Blackburn vs Newcastle – The Aftermath

Posted on October 27th, 2011 | 29 Comments |

Does defeat by Blackburn have Alan Pardew rethinking tactics?
Tactical rethink? Or just unlucky?
Newcastle United lost 4-3 away at Blackburn last night in the Carling Cup, which probably ended the club’s best chance of lifting a trophy this season.

I’ve never really been one for the League Cup, seeing it mainly as the poor relation to the FA Cup, but when a place in the last 8 is looking possible it starts to become a little more important.

It was not to be however as Blackburn were up to the task, either in spite of or because of their lowly league position, and although we twice levelled the game they persevered and won out.

After the game, Alan Pardew said:

I don’t like the tag of gallant losers but it was a fantastic effort and the fans would have appreciated the effort we have put in.

Sometimes events just go against you and events certainly did tonight. But the players don’t know when to give in, we kept going and two great hits got us back into the game, but tiredness cost us at the end.

If we are going to go out of the cup that’s how it should be – giving it everything.

Whilst Blackburn boss Steve Kean said:

Gael Givet encapsulates the whole spirit we have got here – he had a hamstring nick but would not come off. He’s a warrior, he has put his head where other people wouldn’t put their feet. He was fantastic.

It’s tough mentally when they scored so late to go and score again but we did it.

We are always going to score goals but we have been working day in, day out defensively so that when we lose possession we get a good shape.

And Peter Lovenkrands has said:

The boys did fantastically. They were good goals – the free-kick and the shot from Danny as well. I think we deserved to at least get extra-time but then of course, with their deflected goal they went ahead again.

Then we got another goal and in the end it was a hard one on us. We were probably expecting it to go to penalties and hope to take it, but it wasn’t to be this time.

But we won’t sit with our head in our lap and cry about it. We need to move on and focus on Stoke. That’s an important game and it can take us further ahead in the league if we get a good result.

So we need to regroup, get everybody fit and ready and then focus on that.

In terms of analysis, let’s try to keep things in perspective. That’s our first defeat all season and it had to happen sometime, so I don’t think it’s a reason to start hurling ourselves from rooftops. It does raise some questions though.

Pardew was forced into making a couple of changes to the game with injuries keeping Saylor and Tiote out and if that was a contributory reason for the defeat (and I’m not necessarily saying it is) then we’re clearly lacking in depth in terms of central defence and a tireless defensive midfielder like Tiote. Maybe that’s something Alan Pardew has to think about.

Equally of course, we could say that it just wasn’t our night, although that’s a poor excuse and I think the defeat warrants a deeper analysis than that, which I hope Pardew and his team will be doing.

What’s probably more of a concern in terms of the ongoing campaign is that a lot of our first team have just played 120 minutes of football ahead of what will be a tough game away to Stoke this weekend. Fortunately the game’s on Monday, affording the players the maximum rest time in terms of ‘weekend games’, so hopefully there’ll be no hangover for our trip to the Britannia Stadium.

In the grand scheme of things though, I think we’ve overperformed this season so far and I don’t think one Carling Cup defeat is cause for panic. Let’s hope we can bounce back well from it against Stoke.

Match highlights and post match interviews.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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29 Responses

  1. We missed Tiote in midfield badly and Perch is really no substitute for Taylor. We were very average for the first 25 mins and Ben Arfa particularly was disappointing throughout his time on the pitch. Marvaux had his moments but the patched up formation didn’t work until the 2nd half. We did boss the game then but the referee was shocking missing a handball in their area and the foul on Demba Ba – who was excellent all night. Other pluses were Santon who looked a class act and Colo who once again was terrific. Obertan was also much more lively than he was against Wigan. In the end it was one of those nights unfortunately – but we battled to the end.

  2. Stoke played a game last night as well so we need to go into next week with no excuses. Hopefully we will have STayls back and Tiote, if those guys are back I can see us going back to the 4-4-2 we have played previously. I dont think it’s a game for Ben Arfa to start.

  3. yes a loss was due at sometime better it being in the cup then premier league, shows the commitment and fight which this Newcastle side has which has been installed which other Newcastle sides lacked. A good showing at stoke to keep the good times rolling!

  4. We left it all a little too late, it would of been a real mugging to blackburn if we had won. We hardly had a shot on goal until the end then had it all to do. It was a team on paper that should of been able to get a result after all these are the guys we are hoping can back us up with injuries and suspensions. Not shown very well last night tho. Yes we had claims waived away but, you cant win every game with help from the ref.

    It was Blackburns night and with it went luck and their own perseverence. You got to wonder why or how they fought back from being a head to a draw in the final seconds of the game. A gutter for any fan or player but they did it. Not that it is going to improve their league standing however at this moment in time. But lets hope our reserves put their performances where their mouths are in the next months when they are needed. I hope its not just lady luck that has kept us where we are. Its a stern test for us over the next month, lets see if we are actually any better than Blackburn.

  5. OK, we’ve had 12 hours to calm down & reflect.
    We lost a cup tie away to another PL team – no disgrace, well done Blackburn, they rose to the occassion and fought all the way, I hope they go further.

    For us, this was no Stevenage (let alone a Hereford which still haunts me) – we also fought all the way and with luck would have won it – that’s football.

    But – Pardew showed again that he is out of his depth.

    We had to make two changes to a team that stuttered against Wigan – two key players were out – Saylor & Tioti, replaced inadequately by Perch & Guthrie –

    Wigan PL…………………………..Blackburn CLC

    Tim Krul…………………………..Tim Krul
    Danny Simpson………………………Danny Simpson
    Steven Taylor………………………James Perch
    Fabricio Coloccini………………….Coloccini
    Ryan Taylor………………………..Davide Santon

    Gabriel Obertan (Sylvain Marveaux 77)…Sylvain Marveaux
    Yohan Cabaye……………………….Yohan Cabaye
    Cheik Tiote………………………..Danny Guthrie
    Jonas Gutierrez…………………….Jonas Gutierrez

    Leon Best (Hatem Ben Arfa 46)………..Hatem Ben Arfa
    Demba Ba (Shola Ameobi 68)…………..Demba Ba

    Those two changes should have been enough and weakened the team significantly – but he made two more, both of whom came on as subs against Wigan – this was a serious error of judgement.

    Now, I wanted to see them play, but this was the wrong time & wrong line up.

    Did we learn anything? – yes, we have too few decent players (still 3 short as was admitted last season) and we will struggle later in the season without reinforcements.
    And we have a manager who has been lucky upto now, but his poor judgement has ended that run of luck.
    We are exposed as an average PL team – which in our second season back in the PL is just about acceptable progress so far.
    It is also blatently obvious where our weakness lie, where we need better cover, and who is inadequate at this level.


  6. “we kept going and two great hits got us back into the game, but tiredness cost us at the end.”

    If anything, Blackburn should have been more tired than we were as they played on Sunday in their last game. We just haven’t seemed to be able to replicate our League form in the cup. Our defence just hasn’t been the same at all, and I really hope that Tiote and Taylor are back for the game against Stoke.

  7. Supermac says:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:54 am

    “OK, we’ve had 12 hours to calm down & reflect.”

    You still sound about the same though Supermac.

    Haven’t got a clue why Rayloy wasn’t a sub.

  8. It’s easy to retrospectively blame certain players for not being good enough to replace the regular ones.

    lets not forget that Simpson, Raylor, Collo even, were not deemed good enough at times but have turned out to be well worthy of their places.

    I’ve not seen much of Perch but who’s to say he isn’t good enough until he has had a real chance to prove otherwise.

    Being out of the Carling cup is a bit of a sickener but at least it gives us a chance to concentrate on the EPL title, surely a more worthy aim.

  9. grumpy old toon you obviously didn’t watch perch at the start of last season, yellow card his first 5 games premier league record!

    We didn’t deserve to win the match but we didn’t deserve the usual bbc contempt of four minutes of highlights

  10. Superman were you at the game last night?
    By far our best player on the pitch last night was Danny guthrie. He was everywhere his constant running from on end of the pitch was amazing. He hit the ground running. He defended well and filled a void. The week link was perch. I’m sorry but perch is ok at left back but we might aswel not play with an extra defender when he’s on the pitch.

    Perch gave free kicks away on the edge of the box time and time again. He is out of his depth.
    He is a liability to have in the squad if he is going to be played anywhere other than left back.
    He flaps more than the skin under my mothers arms.
    For weeks people on here have been shouting for marvaux but he does not track back and defend as good as Obetan.
    And things like this happen.
    Marvaux does put pressure on attackers like Obetan does when defending.
    Obetan needs time to adjust. I’m certain by the end of next season he will be on fire like Jonas is this season.

    Let us build on fortress Newcastle and keep things the way they are, not tinker, don’t change a winning side. We aren’t manu manc chelsea etc. And we as fans should not expect a manager to change a winning side for the sake of public apeasement.

    But one thing I can say, the linesmen and referee had a bad night at the office.
    But that only goes some of the way.
    The foul on BA was not only last man, in side the box and denying a goal scoring opportunity but should have resulted in a red card and changing the game in our favour. In the prem we would have won and they would have finished with ten men.

  11. It was a useful test of the squad depth – and I think we were found not to have the depth of squad we may have thought we had.
    I’m not too fussed about being out of the League Cup, as I can’t see anyone living with Man City in the final anyway, but I do think there is a danger that this result begins to sew the seeds of doubt.
    The pressure is now on for the Stoke and Everton games to make sure we haven’t “started a bad run” – particularly given the 3 games that come after those two!!

  12. Can’t realy say for certain as all I have to go off was the commentary on bbc but, it sounded like Ben Arfa was guilty of disinterest. The commentators implied time and time again that he wasn’t tracking back and simply waited for the ball to come to him. I know he has been out for a long time but we can’t afford any passangers – if all 11 are not playing 100% then we are likly to struggle. Changing the shape to accomadate Arfa was a mistake in hindsight. As for Perch all I can say is Krul and Collo were having to take players down around and inside the box. Now, like I said judging from commentary isn’t realy fair but my suspicion is that those last ditch wreckless tackles were down to Perch being out of his depth. Collo and Krul don’t become crap overnight. Perch in my view is an average championship level player. Shame we left trying to get the lad from Birmingham to the last minute on transfer deadline day.
    Will be interesting to see how we respond in the next two games.

  13. Stephen – Thank you for that great info on the game, much appreciated. Supermac how in the hell can you say Pardew is out of his depth with our first defeat coming in late October!? Sorry mate but I think you need 12 hours to think hard on the negative crap you just said. We do need more defensive cover however and Perch is no way good enough for us, especially at CB.

    It was a bomber going out of the cup now but we can focus on the league and with this amazing fighting spirit we’ll do well.


  14. The analysis is pretty clear: we lack depth. Obviously. Sebastien Bassong is Spurs’ FIFTH-choice CB. Fifth! I understand that they’re in Europe and so can afford to carry more in the squad, but given that Williamson’s been constantly injured for something like 6 months and that Perch was our only other option I can’t understand why we didn’t add somebody in the summer. Oh well, water under the bridge now.

    Obertan appears to be a very divisive player. Funny, but I’m reading on a lot of other sites that he was useless, played in not one dangerous ball.

    I just hope S. Taylor won’t be out for long. If so, we’re kind of screwed.

  15. weyayecabaye says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    “grumpy old toon you obviously didn’t watch perch at the start of last season, yellow card his first 5 games premier league record!

    We didn’t deserve to win the match but we didn’t deserve the usual bbc contempt of four minutes of highlights”

    weyayecabaye, If that meant something on it’s own, then surely that would mean that Tiote was shite as well, and Viera, and Keane etc etc? I’m not saying that Perch is Beckenbauer though ;-).

    I agree about the highlghts though. I was fuming about that after missing the game.

  16. JP…from The Rock says: “Supermac how in the hell can you say Pardew is out of his depth with our first defeat coming in late October!? Sorry mate but I think you need 12 hours to think hard on the negative crap you just said”
    – ‘cos I’m bloody angry that’s why – and I hope I’m wrong.

    OK, we’re still 4th in the PL, but a decent showing against Stoke is needed now, and I’m sorry to say that unless Saylor, Raylor and Tiote return I think they will kick our backsides all the way back to the Tyne – and that will apply to every game remaining this season.

  17. I’m not trying to talk up Perch, as I have said I haven’t seen enough of him to give a reasoned opinion of his ability. I seem to remember that he was bought on the strength of a good game against us. Presumably he was looked at further before his actual signing and enough was seen to warrant this.

    Could be that he is another that would benefit from a loan spell, although it would further thin out the squad. Presumably Smith and Harper will come back better players.

    Who would be a manager!! Daft question I suppose. :)

  18. Shocked so many like Shola says:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “Changing the shape to accomadate Arfa was a mistake in hindsight.”

    We didn’t really have to change the shape just to accommodate Ben Arfa Shola. He plays on the flanks, mostly left, or in central midfield.

  19. Grumpy Old-Toon says “Who would be a manager!! ”
    you mean take the poisoned chalice at Newcatle United?
    I would!
    I’d do it for nowt!
    When can I start?

  20. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    October 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “Presumably Smith and Harper will come back better players.”

    I’m not sure that Harper was having too much of a problem in that department Grumpy, and I certainly wouldn’t put him in the same category as Smith. It was more that he was injured and Krul came in and made some spectucular saves in his absence, and the team were having a good run of results. Krul’s appearences have certainly helped in bumping up his livestock value for Ashley too. If it gets him more appearences with the Netherlands, that would have a huge effect too, though he isn’t Stecklenberg yet so it will probably be just be the odd friendly at the moment.

  21. Perch is crap at this level. It was silly to make the mistake with him that we resisted with Beckford. Taking either one at championship level makes sense. They’re good enough for that level and you have half a season to run the rule over them as potential PL players. Once we lost out on Beckford in January 2010, we passed on going after him aggressively. We should have done the same with Perch after Forest called our offer in that window “derisory.”

  22. & my least favourite player is… & it’s definitely ‘his’ fault that the ref had a stinker, we had yet another away cup game, fought back amazingly & were trumped by what looked a suspiciously offside goal at the death.

    Ah well,
    it wasn’t to be.

    Reet, let’s get on with w’ condemnations & recriminations.


  23. CLiNT FLiCK says: Reet, let’s get on with w’ condemnations & recriminations
    well, I felt bad about the result – but I feel even worse about my reaction to it – I put it down to being in my 3rd childhood – right, its over & done.

    So, we are still undefeated in the PL, and looking forward to the Stoke match – but in my guts I think we have peaked and will finish 7-10th this season.

    I see reports that Liverpool had scouts at Blackburn to watch Colo! It looks like we might have a busy transfer window!

    Stoke 2 NUFC 2


  24. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    “Reet, let’s get on with w’ condemnations & recriminations.”

    I’ve had a closer look at the highlights Clint and I want to condemn and recriminate the ref.

    Ba was hauled right down by Samba in the box and he definitely should have got a penalty. They then counterattacked immediately and ended up winning a somewhat debateable penalty themselves at the other end.

  25. Wow lotta negativity for one loss, hey! were better off outta it, waste of energy !
    Next stop Stoke, where nobody likes to go, badass team,
    better select our big guys, no game for little guys.
    Hopefully Tiote will be available.
    Guess we will play the 4-4-2 with Best and Ba, backed by Marveaux, Cabaye and Jonas.
    Simson, Saylor, Colo and Santon across the back, even if Saylor plays “the man in the iron mask”.
    Not to mention the three sides we have to play, following the Stoke game.
    Gonna be a true evaluation of exactly where we stand, who knows, on any given day ?

  26. Supermac…apparently Collo had a bit of a howler against Blackburn, so Liverpools scouts will have headed back home well chuffed !

    The referee was poor against Blackburn, but that shouldn’t hide the fact that we were also poor on the night. Hopefully we can bounce back on Monday, but I canot see it, a draw would be a great result.