Oops, we did it again! – Coventry 0 Newcastle 2

Posted on December 10th, 2009 | 74 Comments |

Danger, danger...
Danger, danger...
As a portion of the football world still await us tripping up and falling flat on our faces, Newcastle United continue to do what we’ve done best so far this season. A clean sheet and three points in the bag! Tonight’s 2-0 victory over Coventry City, meant it was our fourth clean sheet in a row (twelve in total) and our seventh win on the trot. The last time we did that, King Kev was in charge over 13 years ago. Let’s hope our season doesn’t turn out the way that one did though…

Would you credit it though? We were again outplayed for long periods of the game and yet we did the important thing which was to come away with a win. Despite being outplayed overall, Newcastle started well and with the confidence expected of the league leaders. Hughton also rang the changes from the previous game and with Nicky Butt coming in for Nolan, Pancrate in for Guthrie and Ameobi back from a long lay-off, there were three players buzzing to impress. Andy Carroll didn’t get involved at all.

This was another match for which Radio Newcastle were my eyes on the game, but with our defence looking shaky again to begin with, Jonas Gutiérrez gave us some respite against a Coventry side seeking a first win in ten league games. Fabrice Pancrate appeared to struggle against the pace of their other full back.

After seeing a penalty claim disregarded by the referee, minutes before the break, City were unlucky as top scorer Leon Best smashed a shot from 10 yards against the bar in the 38th minute, and when the ball came back in shortly after, Michael McIndoe also headed against the bar. Newcastle took the lead just before half-time when Enrique’s pass found Ameobi, who turned Leon Barnett smartly before smashing past Keiren Westwood with his swinger.

After the break, Coventry gave it a right good go and dominated play at times and it wasn’t long before Hughton changed his forwards midway through the half, introducing Marlon Harewood and Ranger. Even with the changes, Coventry had the better of the play and Eastwood should have done better but could only shoot into the grateful arms of Steve Harper.

With the game still in the balance at only 1-0, Nile Ranger popped up at the back post to sidefoot his first senior goal from another Enrique ball to extend the lead. Which duly sickened the dogged City fightback and sent the massed ranks of black and whites home happy, safe in the knowledge there is now seven points between us and second place and a healthy twelve points between us and third. On we march to Barnsley with 7,000 fans in tow, happier days indeed.

Us – Harper, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique, Pancrate, Butt, Smith, Gutierrez, Ameobi, Lovenkrands.

Subs – Krul, Kadar, Khizanishvili, Guthrie, R Taylor, Harewood, Ranger.

Coventry City – Westwood, van Aanholt, Clarke, Cranie, Barnett, Gunnarsson, Cork, McIndoe, Eastwood, Best, Morrison.

Subs – Ireland, McPake, Bell, Hussey, Madine, Grandison, Jeffers.

Att – 21,688 (with at least 4,000 Mags)

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

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74 Responses

  1. a clean sheet  IS what matters , we are actually leading the league on the back of our DEFENCE not our attack . which is fine , and its the way big clubs play . its alright the baggies getting 5-nils etc… but its already showing that there hides a dodgy keeper and defence , when tested !!

    Haway the lads KTF………

  2. Another good result.. I almost feel the need to pinch myself when ever we rack up another win. After years and years of poor results it almost seems alien to me to be revelling in these victories… Chris and the boys deserve all the kudos they can get for their efforts so far.. We bag them out when their performances are poor so we need to heap praise when it is going well… I am a very happy fan at the moment…

  3. nzedtoonman – Your forgetting that a solid, reliable defence often means that we dont need to do much up front to get the result.

  4. Well the vast array of my knowledge of last night’s game came from Sky Sports News, and the fella providing the updates never suggested we were outplayed. In fact everytime he came on he made it seem as though Coventry were terrible and the only reason we didn’t destroy them was because we were only slightly better.

    He often said nothing is happening but it’s Newcastle that are more likely to do something and win the game.

    Which we did and another 3 points on the board. Thing’s are looking up, how long since any of us could say that?

  5. It’s hard to tell from radio newcastle – they seem to be expecting us to play like Arsenal just because we’re newcastle – by all other accounts we were fairly comfortable (other than them hitting the bar twice) – Enrique was class as usual although a bit worrying Pancrate had trouble with pace which is supposed to be one of his strong points
    By my reckoning we’re halfway to winning this league as 90 points should do it quite easily this year
    roll on Barnsley – should almost be like a home gane with the amounyt of fans we’re taking :-)

  6. just to point out on the back of one or two other comments, we need to decide what we want, solid defensive performances=clean sheets=not that pretty or “the keegan days” – goals from everywhere but a pretty shaky back line, currently, it may not be pretty but it’s good honest sound football, not important if you only score 1 if your defence are concrete

  7. stevep – I’ve seen Pancrate three times now and the kid can run. But apparently their left back was like sh*t off a stick.

    I may not be able to guarantee much about Pancrate, but what I could guarantee is that he should be quicker than most left backs.

    I’d reckon Enrique could be the quickest at the club though. The kid is a class apart everyone else this year as well.

  8. Yep, me too mate.

    Why do I think our fortunes will turn on my first away trip since Huddersfield though? Sod’s law…

  9. BBM – Did you go to the game?
    The ground was half empty, but we managed to fill it with noise.
    Coventry really are a poor side.  You could see from their tactics they were playing defensively and it wasn’t until we scored they decided to attack.  Being fair they did force a couple of ok saves from Harper and a really good one when he plamed it onto the bar.
    Ameobi managed to redeem himself with a his goal, but apart from that he was his usual bambi on ice.  One particular “highlight” of his was taking the ball into the corner with a defender and all he had to do was put his foot on the ball, but he completely missed the ball and fell on his arse!
    As bowburn said the game completly changed with the subs.
    Stand out players – Ranger, Pancake, Enrique.
    Stand out players for the wrong reasons – Colo.  He really needs to get the ball before it bounces over his head.
    BBM – Their left back was quick, really quick.  He managed to get to the ball ahead of Ranger in a head to head sprint at least twice.
    As most of us know, if we do go up, this team will come straight back down.  Sorry to be a realist about this, but we will need massive investment and tieing down the better players, Enrique, pancake, ranger, etc.. to long term contracts.
    Anyway, another win to add to the tally, seven points clear, can’t really grumble. :)
    “Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    jingle all the way.
    Oh what fun it is to see Newcastle win away”

  10. BBM – I’ve had your scepticism about every away game this season but I suspect it’s losing heart. I thought Palace, Cardiff, Sheff U and Preston would present big big challenges. Apparently not. I’m edging towards expecting to win but not quite there yet. Barnsley away? Big challenge. Hah!!

  11. hell, georgio, i’m starting to think we’ll have this league wrapped up come the end of march!
    great to see ranger get on the scoresheet… that’ll do him the world of good
    howay the lads!

  12. I don’t think we’ll come straight back down when promoted – admittedly we’ll be struggling in the bottom half but west brom and the other promoted side will be in a worse position along with the strugglers that survive this year. I reckon the team is as good as last year with the exception of Bassong – iIf Ashley invests some cash (10 – 15 million) we’ll easily be as good as Bolton, Portsmouth, Wolves, Birmingham, West Ham, Hull, Blackburn. If Ashley invests nowt we’ll be as good as the teams that go up with us and half the teams mentioned above

  13. Stevep – completely agree. Who do you want that cash spent on? I’d like a more dominant central defender (than Colo), a fast running midfielder . . . and Peter Beardsley.

  14. I’m quietly confident about next season, (as long as MA doesn’t balls it up in january). There are some shocking teams in the prem and we should be the best of the promoted teams, overpaid crap players like butt and geremi will be off the books as only a meths drinkers would offer them new contracts, that means we can bring in fresh talent without blowing the wage budget, with sound (but not over the top) investment i think we will be comfortable.

  15. I am just happy with wins and clean sheets at the minute,obviously I would like to see fast paced and well crafted football but I don’t think that is important right now,it’s a scruffy league and we are playing teams at their own game and winning.
    Great to see Ranger get a goal I was beginning to think he couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a big Banjo,fingers crossed he starts banging more in….Toon !

  16. Jay Jay…as you well know Mike is the King of Uncertainty and Rash Decision…so I wouldn’t count our chickens just yet.
    My gut feeling is that if we are still looking comfortable up top early January we may well see more big names departing as well as some younger talent.
    Nolan,Harper,Enrique,Smith,Taylor,Collocini,Carroll are on sizeable wages and could be sold quite easily with a few more loans coming in to replace them.

  17. sadly georgio, £10-15m would realistically only get you get you peter beardsley of that list…..

  18. at current prices he’s still worth that much today, if Matthew Upson was worth £6m he’d get £10m tomorrow easy

  19. jayjay you say there are some shocking teams in the PL, I agree.  Plus there will be one more if we get promoted.
    We shouldn’t underestimate the massive gap between championship and PL.  Look at Wolves – stormed the championship, they couldn’t buy a win at the moment.
    Out of the currently team, I’d keep about four or five players, the rest need replacing.

  20. Agree with Micky Toon the gulf between the divisions is massive,I mean how many players have you actually heard of from opposing teams we play in this division?
    I haven’t a clue about most of them to be honest as I never followed championship games until this season.
    To survive next season we would need huge investment and a complete over haul of the current squad,we are far weaker than we last played in the top flight and this current squad would be relegation fodder right now.

  21. P.S my last post seems sorta Harsh on the lads…just incase any players are reading this I love you all (apart from N.Butt) xxxxx

  22. Mickey Toon – I too was at the game last night, and what suprised me was the lack of support/noise in the home end. Fantastic stadium but crap fans.

    Good to see Nile get his goal.

    I think most of the army lads in the front rows were supporting us judging by their reaction.

    Not a pretty win, but a win’s a win …!!!

  23. Much prefer this blog to the old nufcblog,there was just far to many articles so all the banter was cut short all the time.
    Batty can you see if the Kays have got any deals going on Hinari appliances mate?

  24. It’s amazing that not one pundit has mentioned Harper’s mega save on to the bar last night.
    Well done micky toon for mentioning it-let me reiterate: What an amazing save by Harper!
    Stingy defense all the way, so long as we score a goal.
    Slag Ameobi all you like but he’s fresh off an injury, scores a top goal, bolloox to whatever he did or didn’t do in the rest of the game.
    Let’s big up our defense: 10 goals against home & away, top stuff whatever the league. 7 points clear, top of the league.
    Respect to the lads that have stayed to get us out of this league & big respect to CH for making them believe.
    Howay the lads!

  25. double what clint said!
    good times to be had
    they all deserve credit, it aint been pretty but they’re making it happen.. i’m friggin proud, to think 5 months ago people were comparing us to leeds and our days are numbered.
    howay the toon!

  26. Aye eastend,
    we’re doing what we have to do, fighting for every win/point.
    Last season everyone was saying we were gutless wasters, that cannot be aimed at the lads this time round. If we had this attitude last season we wouldn’t be here now & if we maintain it next, with 3/4 additions we’ll be ok & building for the future. Let’s just all not expect us to be top 4 in the prem if we get there.
    There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing us grind out results v teams that would love to belittle us.
    Toon Toon

  27. Couldn’t be happier with the results we have been getting,hopefully Ashley will not decimate the 1st team in January to make a fast buck.
    My gut feeling is key players will be sold though.

  28. Clint – Harpers save was class.

    He was interviewed last night after the game on 5live and was asked about the current goalkeeping injuries within the england squad, and whether he should be playing. He was suitably modest and said his age was against him. However if he wasn’t so loyal (whilst given was here) he could have played for a premiership team week in week out, and would now be there or there abouts for a call up.

  29. MT – Nah, missus wouldn’t release the funds for this one. I got my wish for the Plymouth FA Cup tie as a result. And looking forward to Barnsley on Saturday.

    Up for the Derby trip though? I’m sure you said you’d buy me a beer?

  30. Shrewsmag,
    i reckon Harper’s the perfect age for international duty.
    green & foster are way off the experience level required, may be good in a few years, but not up to it right now.
    That leaves james, who’s injury prone, playing in a declining team, older & calamity prone to boot.
    I know who i’d choose & i couldn’t care less about england.
    SirJay, do’y’really think ashley would sell & risk missing out on promotion, surely we’re getting the financials back together atm, so don’t NEED to sell.
    If we got shot of top earners that were’nt playing regularly i.e. Geremi & Butt, that would save us tons & we could probably still bring a couple in?

  31. i know where those feelings are coming from SJT,  but i dunno, i’m quietly confident things are gonna be ok

  32. I am starting to get a bit of pride in this, despite a certain sense of fish and barrels in this league.  Whichever way you look at it, to do what the lads have done in the circumstances they started with is just amazing.

    Would they compete in the Prem?  Yes, I think so.  Can Hughton change the play to do that?  Dunno – but right now he is da man.  Manager of the Month 3 out of 4 months says it all, Chrissy boy – well deserved, man.

    If Ashley doesn’t sell off key players (excepting Barton, who I’d love to see the back/coffin of) then all will be well.  Don’t forget that if we do get promotion there is a whole transfer window in the summer to adapt the team, plus about an extra £80m of value in the club to justify more expenditure.

    Basically, if we don’t sell in January, we’re looking very, very tidy.

  33. Bowburnmag – so you’re coming down my way for the FA Cup clash at Plymouth?  If I can get tickets me and some other lads from the office here in Exeter are going down – including me and two other Mags.  Not sure if there will be any general sale tickets, though – anyone got any suggestions on landing some?

  34. Aye, decided to go back to Hartland for New Year. Suddenly my desire became more apparent after the cup draw…

    A lot of games have gone to general sale and with the time of year etc, there should be a decent chance of getting tickets?

    Hugh might go as well, because he’s in Taunton, so I said I’d try and catch him for a beer.

  35. Here is an interestin slant, sure to start a debate.

    First off, im not Mike Ashley’s biggest fan but does anyone feel that January could be the making of him? I mean, whatever the actions are, if its selling or keeping/buying players then that surely is a big clue as to which direction the club is going?

    Think about it, all the penny pinching. It had to be done at some point as we were in massive debt. A relegation is probably not the way Ashley envisaged it happening, but its forced the cards and as a result we have sold off/let go all of the deadwood and cut the wage bill dramatically and brought some decent transfer money in, apart from Given!

    Now, if we manage to go up, do we have Mike Ashley to thank (*hides*), for whipping our club into shape before it was spent into oblivion. Would it be down to him that we would be a much leaner business, with a premier league revenue?

    Whatever he does in January is a big clue.

    P.S, he is still a cnut, im just looking objectively.

  36. BBM  – Unfortunately events has conspired against me being in Newcastle for crimbo, I’m going to be in the black country with the other halfs family. So I’ll buy you a beer on boxing day, but I’ll have to drink it for you. :)
    Those who were at the game – how gutter were you for the little kid kicking for £1000 from halfway.  He couldn’t have been bigger than 2ft 4in.
    Agree on the squaddies, they cheered and waved when Ranger scored.

  37. BBM
    Having watched the game, what`s your opinion of Best, the young Coventry forward ?

    And have to agree Enrique is as fast as any LB I have seen, deceptively so, saw him outpace Lennon, who is no slouch.

    As for those who feel this team could compete in the PL, hate to burst your bubble,  but the present competition is far below PL quality and there`s no question this present side would struggle and probably not survive there.
    Afraid it`s going to be a long haul before this club, will be capeable of competing for a European spot,  certainly  with  the present ownership and management team.
    So my Christmas wish is for an ambitious billionaire ownership on the lines of Man. Citeh, to take over. 


  38. Toonsy – pains me to say it, because I’ll never forget Ashley for all the underhanded nastiness and general gitting he’s caused.


    How many other teams have been able to hold on to several players on £3m+ per year?  There was no fire sale, and although most of the credit has to go to Hughton, Calderwood and the players, the one thing he’s done is keep the core of a team here – just enough to set us aside from all but a very few of the rest of the league.

    BUT (again)

    As you say – truth will out in January.  If he does stick with what he’s got – perhaps plus one or two players – then it’s clear that he’s thinking, for once, the same as everyone else.  If he gets tempted and sells the likes of Smith, Colo, Jonas…. then he’s everything we’d feared and we’re probably screwed.

    Personally, I’m optimistic.  But then I was for the past four windows too..

  39. i dunno though, i think we could hold our own against the tosh that currently sinks to the bottom of the prem, hell it wouldnt be a pretty seaosn but we’d survive, a couple of crucial factors… team mentality and management stability

  40. It won’t need a Man Citieh type owner to help us out, just someone with a bit more money than Ashley and crucially someone who knows what they are doing.
    If we rebuild slowly, taking some of the better players from the likes, Wolves (Kightly, Doyle) and  Hull (Bullard) then we can start to compete for mid table again.  If we do go up at the end of the season then we will have to have a couple of years of consolidation in the PL before we can realistically challenge to 4th,5th or 6th place.
    Whumpie – Jonas and Colo can go, as long as we get ok money for them.  I’d like to keep Smith though.

  41. Chuck – I wasn’t there mate. I’m sure MT can give you an update though (he’s the one who’e not usually up-to-speed on players unlike Tom_Toon).

    MT – I meant for the Derby away game. Must be in New Year sometime. Or perhaps Leicester?

  42. @Chuck: Nah, we could compete but if anybody thinks we could push for a spot in the Euro’s then they’re fooling themselves.  Mid table will be amazing, but would again be a stretch.  There again, I’ll be happy with 17th place (to make up for the spot we should have taken last season)!
    Next season will be hard.  It always is coming from a different league (regardless of whether you’re up or down), but with the attitude of the lads at the minute, I think we can at least put up a good fight.  I just hope that Ash opens his cheque book.

  43. we would be the best of the teams that got promoted and as good as the teams who will just escape relegation this season if we don’t get investment.
    Butt & Geremi will be out of contract so that leaves a bit of scope to get some better players in – it won’t be pretty and parts of the season will be spent in bottom three but I reckon that the whole attitude of the players is better this season now we’re rid of the overpaid t055ers – we should be able to avoid relegation but without investment we’ll def be in the bottom 8 clubs

  44. I don’t believe for a minute all this doom and gloom about what happens when we go up. There’s a big difference between now and the last 4-5 seasons. At last (and after 20 games it can’t be ignored) we now have a bloody TEAM! Real teams tend to do OK. They can’t be bought – a la City. Look at Stoke, Burnley even.

  45. Lets all forget abt what has happened in the past. I still believe we have a team that can compete in the top 10 but not 1-7 positions. All we had last seasons was a team with a captain who doesnt give a sh@t but all that has changed. We are a team now and all we need is real investment in the team not many players though jst 3-4 players am not including those that are coming in January.
    All we need is a good striker who will score every weekend like Bent. All we need is investment of 20m.
    There is no team am scared of in the EPL except Villa, Arsenal, Man City, Manure, Spurs, Chelski, Liverpool, Mackems,Everton and Fullham. The rest bring them.
    CH revolution with Smith as Captain.

  46. The Scum have invested too much this season and we will find them way head of us next season. They have an owner with a brain.

  47. I have a feeling MA has got a brain and he knows what to do now with his Investment that wld be NUFC. Business men learn from past mistakes and let me hop he has learnt this time.
    We have sporsorship deals and TV money. I wld be a fool to leave with all that money coming my way. I bet he is staying this time.

  48. African Geordie – Aye, they’ve invested money, but them assets (Bent) will soon get fed up of the scum racially abusing his mum!

  49. Well I know some think we can survive a first season if/when promoted, but I would feel better if we aquired a couple of  decent players during each of the next two windows.
    Doubt if MA will get rid of anyone before the summer and  have the feeling he will bet on the present squad to get us there.
    If thats the case, it would behove him to strengthen the team come the summer, unless he has a buyer ready to take over, which hopefully will be the case, where  he can then leave the spending to the new owner.
    Only problem there is a limited time  to buy and a scouting system the new owner/s will have to depend on.  
    see what happens. 

  50. 43 – Toonsy – whether by accident or design – we are in the best financial shape we have been in for years.
    Couple of points – I actually expect Ashley to go for more loan deals in January, I wouldnt expect too much. The club will make a loss this year which he will be underwriting, we are coping well with our team of players all of whom WANT to play and fight to get back from injury ASAP (what a nice change). I cant see him changing tack or spending money until we are officially promoted.
    Thereon – he will invest – BUT this is a BIG WARNING – if he continues to be hated – he will probably try and sell us once promoted and not spend anything until – as if he even spent 20m – he wouldnt get more for the club.
    If he enjoys football and promotion, and the fans got off his back, he might just fancy putting right what went wrong. All who know him (Keegan included) like him and say he is a decent bloke. Whats the chances of the abandoning of the stupid hate filled songs when they are counter productive  re what we want.
    The songs only suit the likes of NUST who have a major agenda. A hate filled one and trying to buy a club at a discount price as a result of instability (their toxic asset press statement being a case in point)
    Just a thought anyway.
    And finally – if we win the league this year – I hope FIFA give us permission to stay in it – Im enjoying my football again lol.

  51. stardust i think ur right there aboot ashley and in a daft sort of way seeing that man u and the scousers are in trouble financialy iam glad ashley brought us if nothing else he has paid some of the debts

  52. Oi oi Batts – Liverpool in particular are in a desperate mess.
    I wouldnt mind watching them implode and sit smiling smugly – leveraged buyouts are the worst kind of news.
    Even Man U are in long term trouble, as soon as Ferguson retires and the club goes down, theres a bloody lot of debt to be serviced. Lets hope they go bust too.

  53. aye i cant see the scousers gettin champ leauge next season so i reckon gerrad and torres mite be off

  54. Batty – their only salvation will be to sell one of the two!
    They have went out early in the Champs League this year, they hopefully will get a poor league position (little prize money), no Champs League next year – thats a huge black hole to fill – that the press will pick up on soon.
    So they will have to sell to stay afloat – as Waldorf and Statler will not put money in to save that sinking ship when it is one huge black cavernous hole.

  55. ive a couple of m8s who i keep in touch with from my hooligan days m8 man u fans and they reckon its nailed on

  56. Toonsy, Whump and Stardust – Agreed that what Ashley’s done to get the books in order needed to be done and it will pay off longer term.

    However, his presentation and communication has been awful and I’d like to think that if is to stay a while, he really must get his act together in the PR department. 

    What’s happened’s history and history should be a good platform for learning from past actions and mistakes – that message should be considered to by factions of the fans too!!

    As for the January window, I may well be proved wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some quality incomers as well as securing the likes of Simpson.

  57. My issue with the whole good financial shape ‘design or fault’ thing, given that it’s most likely ‘fault’ considering his other foul-ups, is that will we not just be waiting for him to balls-up again? How many really have faith in him as he continues with Llambias in charge?

    Whether you agree with NUST and their like, surely we all agree that Llambias needs to be replaced with someone that can help to run a football club? If Llambias can serve another purpose somewhere else and he wants to retain him, fair do’s. But do the right thing and put the right choice in place. Let’s not just hope they stumble across the solution, let’s go and find it.

  58. that would be ideal BBM, we need a chairman like david dean (is it? used to be at arsenal?)
    alas old MA lieks his bosom buddies around him it seems

  59. spot on BBM, biggest mistake he needs to put right is losing the laughing clown, ideally down an elevator shaft, that would go a long way to beginning to start to get some of the fans back on side – he’ll have a long uphill struggle to break alot of the animosity he’s built but I still say in this partnership he’s the puppet in the muppets puppet equation