Nothing wrong with a little bump ‘n’ grind at Toon?

Posted on January 16th, 2012 | 20 Comments |

R. Kelly - Bump 'n' Grind.
"I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind"
I think it’s fair to say that yesterday’s win against QPR at Saint James’ Park wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, though it was still a very welcome and grinding win.

While the Toon faithful may not like seeing such meagre fare, I feel it’s a very satisfying way to collect three very important points sometimes. Of course, we can point to the players that have gone to seek their fortune in Africa Cup of Nations, not being here.

There’s also the little matter of QPR kicking one our best players (Cabaye) off the pitch with only 20 minutes on the clock.

It was good for us that their midfield schemer one Joey Barton was prevented from rocking up to SJP with his new club and manager because of suspension for a red card. They also lacked the skill of Taarabt and the power of Troare, also in Africa. It maybe would have been a very different game with them playing. Not to mention Demba Ba and Cheik Tiote.

Oh! I mentioned them!

I think I’m right in saying that Mark Highes has never lost as a manager at Saint James’ with all of his former charges? So it was always going to be a bit of a war of atrition, and so it proved!

Newcastle started with a relatively new backline, but one that is growing in understanding. Obviously, our midfield and strike force has lost some of it’s component parts, but it still managed to forge a winning goal. Leon Best produced one bit of great skill to turn the match around and the defence did the rest.

Guthrie does not look out of place in the middle, scheming away, and Hatem Ben Arfa came in for the striken Yohan Cabaye and added a bit more guile to the depleted forces. He’s looking like he’s about ready to be included far more than he has recently, though he really needs to learn when to pass the ball and not hold on to it for that extra dribble that can lead to him giving up possesion in dangerous parts of the pitch.

In defence, Big (or ‘Iron’) Mike Williamson is starting to look like he’s never been away, all the while re-establishing his understanding with Captain Colo. A most welcome sight. Davide Santon seems to be getting his head around the Premier League now, which bodes well too.

The goal was a nice bit of inter-changing play between Jonas, Shola, Guthrie and finally Best, who slotted calmly after doing all the hard work well.

The main thing though, for me, was the team’s ability to grind this result out after suffering a torrid first 20 minutes of so. It’s games like this that Newcastle would no doubt have lost, given up on and thrown away in times of yore, but they kept going and despite losing Cabaye early on, found some shape again and would not be denied. It was always going to be a tough game what with QPR getting the boost of a new manager a week or so ago. These are the sort of games we’ve flopped to defeat in so many times. When we went to Loftus Road back at the start of the season they were on a bit of a high too. Newly promoted, new players, Joey Barton playing against his former team… We could only manage a draw that evening, so to bag the points in this, their second coming(?) this season, was crucial. It keeps us well in touch with the other teams around the top seven and keeps up a good momentum. It has been so easy for Newcastle to drop valuable points against teams at the bottom end of the league in the past, then be faced with having to play out of their skins against the ‘so called’ bigger teams, looking for redemption.

We now need to follow this up with a solid performance and result away to Fulham in our next game. We’re getting close to that all inmportant 40 point marker now and while some will point to dumb luck I think we have to agree that Newcastle have learned or are learning how to grind out some very serviceable results. Let’s not forget that we’ve also put in some great performances too. You don’t draw with Man U away and slam them 3-0 at home with luck alone. Stoke away, Spurs at SJP (a top contender, don’t you know?).

It’s not always about how you get the three points, sometimes, it’s just the fact that you do. I’d love to see us playing great football every game, beating teams in style, passing and moving the ball on the floor and taking the league by storm. But I also really love to see us grinding out results like this when we’re not playing that well, mostly because it’s something Newcastle have never seemed to master. The teams that win things manage to do this every third or fourth game. It’s a great weapon to have in our arsenal, because these are the games that can define a season, that can make the difference between mid-table obscurity and pushing for the European places. Teams like Everton have done this for years, Man U, Arsenal (1-nil to the…) and Chelsea have succceded while doing it. It’s what a team needs to develop about their game and attitude, regardless of how it looks on the day.

Winning when playing in a dire game is winning nevertheless!

Three points are still awarded!

To grind is to win!

Howay the Lads!

Toon’s new anthem?

NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it'll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black 'n' White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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20 Responses

  1. good post about sumed it up not pretty but 3 points banked,any1 else think that tackle on Yohan Cabaye should of been a red or is it just me :)

  2. Toonarmylite,

    It was borderline mate. In another game it woulda been a red. I think Cabaye just managed to pull out at the last second, so wasn’t badly injured. Whether that is what stops it being a red is debatable mind.
    I did like how we didn’t whine on about it though, maybe ‘cos we won?
    It seemed like AP was trying to cool the recriminations down after the recent flurry of red card decisions.
    We all know if it was the ‘usual suspects’ on the receiving end, we wouldn’t hear the end of it.

    Let’s just hope that Yohan is all good.

  3. according to those stats Krul needs work on his kicking Collo needs work on his tackleing and Cabaye needs work on his passing :)

  4. CLiNT FLiCK thought that changle was worse than the 1 that man city player got sent off for last week

  5. Colo’s 93% passing, Guthrie’s all round game, Santon’s improvement & Perch’s (?) contribution stand out like.

  6. Toonarmylite,

    it depends on the angle you see it from mate.
    Far be it from me to back a bad challenge on one of ours, i’ve got form for backing us to the hilt.
    Though i would say it was defo send off-able, but we rarely get a ‘homer’ ref at SJP, so it doesn’t surprise me that he was yellowed rather than redded, if that’s a word?

  7. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    January 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    “There’s defo something wrong with r. kelly though!”

    Like Michael Jackson, he was eventually cleared of all charges Clint. I know you’re a big fan, that’s why I slipped him in. :-)

  8. tunyc says:
    January 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    “On behalf of the United States, I apologize for R. Kelly’s existence.”

    I have a long, long list that should keep you busy for a while tunyc! Let’s start with that daft gadgie you elected before Obama, and his mates. What’s that Palin woman up to BTW? :lol:

  9. Clearly you didn’t watch the game, as it was Raylor who knocked the ball to the path of Best, not Guthrie. Just saying.

  10. I know i made that Guthrie/Raylor gaffe, i meant to ask for it’ to be changed last night, but forgot.
    Thanx for reminding me!

  11. worky,

    ta for that mate.

    i remember when R’n’B meant Rhythm & blues, not just rich ‘n’ black.

    he did manage to ‘get off’ with several very dodgy charges after a lot of chicanery & very expensive lawyers, a la mj.

    Repugnant get!