Argyle look forward to replay! Plymouth 0 Newcastle 0.

Posted on 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.

Hughton has made a number of changes from game to game throughout the season, and was always likely to tinker with his team, to protect us for the promotion chase. However, it was still a strong XI, as highly-rated Krul stood between the sticks in replacement of Harper. Simpson switched to left back as Ryan Taylor dropped back into his favoured right back role. Tamas Kadar came into form a central pairing with Coloccini as Steven Taylor made way. In midfield, Butt replaced Nolan as Pancrate filled the gap left by Taylor on the right. Guthrie came in for Gutierrez and Amoebi and Ranger started upfront together, with a strong-looking bench.

The biggest Plymouth crowd of the season, saw only one change from their side which hammered Reading but with a dodgy pitch both teams started scrappily. Newcastle seemingly struggling to gel with the number of new faces thrown in together and Plymouth because it appeared like they lacked belief.

Neither side could create any clear cut chance early on although Argyle just about shaded the first 20 minutes or so, and managed to create the first chances for Judge and Fallon but which were easily dealt with. Gradually, we grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and created a number of half-chances with Pancrate lacking the sharpness or quality in front of goal, to convert.

Ameobi had a goal disallowed for offside, before Coloccini had a decent effort which went wide. Danny Guthrie had the best chances of the half including a stinging effort clawed out of the top corner by Romain Larrieu and the score remained goaless at half-time, despite intense pressure from Newcastle.

The second half didn’t see an improvement in the quality on the pitch, as the surface did it’s best to scupper any chance of seeing any real decent football. And the game became even more scrappy as niggly tackles and challenges resulted in a clash between Ranger and their left back, from which Ranger never regained his composure in a game he struggled to make an impact on.

Plymouth rarely got at the Newcastle back four as the second half wore on and we began to put them under real pressure towards the end, but with the final ball lacking quality we looked destined for the same fate as the Derby County game, where we couldn’t convert possession into goals.

Three changes saw Pancrate replaced by Lovenkrands, Carroll come on for Ranger and Gutierrez replace the injured Alan Smith. Those changes seemed to bring new impetus and we had a number of free kicks and corners but again the quality was lacking at the crucial point. And yet Nicky Butt might have won it, with minutes remaining, as his controlled volley was tipped onto the bar and over by Larrieu.

And so, as the final whistle blew, Plymouth gaffer Paul Mariner faced the prospect of a long journey north for the replay, but was obviously pleased overall with the performance:

“I am pleased that we are still in the competition because it is, in my opinion, the best domestic cup competition there is,”

“A few weeks ago no-one would have backed us at home to the Championship leaders but at the moment it is all about progression for us at this club and that’s now three games unbeaten, which is progress in my books.

“We are still in the competition, in the draw for the fourth round and have a trip to St James’ Park in the cup to look forward to – and that’s what we will be doing.”

With the priority on promotion, a draw was probably the worst result for Newcastle, given that means another game to interrupt the league programme and more risk of injury or fatigue to jeopardise the journey back to the Premiership. But Hughton remained upbeat:

“We are still in the hat, which is what counts, and will be in the fourth-round draw, which is important because it’s a competition that we want to do well in,”

“I felt we were a little bit unlucky and I felt that if there was one side that was going to win the tie it was going to be us.

“There were long periods in the game where we dominated and perhaps just lacked a little bit of guile or fortune in the final third that would have seen us score a goal on a very difficult pitch and overall I thought we were the better side.”

So what did we get out of it? Well more games for the lads who haven’t featured prominantly yet and a notably impressive display from Tamas Kadar. Another game we probably could have done without, particularly with Smudger suffering a suspected cheek injury, though we await the verdict on the damage.

Yet another match that I’ll have to fork wedge out for and convince the better half it’s a good idea to attend. You’ve got to feel sorry for the Plymouth fans though? Not a trip you want to make midweek, be interesting to see if they bring the same numbers as they did for the league game, but of course the gate receipts will be welcomed by Argyle.

As a romantic, I’m with Hughton on that fact we’re still in the hat for tomorrow. The FA Cup tradition is instilled in me and I want us to go as far as possible. Maybe we won’t win it but we can have some fun trying? But this month is key not only for passage into the 4th round of the cup and to get back to winning ways in the league, but for ensuring we get a goalscorer signed. If today’s game didn’t finally highlight that glaring requirement then nothing will, but let’s just hope Llambias and Ashley are convinced! So who fancies Man Utd at home next round then?

Us – Krul, Danny Simpson, Coloccini, Kadar, R Taylor, Pancrate, Butt, Smith, Guthrie, Ameobi, Ranger

Subs – Harper, Enrique, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez, Carroll, Tozer, Donaldson

Plymouth – Larrieu, Barker, Sawyer, Duguid, Fletcher, Clark, Mackie, Arnason, Summerfield, Judge, Fallon

Subs – McNamee, Noone, Barnes, Gow, Saxton, Folly, Mason

Att – 16,451 with 2,400 Mags officially and a spattering amongst the home fans, including some questionable individuals going by the pseudonyms of ‘Whumpie’ and ‘cornish-magpie’.

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

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20 Responses

  1. Noticed Hughton mentioned the lack of guile. Hope it’s sinking in now.

    Predictability is seen a mile off….

  2. I hope for the plymoths fans sakes they show the replay on telly as I can’t see many wanting to travel 800 miles round trip on a midweek night, but no doubt it will be the red scousers on telly

  3. Ed how many goals did he score for as? He should start scoring some goals and after that we will became a “great player”. Until now he is just player with good, but not awesome prospect.
    11 chuck // Nov 5, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    Disagree Ed.
    You may be overestimating the lads talents, yes his strength is in the air and he can play a physical game, but that`s about it, he is also ungainly and lacks pace.
    Doubt if he will be any better than a Chopra.
    Sure he would fit in to a long ball physical team like Bolton, ideal in fact, so take the money!
    12 Ollieh51 // Nov 5, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    I disagree chuck…

    A great physical player and he does lack pace but his hold up play and presence even in the top flight is an asset to us.

    The sad matter of it is that Ashley will more than likely take a look at selling him for the finances not realising that without him, our chances of gaining promotion will take a serious hit.
    13 Shayno // Nov 6, 2009 at 5:06 AM

    I don’t know Ed. $8m would be rather tempting right now…
    14 Graeme // Nov 6, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    FCB has proved beyond any reasonable doubt, transfer windows are for making a profit – he’s managed in every window since he took over.

    This man would sell his granny if he got a good offer – would make a bid for his daughter tho lol
    15 batty // Jan 2, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    plymouth nil the toon nil

  4. According to reports neither Geremi or Butt (combined weekly wages of over One hundred thou.)will not be offered a contract before the summer.
    Sounds like they are outta here, unless Butt gets offered a non playing role.
    Which opens up a DM spot and probably a creative AM role, McDonald @ Celtic has looked good as a DM and should be affordable, though he has been tracked by more than one PL club.
    McGeady is a player who can take on defenders, creative, can score and can play inside or outside on the left.
    Being Celtic have signed, the Korean wonderkind and Asian player of the year, they may be willing to let him go.
    Otherwise perhaps Johnson @ Citeh, who is finding it hard to get a game, may be interested.
    Another young prospect is Coleman @ Everton, who could probably be bought for under a million, plays as a RB or on the right wing.
    Hopefully our scouts and management are out there looking as we have to be capable of competing in an unforgiving EPL.

  5. Batty
    Did I really say that ?
    What I meant to say was you may be overestimating the kids talent, yeah he`s decent in the air and plays a physical game,he`s also ungainly and lacks pace.
    Probably no better than a Chopra.
    And yeah would fit into a Big Sam side.
    Did someone offer 8m. for him ?
    That`s a no brainer, grab that 8m.

  6. Before anyone corrects it, substitute Brown for McDonald in 8# above, too much palabra about strikers.

  7. I was born in Glasgow and by birth, I am a Celtic fan (war day tomorrow) but I have lived in England most of my life and duly followed the Toon also.

    I can say that you likely won’t find a more chaotic midfielder than Scott Brown. The best player I can think of to compare him to for those not familiar is Wilson Palacios, in that he will smash guys twice his size and get into a fight for the team and usually comes out best. He is also keen on going forward and trying to get goals but he has suffered for this at Celtic as we can never find a good defensive midfielder. The best comparison in the Newcastle squad is Kevin Nolan.

    He is likely to be about £5m if he does leave Parkhead but he would be good for defensive and attacking midfield. He is NOT, however, the midfielder to look at if you want a Fabregas-esque passer who can string the killer thread through a defence. Brown would prefer to smash them open and then nudge the ball, lol.

  8. Also, since I will assume I am a resident SPL expert here, in addition to my above post, I will recommend another name we should be looking at. Charlie Mulgrew.

    Most here will laugh at him because he is only a “lowly” Aberdeen but he is a solid, if not spectacular left back but he is probably the best set piece taker in Scotland. Every time I’ve seen him play, he has absolutely scared the s*** out of teams with his corners and free kicks.

    He would be good cover for Enrique (in my opinion), is only 23 and has rejected a contract from Aberdeen recently, I believe.

    Will probably be laughed at for the suggestion but set pieces and left back cover for what will likely be a dirt cheap price seems a good idea to me.

  9. nice to see boro had a bumper crowd today…….good job they were playing man city & not chester city our it would have just been the normal 500 peadofiles that turned up.

    …sleep well.

  10. Wicky, i agree that there are some belter players in the SPL who are there for the taking, Barry Ferguson is running the show at Birmingham so there is no reason why other players cant come down and make a name for themselves.
    From the games i have seen one thing stands out, passionate players, no shirking and graft, i will take that any day above slow lumbering petulant has beens or wannabees ( shola/butt).

  11. ive had an email of ed harrison and hes said hes going too start putting 2 posts a day up starting on jan 10th

  12. batty says:
    January 3, 2010 at 10:28 am
    ive had an email of ed harrison and hes said hes going too start putting 2 posts a day up starting on jan 10th


  13. thanks for that batty nice to know,bigbadbob i agree about lads in spl,i have a very good mate who works as a phiyso in bonny scotland and has worked in spl told me of many good lads up there also told me to keep away from AMc at celtic one good whack early on keeps him quiet there was talk of toon having a look at him a while back

  14. Batty mate surely you’d be the last person ed would tell, or is this last on, first back? dont know what cooldj will make or it all?

  15. Amongst the away fans, not home, lol! Got a bit tiresome when my little’un kept asking when Newcastle were going to score but otherwise great atmosphere and banter with Plymouth fans in the corner. 2 guys in the Newcastle end going mental at the end “pass to your own f***** team” and “f***** Butt” being a couple of shouts. As well as “shove your pasties up your ass” and “your going down”

  16. Ice Dog
    One good whack early on keeps him quiet, in reference to McGeady.
    Told to you by an anonymous PHIYSO, try spell check and dont believe all you hear.