Newcastle have style at the moment.

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 | 170 Comments |

Pass pass pass pass.....
Pass pass pass pass.....
This season, even at this early juncture, has been full of surprises for us Newcastle fans, well in my opinion it has anyway.

The 6-0 win against Villa was a surprise. The 1-0 away win at Everton was a surprise. Last nights 4-3 Carling Cup win at Stamford Bridge was a surprise. You following me now?

But perhaps the most surprising thing from my point of view has been the kind of football we have been playing. Last season, particularly in the early part of last season, some points were a little unhappy regarding the style of play that the team were adopting. To be fair it was perhaps a little one-dimensional, but it got us the results we wanted. Then, after the January reinforcements arrived, our style of play changed quite dramatically. We opened up teams and won a fair few games rather convincingly.

This season I thought it would be back to square one, or route one would perhaps be a more appropriate way of describing it. To my surprise it hasn’t, and we are currently playing some real nice football, even at the tougher grounds like Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge. Some of it really is a pleasure to watch.

I’m not saying we play anything like Arsenal manage to do week in week out, but a lot of our stuff has been really good, really clever play whilst still retaining that physical toughness that sometimes needs to be used, especially at places like Wolves.

Take last night as an example. Our first goal of the night was the result of an excellent passing move that must have included around 20 or so neat passes between team-mates before that killer ball was put into the box by Shane Ferguson. If that had been Arsenal doing that kind of thing I would be willing to be that the floor of the Sky TV studio would be wringing in the saliva of various pundits as they drooled over a superb passing move.

Look back a bit further, to last weekend at Everton in fact. We went to Goodison Park, a notoriously tough place to go to, and outpassed them. Some of it was brilliant. The Blackpool match was the same, despite the result. We played some real nice stuff at Wolves, ripped Villa apart and didn’t do too badly at Old Trafford.

We are playing football that is easy on the eye at the moment, and whilst I realise that it may not always be the case and we may have to mix things up against certain teams, it doesn’t change the fact that we appear to have another string on the bow regarding the style of football we can play.

Long may it continue!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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170 Responses

  1. Some of our football this season has been an absolute delight to watch and, given the impact the new boys have had, there is every reason to believe it could get even better.

  2. I love the unpredictability of it. Last season we had as close as we got to a rough patch when other teams started plan against our Plan A knowing there was no Plan B. With so many players with totally different approaches that no longer applies.

    For example: left wing attack. Jonas and Jose can skin just about any opposition’s right flank. Sometimes there’s a cross on the end of it, sometimes not. But they get there again and again.

    The Jose and Benny combo is more likely to end up with five or six opposition players on their backs and a short final ball into the box or a killer shot from 25 yards out.

    Neither combination is easy to defend against, but you sure as hell can’t choose a starting 11 to cater for either. Opposition managers can no longer pick teams to defend against “the way Newcastle play”; they have to compromise. And more often than not, they fail. :)

    I think I want Hughton’s babies. Man’s a genius.

  3. Credit to Hughton and backroom staff. It’s the real football everyone want to pay for that. Surely we cannot win all the time but until now I’m very delight with how the way we play football so much.

  4. one name, Joey Barton. Gets the one touch triangles going in midfield, in my opinion, our most technically gifted midfielder.

    Whilst some would not have him anywhere near the club, if he is playing well, we are playing well, watch out for that.

  5. Hughton ( and Calderwood) must take enormous credit for all of this. I totally agree with you Toonsy, amazing stuff. Sometimes they surprise me with selections, tactics, subs but it always seems to work. This has been the best football week since Xmas 2001 when we won at Arsenal and then to Leeds for a 4-3.

  6. ILM – Think you have hit the nail on the head there with the triangles and passing and moving. Said that to my old man a week or so ago.

  7. At the Wolves match even my wolves supporting pals said we play a good attractive passing game.I think it will get better with more confidence.Not only the teams confidence but CH,s.It also looks like we can come back from knocks like Blackpool.If the 08-09 team had had just one ounce of the guts fight and flair of last nights team it would have been a whole different story.

  8. Yep, the triangles thing is really obvious. Basic stuff, but executed beautifully. Then you throw in the players who can set it alight like Benny, and oppositions just don’t know which type of attack to defend against.

    Anyone else hear choirs singing…?

  9. Last season at this time, we were wondering if CH would have to go down to the corner Micky D’s to find some day laborers to fill out the squad. Now we wonder how player X, Y or Z can get some minutes.

    You have to give credit to the scouts for finding quality bodies and MA for opening his wallet when everyone else but ManC are just not buying. Plus the value for each pound spent is quite phenominal!

  10. Toonsy – great minds think alike! :D

    I have just finished skyping my mate, expanding on this very topic, but perhaps a little less eloquently.

    Now she will think I have pinched your ideas and called them my own. Shucks. :D

  11. Mags09 – A she you say? ;)

    Well you can inform that this subject was the result of a chat on MSN last night between us where I got the idea from you ;)

    (she doesn’t need to know the truth ;) )

  12. Must admit, my hopes for this season were just ‘stay alive no matter how ugly’. Now I’m hoping we can do that – and more – while re-igniting the ‘entertainers’ reputation. I know that’s probably premature speculation (ooer missus), but dammit – I’m enjoying it!

  13. thought we were great last night,especially stroller and shane ferguson.was right down the front when shola headed in the winner and it was pandemonium! cant praise hurricane hoots enough for what he has done for our club in the most trying circumstances of relegation and a piss poor team witha piss poor attitude,he cleared away the prima donnas and begun moulding what we see today.its the spirit that amazes me,we never give up and we are playing with no little quality just now,god just imagine we got to the final of carling cup! whoever it was who said they want hoots’s babies,well id like to put myself forward to be godfather if possible? the mans a true toon hero

  14. Ok here’s the deal…..

    Will anyone of you here moan if we play another 4-5-1 at home against Stoke??? ;)

  15. After Everton ppl were saying it’s only one gaame don’t get carried away, although now I think it’s hard not to get slightly carried away. What are we 6th in the premier league! Who expected that at the start of the season. I know it’s very early days but I think Stoke at SJP on Sunday, the players will be riding high and want to atone for the blackpool game and I can’t see anything other than another 3 points even if Pulis comes to spoil. We now have the steel and players to have an areal barney with any team. If I was TP I would be worried I really would.

  16. The thing I like the most about Chris H as manager is his selections and tactics are almost identical to what I what have done… So he clearly is a football genius!!! :-)

    Loving the confidence our players are showing on the ball.

    Loving the fact the fans arn’t getting on their back with too much expectation.

    Loving the fact our youngsters are showing promise.

    And we havn’t been afraid to attack away from home.

    Key players this season: Coloccini, Barton, Carroll and Nolan have all been superb for me.

  17. I can’t wait for the legends show, I hope we absolutely milk it. Toon toon.

    Did anyone watch the Man U highlights? Little Micky Owen now has the pace of Shearer after his injuries. He’s finished imo coz unlike Shearer he can’t adapt his game, he will always just be a poacher and not a provider, when the pace goes they are finished, bit like Fowler back in the day.

  18. DJG, yeah funny that aint it. I’ve said a few times we might even grow to love (like) the bloke. And even have some positive chants now his methods seem to be working.

  19. And as nobody has asked that is a latin quote attributed to Archimedes and means.

    “Rise above oneself and grasp the world)”

    Apt or what.

  20. It does not surprise me that CH has us playing attractive football , after all he learned the game playing for the Spuds who have always played an attractive attacking style . I just love the feel good factor we all have at the minute

  21. DJG,
    i can’t wait for the legends either mate, malcom is really going to rub it in and it will shut bernie and micky up :D

  22. I’m so optimistic about this season that it warrants random drug testing!

    I never in a million years thought we would beat Everton and Chelski away, not only beating them but deserving to aswell. As much as Smudger and Nolan get stick, I think they are fantastic players to have in the dressing room, something I could never say about Owen, Martins etc.

    Toon for the Top Six!!! =)

    Oh…and how bad was David Rozenhal? Jesus…

  23. Sitting beside my missus at the moment and she is playing Wolfenstein (new version) and the air is blue with her invective. You wouldn’t believe she could swear like that if you knew her. :)

  24. I’m pretty happy with every aspect of the club at the moment, from the owner down. It’s been a long time since I could say that.

    I really couldn’t give much of a toss about the signs that NUST are so up in arms about. My interest is in what happens inside the ground, not on the walls outside.

    SJP will always be SJP to me, whatever they stick up on the walls to make a few extra quid.

    Everybody happy?

  25. Happy happy happy!!!

    I know we will have some awful weeks thru the season but i reckon enjoy the good times when they’re here.

    Love CH’s humility by the way, class act!

  26. Toonsy just performed a Geordi mind trick on us – we are all once more happily delluded and talking about messiahs again…. I feel contentment at last.

  27. I am feeling very excited over this. And bonus on top of bonus, the Newcastle v. Stoke game will be on the TV here in the States, so it just keeps getting better. I can relax on the couch with my wee lasses as they try to sing Blaydon Races to the TV. Yes, i am corrupting their wee minds already. It’s kind of cute though to watch 2 4-year old girls singing Blaydon Races.

    I just can’t friggin wait until Saturday.

    Happy indeed.

  28. “I’m not saying we play anything like Arsenal manage to do week in week out”

    Pfft, Arsenal? We’re bloody Newcastle United mate, top four watch out! ;) Seriously though, really proud of all the lads and Hoots as well. I don’t think I’d be alone in saying Barton and Williamson have been stand out performers for us this season? Aye Barton may now just be earning what he’s been bloody paid to do for ages, but he seems a totally new character, still taking loads of stick from other players, refs and supposed “experts” but he’s been quality for us for the most part. Williamson (who?) was a pretty untested character at this level, by bloody hell has he shown some good skills. I realise almost all of our squad have put in stand out performances so far this season, and obviously big andy is up there in the heart, but I feel both these lads have done brilliantly so far, long may it continue!

  29. Yep it’s been a great season so far, Blackpool aside and to be honest on another day we would have won that 4-1 or something the amount of shots we had.

    The key seems to me that Hughton first installed the team spirit and defensive discipline. When that was established it became easier to introduce new players to the squad and also to expand our game.

    I was worried as to whether we could bring these new found qualities to the prem but if anything we’re just getting better. The football is improving game by game. It’s not just down to key players, it’s something that echoes throughout the squad and the club. You can see what a settled, happy squad we have and that has shone through in the last two games.

    Hughton has successfully addressed weak areas of the squad and it must make it easier bringing players into a team with such togetherness.

    I was mightily impresssed with Tiote’s debut. He looked like he’d played with Barton for a couple of years. He just got hold of the ball time and time again, spun into space and fed Joey with a simple pass so he could drive us forward.

    Ben Arfa is more of a worry but we look like we’ve shed the team of the sort of egos that could clash with him. Hopefully he’ll pick up the language quickly and get the sort of love from his coaches, teamates and fans that I think he craves and that’ll make him a cult hero up here because boy does he look like a special, special player.

    I still think we’re a bit short at right midfield, right back and for a quick, clever striker but every time I seem to have a concern about an area of the squad, Hoots addresses it in the next window. I was worried about LB but after last night I’m not, Ferguson reminds me of a young Baines, full of pace and tenacity with a good left foot.

    It’s been a while since I’ve been so confident in us at the very least putting in a good performance and fighting for the full 90. The football we’re developing on top is a wonderful bonus. Long may it continue.

    Please, lets not turn on the team if they lose a match or two. They have all, manager especially, earned our support.

  30. Yeah NorCal- FSC has finally come through for us. Already planning a breakfast for Sunday…withut need of the laptop for a change

  31. harper out for 3 months at least.
    undergoing surgery. wish him a speedy recovery!
    it’s krul’s time now.

  32. Krul will be no.1 by the new year IMHO. The lad is taller, faster, a better shot stopper and more imposing at penalties. Won’t always be Anelka taking them.

  33. No Doubt MDS. Apparently FSC PLUS had the Everton game on, but can’t seem to get Comcast to spring for it, or Murdoch is asking too much for it. So, I have to wait for the rare blessing like Sunday. Last year I had Setanta and was able to watch a few games there…but that went belly up…so back to only FSC. Oh well, better than nowt.

  34. Elliott says:
    September 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    ‘I was mightily impresssed with Tiote’s debut. He looked like he’d played with Barton for a couple of years. He just got hold of the ball time and time again, spun into space and fed Joey with a simple pass so he could drive us forward.’

    Was it any coincidence that Barton had such a good game at Everton?
    After his joke display against Blackpool. I think it was because of Tiote doing the donkey work and feeding him balls so he could just concentrate on driving us forward.

  35. NorCal- I’m stuck with Comcast too- I think they are the only major cable/dish provider in the country that doesn’t carry FSC Soccer Plus

  36. Bit harsh DJG on Barton there I feel, behind Carroll against Villa he was my man of the match, and again against Wolves he was good. I think the thing is with Barton and Tiote is that their games and styles contrast each other, therefore compliment us as a team.

    I honestly believe that the Tiote and Barton pairing has all the hallmarks of being a fantastic partnership. The same could be said with Guthrie and Gosling for Barton when they are fit, and if he is injured, similar players.

    In fact, in my opinion, I think the back four and the two central midfielders are now set, it’s the four up top which is up for rotation.




  37. AngelOfDeath says:

    “Ok here’s the deal…..

    Will anyone of you here moan if we play another 4-5-1 at home against Stoke??? ;)”

    Good point AOD. However to be pedantic we dont play 4-5-1 but 4-4-1-1 where one of the two “front” players tries to link mf to AC in a type of playmaker role. Trouble is that player is generally Nolan and he aint no playmaker.

    Stoke will do a Blackpool and look to hit us on the break. So far they’ve played 4-4-2 against Wolves (presumably they thought they could get something from that game) but 4-5-1 against Chelski both away from home so it’ll be interesting to see if they choose a positive formation at SJP.

    Man for man (notice I didnt say “On Paper”)we should have the skills to take them on and beat them providing CH doesnt retreat into cautious mode but whichever formation he adopts we have to ensure we get AC into the game and let them deal with our threats going forward.

    Still I’d like to see JG, HBA, AC and JB hunting in a pack and if we have to have Nolan on then let him sit deeper alongside Tiote.

  38. Alreet lads, I’ve watched the last two games online but had ssn on in the background and think le tiss must be are lucky mascot. He’s was watching both games and was nearly speechless at how well we’ve played.

  39. DJG says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Read the link that you posted, I was struck by the similarities between Everton and our not so distant history. Suspect chairman and major shareholder, a manager who clearly thinks he can do no wrong and a team devoid of ability, passion and pride.

    Sounds freakishly like the Allardyce period to me.

  40. DJG says:
    September 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    “Was it any coincidence that Barton had such a good game at Everton?
    After his joke display against Blackpool. I think it was because of Tiote doing the donkey work and feeding him balls so he could just concentrate on driving us forward.”

    DJG, I think that Barton has been out of the game for a long time, and when that happens, even good players can be erratic and have a few off games until they find their feet again completely. Of course though, you have a point about what Tiote does and what a good addition he is to the squad.

  41. I’m perfectly fine with 4-5-1.
    As long as we get 6-0 ;)
    But seriously, I’d stick with the line up we had vs Everton..except maybe put gutty on the right wing and have arfa on left? He tracks back and defends better than routledge imo, and we’ll need his pace at the back with Raylor at Rback.

  42. icedog says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “WORKY is that something called “team”work”

    We certainly have alot more of that than we used to, Icedog.

  43. WORKY off topic, hows you m8 health wise,hope things picking up for you (along with other things ;)),winter comeing m8

  44. The match that sticks in my mind last season for some random reason was West Brom at home when we started with the dynamic duo in the middle and Guthrie wide right and were totally over run, Every time the ball was loose in midfield Dorrans, Mulumbu or Koren picked it up and kept us chasing, 4-2-3-1 helps ball retention, Gives more protection to the back four and played correctly can be lethal on the counter, Look at Arsenal the last 2 seasons and the germans in the world cup.

    With Tiote and Bartons energy and Nolans scurrying aboot and picking up 2nd balls off Carroll its win win.

  45. might have to change my name with all this ambivalence being shown towards our illustrious owner :D

  46. icedog says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    “WORKY off topic, hows you m8 health wise,”

    Depends on the time of day, Icedog. Mornings are shite, but I get much better later on. Blood pressure is down quite a bit but my digestion is still knacked and I’ve lost alot of weight (I look like an Ethiopian marathon runner now but I always was a skinny bastard anyway). I’ve also turned into a psychopath because of all the things the doctor has made me give up! :-)

  47. RICHIETOON only a couple of days and you will sitting beside one of your best mates :),roll on sunday

  48. workyticket says:
    September 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    ‘DJG, I think that Barton has been out of the game for a long time, and when that happens, even good players can be erratic and have a few off games until they find their feet again completely.’

    Yes I agree. Even after half a season players can have a stinker game. Sometimes it even comes with the fatigue of have played for months in a row, looking at the likes of Gerrard. The difference I think Tiote has made is that he is a good ball winner, but unlike Smith who either stops the play or produces a predictable sideways ball, Tiote keeps the play going and has vision to find someone going forward. That really is exceptional CM play for a desensively minded player and I think even Nicky Butt never realised that; often opting for a long hollywood ball, which rairly came off. Don’t get me wrong, Barton is actually one of our most valuable players; one of the best in the prem actually at finding that killer horizontal ball to play in a striker. Guthrie and Gosling could be very good together aswell, both talented central players with bags of passing and shooting abilities.

  49. Nor Cal & MDS: You guys gotta switch. I dumped comcast after week 1 and got Verizon. It has been heavenly having fsc and fsc+ and I have yet to miss a game, although Wolves was not shown live.

  50. Tiote also mentioned being ‘compact’ in central midfield, with Barton and Nolan there to play balls into until they could find benny or Rotledge. Butt used to get the ball and seem to be miles away from everyone. I think sometimes trying to spray the ball from side to side doesn’t always work as effectivly as good compact central triangles, until a winger is clearly available. I wonder if Hughton has done this or it is simply due to the change in personnel; but I have noticed it and again at Chelsea even Smith and Vuckic were trying it.

  51. Without going overboard on Tiote, When was the last holding midfield player who could actually pass a ball forward.

    Butt certainly wasnt, Smith aint, Speed played there but wasnt the same player as he was when a attacking midfielder, Amdy Faye jesus christ, Acuna had a couple of seasons in and out.

    Rob Lee under bobby wearing 37??

  52. icedog says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    “WORKY only one way to look at it;things got to get better m8”

    There are people who are much worse than myself, Icedog, so I divven’t piss and moan too much.

  53. Just need the Bobby Robson stand and a statue and Mike will fast become one of the better chairmen we have had in modern times. Unfortunately his learning process has involved p!ssing us all off and taking us to the edge of ruin. His first two managerial appointments were disastrous but I am sure most agree the club has benefitted from relegation rather bizarrely. I just hope Hughton continues to deliver. He seems like the manager we have always needed and could be at
    the helm for years to come. Such a decent man too, you know he will never embarrass us like so many have in recent years. It is almost like he modelled himself on Bobby. Whatever happens he will have my gratitude for the job he has done.

  54. Shame that Harper’s out till christmas. By the time we could recall Forster in Jan, Harper will be recovering. Hope nothing happens to Krul or we’ll have to get an emergency keeper in. Funny how 1 min we’re say how strong our goalkeeping situation is and then with 1 injury it’s a bit different. Hopefully though Krul will just grow and grow into his full potential. He must have been dreaming for a chance like this for a while now.

  55. Lacedaemonian says:
    September 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    “Just need the Bobby Robson stand and a statue and Mike will fast become one of the better chairmen we have had in modern times.”

    Nothing against the great Sir Bobby, Lacedaemonian, but I think you mean the Joe Harvey stand, or even the Stan Seymour Snr stand.

  56. “Suspect chairman and major shareholder, a manager who clearly thinks he can do no wrong and a team devoid of ability, passion and pride”

    Sounds freakishly like the Allardyce period to me.

    and there I was thinking you were gonna say Dalglish period
    and there I was thinking you were gonna say Gullitt period
    and there i was thinking you were gonna say Souness period

  57. Yeah, Adam, not quite that easy. I could go the DirectTV route, but the wife doesn’t want a dish on the house…ah well…fortunately there’s enough people on here with links to the games that I can usually catch them…just hate watching on a laptop vs. 50″ LCD… :)

  58. “I could go the DirectTV route, but the wife doesn’t want a dish on the house”

    My advice NCT is to get her out there with a ladder, tools and manual on erections:) of satellite dishes that is.

  59. djg that was the point I was making re tiote / barton. Tiote had that knack for getting the ball and making enough space for himself that he could see the pass and it therefore becomes simple. His mobility is something we’ve never had to my recent memory in that holding role. His obvious comfort in that role seemed to give the others around him the confidence and space to play, much like makelele and mikel do for fatty at Chelsea and masch at liverpool for eg. Recently we’ve had to put up with butts aimless long passes and smiths tackle for a second touch. It’s refreshing to see what a forward thinking, tidy dm can do for your passing game.

    My main hope now is that Hughton will try Arfa in the Nolan free role up top as I feel that’s where he wants to play, is his best position and will really expand our rapidly improving passing game. I’d also like to see Ryan get a shot at Rm as his crossing is far superior to anything else we have and we need to give ac some quality to feed off of. Routledge is unreliable, jonas don’t like kicking it above 2 foot and arfa will just drift inside from a wing position. Ryan whips in a mean cross and also has a shot off both feet.

  60. Ice…….he’s behaved himself so far……….I’ve got a mate coming up from doon sooth for the match tho :-)

  61. Cynicaltoonfan says:

    Just thought people might want to see a compilation of HBAs performance vs everton

    Thats nice CTF and was it my imagination or did Nolan and Colo try to draw inspiration from twinkle toes :)

    My only concern is that he’s a marked man from now on and someone needs to tell him about Stoke :(

  62. I love it when you go on other teams blogs & forums and there all not happy and kicking off, or is that me just being cruel :D

  63. Krul will have to make sure he doesn’t get sent off in a match & therefore banned for up to 3 games. It’s not just about injuries now, in the ‘keeper dept.
    HBA looks sweet in those high lights, how didn’t he get free kicks in some of that?
    Should win us a few ’round the box & some pens, couple of oppo off’s too.

  64. Clint Flick

    Agreed about the freekicks. Stoke’s defenders aren’t the fastest, but they know how to tackle. It will be interesting what the outcome will be. Either HBA will destroy them for pace, or they will defend against him very intelligently. Unlike the Everton full backs.

  65. ET,
    aye mate, but,
    they either stay close(man mark) & can’t keep up with his twists & turns, & foul him.
    Or they back off, give him room(zonal) & risk a rocket launcher.
    Either way, y’get y’teeth bust.
    Are stoke’s ‘D’ ‘intelligent’ enough to be intelligent?

  66. Clint

    I hope not, but Pulis always seems to have something up his sleeve…and it’s normally a size 12 down the back of the Achilles!

    Seriously though, we need to suck a few fouls in the first 15minutes or so just to get the ref’s attention. That will set the standard for the rest of the game hopefully.

  67. ET,
    the way games have been reffed this season makes me more worried than the teams we play. When we’re away, they’re homers, when we’re at home, they’re ‘awayers'(?) :)
    Maybe we’ve got to some kinda tipping point with them, ain’t holding me breath though.
    It could be pivotal mate.

  68. Oh yea, well done to Ben Tozer last night, debut, on loan to Northampton, at anfield, wins.
    Absolutely excellent experience for the lad.
    Great stuff Ben, get stuck in lad.

  69. Of course. Congratulations to Ben. Hopefully he will progress a lot in the next few months and come back a far better player

  70. Aye maybe they feel he’s getting closer to the 1st team & think he needs to push to the next/top level with competitive games under his belt. See how he copes.
    Great start though.
    He must be made up.

    Great to have Ferguson, Vuckic, Ranger involved in the chelsea game.

  71. Blimey, when Ed thinks he’s got a half decent joke he doesn’t have go on about it does he…mentioned Alex going for acting auditions in about four threads now. He’s also saying anything less than 3 points is unacceptable..not sure like, might be happy with a draw with none of our players hacked to pieces..its a gave we should be able to win on quality but I feel like if I feel confident then it goes badly..confident against bpool-we’re horrific
    pessimistic-Villa,Everton,Chelsea-we play blinders
    so lads, we’re gonna lose this one!

  72. What was interesting about the line ups last night was the fact that CH put a real second string out, bench + kids & one from the last game. Then stuck a bunch of 1st team on the bench.
    While ancelotti went with a more recognized team + kids (not taking us lightly), with no 1st team on the bench (complacent).

  73. Clint
    On Ben Tozer..wouldn’t get your hopes up like, he and the whole Northampton squad played brilliantly…but I mean he is 20 and on loan at Northampton, not a great sign really, obviously he’s still got some years to go but I dunno…if he’s nothing special now then I don’t think he’ll ever make it into our propper ranks..or hopefully not anyway, or its a bad sign for how our defence is heading ;)

  74. Newkie,
    Pedro played for carlise, it didn’t stick & went to canada, the rest is history, as they say.
    Not saying he’ll be a success, just wishing him it.
    Can’t say i know how he plays, so i certainly won’t write him off just yet.
    A Carroll had a shite stint at preston years back too.
    I’m sure others have good eg’s too.
    Not having a go mate, just explaining me position like.

  75. Also, i wouldn’t be surprised if kalou & benayoun didn’t fancy being on the pitch at the end, thinking they were gonna be hammered, at 1-3.
    You know how ‘top stars’ do, when they getting their ass kicked.
    ‘I was injured’.

  76. Clint
    I suppose so mate, and in the same vein Routledge and Williamson have been continuously written off for PL level yet they’re both doing a job for us…and Colo is a superstar compared to what he was two years ago or so, I guess anythings possible. Ferguson looked well sharp though ;) looking forward to our next CC tie now…well, unless its Manure/arsenal away.

  77. been once,when big Al equalised for us……..I didnt think that much of it tbh………not a proper footy stadium.

  78. ”The other night, we missed Lee Cattermole. I genuinely think the team is better when he is in it.”

    However, Bruce admits the tough-tackling midfielder has got to rein himself in if he is to shed an emerging unwanted reputation.

    He said: ”His mentality has to change. Once you are tarnished like Vinnie Jones in my era, or Joey Barton, if you get tagged with it, it is very, very difficult to take it away.

    Bruce just having a little dig at Joey there. fat b@stard.

  79. Newkie,
    good eg’s mate. ;)
    Ferguson looked great for a skinny young ‘boy’ really.
    Just goes to show doesn’t it?
    People will say he has to bulk up blah, blah. But that wil slow him down.
    Yes, he may get pushed off the ball, though i didn’t see much evidence of that.
    He was pretty wiley too, slowing the game down when needed.

  80. & bruce didn’t get the memo about Barton changing for the better.
    Hardly surprising, they don’t get mail in the village of the damned, they can’t read.

  81. Reet,
    think it’s richie (soz if it isn’t) that i’m quoting when i say:
    “Off up the dancers”.

  82. Clint
    Yeah, he certainly looked good going forward, and *shock* he can cross, which meant spidy could get on with the running. He didn’t really get tested too much in defence like, all our problems were on the right, would have been interesting to see how he’d have handled Anelka or Kalou if he’d stayed on and they kept running at him..but I can’t recall them making any chances at his expense really? I know anelka crossed in from (their right) our left to cause the Krul/Sol incident and the first goal…but apart from that all their attacks were against RB…who knows, maybe Anelka got scared of him :)

  83. Can’t stand bruce..hoping he’ll go manage Blyth or Whitely Bay, something more appropriate to his talents, tw@t!
    Night clint

  84. Good post Ed,

    lol @ Scottycake post no. 2. You’re almost no. 1 mate.

    “Second comes right after first”

    Lets carry this form onto Stoke Shitty.

  85. wow those highlights of Benny boy, fantastic. I missed aload of those as the highlights on MOTD were absolutely crap. And it was Big Al doing the piece. Nevermind, I cant wait to see him at SJP on Sunday, my goodness he will get the crowd up for it going past 4 or 5 Stoke players at will. He seemed a little undecisive a couple of times when he got into good positions but a couple more games and he should be there. I can see Cattercrap trying to take him down early doors in the derby, for which he will get a red card, but just hope he doesnt cripple anyone.

  86. This may seem a strange question, esspecially after what I said yesterday.

    I am all for having the same team if it is doing well and yesterday I said I wanted to have the 11 that plaed against Everton back for Stoke. However, I am wondering if it would be worthwhile making a single change in CB and that is big Sol for Collo. I know Collo has played well, but I think Sol is much better dealing with set pieces and of course Williamson is tall etc. Stoke do get a lot of goals through set pieces and of course the throw in’s, so I think it would be worth having two aerially strong CB’s to combat this.

    Does anyone else agree?

  87. Raffo,..I see what ya sayin but if there’s one position I don’t like seeing tinkered with it’s CB.Hopefully we have enough height in the team to deal with the long balls coming into the box.If CH plays Cambell tho I’m sure he’ll be fine and we’ll still whoop em ………yep feel good factor hasn’t gone yet :-)

    Ticket sales not looking great so far for Stoke,if ya can get yersel a ticket,you know it makes sense ;-)

  88. batty…….ganin wi wor lass and a southerner.He’s a Toon fan.It’s strange I did a job for Thames water about 8 or 9 years ago and he was one of their engineers on the job.I’ve only seen him once since but he phones at least once a week for Toon updates.
    His family are all Hammers fans and when he was a kid his Dad took him to a West Ham v Toon match,he said his fatha had told him off for something on the way to match so he supported the Toon to annoy him and it’s stuck ever since :-)

  89. Was going to get a ticket for the match but think I might have to work on Sunday. Hoping to catch most of the game on TV when I get in though. Roughly how much is half a season ticket these day?

  90. Oh well then lets just stick with the Everton team and see what gives.

    I wasnt aware that you could get a half season ticket, though I suspect the price will be determined by our position at the point where they are issued

  91. In the past they were sold out most years. Because of the hours I have worked there has never been a point in having a season ticket.

  92. Raffo,
    that’s a decent shout about CB’s v stoke, but so is richie’s counter argument.
    Tough call really, cos stoke are like a 11 man battering ram.
    But if we keep ’em well busy at the other end, it may not matter.
    But when you factor in the long throws from the half way line. :)
    Although we do have Raylor who can hoy a decent one in, not quite from the halfway line though.

  93. I think Colo is good in the air. Everton posed similar problems with height and physique and we managed ok in that game. They have to play against Carroll who at times makes Duncan Ferguson look a bit soft.

  94. Sol was decent but I’d still keep the team we’ve been using, Collo was brilliant vs Chealski-he forced Kalou into an injury remember :) And did well to set up Rtaylor goal by getting Shola the freekick. I know we’ll be under pressure by set pieces, but I think we’ll just get Big Andy in there and he should be able to header us to safety..and get the ball to benny and routledge for the counter. Plus Collos hair gives him about half a foot height advantage..

  95. Got to work Sunday, gonna miss the match. Only got 1 days leave left and I’m saving it for the derby.

  96. Lace,
    he’ll probably end up in jail too.
    Wouldn’t mind him getting a blinder v manusa as well.

  97. Oh me lads, you should’ve seen us gannin
    Passing from Arfa along the pitch
    And all of them were starin’
    All the lads and lasses there
    They all had smilin’ faces
    Gannin along the Scotswood Road
    To see the Newcastle aces

  98. Are we looking for the results of other teams? We all seem so focussed on what we are doing and nobody on here seems to give a toss about other results. Makes for a change having spent the last three years worrying about the points that other teams have. I am sure we will come the new year but at the minute I just don’t give a monkeys and by January I am hoping we are just playing for differing margins of success.

  99. But it does give us a different tack to talk about when we have a few players playing well in the same position. As they say, a good problem to have!

  100. sol to start for me on sunda. gives a bit experience and reassurance for young krul. especially if jones plays, and also counteract rory ‘long throw’ delap. no-one reads the game as well as sol. thought him and colo looked good on weds.

  101. The only results I really look out for apart from ours are Wolves, to see if they’ve lost (wifes side of the family are all wolves) Sunderland to see if they’ve lost and local teams leamington spa and warwick racing. The last two rarely feature on MOTD though. :)

  102. “NEWCASTLE HAVE STYLE AT THE MOMENT”, no they dont,look at jonas’s hair and collicini’s,that is not style.

  103. Trojan, you just don’t appreciate Argentinian style thats all mate…Oh Collocini…I want girly hair too!

    I have looked at a couple of results-Sunderland obviously…but Blackpool are hard to miss, and I’ve been watching Wigan, West Brom and West Ham, as they look to be our competition for the relegation battle.Blackpool’s flukes surely can’t last much longer..I’m sure its wonderful for them to be up here but when it comes to them or survival I couldn’t give a toss this season quite frankly, especially after they embarrased us! Few injuries should sort them out..its tough though for a side who have absolutely nothing to lose-look how we’ve been written off against villa/everton/chelsea. West Ham have been teetering for a while, Wigan look dodgy and West Brom are the yoyos, though they’re getting better each time.

  104. Just watched highlights of the Villa game followed by Arfa clip followed by Chelsea…whatever happens in the rest of the season, we’ve certainly had some special moments ;)

  105. Caution ahead of sunday lads’ n lasses.

    Since the opening game every result has gone against expectation – if we know one thing from what we’ve seen – it’s going to be a topsy turvey season. I still think we’ll get a win but it will probably take a grinding performance to edge past stoke.

  106. Malchick how could you swap Williamson for Sol?

    Williamson’s been a revelation in defence for each and every game he’s played since coming here I reckon. Having his height is definitely something we’d want against Stoke too. Colo isn’t bad in the air either.

    If he was to be brought on though – for me it should be at the expense of the smaller Coloccini. Although those 3 at the back together for the last few minutes shouldn’t couldn’t let a Stoke attack past them? If we could accomodate them to a formation, that is. My biggest worry against Stoke is the RB position – and sorry, I just do not rate Raylor as a defender whatsoever.

  107. Peter Loverhands says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    Malchick how could you swap Williamson for Sol?

    not much to choose between williamson and colo. just think sol should start against stoke, could be one of krul’s most difficult games he faces at home this season. thought sol and colo looked good against chelsea and both have faced jones, fuller and delap before, but agree, williamson has been excellent and would be unfortunate to be the one to make way.

  108. Raffo/Clint………….The good thing these days is that we can change our centre backs and not have to worry about it at all,how long is it since we’ve been able to say that? :-)