Gerken is top of the stops, ref drops a clanger and Toon drop two points!

Posted on October 3rd, 2009 | 8 Comments |

Sing in the cheap seats!
Sing in the cheap seats!
You could be excused for forgetting there was a football match going ahead this afternoon. After the findings of the arbitration yesterday, all the talk has been of last summer and deliberation over whether everyone is happy with the outcome of ‘the affair’. Well I took full advantage of my dodgy knee and got to another game this season.

I’d decided for this game, partly due to circumstance and partly through choice, to get tickets in the Leazes Corner and as we stepped out of Central Station and the sun shone, the wind seemed to help to blow away the cobwebs of the protracted tribunal. My thoughts being that Keegan had been vindicated and with every day that passed and every victory notched we could step closer to a sale and moving on.

A quick one in O’Neills and some banter with Bristol City fans, most of whom declared they’d be happy with a draw, and we were off to Tilleys before picking up the tickets. After another couple in Tilleys, we navigated the pre-paid ticket queues without too much hassle and headed to the turnstile. Two or three hundered steps later we were out amongst the fans. It took me a while to realise that by the time we’d climbed almost a full alphabet to Row X, we were literally in the rafters and a row from the very back. I’d forgotten just how far up it was and worried about not seeing the quality on pitch. I needn’t have worried because it would appear there wasn’t much on display but I think that was more to do with the players than my vantage point.

Hughton had rung the changes for this game and with Enrique struggling with an injury, Danny Simpson switched to left-back as Ryan Taylor came back into the fold. Danny Guthrie held on to his midfield berth but Nicky Butt made way for Gutierrez as we opted for a more balanced 4-4-2 formation. Rather surprisingly though, Hughton dropped both of our two young strikers and brought in Lovenkrands and Harewood as a new partnership.

Harewood almost justified his inclusion early on when he latched onto a good through ball but his shot came back off the post. Despite that early chance and a strong claim for a couple of penalties for handball we flattered to deceive once again. Bristol City, backed by a noisy following, struggled to threaten other than a handful of snapshots and a frustrating first half drew to a close.

The second half didn’t offer much more in terms of quality either although the referee did little to help us with some perplexing decisions, namely in missing a clear foul on Harewood in the box. Along with the ref’s ineptitude and with the help of the woodwork, stand-in goalkeeper Dean Gerken produce heroics to prevent Newcastle scoring and the game petered to a stale scoreless draw.

The loss of two points was annoying but more worrying was yet another off day for several of our players. Danny Guthrie is in a rut and looks off the pace, as well as losing his range on deliveries. Gutierrez once again flattered to deceive and the midfield generally again could not penetrate the opposition. Which left Harewood and Lovenkrands chasing down long bals. The latter succeeding in impressing far more than the genereally innocuous Lovenkrands, save for a snapshot and half decent delivery. In fairness to Andy Carroll when he came on for Gutierrez, he looked like he could help us snatch something but ironically, the best chance he had was to lay Nolan off in the box but he tried a speculative effort which ended up in the Gallowgate.

Perhaps a handful of players, in particular Steven Taylor and Alan Smith, could go home feeling they put in a decent shift but it’s yet another sign that we are short on quality. I also hope Ranger isn’t going to get the cold shoulder because I think he is a big player for us but bringing him on with moments remaining is a waste of time.

Away from the football there was a bit of argy bargy as the two lots of supporters left the ground and mounted police stepped in to divert the radgies. I made a swift exit as I can think of better things to do than meet an untimely demise under the clumsy hooves of a police horse goading a bunch of Bristol City fans. From a personal point of view, I found the banter decent and they were quite vocal throughout.

We can only hope the fortnight break gives us time to re-group and get back to winning ways. Dean Gerken, you can be proud of your heroics today. Graham Salisbury you should hang your head in shame for an appalling display of refereeing which contributed to us dropping points. But frankly despite what Chris Hughton and Gary Johnson have said to the contrary and the fact that Bristol didn’t really threaten, I think three points would have been more than we deserved.

However, I enjoyed the atmosphere up there, even if I felt a little giddy.


Harper, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Khizanishvili, Simpson, Guthrie, Nolan, Smith, Gutierrez, Harewood, Lovenkrands

Subs: Krul, Kadar, Butt, Donaldson, Geremi, Carroll, Ranger

Bristol City

Gerken, Orr, Carey, Nyatanga, McAllister, Sno, Johnson, Elliott, Skuse, Maynard, Saborio

Subs: Clarkson, Hartley, Sproule, McCombe, Williams, Haynes

Att: 43,000+

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

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8 Responses

  1. nice report BBM, I was stood yes stood – there’s no point trying to sit down you wont see anything – a few rows further down from you. When you look down to the gallowgate it looks like a morgue, compared to level 7. And when I sat there for the QPR game it was Snoozeville.
    Jonas stank today, he has no control over his legs and is always on his arse. Guthrie looks shell shocked or something. Smithy was on top form, and Harewood and Kissymewillie look pretty good. Its the lack of creativity from our MF thats the problem. I wish Jonas was played on the right, he would be much more effective there.
    The defence didn’t have much to do, but I was bracing myself for the sucker punch just at the end of the game. Typical NUFC luck. Our failure to take our chances and the crap ref meant a draw had to do. Its 2 points dropped, again, but at least we have the mini break now to rest and try something new in training.
    I think we are going to see alot more teams coming to sjp looking not to lose, so we are going to have to work out a way to break them down. Question is, can Hughton and co do it??? I’m not convinced.
    Keep the Faith lads.

  2. Nice report BBM. Shame about the result.

    Beardsleys Boots says: “Its the lack of creativity from our MF thats the problem”

    Same problem we had last season I thought, which figures as we have the same midfield.

  3. Hahaha told u this wll end with a draw i dont know what the fuc….happned to day but i hope there is something to be done in the strickers department …..i dont know but they must do something shoot,pass,…….but shit they ant doing nothing and pls pls somebody boooh enrique

  4. Just a thought……but to me Carroll and Ranger are preferable to Harewood and Lovenkrands as they are more mobile and forage back better, making up for the lack of mobility and guile in midfield……

  5. Good article BBM. To Toon Henock posted 11:46pm Boo Enrique??
    He wasn’t even playing? But if he was, I’m sure Newcastle’s fortunes would have taken a turn for the better! I actually think the lad has talent and if he can link up down the left with Jonas again they will be a force to be reckoned with in the CCC. As for the striking options, I really don’t mind which of the 4 of Harwood, Carrol, Ranger or Lovenkrands are played. I’m just really glad we actually have striking options now. Can I ask what anybody’s take is on the conflicting stories coming out of NCL at the moment regards to, ‘the Moat takeover is imminent’ and ‘Chris Hughton for permanent manager with 5M to spend in January and Ashley will be here till next summer’? I can only hope that the first rumour (about Moat) is the true one. Also, whilst I’m asking for opinions, I might as well ask what your take is on the debate, ‘would you welcome Keegan back as manager?’ Personally I’d welcome the guy back with open arms as long as Ashley was no longer in charge. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Shearer idea too but I’m definitely not a fan of Hughton for manager. Although I do acknowledge he is a decent guy and is trying as hard as he can.

  6. Jill – Agreed Enrique is a class act on his game but needs to cut out the unnecessary risks…. ‘if in doubt….’. Gutirrez also suffered in his absence and struggled to gel with Simpson.

    God only knows about the ‘takeover’!

    I’d love KK back in many ways, but even I can see that it would be almost farcical if he did come back and our reputation could do without any more of a kicking.

  7. Jill: “Can I ask what anybody’s take is on the conflicting stories coming out of NCL at the moment regards to, ‘the Moat takeover is imminent’ and ‘Chris Hughton for permanent manager with 5M to spend in January and Ashley will be here till next summer’?”

    The press (and Dennis Wise) are just guessing. The wide range of views about what will happen next – and the disparate opinions of so-called ‘sources’ that fuel some of these views – suggests to me that they’re making a lot of it up.

  8. To BBM agreed about some ‘unnecessary risks’ Enrique takes, but he and Jonas both have better games when they are on the field at the same time. Just glad Jonas is fit again and hope Enrique can recover quickly. As for KK, I agree it may be farcical him coming back but I’d still ‘love it’.

    To Hugh de Payen I’m sure you are correct. It’s just hard to tell which story is the ‘boll*cks’ one!

    Thanks lads for taking the time to reply to me. Cheers, Jilly Bean