Newcastle United v Coventry City match preview.

Posted on February 17th, 2010 | 74 Comments |

Trip down memory lane to better times.
Trip down memory lane to better times.
After the last two abject displays away to Derby and Swansea, there can be no question that Newcastle need to turn in a convincing performance and take all three points from the game against Coventry City at St James Park tonight.

With West Brom’s draw Tuesday evening taking them back to the top of the table on goal difference, and Forest’s win closing the gap between us and them to 2 points but with our two games in hand, we need to make our next two home games count by taking all six points.

Coventry won’t be a pushover. They’ve moved up to the top half of the table after finding a little run of form. Coventry City midfielder, Gary Deegan, has described the Sky Blue’s Championship match at Newcastle United tonight as a great opportunity. Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph, Deegan who scored the only goal against QPR on Saturday said:

“We have got two wins in the last two so let’s go up there and make it three. Why not?

“I think people will start taking notice of us now that we are showing we are not just a bottom half team.

“We have beaten Forest and QPR so we want to go up to Newcastle and beat them too.”

Newcastle are defending the Championship’s only unbeaten home record, and let’s hope that is one record that remains intact. We need to continue with our home form, and find the necessary treatment for the malaise that descends on the team as soon as we travel south over the Tyne Bridge.

Tonight we should have Jonas back in contention to add some much needed pace down the left hand side. With our midfield having the speed of a bunch of OAP’s with zimmer frames especially the past few games, it will be interesting to see if Chris Hughton bites the bullet and drops the very pedestrian Kevin Nolan who’s form has certainly dropped. Caught in possession I dont know how many times on Saturday, his lack of movement, awareness etc were plain for all to see. Smith is another one who seems to have run out of steam and contributed little recently. Looks like Smudge has been tucking into whatever Kevin Nolan hasn’t scoffed post training as he seems to be going for the ‘who ate all the pies’ award also, as he definately seemed to be carrying excess weight on Saturday. However Chris Hughton came out in defence of the out of sorts Nolan in the press yesterday and revealed that he has no plans to drop him. Whether this is just a bluff for the press, I have no idea, but we can’t afford passengers who constantly give the ball away and contribute little else, so I’m hoping he is dropped for this one and Guthrie is moved into his more favoured position in the centre of midfield. Out on the wing he is useless and constantly drifts back into the centre of midfield, narrowing play.

Hughton claims Nolan will soon be back to his best, telliing yesterday’s Daily Express:

“Have I thought about resting Kevin? The answer is no, he’s a valuable player.”

“It wasn’t one of his better games at Swansea, but the statistics show he did as much running as he normally does and his physical contribution was no different.

“As with every player there are ups and downs in form. Kevin is very capable of turning his next game into one of his better ones. “Apart from his actual contribution to the team, he has scored a lot of goals.”

“We do have competition for places and he’s treated the same as everybody.” Hmmmhhh….

Now Colo is back to add a bit of stability to the defence, Hughton has a few more options to choose from. The question is whether he will plump for Hall or Williamson to partner Fabio. I think he may go for Williamson but who knows. Danny Simpson who has clearly been carrying a bit of an injury and off the pace should be dropped if he is not fit, but there hasn’t been any news the past few days to suggest that is the case.

Leon Best, previous top scorer for the Sky Blues with 10 goals this season, who joined us from Coventry on the last day of the transfer window, will be desperate to play tonight against his old team and will hopefully be given his debut. As you know it was Best who laid on the cross for Carroll to score the late goal against the Swans last Saturday.

Strolla will miss the next 2 weeks due to a hamstring problem and will join the much missed Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt and Joey Barton who continue to keep the treatment table warm.

Coventry could hand a debut to Jon Stead the Ipswich striker who is on loan until the end of the season. Freddie Sears another loan signing who made his debut when he came on as substitute in last Saturday’s win against QPR will also be hoping for a full run out. Sky Blues boss Chris Coleman has doubts over James McPake (back) and David Bell (shin) and it is unlikely that either will be risked tonight. Aron Gunnarsson, who missed out on Saturday with a leg injury, should return to the squad after returning to training on Monday.

Possible Newcastle team:

Harper: Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, van Aanhort, Routledge, Guthrie, Smith, Gutierrez, Best, Carroll.

Subs: Krul, Lovenkrands, Hall, Kadar, Nolan, Ryan Taylor, Ranger.

Lets hope the players do their talking on the pitch, rather than the platitudes they keep serving up daily in the papers. Time to deliver guys, I’m going for a 2-1 win to us.

Howay the Lads!

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

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74 Responses

  1. i hate to say it but i think we are ripe for getting beat at home. if any team comes at us all guns blazing we dont seem to cope well at all. we are a slogging team alas. Coleman knows this and has said they will come at us all gunsa blazing and be brave. I am going for a 0-2 to coventry tonight.

  2. Let’s be optimistic,going for a 7-0 to Newcastle united.hahahas.

    **Praying Hard Nolan is drop to bench or not even in the 18-man squad tonight.**

  3. Doesn’t look good at all does it Spartan and if past form is factored in to a prediction for the season’s end…….. mmmmmm, not pretty!

  4. Chuck, where are you?

    It’s some to my attention that Leon Best has scored 1 goal in 12 games? He needs to improve especially after you lauded him as a signing.

  5. also, to be honest, i dont know if i even want to get promoted as it will be another shit prem season that ends in relegation – the only up side would be for ashley who will have made 20 million in tv rights for the season in prem and another balloon payment for relegation.

  6. I need help, a few of me mates are coming up for the game tonight and they were asking how much it is and i said £8, they want to sit near me: Sir john hall upper tier area L4x, so will it still be £8 there, we are all under 18 btw??


  7. Toonsy

    I’m going to go for the Bowburnmag effect as Worky calls it and slate Best & Routlage before kick off tonight. Me and the lads around were calling Caroll just before the Cardiff match kicked off and he had 2 away and forced the won goal within the first 15 mins. So I’ve picked Best & Jonas as targets tonight with the hope that a bit against Routlage might keep him running to the byline and put the great crosses in, same for Jonas I hope with a goal from each of them.

    I know it’s all dream world for the 3 of them to score, but we can live in hope. if we get another win tonight and Saturday I’ll be happy. Playing decent fotball would be a nice bonus of course.

  8. Thanks people, i wonder why the advertise it as £8 but it is different for different areas, i tried looking on the website but they only give you adult prices :/

  9. I think we’ll grab this one 2-0 with both goals in the first half.

    I’m tipping Best and Gutherie to score.

    Nolan should be dropped, Smudge to keep defensive midfield. It wouldn’t do him or the team any harm at all. He’d come back stronger and we’d all be better off. I don’t think CH’ll go for it though which kind of casts doubt on my Gutherie to score idea.

  10. How can you chose between Guthrie and Nolan. They are equally useless at the moment. I think the only reason I’d go for Guthrie over Nolan would be to give Nolan a rest.

  11. Agree Micky Toon except Guthrie’s one saving grace is he is keep being played out of position which affects how bad he plays

  12. Agree with your team, Deb. I hope that’s what we see, although I suspect Best will be a sub rather than a starter; probably Loverboy up there next to Carroll to provide some experience for the start.

    People need to start applying a bit of context and intelligence to their assessment of players.

    Guthrie ONLY plays badly when on the wing, as the article says. In the middle he’s usually pretty useful, and I’d like to see him there tonight.

    I think we’ll see our usual absorption of pressure for the first 20-odd minutes, then a switch to attack. Coventry will come at us hard, but hopefully we’ll keep them out. I can see them nicking one, though.

    3-1 to us. Guthrie, Carroll and Routledge to score.

    (I wonder what odds I’d get on that??)

  13. craig chisholm @9 – yes, he’s setting us up to be a CCC team. That’s what we are.

    If we get promoted, we have to assume (based on encouraging signs in January) that he will then set us up to be a premiership team. Why the hell would he do anything else?

    Sorry to have a go, but I get sick of all this “spend our money for the sake of it” garbage.

  14. bbm – yep, can’t wait for that trip. Buzzed about it. I only fly in just in time for the match, but will be needing a warming pint afterwards. Any idea where’s best?
    I need to consider that I have two non-toon SJP virgins with me, so I may need to adjust activities accordingly!

  15. i agree with Whumpie @ 22… If we can get to the PL with the assets we have now and save some money by doing it all the better! As long as the money saved is used in the summer to invest in some quality.

  16. Whumpie – I suggest back down to Central mate. Few in Tilleys or The Forth and stay down Central way and around Collingwood Street.

  17. At least we’ve played most of the better teams in the league twice now – the tougher games left (Boro aside) are at home. Our run in looks very good compared to others. West Brom and Forrest have a sequence of very tough games.

    Could this be tactical genius by Hughton? Resting Jonas and Collo with apparent injuries to bring them back for now? Setting the stall out in those tough games not to get beat?

  18. Aye and wor Cheryl was on the Brits without her wedding ring…….. if she’s dumped that waste of space, that can’t do her any harm.

  19. Ta for the heads-up, bbm. Must see about getting that pint in and putting a face to the dodgy blog posts!

  20. It’s not going to happen but I wouldn’t mind seeing Lovenkrands and Ranger replacing Smith and Best in your line up Deb. A touch of Keeganesque we are going to score more than them.

  21. Cheryl for Chief Masseuse?

    Bowburn, the physio-room’d be chokka and the ‘injury’ list a mile long!

  22. I’ve got to admit, I’d rather see a team that’s set up to win instead of one that’s set up not to lose, if you see what I mean.

    I’d like to see Carroll dropped, but he’s been scoring a few lately and that’s all you really need, so the argument for him to stay is strong.
    However, he reminds me of a guy that used to work for me. No, the guy wasn’t a thug, he was really clever and could get you out of the sh!t when it mattered. But, for the other 29 days in the month he would do bog all and be a massive pain in the rear. He was dropped and the team has grown since and allowed others to be equally valuable in a crisis.

  23. Toonsy
    Yeah your right I did tout him (Best)and I still believe the guy will come good if given the opportunity.
    But I dont believe he matches up well with Carroll, though he did provide the pass for Carrolls goal, which was pretty decent, not an easy opportunity.
    Believe he and Lovenkrands could pair up well as forwards, both being able to lay off balls for one another.
    Please no Guthrie or R. Taylor, play Smith and Nolan,
    with two genuine wingers in Routledge and Jonas to widen things,
    Simpson-Colo-Williamson-Van A.

  24. When I look at the above team as one that I believe is our best side(That is without Taylor, Joey and Enrique).
    Have to say i`m not that inspired, compared with teams of the past, ah well !

  25. Stardust says:
    February 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    “Could this be tactical genius by Hughton? Resting Jonas and Collo with apparent injuries to bring them back for now? Setting the stall out in those tough games not to get beat?”

    I think that he’s been rotating players to keep this kind of thing to a minimum in a two game per week schedule. However, until the new lads came in, a few players like Enrique, Colo, Smith and Nolan have been virtually indispensible and hard to rest. They’ve payed the price of playing too many games and have picked up a knock or seen a decline in form through being a bit knackered.

  26. Stardust says:
    February 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    “Could this be tactical genius by Hughton? Resting Jonas and Collo with apparent injuries to bring them back for now? Setting the stall out in those tough games not to get beat?”


  27. Chuck, I think your team may be the one starting tonight, but Lover and Carroll to start with Best on later.

    And much though I’d love to see the all-out attack formation, I just don’t think we should expect that this season. We’ve built our position on a strategy and although we’ve had a slump down from mostly winning to mostly drawing, I don’t think we should be changing that.

    Boring (Taff-thrashings apart), but working.

  28. Stardust – nice thought, and I think CH is quite capable of that level of strategic thinking, but…

    Nah. Colo was just knacked.

  29. Just a thought: if we win by 3 goals or more it’ll get us back to the top of the goal difference league too. Could be useful.

    I know. Dream on. But we did it against Cardiff, so…

  30. Whumpie: ref your post saying that we are right to buy CCC quality players now as that is where we are – i just dont agree. when the jan window came around we were well clear at top and looking odds on for an instant bounce back to the big time. Now we could well be third top in a week. We could have bought players for slightly more than we have paid which would have been a better prospect for the prem and at same time help us get into the PREM. You reap what you sow and we are now falling fast in the CCC.
    And why on earth do you think because Ashley spent a couple of million in Jan that this equates to prem quality signings in the close season IF we go up??? Ashley will spend nothing if we go up and that is a fact. Look at your history books at what the anus has done since he has had us.
    AShley has spent as minimum as he thinks he had to to get us up (and has gambled again and made as mistake again). IF we go up we will be for sale again in a heartbeat and it will be another window of zero activity and us in a relegation fight all season long. It wont matter tho – cos as you agree, our team and new signings are tailor made for CCC footy.

  31. How you gonna get prem quality to come to the championship then?
    That couldn’t be a factor, could it?

  32. craig – whumpie believes fat man will replace our recent signings with premiership players if/when we get promoted – bless him he’s living in cuckoo land.

  33. Somewhere between happy clapper optimism & shit-stained glasses is probably closer to reality.
    Could be better, could be worse.

  34. Workey
    Yes, it`s a tough schedule, with games comming seemingly every other day, no league for the fainthearted and yes i have said the same thing before (i tend to repeat myself) it`s not a bad thing to do a certain amount of platooning, in order to rest players or provide time for niggling injuries to heal.

    Not so sure our owner intends to sell if promoted, certainly not with a major windfall of fifty million pounds being awarded to each PL team for the forthcoming season from tv revenue, that combined with gate reciepts and shirt sales, there`s money to be made, else why are the Glazers, Hicks and co.and a number of non british owners continuing to invest.
    And yeah we should have done better during the window, attempting to bring in a better class of player and giving them time to bed in.
    One thing for sure with the present quality in the PL, there are no gimme games.
    We are going to need a much improved side than the one we have, that is if we intend to compete.
    Problem is with a wage cap and an age limit, aint gonna happen.

  35. Craig,
    Beckford was stopped by his manager, kilgallon went to s*land cos he wanted to go to the prem & so did moses.
    If we were in the prem already, would we wanna buy those guys?
    I suggest probably not.
    & if we had our fans woulda been saying the same as now, no doubt.
    Lose/lose situation.

  36. what you are missing is the fact that Ashley WILL NOT buy proven prem players even if we go back to prem. that is why we should have speculated a bit more in the jan window instead of going for cheap shite just to add numbers.
    We would have got Beckford – he said himself he wanted to come to us – we just did not match ken bates 2.5 million. we might not have got killa but would would have also got moses as it was down to the administrators at palace.

  37. has any 1 seen that arseole hitman who hasent had a drink in 10 years but still gets pissed on water

  38. These players didnt come here because bigger wages were on offer elsewhere, you cant blame players for this as they are horse traded at will and one injury can finish their career.
    Although i detest Ashley for his lies and scrooge like behaviour, after Geremi and co, can you blame him for not wanting to pay out fortunes on a chance.

  39. From Mick Lowes at Radio Newcastle and he is rarely wrong, team is Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Collocinni, Van Anhault, Routledge, Nolan, Guthrie, Jonas, Carroll, Lovenkrands

  40. why should Best start? just cos of his old team? Na, i think we should stick with carroll and Loven up front with routledge on the right and jonas on the left. We have to play Nolan and a-n-other next to him in the middle of the park. The back four pick themselves since we have lost taylor and enrique (our two best players).

  41. Because most players score v their ex-employers.
    How many have come back to haunt us down the years, even defenders score FFS.