A bird fest – The Magpies take on The Swans.

Posted on November 28th, 2009 | 131 Comments |

Hughton v Sousa: A defensive chess game at SJP?
Hughton v Sousa: A defensive chess game at SJP?
With 1983 the last time these two teams met in the league, it will be a rare encounter when the Toon and Swansea City meet at St James’s Park. With two naturally defensive minded managers pitting their wits against each other, we can no doubt expect a tight match from the two teams with the best defensive records in the league. In addition neither can be described as prolific in front of goal so little hope of a Keeganesque performance from either side.

The Swans are officially the in form team in the Championship winning 14 from the last 18 points and chasing their fourth successive victory.They’ve also chalked up an unequalled 10 clean sheets this season, half of which have been in goalless draws, so you have been warned. This defensive bias is clearly heavily influenced by Paulo Sousa the ex Portugal defensive midfield legend and good friend of Sir Bobby Robson. Sousa, who played for Sir Bobby at Sporting Lisbon and remained in regular contact with him until Sir Bobby’s death in July, was apppointed manager in the summer following the departure of Robert Martinez.

After a shaky start, the loss of some important players such as influential midfielder Ferrie Bodde out for the season with a cruciate knee injury, Sousa has managed to take the Swans to their current position of fourth in the league despite his team scoring the lowest number of goals.

With goals in such short supply, Swansea took steps to try to rectify the problem by concluding an emergency loan deal earlier this week for Sheffield United’s welsh international David Cotterill. His move is set to be made permanent in January. Captain, Garry Monk could miss the game having missed the last two matches due to a calf injury. Federico Bessone is likely to deputise if Monk is ruled out. The Swans will definitely be without Scottish striker Stephen Dobbie who has an ankle injury, while Mark Gower is also expected to miss out with a hamstring problem.

Recent positive influences include Spaniard Andrea Orlandi and Argentine Federico Bessone with Craig Beattie the leading league scorer for the Swans with 3 goals from the last five League games.

Chris Hughton promised to take the game to the Swans and commented ‘Swansea’s record speaks for itself, saying:

“They’re a tough team with a good shape and difficult to play against. We’re the home side and we have to force the issue. We can’t afford to take them lightly. They are where they are on merit. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our game.”

So fighting talk from Chris. Let’s hope he follows through with ‘forcing the issue’ and finds a way to break down their defence with a good attacking performance. Harewood will hopefully be left on the bench and Swansea could drop him off in Birmingham on their way back to South Wales as he serves no real purpose staying here.

It’s not known if Carroll will be fit to play on Saturday. He returned to training on Thursday after playing while unwell in Monday evening’s victory at Preston. Hughton will be waiting to see if Carroll, as well as Ryan Taylor (calf) and Danny Simpson (thigh) will be fit to play after all suffering illness or injury earlier in the week.

On-loan Defender Zurab Khizanishvili is available after completing a three-match ban but Shola Ameobi, who has not played since damaging his foot ironically while producing his best run of form earlier this season, may have to wait a little longer to appear despite having a week’s training under his belt. Hopefully he will get a run out in the reserves before he’s back in the first team.

So the Toon will be aiming to complete five wins in a row for the second time this season, and become the first club in the division to rack up a dozen victories with a win against Swansea. It’s likely to be a very difficult game and you would expect a goalless or low scoring draw. However With our current penchant for winning ugly, one goal may just be enough to pip it for the Toon.

Finally, Sousa paid tribute this week to his good friend Sir Bobby Robson

“He was one of the best managers I have ever known and one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure to meet. His image and memory will remain with me forever.

“I hope his soul can come close to me on Saturday and give me all the happiness, emotions and enthusiasm that he always had.

“I remember how he was on the sidelines, the way he motivated his players and I hope it can inspire me at Newcastle.”

Good words from a manager to watch out for in the future. Let’s hope the inspiration of Sir Bobby doesn’t help him too much at St James Park and the Toon rack up another home victory.

Howay the Lads

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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131 Responses

  1. Anyone thought for a second…
    Newcastle United, famed for its cavalier ‘you score 3, we’ll score 4’ attitude, constantly questioned about defensive frailties, has the best defensive record in the league and is up there for one the best in the country!!
    I know I know, I can hear the arguments already, drop in league, quality etc etc however, im gonna still revel in it while it’s a reality lol!!!

  2. Mick I agree with you. How many years have we been berating the defense, wondering when it will ever improve? Well it has. In particular I think Enrique has been playing out of his skin, but imo we must give credit to Hughton and Calderwood also.

  3. worky….just checked the odds on 5-4 – it’s a trouser wetting 500/1 !

    deb , the mackems are gonna make a move for enrique in jan….more dosh for fat boy ???…

  4. Komfort I hope not. Even by his decision making skills and knowledge of football, he must see that he can’t sell Enrique. Can’t he???

  5. Yep, makes a nice change to see us looking good in defence. As was said, we may have droppeda division, but we can only compare ourselves to the teams we play, and we ae looking good at the back.

    On another note, still trying to stay positive, but I was going through some old videos last night, came across the match against Sunderlan at home in 93. Funny looking back at what the ground used to look like. The downside was the skill from the players and the way they played. It was a derby and they are nomally scrappy and the pitch was sooden wet. We had quite a bit of skill on the day really, we looked good. I look at us now, same division and it’s justa case of kick the ball in the air and hope for the best. People slated Keegan for his tatitcs, but we looked so much better back then. But staying positive, we are top of the league and thats all that matters right now.

    Just hope when I get up there in 3 hours time, we can win again with a bit of a show if thats possible

  6. I don’t mind Sir Bobby inspiring Paulo to have a happy  personal life, but not a football one (not today at least). 
    Don’t seem to get much time to participate on blog so my apologies if I am a bit of an itinerant.
    Anyway I expect a tight game but hope we can do a bit better than the Spurs managed at Wigan last weekend.

  7. deb….with any normal person you would have thought so but when this bloke sees the £ signs it’s kerching ! & off to the casino we go….lol

  8. Deb, comment 11, you would hope he wouldn’t but we all know he has a penchant for doing things to p*ss off the fans.  Its not as though we have a plethora of left backs to fall back on either.
    On a culinary note about today, Swans used to be a feast for kings so I am hoping we can dine well today.  On the other hand I don’t think Magpies are an easy bird to digest, have I just devised a new prediction method?

  9. The best thing to happen would be an early goal for us. That would draw Swansea out as they have to try and get one back. Hopefully we can pick them off on the counter and seal the game.

  10. i’m with you toonsy… otherwise its gonna be a slow game i reckon.
    although, think about it… swansea might have a mean defence, but they’re yet to come up agaisnt the attacking prowess of Guti’s feet!
    any good paint drying sites??

  11. LOL @ attacking prowess of Guti’s feet.

    The first thing i thought of was the chance he had to make it 2-0 in the dying minutes at Preston. A chance he promptly skied over the bar!

    Good lad, works hard, can dribble. Just a shame his feet are on the wrong way :)

  12. his funiest moment to date is in the same game toonsy, just before half time, receives the ball in the box, tee’d up perfectly… goes to strike with his left and his right boots it out for a goal kick… it was literally my standard of football!
    i think his confidence is shot to hell because he seems to panic on the ball a lot and make supid errors

  13. if we win and scunny can pull of a result against leicester i’ll be getting trashed tonight… if not i’ll stay at home with the missus. which is the same pledge i make every game… she saw a lot of me last season!

  14. Happy with lovenfrands up front , think he gives us something but Harewood has been poor since coming in, when in SHola back anyone?

  15. Beattie scares me a bit…. and Dyer can run like hell…Enrique should handle him though….they are not a bad team…this should be interesting…

  16. Great start, early goal. It might loosen Swansea up now as they come out and look for the equaliser.

    I just hope we dont sit back on the lead.

  17. ustream.tv/channel/newcastle-utd-vs-swansea-city

    Another radio link. Sound is rubbish and its biased to Swansea but its better than nowt.

  18. Toonking he has gone for expirence up front to break the 2nd best defence in the leauge . The more the season goes on the more i am bigining to belive in hughton he does seem to have tactical sense

  19. Well lads Jonas seems to be doing good today and all the people that thought there was no end product ;)

  20. Worky BBMs methods are working we will have to draw up a slagging list for him.
    FSOTC hows it going mate. its a good blog here and there is quiet a few from eds on here.

  21. I wonder when Capello is gonna give Harper a go in the national side. Sign of a good keeper when he has nothin’ to do for 30 mins then pulls off a great save.

  22. tell you what lads the radio link i’m listening to is the Swansea commentators and they’re being very complimentary of us!..sounds like we’ve had a canny first half. They seem to break quite quickly but have nothing in the final third whereas we’re taking our chances. Very impressive against the best defensive record in the league!

  23. Doctor Khumalo I dont think Capello will give him a go while we are in the CCC even if he is better than what he has got.

  24. Sounds like we went in for HT 5 minutes early! Why on earth dont we keep up what we were doing earlier?

  25. Doctor Khumalo – Harper has no chance of getting  in the England squad. We both know that. As Big Dave said, he playes in the wrong league!

  26. Doctor Khumalo – Was that for a friendly? I very much doubt it was 3-4 planning  matches away from a world cup!

  27. toonsy, your comment was held for moderation because you used the word “Scunthorpe”. The blog thinks it’s a very rude word for some reason :-)

  28. Worky, i guessed that. They shall now be known as Scunny for blog purposes.

    Is Pancake really on? I havn’t heard owt about that…… not as though Hughton would phone me up to check first like :D

  29. these commentators are quite funny. “we just dont get the shot away. if that was newcastle, they’d be shooting! if that was newcastle..if that was newcastle” lol.
    Is pancake on? i havent heard him mentioned yet like.

  30. toonsy im surprised the hare made way for him, but not dissapointed I hope Ranger opens his account today

  31. 2nd half went downhill but a great win, we are still ahead of WBA by 2  points and more importantly were 9 points clear of having to play in the play-offs.
    So far so good.

  32. Not trying to steal the thread but was just reading Lambsarse’s interview.
    He said: “As you know, Mike made it clear after the end of last season that he was trying to sell the club and although there were a number of interested parties, none of them were able to match the £100m asking price.
    “As a result, Mike decided that the best course of action, one that would put the welfare of the club at the top of the agenda, would be to remove the club from the market and concentrate solely on the aim that everyone connected with the club passionately desires – promotion straight back to the Premier League.

    No mention of the 80mill to Marry Boat

  33. howay the lads…. get in there if were still top in January were going back home were we belong

  34. See what happens when you play Lovenkrands more often? 

    Play him up front with a big man and he will get more.

  35. Johno Toon  it was said that Ma was going to sell to Moat for 80 mill for a quick sale, But from that I would read that it was 80 upfront with 20 mill to follow

  36. get us to 50points lads by the half way mark and we’ll be well on our way. but the second half of the season will take its toll on our lads… another 8 games to play on last season, and dont no one be fooled, still a tiny squad.
    i’m happy with our strikers, no love lost when harewood goes back would like to see kilgallon come in and hopefully we wont lose anyone… could all go tits up come feb tho!

  37. Just going back to the possibility of Enrique being sold… Seriously if we played as Mike Ashley on this year’s FIFA we’d be stopped from the amount of players we’ve sold for changing the team too much.

    We need players IN, not OUT!

  38. I cant see Enrique going. Its not like we have a back up that can slot straight in!

    That said, this is Mike Ashley and nowt surprises me. It wouldn’t be a smart move though, especially if he plans to get us up then sell quickly for more money. Selling Enrique would only damage those chances.

  39. well currant logic of ma goes along the lines of… if i sell enrique and take the gamble and we dont get promoted, thats still 6mil in me sky rocket!

  40. Is he in that X has the talent factor thing batty?


    Indeed he is although i thought he was from Shields? Perhaps the NUST could sign him as a “high profile”
     investor? :D

  41. is this site ever going to keep up,fk sake we beat swansea hours ago and still theres no thread……at  least ed was on the job,just like batty.lol

  42.  batty .. i was on my way but decided to go to wach the heed instead , they were crap firs half but it was like watching brazil the second half m8 great day all round regarding the results…..happy days m8.

    HEED ARMY !¬!

  43. Just read hitman’s comments after I finished that article off…

    I’m already getting grief off the missus for being up here and doing this :)

    Catch yas later after me Chinese!!

  44. nice 1 , batty hope your cush kid seen you were in in bit of a stewer , a bit back hope your ok kid.

  45. sound m8 thanks xmas shoppin with the missus keeps me busy especialy wen she tryin to spen all me cash lol

  46. batty,wheres our thread saying we won the game,this site is run by a bloke that couldnt give a shite,he has to pick up his game.