Newcastle United v Manchester United – Match Preview

Posted on January 3rd, 2012 | 81 Comments |

Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Hope he lhas a face like this after the game!
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Date: 4th January 2012
Kick Off: 8.00PM
Referee: Howard Webb
Hair by: Rooney of Croxteth

Manchester United make their seasonal pilgrimage to St James’ Park in what could be viewed, for them anyway, as a tough game – particularly as they seem to be in relative disarray.

Wayne Rooney and a couple of the club’s lesser lights (Darron Gibson and Johnny Evans) allegedly went out for a meal and a few drinkies on Boxing Night. This wasn’t against any of the Manchester club’s rules. However, they subsequently committed the crime of looking decidedly shabby and putting in a poor performance in training.

As a result manager Alex Ferguson threw a strop and dropped them for the home game against Blackburn Rovers. ‘Ol Red Nose was rewarded for his tantrum on his 70th birthday by a defeat from the second-bottom club.

If rumours are to be believed, Mr Rooney is hopping mad about being dropped and fined £200,000 but has managed to “keep his hair on”.

On the surface then, a good time to be playing them.

However (and there’s always a “however”), the media would point to the fact that their red darlings always react strongly to an adverse result.

Is that right? Sometimes but not always I would suggest. Anyone who believes this myth could, for example, perhaps check their history books and see what happened in the game Manchester United played after their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Newcastle United “Entertainers” side in October 1996. (To save you looking it up, they lost 6-3 at Southampton).

I’m sure everyone will understand why I would want to work that 5-0 game in somewhere in this preview – but I accept that I’m digressing.

For Newcastle United this is always a hard game. We last won this fixture in 2001/02 season and have only managed a couple of draws since then. The problem for us isn’t just the fact we are playing one of the better teams in the league, we also have a few problems of our own to overcome. The early season bubble which saw us remain unbeaten for 11 games was burst what seems a long time ago now, by Manchester City on 19th November 2011, and our form since then has been decidedly patchy if not poor. One win and two draws in the last 8 games has seen a return of 5 points from a possible 24.

Strangely enough, one of those 5 points came in a hard earned draw at Old Trafford on 26th November when our ten men and particularly our defence stood up to a late battering from a Manchester side desperate for a win they often seem to regard as a right. Hopefully however, that result will help our confidence which, to be fair, looks to have stayed buoyant during the sometimes difficult to swallow recent run of results. There has been no real evidence of heads dropping during recent defeats and it is a credit to the team and the management that they have been able to keep this resilience going.

Alex Ferguson's top signing, Howard Webb!
Man U's top signing, Howard Webb!
Manchester United will sportingly bring their referee, Howard Webb, with them just to make doubly sure of a fair result.
TV Coverage

The Match-up between the two Uniteds goes out live on Sky TV for those of us who will not be attending “the Cathedral On The Hill” for whatever reason. For those without Sky or access to a pub, we’ll try to identify some useful streaming links before the game – stey tuned for our regular “match banter” post, which will go out around an hour before kick off.

One of the things I find irritating about watching this game on TV or listening on the radio, is the media’s insistence on referring to Man U as “United” and us as “Newcastle”. I realise many of you will have grown up with this as the norm and don’t regard it as odd, but it wasn’t always so. To someone like me to whom the name “United” has only ever meant Newcastle United, it can be a mixture of irritating, insulting and confusing. Rant over!

Recent Statistics

As stated earlier, this isn’t usually a good fixture for us as regards picking up any points!

The last time we won this match was a 4-3 victory in 2001/02 season with goals from Lee, Dabizas, Robert and Brown o.g.

Since then, we’ve only managed to muster a couple of draws and the rest have been defeats.

Games V Manchester United at St James’ Park
Date Score Newcastle United Scorers
2010-11 0-0
2008-09 1-2 Lovenkrands
2007-08 1-5 Faye
2006-07 2-2 Milner, Edgar
2005-06 0-2
2004-05 1-3 Shearer
2003-04 1-2 Shearer
2002-03 2-6 Jenas, Ameobi
2001-02 4-3 Lee, Dabizas, Robert, Brown (o.g.)

Newcastle United Team News

Gabriel Obertan looks likely to face his old club. It had previously been assumed that he faced several weeks on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of a foot injury in Friday night’s defeat to Liverpool. However the injury has responded to treatment and Alan Pardew expects him to be available for selection. Long-term injury victims Steven Taylor (achilles tendon) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin) remain absent from the squad, as do Danny Guthrie (groin) and Peter Lovenkrands (calf), which otherwise is a strong one – as strong as we have available, anyway.

Likely Squad: Tim Krul (G), Rob Elliot (G), Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Mike Williamson, Tamas Kadar, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Sammy Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic, Alan Smith, Demba Ba, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi.

Manchester United Team News

As stated above, Wayne Rooney is expected to return for Manchester United after being disciplined by Sir Alex Ferguson last week.

According to reports in the Daily Star, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also considering dropping David De Gea. It was De Gea’s mistake that handed Blackburn Rovers their winner at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve. Ferguson is understood to be considering De Gea’s rival between the sticks, Anders Lindegaard. Chris Smalling (tonsillitis) and Rio Ferdinand (back) may also return on Tyneside. Manchester United’s usual captain, Nemanja Vidic, is out for a while having knee surgery after picking up a fairly bad injury in the Champion’s League against Basle.

Likely squad: David De Gea (G), Anders Lindegaard (G), Ben Amos (G), Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Ezekiel Fryers, Larnell Cole, Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, Park Ji-Sung, Darron Gibson, Anderson, Nani, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Dimitar Berbatov, Javivier Hernandez, Mame Biram Diouf, Will Keane.

What The Managers Are Saying

Alan Pardew: “Fortunately, we’ve come through Liverpool unscathed, Gabriel’s fine. We were a bit worried about Gabriel’s toe after Liverpool, but he seems much better.”

“We’ve had a run of hard games, and injuries and suspensions haven’t helped us,”

“For our fans, it’s important that we put in a proper performance. It’s a game under the floodlights, and we know our fans will be roaring us on.

“Regardless of what happened to Manchester United at the weekend, this was always going to be a difficult game.

“They’ll be up for it. They lost against one of the bottom teams, and will come with a completely different team.”

“We feel we’ve not really had any luck against the big teams,”

“We’re just a bit frustrated, really. Against Chelsea, we were looking like getting the equaliser at 1-0 down. We could have taken the lead against Manchester City.”

Alex Ferguson: ”We’re trying hard to get Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs fit, which would make a good difference to us,” Ferguson told radio station Sirius XM.

“Anderson should be better; he had 45 minutes on Saturday after four months out.

“There are no other ones to come back immediately. And Wayne Rooney will be available of course.

“We had a few training sessions which he missed. You’ve got to be fit to play in this league, you can’t miss training sessions.

“We’re getting a lot of impact injuries, contact injuries. Maybe the way we play creates that because we’re always wanting to have the ball and we’re always wanting to play.”


That’s easy! United will win!……………..But which one?

Seriously though, a tough one to predict. If Manchester United play well, they rarely get beat. On the other hand, if they couldn’t beat us at Old Trafford when we were down to 10 men, what have we got to worry about?

I’m going for a scoring draw.

Howay / Why Aye 5 – 0

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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81 Responses

  1. Actually i prefere Obertan’s lack .When he is on the pitch it seems we’re playing with ten people.Most useless player for us this campaign which convinces me that Pardew has no idea for our squad- confirmation with the”genius” decisions about Ben Arfa, R Taylor, Vuckic. Continuing in this way and no surprise why we will have no wins over Man Utd, Chelsea, Man city and..soon.
    In time like this I wish we had a coach like Martin Jol or O’Neil.
    Good luck tomorrow lads!

  2. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    “howeird webb, uh oh!”

    Clint, I’ve just enclosed the official pic of Webb’s unveiling as a Man U player (see above). :-)

  3. I’ve always been on Obertans side but at liverpool he was a man off. Having said that he had probably his best game against his old side so I don’t know. Maybe it’s time to ‘rest’ him and faff about with our ‘wingers’ a bit, maybe HBA left and Jonas/raylor right. Means playing Best up behind Ba again tho. Sammy is just not ready for this.

  4. I don’t know. The long ball tactics we’ve reverted to seems a product of low confidence.

    I thought everyone in the UK has access to a pub…isn’t that in the Magna Carta or something?

    I also have to say again, every time AP opens his mouth he comes out with some at-least-questionable statements. Got through Liverpool unscathed? In the same bin as his “we’ll be happy with 30 points before new year” before we played Norwich, Swansea, Bolton and LFC-when we sat on 26 points. Doesn’t anyone from this club have ambition?

    Also, I find his analysis of our games against the “big” sides to be tenuously connected to reality, at best. Finally, he makes one more reference to flood lights and I’m gonna toss my laptop out the window…

  5. worky,

    that’s excellent mate, hilarious.

    Yet, oh so very true.

    No chance in this game now, webb is one of, if not, the most ‘top club’ biased ref in the whole of christendom.
    We’ll probably have 2 sent off, one early to give them a good start.
    Then they’ll get a pen & one of our players will get a broken back for which we will not even get a free kick.
    Expect the worst!

  6. tunyc,

    some of us divn’t drink marra!
    Not many, granted!

    I wouldn’t read too much into what football coaches say mate.
    They aren’t really known for their erudite & incisive intellect man.
    It seems to go with the territory.
    SBR came out with some excellent stuff.

  7. nice one UTD, I don’t want to be picky – but your Likely Squad appears to be a list of all surviving uninjured/suspended players, and I see Tamas Kadar there.
    Is Kadar a registered Squad Member? He wasn’t on the pre-season list. Or is he eligable on age or something – he was a foreign signing, not a youth team lad like our other youngsters – so can we just play him? or do we need PL or FA permission?

  8. supermac,
    under 21’s don’t have to be registered to play or be in the general squad mate.

  9. Supermac says:
    January 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    “and I see Tamas Kadar there.
    Is Kadar a registered Squad Member? He wasn’t on the pre-season list.”

    He was promoted when Coloccini and Taylor got knacked Supermac.

  10. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    “Nice to see the 5-0 once more, pity it was ruined by the audio track.”

    Not a big Underworld fan Clint?

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    under 21′s don’t have to be registered to play or be in the general squad mate.”

    He’s getting on a bit now though Clint. He’l be 22 in March.

  11. Worky: you suggesting the the Undergound ever produced bad audio?

    And, Ben, being in the south, I too get irked when I hear ‘United’ this and that – I generally ask ‘which one? Southend? Hartlepool? Leeds?’ Totally lost on ’em!

  12. Lesh says:
    January 4, 2012 at 12:20 am

    “Worky: you suggesting the the Undergound ever produced bad audio?”

    That was Clint Lesh. I used to know them back in my dissolute days so even if I thought they were shite I wouldn’t say owt.

  13. This is what football is all about – the buzz of a home game against manu then at home in the cup!
    Two wins and we’re kings of the universe – two defeats and we’re lords of the dark side !
    Following a team like ours for 50 years you never know where you are – but we live in eternal hope – HWTL

    — and the cup ? are we going for it, for glory & success? Or are we playing safe like accountants ?
    Come on lads, let’s win something ! I remember what its like even if most supporters don’t, it’s special, you can’t beat it !
    Let’s go for it !


  14. Supermac says:
    January 4, 2012 at 1:15 am

    “two defeats and we’re lords of the dark side”

    On the subject of “the dark side”, another win for them. They’re catching up now.

    In other news, someone has recently found this blog using the search term “cash warren big dong?”

  15. Phillipe Albert chipping Peter Scmeichal to make it FIVE nul , was so special to me ! I still pinch mesel over that result, however today’s today and I actually feel we can do them , we have to be as tight as a ducks arriss at the back , and we could win one nil !

    Happy new year worky and the nufc bloggers from NZ !!

  16. Tunyc @7

    “I thought everyone in the UK has access to a pub…isn’t that in the Magna Carta or something?”

    Love it mate! If only….
    Pubs in the UK don’t all show footy games, and it’s a shrinking industry with pubs closing at the rate of 25 per week.
    Also minors need to be accompanied by an adult, some people can’t afford the price of beer etc etc – so there is defo an audience for live streams.

  17. its no wonder that the Mancs take the p**s out of us. we are so sad.

    the 5-0 was a lifetime ago

    we cant just get by on our memories ffs

    glass half empty – i see us getting beat tonite. Maybe i’ve just got out the wrong side of the bed

  18. worky,

    underworld fall into the ‘one finger freddy bedroom muzuk’ bracket for me.

    I used to do loads of ‘underground’ clubs/parties back in the day too. I’ve probably met ’em too, just never paid much attention. Met most of the ‘so called’ ‘superstar’ DJ’s down time, others would swoon & be amazed etc. while i was just non-plussed by the inanity of it all. If it doesn’t jump up & bite ya’ face it doesn’t register as music with me.
    Disco muzak, bah humbug!


    i don’t think Kadar had to be registered at the beginning of the season though, did he?
    I could be wrong like.

  19. tattyheed,
    That conjures up a nasty mental picture mate.
    Do the mackems have that in ’em?


    Although they are jerks!

  20. Back to work last night and had to suffer the scums win over the radio .Same again tonight and can see a similar scoreline cant see Man Utd slipping up again.What a lousy first few days of 2012 its been.

  21. Felt alot more confident going into the old trafford game. I think we’re going down 0-3 or 0-4.

  22. happy new year to one and all, the new sponsor may be on the club shirts tonight, “virgin money”.

  23. aal the best clint!!!, i hope the sponsor looks better than the image, it doesn’t look right.

  24. It’s probably a ‘mock up’ mate.
    Surely it’ll be ‘virgin money’ not virgin media anyway?

    If it is it’ll be weird ‘cos virgin media used to be NTL, didn’t it?

  25. aye i think it did used to be “ntl”, and we used to have that on the shirt as well.
    i’m okay with it to be fair, it could have been far worse with “sports direct” on the kit.
    that would have been virgin on the ridiculous lol.

  26. Aye,

    me auld fave black ‘NTL’ top still gets plenty of wear.

    I have no problem with Virgin sponsoring us, definitely one of the better corporate bastards out there.

  27. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    “I have no problem with Virgin sponsoring us, definitely one of the better corporate bastards out there.”

    Not in my experience Clint. As soon as they took over my cable company prices went up, service went right down, the hardware was changed to the cheapest shite imaginable, custumer support went over to an Indian company who lie constantly, lots of new charges came out of nowhere etc.

    Never trust a hippy.

  28. worky,

    i’ve been using virgin media for years mate.
    Never had any complaints whatsoever.
    In fact, if ever the service in interrupted for whatever reason they refund us.

    In my experience, it goes one of those two ways, some don’t get along with ’em, others swear by ’em.
    Never had a problem though.
    My bill is nowt too, phone, mobile, broadband & tv for £40 ish.

    The guy who came & hooked us up all those years back spotted guitars etc all over the place. He asked if we were musicians, then told us he was the drummer on all the sport shows tunes from the 60’s/70’s. Inc. motd, sportsnight etc.
    Top gadjie!

  29. Blame the ‘baby boomers’ for the demise of northern rock mate.
    I remember seeing all the sappy gets forming queue’s to get their money out ‘cos the tv scared them for weeks.

  30. Na,
    the media’s!

    Then, i certain type of consumer-Baby Boomers!
    They will destroy the earth.
    Oh! They already have/are.

  31. If you get the media stirring things up, scaring that type, they will go & ‘act’ on bad info.
    Just like the great depression.
    then you get a ‘run’ on the bank/s.

    The customer can be very wrong!

  32. Very boring blog guys, c’mon already !
    Soh ! it’s Man U. time again, hell they are a team on the way down, like Chewsea, an ageing side who’s apparent replacements are not all that.
    Hey! on any given day ?

    They seem to be in turmoil at present, no one is happy when you lose, but Fergie just does’nt have the horses anymore and cant just go and buy who-ever he pleases, as he once did.

    As for ourselves, plenty of rumors, problem is the people mentioned are mostly in the lower divisions(prospects) hey ‘we doh need no steenken prospects’ !

    What we need is Tomkins and Jr. Hoilett, Tomkins a steady young ex U21 Engerland defender, who cold partner Saylor for the next few seasons and Hoilett, guys got pace to burn, knows where the net is and can fill in across the midfield or as a forward.
    Love to see him link up with Ba.

    I mentioned young Shane Long who was available and went to W/Brom, for something in the way of five mill.+,
    Well the guy is doing excellent for the baggies and wouldda been an ideal link up man for Ba, being he is both very aware and works his ass off, unlike some of our foewards.
    So what happened to our super scout on that one ?

    Guess we aint gonna see HBA start and who knows Pardew may even give Raylor another crack at LB, when it has become obvious to everyone else, the guys a liability there.

    As for his two defensive wingers, I would prefer two offensive wingers, but niether of these two guys fits the role.
    But being niether could hit a barn door from twenty feet, never mind put the ball in the box or net.
    Oh for a Bobby Mitchel, Robert, Ginola, Nobby,etc.
    But hey ! Obertan was cheap, so we cant complain, wonder who’s idea it is to keep playing this guy, perhaps Pardew really does’nt pick the side or at least get pressure from above, which we know happens in this league.
    Well lets hope for a decent game and hopefully three points, why not, if Bolton can do it what’s to stop any side repeating?

  33. UTD111,

    i’m sure you know the type i mentioned, i know some meself.

    The ‘Oh! I won’t be around when…’ type.


  34. chuck, why don’t you and Robert get a room. We have one of those, his name is Ryan Taylor and he isn’t very good either.

  35. Bollox!

    I’ve just realized that M. atkinson is the fourth off. tonight (he’s the one that thought HBA getting his leg snapped in 2 was not even worthy of a free kick).

    webb & him=nowt!

  36. Think we could be in for good thumpin tonight lads. My heart screamin toon win but my head sayin different. Would love to see santon and ben arfa start. my team would be.

    *********ben arfa**********

    Playing as 4-2-2-1-1

    Both jonas n raylor can track bk and go forward.

  37. Hey worky mate.

    any idea when them funds will be in the bank.

    could really dee with them extra pennies


  38. I’d be tempted to say 4-3-3 tonight, to practice players in formation for the departure of our great Africa talents:

    Gosling/cab/tiptoe mid
    jonas/shola/hba att

    ….however, i guess it’ll not happen.

    standard 442?




  39. GeordieMagpie says:
    January 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    “Hey worky mate.

    any idea when them funds will be in the bank.”

    Just done it Geordie! I was gannin’ to do it first thing but I had the most dreadful toothache. Sorry about the slight delay.

    One third prize to go, which I’m deein’ next.

  40. GeordieMagpie says:
    January 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    “Brilliant mate. appreciate it. looking forward to the next set of games now.”

    I paid it straight into your bank BTW Geordie.

    Good luck with the next one!

  41. I know we are all decent blokes and support all our players – so perhaps after recent events concerning predudice (of any kind) we should not refer to one of our lads as ORANGUTAN.

  42. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    “If you get the media stirring things up, scaring that type, they will go & ‘act’ on bad info.
    Just like the great depression.
    then you get a ‘run’ on the bank/s.

    The customer can be very wrong!”

    Clint, don’t ever quote Proudhon again, you’ll make him turn in his grave. I don’t know why you pretend to be some kind of anti establishment punk, defending c**** like Applegarth and referring to ordinary people who were worried about losing their whole lives because of his stupidity and greed as “sappy” and “pathetic”.

  43. worky,

    i’ve never knowingly quoted Proudhon.

    What’s it got to do with punk credentials?
    I’m not chained to some septic media idea of what punk/anti-establishment or other such notion.

    You trying to say certain sectors of society are beyond criticism?

  44. Newcastle United are delighted to announce a new shirt sponsorship deal with Virgin Money.
    The two parties have agreed a two-year deal which follows a long standing relationship between Northern Rock and Newcastle United. (Virgin Money completed the acquisition of Northern Rock plc on 1 Jan 2012.)
    The club will unveil the new strip this evening with Newcastle United taking on Manchester United in the Premier League.
    The Virgin Money logo will be used on team shirts for the remainder of the 2011-12 season under the current sponsorship arrangements.

  45. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm


    i’ve never knowingly quoted Proudhon.”

    Clint, “La propriété, c’est le vol!” or “Property is theft!”

    Though many people think that was Karl Marx, it was actually Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the father of modern Anarchism.

  46. Speaking of Grey hair. I am starting to get a few. Life and supporting the toon but its worth it. I am still young mind.

  47. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm


    aye, i have quoted him.
    My bad!
    Applegarth? ”

    What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon:

    “If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder!, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required . . . Why, then, to this other question: What is property? may I not likewise answer, It is robbery!, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first?”

    Literal translation “le vol” is “the flight”, but it means “theft” or “robbery”.

    Marx actually criticised Proudhon for using that particular phrase. He thought that it was self refuting.

    Applegarth’s the Mackem who was the head of Northern Rock when it went down. :-)

  48. Supermac, i’m not sure if u’re joking or not…? Are u implying that my Obertan/Orangutan play on words was racist sounding?? i hadnt even thought of it that way, i was just trying to think of funny things that rythme with his name…

    apologises if anybody took it the wrong way: I’ll refer to him as Ogrefaceman from now on.

    i hope he scores tonight, then i’ll get to make a new-better name for him!

  49. worky,

    is applegarth some banker (northern rock?) per chance?

    People running & taking their ‘savings’ out of banks based on media pressure has a cascading effect that makes others further down the chain lose out. That is a selfish & dumb move. It actually made things worse.
    Hopefully, no one lost out. But it’s the kind of ‘action’ that causes real despair.
    It doesn’t bode well for any future crisis.
    Does that clear up my comment?

  50. Runs on the banks are awesome cos they don’t really have all the cash as it is all wrapped up in dodgy credit default swops and derivatives…..BANKS kill countries,people and win either way.

  51. sirjasontoon says:
    January 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    “We having Banter the night uncle Worky?”

    Aye SJT, but I’m doped up the eyeballs and hope I stay awake through 90 minutes of Pardew tactics.

    CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm


    is applegarth some banker (northern rock?) per chance?”

    Aye I wrote who he was above. Mackem banker, and it doesn’t get any worse than that! :lol:

  52. Well, for what are an average Championship side riding their luck, the score tonight should be around 3-0 in Man United’s favour.

    However for an average Championship side in the upper half of the Premier League the result is as likely to be 1-2 to NUFC.

    Not that this is a prediction.

    I predicted variously up until xmas and won nothing. Not a penny.



    Beggar all.

    Mind you I always said it was a nob idea, and patently like a Pakistani bowler, fixed.

    And the tart on the car? Now where did that come into it? Or is Clint Flick a euphemism?

    Howsomeveranyroadup, come next ‘season’ I fully expect to garner points when I stunningly predict a variety of scores that will stun even Alan Hansen.

    Which is what matters.