Thursday, December 29, 2005

Newcastle vs Charlton: game postponed..

Damn.. the game was postponed because of the wintery conditions. Could be a blessing in disguise as the team can rest longer from their last game(yeah the game sucked!). Lets pray they can string a few passes together! No more lumping the balls upfield you fullbacks!! And our next game is an away game at White Hart Lane, against the much improved spurs. I wouldn't be suprised if Jenas scored on that day and has a good game! He would've been a much better bet then one Amdy Faye! Sheeshhhh... I still cant believe we sold him because we had 'adequate cover'.. Adequate MY ARSE!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

vs Liverpool, 26th December

A very poor game. We lost 2-0 when the score could have been bigger, thanks to Shay Given as usual! We gave liverpool the win on the platter. The performance of individuals and as a team was horrible! Souness definitely must shoulder the blame, i still cant believe after 50 games in charge of the team, they still cant string a few passes together and the organisation of the defence was shambolic to say the least! Time and again the defence was all over the pitch trying to contain the liverpool forwards, it was not helped with the lacklustre performance of Faye, who was at fault for the first goal. A pathetic man marking attempt on Steven Gerrard indeed. We definitely missed Parker. The second goal, a cross from the attacking left side of liverpool, finished of with a towering header from Crouch, guess who's defending there.. Ramage! Yippeee..

Luque was very ordinary yesterday, so was Owen. In some sense, it's a compliment to be branded ordinary last nite 'cos half the team was way below par, a few was even out of their depth! Definitely league 1 football for you guys next season. And what's not to talk about the red card? Come on!! Bowyer did deserve his card but what about a few other liverfool players, acting like a bunch of thugs shoving players to the ground and on the back (gerard on shearer, watch the replay of the incident pls!).. I hope the video panel reviews the incident and make the necessary adjustments!

Mediocre performance from a mediocre team, let's just pray the next home game against Charlton will be a worthwhile effort to watch. Hmmmm.. something just crossed my mind, if the team looses all 4 games, Souness will definitely get the boot! That thought definitely cheers me up! :)

Good Quote for the Game:

"Newcastle have spent their riches on a valuable attack, but have a defence rich only in comic value.." - From The Independent -

And of to the ratings:

Given : man of the match! period..

Ramage : Mediocre, League 1 quality..

Taylor, Bramble, Babayaro & Boumsong : Looks awfully out of sort (or clueless defending? how bout comical? yup thats the word), i dont know whether i should blame them or the coaches\manager..

Bowyer : His reputation doesnt help him, we've seen players given a yellow for similar tackles..

Faye : Useless throughout the game, back to his best of being mediocre..

N'Zogbia : Anonymous in the first half, substituted..

Solano : Below par, nearly gave away a penalty..

Luque, Shearer & Owen : Just plain ordinary..

Ameobi : Came on for the last 5 minutes, did ok..


Friday, December 23, 2005

4 games in 8 days?!

What a treat! what a treat!!! Ermmm... I'm crossing my fingers we'll win all 4 of 'em.. Heh, the eternal optimisim of a magpie fan never cease to amaze.. :)

Here's the schedule for the coming 4 games:-

December 26th : Liverpool vs Newcastle
December 28th : Newcastle vs Charlton
December 31st : Tottenham vs Newcastle
January 2nd : Newcastle vs Middlesbrough

Looking at the teams we're facing, 2 home wins and 2 away draws would be an OK result. 1 thing we should hope for for the coming games are we dont get any new injuries while playing all those games in a span of 8 days! 4 nights of staying up! Let's hope the team makes it a worthwhile effort.. :P


Monday, December 19, 2005

vs West Ham United, 17th December 2005

I was expecting the game to start as soon as i turned the telly on at 11pm but suprise, suprise.. it's the portsmouth game instead! Some talk about an accident delaying the kickoff means i'll have to wait till 1.30am to see the delayed telecast of the match. The waiting was worth the wait though. A 4-2 scoreline in favour of the magpies does mask the fact that west ham was in control most of the time but who cares! We won & Owen got a hatrick!!

The game was interesting to watch because a lot of goals were scored and the anticipation of when the magpies will self destruct kept me wide awake. Luckily for us, we scored 4 while ONLY pressing the self destruct button twice. OK so the own goal was a tad to harsh but Shola's handball was.. i just cant think up a suitable word for that, thankfully soccernet's The Insider gave a good account of that:

"..Game over it seemed, but putting on a black and white shirt seems to be a signal to commit crazy acts and that is just what Shola Ameobi did as he punched a cross to give Marlon Harewood the chance to bring West Ham back into the game. He converted with ease and you have to wonder what Newcastle's centre-forward was up to. If you read this report Shola, please reply at the bottom to explain your moment of madness. ."

Yeah shola, i would really2 love to hear your explanation too..

As a whole, the team was shaky but thank god it didnt crumble to pieces as the pressure builds up. 1 player who has gone back to his anonymous best is Faye. After watching him bossed the arsenal player's, he was MIA in the west ham game from start to finish (ok minus the last 5 seconds of the game where he sets up Owen for the last goal but THAT was it). 2 additional points i would like to highlight is why is luque, our 9M pound man sitting on the bench?! Ameobi is just not a left winger! And let's not forget he gives away a penalty too! And finally, Elliot is just not good enough, how many times does he need to be at fault for goals conceded until people realize he's not premiereship material? Harewood's hard low cross from the right wing was not that hard to cover! Once the transfer window open again in January, I reckon a pair of fullbacks for both our left and right flanks would certainly improve over what we have currently as backup to Carr and Baba who are out injured most of the time.

Player Ratings:

Shay Given : Very good performance, 8/10

Jean-Alain Boumsong : Did enough + huge amount of brownie points for playing while daughter and wife was terribly ill, 7/10

Titus Bramble : Cleared a ball towards a team mate who is only 2 feet away, resulting in an own goal, but otherwise did ok, 5/10

Robbie Elliott : Doesnt matter if you wear your heart on your sleave when you're just not good enough, keep lumping the balls upfield, 4/10

Peter Ramage : Blooding youngsters? Their mistakes cost's the team goals! Also favours lumping the balls upfield, 4.5/10

Amady Faye : Dissappointing, anonymous, unproductive, adequate brownie points for the last second assist, 4.5/10

Scott Parker : Did ok shielding the defence, went forward a couple of times, 7/10

Nolberto Solano : Good deliveries on a few set pieces, but can be awful sometimes, and ofcourse, the own goal, 5.5/10

Shola Ameobi : Not effective at all as a left winger, wastes possesion and gives away a penalty, it would be pathetic if he starts next game and luque is still on the bench! 4/10

Michael Owen : Hatrick Hero plus 1 assist for shearer's goal, 10/10

Alan Shearer : Good in leading the line, came up with a goal and an assist, 9.5/10

L Bowyer [for N Solano (79) ] : Didnt do much, 5/10


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Newcastle vs Arsenal, 10th December 2005

Finally a performance worthy of 3 points! A 1-0 win for the magpies over the gunners was capped by several very determined performances of players in black n white. The game certainly was very physical, arsenal deserved to go a man down entering the 60th minute when gilberto got his marching orders after a second bookable offence, but newcastle united were very2 lucky indeed not to suffer the same fate. Luck, it seems were abundant for the home side tonite. Not only did some players escape bookings and possibly a red, the single goal scored by nobby had a small helping of luck as nobby dispatched his shot to the far post looking as if he lost his footing at the vital moment. And let's not forget both henry and persie's miskick when arsenal was just about to pull the triger.

Enough about luck! Luck alone cant win you games. The team's performance put forward was exceptional. The determination to win was never in doubt. Given made a terrific save against henry, bramble and boumsong didnt make the suicidal mistake i was expecting, infact, their clearences made against arsenal efforts time and again was the best i've seen so far this season. Ramage and elliot had a good game too, thanks to the cover provided by the midfield quartet of solano, parker, faye and ameobi. Shearer was teaching Physical Ed. to the gunners througout the 90 minutes while Owen's presence alone was enough to convince the gunners back four to clear into touch every time our team punts the ball upfield! Special mention goes out to Parker who put in a '2 man' performance as the pundits term it and ran himself to the ground(LITERALLY!) and Faye who i would pick as the player who delivered the biggest performance since his move from pompey. A 50-50 situation between him and 3 arsenal players ended up with the ball at his feet as the 3 gunners shirked away from the challenge! Now that's what i call physical presence!

My only gripe about the game was the magpies defence keep punting the ball upfield, loosing possesion all too easily in this manner. Hopefully with the return of Dyer and Emre in the near future, our approach play would be much2 better and entertaining. Keep up the good work, all of you deserved a 9 out of 10!


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Newcastle vs Aston Villa, 3rd December 2005

The game was so boring that i was dozing off and on 10 minutes before the half time break! The collective shouts and sighs from the crowds responding to the on-pitch action awakens me every now and then. The first half wasnt the "all guns blazing" approach i had expected. Sure we were 1 up after Shearer's penalty but the hunger and desire to win was terribly missing. Same old things are still happening, stray short passes, lumping balls up-field, poor first touch and miss communication (not among 2 but 3 players!) to name a few.

I wont do the usual player ratings as i didnt watch the game completely but suffice to say some players did improve from last week's very poor performance, some suprisingly didn't. Supprising because after all the commotion about their performance last week, i expected everyone to be playing like their future depended on it. Sadly, some still performs like they did last week. Souness said before this game that it's time for the players to show what they're made off, i hope he see's those that didn't perform and draft in the relevant replacement come January, or at the end of the season (if he's still around).

No thanks to Gareth Barry too for fluffing the penalty and giving Souness more breathing space. I'm not a supporter of the current manager from the first day of his appointment. I believe in track records and his record is not exceptional enough. I would've prefered Sir Bobby to stay on.


Friday, December 02, 2005

vs Wigan Athletic, 30 Nov 2005

Diabolical, deplorable, dreadful, shocking, pitiful, pathetic, embarrassing, unbelievable, dismal, feeble, useless, awful, appalling, abysmal, shameful, astonishing, staggering, atrocious, inexcusable. That's how described the team's performance against wigan! Choose any one of the words? No please, you lot can have 'em all! What a bunch of overpaid and under-performing pros!! Souness OUT!! Souness OUT!!

The game was selected as a delayed telecast here plus it's midweek, which means the kick off is at 5.30am, no worries, i'm used to waking up at any hour of the night/morning to watch the team I support most but this game takes the cake for being the worst 2 hours of my life wasted by watching a bunch of football pros make a mockery of their supporters! They were totally clueless in the first half, going into the dressing room at halftime with the score still 0-0 is a really2 big sign luck is on your side when it should've been 4-0. It was such an inept performance that no one blamed 'lady luck' for not helping us out. We should though thank half the Wigan team for showing up without their shooting boots!! The second half showed glimpse of promise that things would turn for the better but it didn't materialise. Empty shallow promises. Some of the players was just gutless or were they afraid of their own shadows? When we are pinned down i thought we would rough it out or stamp a feet or two, it would've been more acceptable then letting your opponent waltz all over you like you're a pub team, wait, i'm sorry if i offended any pub teams out there, you guys are a more determined lot then the one i watched on telly yesterday morning.

So straight to the Player Ratings! :

Shay Given : Best player for the team again, kept the score down with the help of wigan inept finishing, wouldn't fault him if he leaves any time soon. 7.5/10

Jean-Alain Boumsong : At sixes and sevens to stop a second string Wigan side, brownie points for better clearances a.k.a lumping the ball upfield. 4/10

Robbie Elliott : No suicidal back passes this time but gave away a penalty?! WTF!! 3/10

Peter Ramage : First team football is not a good place to blood youngsters! The First Division for you. 3.5/10

Lee Bowyer : Another round of running like a headless chicken! 3/10

Belozoglu Emre : Got of injured, lucky him. 4/10!

Charles N'Zogbia : Largely anonymous. 3.5/10

Scott Parker : At some point we played 5 in midfield, i still cant comprehend how wigan could outplayed our midfield. Scotty should shoulder some of the blame. 3.5/10

Nolberto Solano : The creative outlet of our team? Of no use when the other 9 outfield player are as static as a brick wall!! 4/10

Albert Luque : Doesn't do enough for the cause, blames lack of first team action. 4/10

Alan Shearer : Piss poor. Can always blame others for 'lack of service'. 3/10

M Brittain for L Bowyer (45) : Not as awful as bowyer but doesnt improve the team either. 3/10

M Chopra for A Luque (57) : Suprisingly did better then Shearer in terms of being a nuisance to the Wigan's defence, but that's about it. 4/10

A Faye for B Emre (71) : The epitomy of a clueless and overpaid football pro. Should've never been bought in the first place. 2.5/10!

Next up, a home game between the Magpies and Aston Villa, who also lost the carling cup game to a Div.1 team with a piss poor performance. Should be an interesting watch, shown here as delayed telecast at 1am. Here we go again..


vs Everton, Sunday 27 Nov 2005

The Everton vs Newcastle United game was shown live here at 9.30pm and after a nice dinner, sat down and prepared myself for a good match between two teams who desperately needs a win to move up the table. It WAS suppose to be a good match with 2 teams having a go at each other but in the end i was truly dissapointed. Firstly, there's no Michael Owen! Dammit! Now i'm wondering where's the goal gonna come from?! Shearer? Only from spot kicks. Ameobi? Once in a blue moon. Midfield? You gotta be joking! Ok, maybe not under the current regime. The team played awfully, they were lumping long balls up the field, no creativity from the middle of the park, there was no drive, no determination! And the ref? We cant leave out as a talking point cant we? He was horribly inept!! I hope there's something like a board of ref's to review the performance of each ref after the game and tell him that he's a bloody joke! Both teams are awfully lucky to have 11 players on the pitch after the final whistle. Elbows were flying high and low and clear cut penalties were not given. Damn you ref!!! As if watching the team you support play horribly isn't enuff, we have a donkey ref for value added entertainment! bravo! bravo indeed..

My ratings for the our players on that day:

Shay Given : Best player for the team.. As always.. 8/10

Celestine Babayaro : Hasn't got a clue what determination, hard work or team play means.. Gives the ball away way to easy.. Inept passing too.. 4/10

Jean-Alain Boumsong & Titus Bramble : Combined efficiently to stop the single threat of 1 Everton striker with an abysmal strike rate, thank god they played with only 1 striker! Both 5/10

Peter Ramage : Youth player doing ok, waste the ball sometimes with awful passing or over ambitous? 5/10

Belozoglu Emre : Did ok in the middle, above average passing but lacks the opening other team mates provides to make use of his passing.. Could do better.. 5.5/10

Charles N'Zogbia : Largely anonymous.. Should utilize his pace and trickery more in trying to breakdown the everton defence from the left side of the field.. Played as a leftback by the end of the game. 5/10

Scott Parker : Work horse of the team, playing as DM, did ok. 6/10

Nolberto Solano : Should stick to playing on the right side of the field, comes in the middle way to often, no telling pass to show for in the whole game. 5/10

Shola Ameobi : Over elaborate ball controls robs him of time for a shot at goal, should practice more on 1 touch set up and shoot!! Drifts wide to often but that's because the supposed wide man of the team doesnt go wide!! 5/10

Alan Shearer : Ineffective, only has aggression and determination to show, has 1 v 1 chance with the keeper and fluffed it.. Should've been more vocal in reprimanding his inept team mates as team captain. 4/10

A Luque for C Babayaro (51) : Did ok for someone who's not played for over 3 months! 5/10

L Bowyer for N Solano (60) : All huffing and puffing but no end product, brownie points for aggression and determination shown when on the pitch. 5/10


Thursday, December 01, 2005

First blood.. First post..

I started this blog with the idea of logging my daily thoughts about Newcastle United Football Club, my most beloved club that i support eventhough i'm not english and live halfway across the globe.. It will be good to be able to sift through my thoughts one day when the magpies finally win something.. All this anguish and frustration from supporting the team needs an outlet and what better way then a blog.. IF i get readers from this pet project, then it's a plus.. If there are 'trolls' from other teams.. i WILL ignore or delete your post.. You have been warned.. It's my blog and i can do whatever i want to with it.. :P

Coming up.. Review on the 2 games played this week, away to Everton and Wigan.. And maybe something on Baba 3 match ban.. What an idiot!!