Monday, August 28, 2006

Villa 2 - Newcastle 0, 27-08-06

After 12 consecutive unbeaten run, we finally lost in this away fixture. The manner which we conceded both goal was awful, dreadful, terrible defending! The first goal was a snap shot just inside the penalty box at the center.. Carr and Moore tries to block from either side while bramble was not positioned well enough to block the shot direct on.. 1-0 to Villa.. Sigh.. Just 2 minutes into the game and we've conceded a soft goal..

Martins made his debut upfront alongside Milner! Milner is a willing runner and a very determined player but a striker he is not.. He doenst have the mindset to be a striker and tends to drift wide.. Martins meanwhile has to play targetman which doesnt suit his abilities at all.. He did show flashes of his skill with his good ball control and short distance pace, but with villa defending with 2 layers of defence, it was hard for him to utilize his abilities.. Too make things worse, he was strechered of in the 60th minute clutching his knee! Dejavu? Landing akwardly ala Owen? Its like a bad omen for strikers to put on a black n white shirt as they will be jinxed with a long term injury! Sighh... Oh yeah we conceded a second goal from a supposedly delightful through pass when it can actually be cut out if our centrebacks had ANY DECENT PACE!!! Bramble and Moore cant sprint even if their lives depended on it!

Angel slots the second goal :(

Solano and Babayaro were both correctly substituted at half time, Solano was just not effective and SLOW while Babayaro was easily beaten time and again by the villans right wingback.. In comes NZogbia and Luque.. There were some moments of promise after the start of the second half but after losing Martins in the 60th minute, we lost our impetus to attack and Villa was content with 2 goals with the occasional counter attacks.. To the ratings:

Given - 7
Did ok but honestly, he could have save both the goals he conceded

Carr - 5
Was not solid at the back, extremely poor at crossing! Shitty service from the right flank!

Babayaro - 4
Defensively weak, forward foray not worth mentioning!

Moore - 5
Below average performance, poor clearence, looks poor against pacey strikers

Bramble - 5.5
Could be blamed for both goals but gave a better second half performance and help kept the scoreline down

Solano - 4
Poor performance, doesnt have pace, passing wasnt good, poor deadballs delivery too

Duff - 6
After running riot against Ventspils, had a 'quiet' game, tends to drift in then hugging the right toucline, had some attempts at goal and not many crosses

Parker - 7
Was all over the pitch, contributing in attack and defence including a last ditch tackle, just no end product in the last 3rd of the pitch

Emre - 5
Not affective against 2 layers of defence, cant break it down with his range of passes, suspect temperement, overall should have done better

Milner - 5.5
All running but poor end product/crosses, doesnt have the mentality to be a striker

Martins - 5.5
First debut for the magpies, showed some nice touches/ball control but then got strechered off injured! :(

Luque - 3
Lazy, poor first touch, looks clueless on how to perform as a striker.. Went AWOL after Martins went off.. His mindset of a forward must change to suite premiership games! NOT the other way around!!

NZogbia - 7
Did well and must start next game.. Played well as a pacy leftback! He should play there more often! Then Duff could play on the left and Milner on the right..

Butt - 5.5
Did ok shielding the back four but was caught way upfield when villa executed some fast counter attacks.. Should be given the chance to partner Parker in midfield


Friday, August 25, 2006

Newcastle 0 - 0 Ventspils, 24-08-06

A bore 0-0 draw? Far from it! The game was very entertaining right from the start! From the first whistle onwards, Newcastle went right for the ball with some robust tackles(Ventspils kicked off the start) but thankfully the game settled into a more decent pace with less robust tackles, yeah i was worried we could end up with 10 or even 9 players if the robust tackles were to continue.

Sidetrack: Obefami Martins was introduced as our new 10 million pound signing at the center circle before the game started and was later spotted on the stands watching the game! Yeehaaa! The black & white army welcome you with open arms Martins! I hope he starts in the next Villa game! :) Now back to the game..

A soon to be familiar sight at St.James Park! :)

The team selection was quite suprising for me as we played a 4-5-1 formation with 3 wingers in Duff, Milner & N'Zogbia! I thought Butt will start as DM which would give more freedom to Parker and Emre to roam forward, and the 2 wingers.. But it seems Milner is to play upfront as a striker once we're in attack, changing from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2, BUT then the plan didnt quite work out.. Milner was more oriented towards hugging the right touchline with Duff nearby, this leaves Luque all alone upfront.. And since he's not a target man, most chances went begging or astray..

The defence coped well with the Latvians while Harper had only a few crosses to claim during the whole match.. There was not even 1 shot on target from the Latvians.. Our midfield on the other hand kept the opposing keeper very busy.. Too bad we left our shooting boots in the lockers cost most shots went wide.. Special mention must go to Duff who ran the Latvian defence ragged.. He was defeating the defenders at will, beating 2 to 3 opposing players at 1 go, the runs he made reminded me of a previous great winger in a black & white shirt which i idolize: David Ginola! Lets hope Duff will even be a better player then Ginola! With Martins, Owen, Duff, Nzogbia, Milner and Dyer(when fit :P), our team oozes with pace.. The future will not necassarily be bright but it will certainly be entertaining! :)

Player Ratings:
Harper - 6, not much to do all night
Carr - 7, did ok going forward but wasteful sometimes
Babayaro - 6, was not effective going forward
Taylor - 7, after a long layoff, he's getting good
Bramble - 7, didnt make any mistakes!
Parker - 8, all over the picth, leading by example!
Emre - 7, did just ok in dictating play, should have been better
Duff - 9, Man of the match performance, superb dribbling skills
N'Zogbia - 7, Did ok, lacks telling end product
Milner - 7.5, Made some good crosses and tracks back well
Luque - 6, caught in no mans land too many times, was never a targetman in the first place


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bumbling Boumsong bagged by Juve!

Bye bye boom! :)

Finally! They guy moves on.. From my tone, it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out i bloody hate this guy.. He sucks as a central defender.. Imagine paying 8.5M pounds for a centreback who drop clangers in EVERY game! Utter waste of money.. Good riddance! And i wish Juventus a huge amount of luck cos you guys will need it with him around.. The UEFA cup qualifier game with Ventspil (did i get it right?) will be shown live here on Friday morning.. 3am to be exact! Yippee.. Just cant wait.. Hopefully Obefami Martins will be in the stand watching it too after formally signing for us!!! :)


Monday, August 21, 2006

Newcastle 2 - Wigan 1, 19-08-06

WTF!!! The game was not shown live! Not even delayed!! Who the hell wanna watch Everton vs Watford!? That game stinks! I could not fanthom how the magpies was not shown live! Bloody idiots! Arghhhh! I'm really pissed! See all this exclamation marks! That's how pissed i am!!!! Sigh..

On a slightly happier note we won! Stayed up till 1am so i could catch the result and maybe some short footage of how the game went.. Parker was definitely a good choice as captain, he even scored a goal.. Then our concentration went AWOL, Carr made a very poor clearence and with 4 defenders between our goal and McCulloch, he still manages to score!

Steely determination from our new captain, pic from Soccernet!

Luckily for us, it was one of those days where Ameobi can put away half chances with aplomb! He sinks the second goal for the magpies and restores the lead.. The scoreline was maintained till the end eventhough Wigan came back stronger after the 2nd goal and there was also a shout for penalty in the dying seconds when Bramble fouled a Wigan player.. In the end it's 3 points in the bag! It's great that we start the season with a win, i cant remember the last time we got all 3 points from an opening day fixture! Goob job team! Good job Roeder!

I hope this week would even turn out better! A midweek WIN in our UEFA Cup Qualifier game(on Thursday) and 3 new signings to be exact! It's all over the news that Obefami Martins is in the bag, he was over on Tyneside on Sunday for a medical! With a reputation of below 11 secs for the 100m sprint, he will inject alot of pace to our attack! Yippee! Gravesan could also be signing, but the lack of quality defenders shortlisted to join us is really bugging me.. I really hope we sign atleast 1 defender before the transfer window closes!