Enrique and it was a certain penalty from where I was standing. Not sure if Nolan was onside or not. I still have not seen a replay. Scunthorpe will be right up for the game next week so they have to play much better than that first half performance.

  3. for what my opinion’s worth as a forest season ticket holder and long time sufferer – at last we’ve attained a manager that can get the best out of his squad and go out and give newcastle utd a decent game of football. as supporters of the toon you’re magnificent but this division is not gonna be a stroll for the likes of yourselves,boro and the baggies every week when smaller teams take you on you’ve gotta understand it’s there cup final when your in town and they’ll be hell bent on getting any kind of result against you!!! from what i saw in the 2nd half whoever finishes above newcastle utd will be champions of the championship- west brom offered nothing bar one chance at the city ground which was stuck away compared to about a dozen chances for us…… best of luck see you all late in march when you should be clear at the top

  4. Cheers seanyboy. Good post mate and I’m sure most of the guys who get on here would want to wish you well too. Proper football team you’ve got down there. Always has been, always will be.

  5. Incidentally, for the black and whites reading the blog today, I’m $^&%^&% seething about Ashley and his recent comments in The Times. Just about to pack up for the day (working on a Sunday???……sacrilege I know) and I’m intent on writing something about it when I get home. The guy is not for real like.

  6. BBM @ 5 totally agree with you about fat ass ash. He must have thicker skin than stardust ;)

  7. Sympathy for having to work but count me in BBM too. Seething is the word, what have we done to deserve this bloke? Does he realise just how offensive he is being and does not care, or is he just too thick?

  8. Also, surely the FA should (if they had any bottle) be looking at this guy, under their ‘fit and proper’ ruling.

  9. Ladies and Gents….the fat man speaks in today’s Sunday Times!

    “I have to put £20m a year into the club — I spend more than every other fan put together puts into the club each year. If you can’t pay up front to buy the club, you can’t afford it.

    “Chris (Hughton) deserves a shot at the title — he has done a great job. But if I keep the club I will have the final say on players. I am the one who has to fund the club.

    “Of course I regret it (buying NUFC). I never said I was an expert in football clubs. I tried my best. But I accept my best was woefully short.”

    Are some of the choicer cuts! I have to laugh, I really do, as the alternative is to simply weep that this cretinous, corpulent, cack-handed creature can toy with us in such a callous fashion. In other words the club is HIS toy and he’ll break it if he wants…and WE will have nothing to say about it.

    He continually trumpets his ignorance from the battlements; and yet brags about keeping his own council on who to buy and sell? He’ll doubtless be seeking advice from the same “Brains Trust” that brought us both Championship football…and a tribunal hearing in 2009.

    It’s, obviously, on his mind to install Chris Hughton as manager/puppet and, rather than praising supporters for backing the club at the turnstiles, he gives us the back of his hand for daring to question his methods!?!.

    And the hits just keep on coming! How much is enough? Are we there yet? Stardust, Worky….anyone?

  10. Has everybody viewed the online News of the World story regarding Keegan and Blogs. The story is probably untrue however comments left include the following from none other than : STARDUST !! :-
    “Most of the geordie fans still seem to back Keegan. Only the gullible idiots, most of who dont go to games, have fallen for the spin by Ashley and his cronies.
    One blog written by a so called Newcastle fan who is based in America is particularly responsible for this pro Ashley – anti Keegan hype.”
    By Stardust. Posted October 18 2009 at 12:00 AM.
    Surely this cannot be our very own Stardust?????
    The condecending little man who peppers the blogs with Anti-Keegan propoganda.
    If the newspaper story is true it will no doubt be Stardust who has upset Keegan ! Shameful!
    He then goes on to have a dig at this blog….. Unbelievable ! Hidden agendas or what !
    However, my main question is for Stardust himself !
    How do you know how the Geordie Fans who attend the games feel ? Batty names you as ‘Keith’ and I have it on good authority that you are NOT a season ticket holder. The closest you come to the Supporters of NUFC is online and through your Keyboard you sad little man !

  11. Hi all I’m a Forest fan an felt we deserved the win against ya. Was gonna say more but that Ashlys anoyed me too much (my brothers a NUFC fan so 2nd team for me and glad they are). Is there nothing no one can do about the arse cus he’s ruining a great club and surely it shouldn’t be alowed to go on. Anyway doubt Forest will win the league but think we’ll do well, so will be hopin you Toon will an this Ashly saga gets sorted very soon

  12. GeordieLander > ‘Keith’ I think stardust could really be Mike Ashley or his Brother ;).
    Sean L I think you’s deserved it too and I wish you’s all the best, But be prepared for a good Trashing at SJP mate

  13. Looks like the Ashley bubble is about to burst – 2 points from 9……

    Can anybody tell me why the puppet brought in Harewood? At the time, the puppet said “he gives us something different” – what exactly? Stand around like a block of wood looking ugly and frightening the kids??

    As far as I can see – all he is doing is breaking up a promising front 2 of Carrol and Ranger…..

    And don’t get me started on Lovenkrands

  14. UTD111 @ post 18 – hard to disagree. I was foaming about Ranger being benched and then being brought on so late. In fairness, I thought Carroll was horrible yesterday as well though. He could easily have been dragged off. There were some hapless performances and a few looked totally out of sorts. One or two bad games collectively is acceptable but for three games in a row we’ve looked average. Tuesday will be a huge test or else it could become a slippery slope.

  15. Agreed Bowburn – but Carroll misses the industry of Ranger – who makes up in part for the lack of pace and guile in the midfield.

    Harewood does F all – and Lovenkrands just does the headless chicken bit – he was the same at Rangers

  16. UTD111 – along with Enrique and Smith, Ranger has been a real plus this season. He looks like he’ll be the real deal with time. I championed Lovenkrands first time round for his pace and endeavour but he’s been really disappointing since coming back.

  17. cheers bowburnmag – as an out of town forest fan(mansfield) i’m in daily contact with best mates who support the “stags”(mansfield town)until now and what was fairly light hearted p*** taking with the recent years going on down there with there own no-clue,pilferring,unsavoury sort of former chairman, i did’nt realise the state of affairs within the institution that is newcastle united under mr sports direct and his cronnies ! hope it eventually works out in the near future for you all and a line can be drawn under the stewardship of an unsuitable candidate……