Watford v Newcastle – Match Banter

Posted on February 27th, 2010 | 176 Comments |

Sting in the tail from the 'Orns?
Sting in the tail from the 'Orns?
Newcastle travel to Watford, looking to build on two good victories at home against Coventry and Preston respectively. We’ve struggled from travel sickness on the road in the Championship, but Toon fans are hoping for a change in fortunes.

Yours truly misses this one and will be watching keenly for ways and means to listen to or watch this afternoon’s game. No national TV coverage but reports coming through that it can be caught on some online channels, so if anyone can find tv/radio links etc to the game for people who don’t have it, I’m sure that would be appreciated.

As ever, this can be the place to come together during the match and p*ss and moan, as we usually do.

Despite my earlier caveated report regards the Daily Mail’s rumour that Kevin Nolan wouldn’t be playing, he plays, probably no surprises there…

Teams new coming in and the line-ups can be found below. Read toonsy’s most excellent preview article to consider what both teams have to pick from, what Watford’s current form has been like and other genereal bits and pieces reagrding today’s game.

As for the starting line-up, it looks like a traditional 4-4-2, with the same starting eleven as the Preston game, except the injured Lovenkrands is replaced by Leon Best So we can expect the shape to be the same as the last game, with two out-and-out strikers upfront, and inevitably Guthrie taking up position on the right-hand side.

Howay the lads!

Us – Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Patrick van Aanholt, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith (c), Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Andy Carroll

Subs – Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Fitz Hall, Ryan Taylor, Nile Ranger, Fabrice Pancrate, Ryan Donaldson

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

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176 Responses

  1. now lads leave poor 1st cool dj alone its not his fault that was all he could spell :lol:.
    BBM I hope you dont get caught playing with your Dongle

  2. Just took ten minutes to get the streaming window loaded on bet365.

    Not holding out much hope…

    Fortunately my Uncle has DAB and I can get Radio Newcaslte. Lowes and Ando it is then…

  3. damn,i miss the first goal. :(

    Mike link is great,crystal clear,just that it keep buffering.hmmm.

  4. Toonsy the only thing he has been doing apart from a few good dummies :) is keeping Ranger out of the team

  5. I think if Best was playing with Ranger instead of Carroll then he would be better. I think the problem is Carroll and Best are to similar. Best was used in the Carroll type role at Coventry so the positions he is used to getting into are the ones that Carroll currently occupies.

  6. Does anybody else quite like the white shorts/socks?

    Stick with those for the home kit imo. Black for the third.

  7. FSOTC I think if Colo can do it in this league with the amount of games we play, he should be fine in the Prem ;)

  8. My dongle is a mongol (sorry that’s a bit crass but it rhymed…).

    Leon Best underwhelming again by the sounds of it. Although, as per, we seem second best and as usual we’re still winning… 8O

  9. Dave–I worry about him monkeying around with the ball way down at the endline instead of belting a clearance. It’s great when it comes off, but it could get us into a heap of trouble if it goes wrong.

  10. bowburn – I wouldn’t say we look second best to be honest. I’d say around level by all accounts.

    Agree about Best though

  11. If anything was deserving of a yellow card this half (and not much has been), it was that challenge by van Aanholt

  12. 1-0 half time


    Possibly allowing Watford a bit too much time on the ball.

    Leon Best, having a mare although done well to win a free kick.

    The referee, trying his best to send anyone off.


    4-4-2 away from home, that has to be a positive.

    Coloccini has been excellent.

    We are playing a nice passing game.

    We are winning.

  13. I’m hoping Best comes off for Ranger on the hour and I agree with putting R. Taylor or Pancrate on (I’m thinking Pancrate because he’s a good impact sub) for Smudger.

  14. Andy Carroll is the best header I have ever seen. About 95% of his goals are headers and his power and technique is immense.

    He is the biggest aerial threat in this league and will be alongside Tim Cahill next season in the Premiership, if we get promoted.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise really is either being a WUM or has an irrational dislike of Andy Carroll because he makes them feel small.

  15. FSOTC – Close the ad’s that pop up down and then press the play button. It should work fine then.

  16. Haiz, I hate Vshare.That link when i go in now,it says the channel is offline. oh well. hard luck for me.

  17. Ground looks really heavy – Hughton should start thinking about subs before people get needless injuries – I’d take jonas, best off

  18. We haven’t won away from home in 3 months, we start Best and we will win today.

    He offers more than goals – he is our “Heskey”. If you lot defend Nile Ranger, then you have to use this logic for Best.

    We score more goals with him on the pitch than without him.

  19. I personally think Best has done well. He and Carroll have put a lot of pressure on their defence and both have worked their socks off. It has been a good performance from almost everyone so far. Nolan looks unrecognisable to the Donkey in midfield a few weeks ago.

  20. wicky – ifference bein is that Ranger is young and learning, he needs games to do that ao he can fulfil his potential.

    Best is at the top of his game now, and he hasn’t been impressive that’s for sure!

  21. Dragonera he has been handed cards out like sweets all day for everything and when its called for the fuker ref bottles it

  22. S.A.C Luke Southgate was taken from us on 24/02/10. May his soul rest in peace. BIG DAVE this kid was 1 of me lads mates.

  23. Think everyone is being harsh on Best. He has had a decent game. He is more of a link up striker it would seem. He has done that very well since he arrived. Give the poor lad a chance. He only joined the other week ffs

  24. Leicester City 3 – 0 Nottingham Forest

    West Bromwich Albion 3 – 1 Derby County

    good day for the toons. Forest form seems to gone soon. hahahas

  25. Dragonera: The problem with Best is that I don’t think he is going to dramatically improve. He can be playing better yes, but he’s 23 and probably reached his ceiling.

    As I’ve said other times, I’d rather watch young players – in this case, Ranger – struggle, knowing that the experience is going to help them improve.

  26. Batty mate I was looking out for you as I had a weird feeling it would be the same Sqd as soon as I seen it bud. I hope your youngun keeps his chin up and not dwell on it to much, as it can destroy you if you let it. As allways tell him I was asking after him.

  27. Leon Best is only 23 or something. He is younger than Wayne Rooney, is he not? People say Rooney is not the finished article yet so neither is Best.

    If your face doesn’t fit in this squad, the fans will never accept you. It seems blatent on here.

  28. “but he’s 23 and probably reached his ceiling”

    23 is young and he will improve. His role in the side is clear; he is a support striker and he fills that role very well. People really have to learn to let players properly blend in to the squad before judging. He has been here weeks, not years. Patience all.

  29. Batty that sounds harsh but I dont mean it that way mate. when his tour is over it will really sink in

  30. Let’s apply that Wayne Rooney argument to every footballer under 25. Hey, at least a lot more of them will have jobs.

  31. The point is if Rooney is still deemend “young enough to learn” – how is anyone else not?

    You can’t dismiss people yet embrace others with the same logic. That is called “stupidity”.

    Nile Ranger is abysmal – but he’s young enough to learn. Or is he too old to be any good for you lot now aswell?

  32. Wicky – Leon Best has also played week in week out and has had time to improve.

    What has Ranger had? Not as many chances in his career, that is for sure.

  33. Unfortunately Best didn’t do enough to justify his pace today for me. What exactly did he ‘link up’?

    The only real thing of interest he did was win a free kick.

    On the other hand, we won the game and he was part of that winning so I guess he done his job, whatever that is.

  34. Yes, and Best has about 12 goals this season, has he not?

    Ranger has had about 25 appearances this season – 2 goals.

    Best produces more than Ranger. Stats prove this as fact and even in his time at Newcastle, when Best plays, we score more.

    Do you really, really advocate not playing an experienced goal scorer because our inexperienced useless striker wants to play?

    Honestly – do you believe the team will benefit from this?

  35. Leon Best is not a terrible player. He is a decent striker. I said that I don’t see him dramatically improving – which means that he can still improve. However, Ranger has a lot more potential, especially to be a striker in the league that we want to be in. If we are in that league next year, I’d be hesitant to give Ranger a lot of minutes, as he will probably be overmatched; whereas Best could play at that level. Thus, now is the time for Ranger to be playing.

  36. YAY – back to “gritty” away win. Monkey off our back (“no away wins in X games”) and good for morale too.
    Bear in mind we had our pacy / skilful duo of Routledge and McLoven out – and no “Bull” – against a team doing well at home – gotta be a good result. Forest stuffed as well – our goal difference is +35 and I think theirs is now +21.
    Finally – a look at previous seasons shows that to be inthe play-offs you need 75 points or less – so we’ve nearly reached that milestone!

  37. This is my opinion,from what i see.

    shola ameobi-best(untested yet)
    Xisco-Lovekrands(untested yet)

    Best(Lone striker?)

    Carroll can’t seems to work well with lovekrands though.IMo,if both played,neither cant score.

  38. Best has 9 league goals this season, starting nearly every game for Coventry and a further 2 for us.

    Ranger has scored 2 with the vast majority of his appearances being from the bench.

  39. Big Dave says:
    February 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm
    Batty that sounds harsh but I dont mean it that way mate. when his tour is over it will really sink in
    <<<<< i know m8 and thanks

  40. I said earlier on in the thread (wickywoowoo) that I don’t think Best is being helped by playing with Carroll – to similar. Carroll can’t be dropped though as he is on fire at the minute.

  41. AngelOfDeath,

    Did you just say Carroll and Lovenkrands wouldn’t score played together?

    These two guys are making this league look too easy. They are the most potent strikeforce in this league by so many levels, it’s almost embarrassing.

  42. I think CH can try putting best with shola or as an lone striker and try it out.

    Since with Xisco coming back soon,and if no club wants him,we can pair him with lovekrands. :lol:

  43. Looking at the bbc website, it says Best had 9 goals for Coventry in the league, so he was scoring nicely for them. He’s probably still settling in here.

    The only thing I saw Ranger do today was fall down! In his defense, everybody was falling over all through the game. The field looked like it was really muddy & slippery.

    How old is Ranger now?

  44. @Wicky: i know both are scoring for fun atm. but at times i saw,whenever both played together,there is one confirm will not be scoring. For eg: at a particular game,Lovekrands might be scoring,but carroll might be non-existent,vice versa.

  45. Man, I wish I was still as “over the hill” as Ranger.

    Off to dye my beard back to its “natural” color, then. And have my toupee adjusted. And get my arthritis medication. And purchase my burial plot.

  46. FFS get off Best’s back.
    Back to the old Geordie disease of slagging players after a few games, no time to settle & get over the nerves of a big step up.
    Pathetic as it is crass.
    Who does it help?

  47. Me CLiNT. It helps me feel better, ok?

    Get over the nerves of a big step up? We are in the same league as Coventry aren’t we? He hadn’t scored for 10 games before he came here! Big step up? In case he didn’t realise, we are top of the league and look likely for promotion. What is he going to do if we do go up? Crap his pants again at making another step up?

    Can anyone point out what he done today? Apart form win 1 free kick and get booked?

  48. Na,
    far from ok.

    We are NUFC in front of 50k, Cov, i you comparing us with Cov & their crowd, shite argument that like mate.

    But, so long as it helps you get through, i guess.
    Selfish bollox.

  49. We are NUFC? So? What does a crowd really have to do with anything? We dont play the oppositions crowd do we? No, we play on the pitch.

    As I have said 3 times now, I don’t think it helps playing with Carroll, they both try to do the same thing, make the same runs, get into the same areas. It’s just Carroll is much better than Best at it.

  50. I do agree that we have to give Best more time, but from what I’ve seen of him (at home only) he in’t doing a great deal and doesn’t look like he can score. Wih the radio on today and Moncur was slating Best, he kept saying he was doing it today.

    It gets to the point where you don’t know whats for the best, keep trying with him to give him a chance or try a young kid with a start instead of 5 to 5 mins here and there

  51. AOD – Quite possibly. I’d actually like to see Best and Lovenkrands play together as I think that could be pairing that could get the most out of Leon Best. Thing is, you just can’t drop Carroll at the minute.

    Just for clarification, obviously I’d rather see our own youngsters like Kadar and Ranger playing, I think that is what the majority want. The kids need forst team exposure to improve to the next level, something Best has had for a good few years now. However, whilst Best is in the shirt he gets my full support, with that though comes the irght to question what I think was a lack-lustre performance from him.

  52. I just cant see why we got Best what was the point ? Ranger has far more potental than him and I would go as far to say xisco has more potental aswell and he was shipped out on loan ffs

  53. dont think we can change things to much at the moment,would like us to be home and hose with about 3-4 games to go then blood some of kids to see if they cut it with no presure on them,just my thoughts,only change if we have to

  54. We win today and most people decide to turn their attention to the form of Best.


    Off for a celebration pint, hopefully the real fans will be on later……..

  55. BIG DAVE good shout with result today m8 (TEND TO TRUST YOUR CALLS),think we got best as cover while ch had ashley in good mood,had ranger been hurt we might have stuggled,now he has to play him,(SAVE FACE)or he might be old school;win nowt with kids

  56. TGS

    We can all be happy with a win and yes a win away from home no matter how it comes is fantastic, but sometimes we have to look at the players and how they have perfromed and if we can improve. I know I can only go off the radio today as I didn’t go down there, but thats the way it works. Surely mangers, coaches, board members and fans always want to see their team do well and look to how they can get better. If we go up and thankfully it’s looking likely now, we have to se how we can improve, match whats up there then better it. It’s a step by step process, but the quicker the people who matter start doing that, the better we will do

  57. Stole another three points from accounts.
    Best, Carroll, Ranger, blah blah blah blahhhhhh !
    Very boring !

  58. wicky –

    “Leon Best is only 23 or something. He is younger than Wayne Rooney, is he not? People say Rooney is not the finished article yet so neither is Best.”

    “The point is if Rooney is still deemend “young enough to learn” – how is anyone else not?

    You can’t dismiss people yet embrace others with the same logic. That is called “stupidity”.

    Nile Ranger is abysmal – but he’s young enough to learn. Or is he too old to be any good for you lot now aswell?”

    The clear difference is that Rooney can learn to smooth off any rough edges and become a complete player. Though he is quite close already. Leon Best may learn to tie his own shoelaces but will never be fit to tie Rooney’s shoelaces.

    If you honestly think Ranger is abysmal then I despair like, I really do. A centre-forward must score goals and Ranger needs games to score goals. But so far he has proved he has everything else to his game. He scored against Palace and then never got a sniff.

    “If your face doesn’t fit in this squad, the fans will never accept you. It seems blatent on here.”

    I think the problem is that it’s hard to tell whether a player is struggling because of the team around him, or his own failings. It’s blatantly obvious if someone is not motivated. I think Ranger is naturally the more hungry player, who will put in 110%. I’m not convinced by Best’s attitude and it supports the opinions of Cov fans.

    “Yes, and Best has about 12 goals this season, has he not?

    Ranger has had about 25 appearances this season – 2 goals.

    Best produces more than Ranger. Stats prove this as fact and even in his time at Newcastle, when Best plays, we score more.

    Do you really, really advocate not playing an experienced goal scorer because our inexperienced useless striker wants to play?”

    Honestly – do you believe the team will benefit from this?”

    wicky – lies, damn lies and statistics…

    Ranger has appeared in 26 games and Best in 34 this season. However, Ranger has played 880 minutes, the equivalent of less than ten (90 min) games and has only started 7 of those.

    Best has 2623 minutes, the equivalent of just less than 30 (90 min) games and has started 30 games.

    I think most fans will give Best the benefit of the doubt if he puts the graft in. However, I think it’s a more than valid argument that Best is no better and perhaps potentially not as good as Ranger could become. And I don’t think we should stifle Ranger’s progression so much.

  59. Icedog are you trying to pull my chain mate :lol:
    BBM @ 165 you put it perfectly mate ;) as I said I honestly think Xsico has as much if not more than Best, but I do feel we will be stuck with Best now as Icedog says he has to play him,(SAVE FACE)

  60. I’m wondering about what we had on our feet, our lads were slipping and sliding all over the place. Watford didn’t seem to have the same problem. I hated that we seemed to do a lot of hoofing the ball up to Carroll but did our defenders have much choice under the circumstances. Collocini MOM by a mile but for him I reckon we would have lost. That late goal spoiled my prediction, still who cares we won.

  61. BIG DAVE,never pull anyones chain m8,say it like i think it,like xsico not pulling up much grass over there,dont think hes scored might be wrong like

  62. Icedog ;) i think you might be right mate but I haven’t heard much about him, but showed a bit of skill in the few chances he got with us in the Prem which was less chances than Best has had.

  63. dont know if xsico was one of those big wage earners like if so i think it will be bye bye,might be hard as ime sure he signed 5yr deal

  64. Possibly, I mean I don’t know if he has started all 15 like. On the odd occasion when I have caught the Spanish footie on Sky it seems he has been starting.