Game of the season? Newcastle v Man City match preview.

Posted on May 5th, 2012 | 65 Comments |

Newcastle United vs Manchester City, May 2012.
Will history repeat itself?
Newcastle United entertain Manchester City on Sunday at half past one of the afternoon clock in what could be a crucial game for both teams.

Venue: St James’ Park.
Date: Sun 06th May 2012.
Kick-Off: 13:30.
Referee: Howard Webb.
TV: Sky Sports 1.

Manchester City last won the League in 1967-1968 and they did so by beating us 4-3 at St James’ Park on the last day of the season. They could effectively do the same again tomorrow if Manchester United slip up against Swansea, so let’s hope that history doesn’t fancy repeating itself in that respect.

This is a huge game for both teams. City want the title of course but if we want any chance of playing Champions League football next season we just can’t afford to drop any points from here on in. Even then, we’d have to hope that Spurs drop points in their last two games (away to Villa & home to Fulham) or that Arsenal do likewise (home to Norwich & away to West Brom).

We’ve recovered well from our pounding at Wigan though with a great mid-week win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which certainly took Harry Redknapp by surprise who, during one of his not-getting-the-England-job interviews, said he “didn’t see that one coming”.

My first instinct is to say there’ll be plenty of goals in this game but I’m wondering if both teams will err on the side of caution, at least to begin with. I think Manchester City in particular will want to probe around and see what we have on offer before committing themselves forward in numbers, but once they’ve got the lay of the land they’ll unleash their formidable strike force. Nothing less than 3 points will suffice for City.

I do believe we can win this but we’ll have to be on the top of our game to do so. I hope the gruelling 103 minutes we played against Chelsea on Wednesday hasn’t sapped us of too much energy. We’re at home and we should be looking to take the initiative and there’s currently the feeling that if we can get the ball the Cisse in good areas enough times he’ll score. If we can score first I fancy our chances but I’m a bit glum about the prospects if they score first.

I’m certainly excited about this one and really looking forward to it – let’s hope it goes our way.

Recent Stats

We come into this game with just one defeat in the last six, which was our 4-0 defeat at Wigan last weekend. Otherwise we’ve notched up wins against Chelsea (2-0 – away), Stoke (3-0 – home), Bolton (2-0 – home), Swansea (2-0 away) and Liverpool (2-0 – home).

Manchester City have won the last 4 on the trot, beating Man Utd 1-0 at home, Wolves 2-0 away, Norwich 6-1 away and West Brom 4-0 at home. They lost 1-0 at Arsenal prior to that and the mackems held them to a 3-3 draw at home 6 games ago.

Last 6 League Games             Pts
Newcastle – All League Games W W W W L W 15/18
Manchester City – All League Games D L W W W W 13/18
Newcastle – Home League Games D D W W W W 14/18
Manchester City – Away League Games W L D L W W 10/18

Season Stats

Manchester City have only lost 5 league games this season, all away, to Arsenal, Swansea, Everton, Sunderland and Chelsea. But we’ve been strong at home, with just two defeats at SJP to West Brom and Chelsea back in December.

  P W D L F A Win% Loss%
Newcastle – All League 36 19 8 9 55 46 52.78 25.00
Man City – All League 36 26 5 5 88 27 72.22 13.89
Newcastle – Home League 18 11 5 2 29 15 61.11 11.11
Man City – Away League 18 9 4 5 36 17 50.00 27.77


  P W D L F A
All Time 164 70 38 56 247 227
Premier League 25 7 6 12 28 35

Team News


Vuckic, Saylor and Lovenkrands remain on the long-term sick list but Sammy Ameobi is apparently back in training, although it’s very unlikely he’ll play any part in this game.

The good news is that Cheick Tiote should be okay for the game after having to have stitches following his argument with Mikel on Wednesday and apparently Danny Simpson – who missed Wednesday’s game – faces a late fitness test.

Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Simpson(?), R Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Ferguson, Perch, Williamson, Cabaye, Tiote, Marveaux, Guthrie, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Ba, Cisse.


Apparently Manchester City have only one injury worry and that’s to Joe Hart who’s receiving treatment to a foot injury he picked up in their game against Man Utd. From what I can gather he’s expected to be fit for the Newcastle game though.

Manchester City (from): Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Nasri, Silva, Y Toure, Aguero, Tevez, Pantilimon, Richards, Kolarov, Milner, De Jong, Dzeko, Balotelli.

Line Ups

I suspect we’ll go with pretty much the same team we put out against Chelsea in the middle of the week, although it’s possible that Danny Simpson could resume at right back. There’s been some debate as to whether one or two of our recent matches have been 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 but I don’t suppose it has to be either. There’s nothing to say we can’t switch from a front three to a front two as necessary during a game depending upon how things pan out, with Ba moving central, Jonas moving out left and Benny hanging back a touch on the right.

City are likely to play their 4-2-3-1 attack/4-5-1 defence formation with Tevez spearheading the attack. Our defence will be kept busy trying to deal with the like of Aguero and Silva as well as Tevez and their goal difference shows what City are capable of in that respect.

We can score too of course. Besides the obvious recent delights of Papiss Cisse, the likes of Ben Arfa and Cabaye are capable goal scorers and it would be an excellent game for Demba Ba to start finding the net again.

What The Managers Say

Ahead of the game, Alan Pardew said:

In the scheme of the Premier League this is a huge game – the Champions League position on our part and, for Manchester City, the title. It would be fantastic for them to try and beat that Manchester United strangle-hold on it. We’ve won seven of our last eight games, which is incredible really, and we go into this match in great form.

Meanwhile, Mancini paid us a compliment by claiming this game will be harder then the one they played against Man Utd last weekend. Mancini said:

I think this game will be more difficult for us. The United game was at home and we played very well to win but Newcastle is away and I think it will be harder.

Cisse is incredible. He scored two fantastic goals against Chelsea.

But not just him, their whole team is playing very well. They play to win in every game, they have a good mentality and for this reason I think it will be a good game on Sunday.

Howay The Lads!

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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65 Responses

  1. Should be cracker of a game as both teams need to go for it!

    A draw is no use to anyone.

    I confess I was a young Leazes Ender who was at that 1968 game. Man City were allocated half the Leazes End – so as you can imagine that was fun…..although none of the darts, coins and lumps of coal being hoyed when we used to take the Fulwell End….

    I remember Man City had quite a few tambourines with them, and were singing that song about “If you support City, come on and clap your hands, for they’re the greatest team in the whole of the land, with Frankie Lee and Micky Summerbee etc etc etc

    I remember my mate, who was rock hard and totally mad, couldn’t get a fight with the City fans so he chinned one and took his scarf. Then went and got as fight with other United fans pretending to be a blue….

    “Happy Days”

  2. “There’s been some debate as to whether one or two of our recent matches have been 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 but I don’t suppose it has to be either”

    You’re right Hugh. The issue is not which formation we use but how it works. The old 4-4-2 we had earlier this season had Obertan on one wing and Jonas on the other. Unfortunately neither player is a real, out and out winger capable of getting to the byline and crossing for the two target men so there was always the risk of strikers having little or no service. Plus if the two wingers didnt deliver the chances were the other two midfielders were probably sitting too deep to help out.

    The difference between then and now in a 4 across midfield is Obertan doesnt figure much nowadays, which is a blessing. Cabaye is far more involved in the opponents half and HBA has been given the confidence, by virtue of an uninterrupted run of games, to get forward but not necessarily down the right flank.

    As I’ve said before if you’ve got the players with the talent to “mix it up” and play with a level of flexibility which can often unsettle defenders expecting the obvious, almost any formation will do the job except maybe 10-0 :)

  3. Toughest game of the season against you guys tomorrow I reckon. I wish Newcastle well except for tomorrow! Nice to see them up there in top slots. My heart says a City win but I can’t pretend I don’t have doubts!

  4. Must say, this is a hard one to predict.

    If Man City go all out from the start and they get an early goal, this could be a proper hammering.
    However, if it’s kept tight and every man sticks to the game plan, things might just go our way.

    With the Toon high in confidence and in front of massive home support, I’m very keen on seeing a goal from Benny or Spidey and of course the customary belter from wor Papps!

    This might be another one for the annals, UTD111 or maybe not…

    Here’s hoping:
    Newcastle 2-1 Man City

  5. Bluesband@3

    Aye – should be a cracker with both teams needing a win.

    If you lads manage to fluke a win – FFS don’t lose your last game LOL!

  6. Bit off topic but Norwich are playing some amazing football against Arsenal atm. They’re up 2-1 but it’s about 10-2 on chances in favour of Norwich!

  7. I see weasel face is the token “Chelski” analyst on ITV today, wonder if he’s still getting paid by Fatman or has his contract finally run out ?

  8. AndyMac@10
    I’m watching it on ESPN – got Sir Kevin, John “machine Gun Gob” Barnes, Poyet and Craig Burley….and a rather nice little blonde lady :)

  9. BluesBand says:
    May 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    “Toughest game of the season against you guys tomorrow I reckon. I wish Newcastle well except for tomorrow! Nice to see them up there in top slots. My heart says a City win but I can’t pretend I don’t have doubts!”

    Thanks BluesBand. I think that Hoolie has a point at number 4. It might well depend on the start and who gets the first goal.

  10. Ranger looks like he could be part of another promotion winning team today having just scored the second for Wednesday. Maybe there is a footballer in him after all ?

  11. UTD111 says:

    “I’m watching it on ESPN – got Sir Kevin, John “machine Gun Gob” Barnes, Poyet and Craig Burley….and a rather nice little blonde lady :)”

    TBH Utd I’m not gonna bother. Cup Finals are invariably either drab, unimaginative affairs or one side dominates and it becomes a procession.

    Just checking the odds for 4-4 at full time :)

  12. Well lads Irish toon here, Supporting the black and white since the andy cole days being following this blog for a while now but av never posted. Love the app and i check it everyday for updates so keep up the good work as it is greatly appreciated. Had a tenner on Newcastle to win 1-0 against chelsea @ 19/1 but still was jumping up n down when he got d second. A screamer. Hoping 4 another great display tomorrow as I watch the match n Dublin!
    Howay the lads

  13. Jose Enrique at fault for the goal in fa cup 1st half. No pace… Good riddance. I think if Newcastle can get to half time tomorrow without being outa sight then the av a chance, against chelsea they were playing their second string as they were resting a number of players for the cup final. City will be all out 2mrw for a win as a draw is no good to nobody so a tight game would suit us and hit um on the break

  14. Missing sum midfield leadership n Adam aswell. Hate to see that Pr*ck Terry lifting the trophy

  15. UTD111 says:

    “Aye Liverpool were pants first half – need big AndyMac on :)”

    You fenny fecker ! :lol:

  16. Mike Hayes says:

    “Thoughts on Andys Ponytail/bun?”

    I’m sorry but I have neither :-(

  17. Someone on BBC Sport has rather unkindly said “So basically the RBD’s have spent £160m to beat Cardiff” :D

  18. ITV just stated that due to Andy Carroll’s performance and the way he changed the game, his stock has increased….

    Does that mean he will be worth £11 million now?

  19. so what does that prove?

    we can turn over man city?

    i think if we play for the draw we might be able to nick a win but i think if we try to out play Man C then we will be in for a drumming.

    personly i think we should play the same way we played Swansea, put up the wall and hit them on the break.

    sacrifice style and possession for 3 points. this might be the biggest game all season and its more important we take 3 points and have 3% of the possession than it is to watch a decent game of football.

    the result today went our way so let us think about the job in hand and what to expect.i dont think we can play football tomorrow but i do think we can take 3 points.

  20. HTL a win tomorrow for the IMMORTALS , immortality take it it’s yours!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Hugh & AndyMac
    You are both right in questioning the tactical lineup, i certainly did, there were times against Chewsea when it switched between the two, with HBA doing some tracking back, especially in the second half.
    Somehow i think it depends on HBA, who knows he may have been given liberty to roam ?
    I think AP should take a leaf outta SBR’s book, when he realised to attempt to make Robert into a defense minded winger, was a waste of a goalscorer and playmaker.
    With three defense minded players Cabaye, Tiote and Jonas as a middle three, who needs HBA to join them ?
    It’s that middle line that has won us games, with only Swansea and Wigan being able to break us down.
    Have to say so far the 4-3-3 line up has been our most successful, having more balance between attack and defense, with Cabaye joining the attack alongside HBA and our two strikers.
    As opposed to using our wingers as defenders, in what has been called a 4-4-2, which certainly unbalances the side, with a defense minded Jonas on the left and a reluctant HBA on the right.
    But hey whadda i know ?

  22. Well “The run for the Roses” is coming up soon, got a nag who looks to be in with a shot, “Gemologist” going off at 6/1 see what happens, gotta good feeling bout it.

    Needless to say Liverpool fell at the final fence, in the cup final.
    Not a brilliant season, though i suppose a cup, any old cup is better than nowt.
    Final nail in King Kenny’s reign i imagine.
    Should be a whole bunch of new managers in the PL this coming season, not to mention players.

  23. Stephen C
    We should play the way we did against Swansea, put up the wall and hit em on the break…..

    Yeah Stephen, the same way we have been playing all season init ?
    Looks like AP has employed the old sixties seventies Italian defensive style, “The Catenaccio” or bolt the door!
    A style proven innefective against total football, or what remains of that style of play to-day.
    Perhaps thats why we were so innefective playing against sides like Wigan and lucky against Swansea, two sides who both understand and play a modern version of total football.
    Or at least both managers of the sides mentioned, are students of the game and obviously knew the tactics to overcome the Catenaccio style which is mostly employed when you are ahead and it aint pretty to watch, as we can attest to.
    If this is going to be how we play from now on, expect some boring anti- football games, where we snatch a early lead then defend for the rest of the game.
    I dont get it, we buy players with great technical skills and special abilities, then we attempt to make defenders out of them ?
    Can we not use a tactical system that is balanced and where flair players are allowed a certain amount of freedom, a system that both entertains and produces results.
    Or are we destined for Pardew ball, for the next god knows how many seasons.

  24. And by the way, Morinho used a form of The Catenaccio successfuly, during the European Championship against Barca two years ago and AP recently revealed he has studied Morinho and his various tactical approaches to the game.
    Just our luck he zeroed in and decided to adapt the most boring of all approaches to the game.
    However, perhaps once he is fully stocked with the required quality players he may re-think his game, after all Geordies do like to be entertained and watch a bit of flair, like most fans.
    They dont i’m sure go to watch boring defensive crap, i mean surely we are not about to become Stoke, are we ?

  25. I don’t think we play boring football. Some of the fast breaks from defense are breathtaking. I only wish Krul would stop hoofing it as we mostly lose the ball.

  26. Chuck: you said Swansea were able to “break us down”. Maybe I’m being pedantic but they didn’t break us down because they didn’t score and spent most of their time passing sideways. I don’t want to get into that argument again though, we both know each others’ views by now.

  27. Chuck

    I disagree

    we haven’t been playing that type of football all season.
    neither have be played hoofball all season.

    but we have played both styles when needed.

    im not saying we should build our season on this style of play. im saying we should when necessary but not until its necessary.

    Man u, we showed we could out play a team if we close them down, but Man u are a team full of young un-experienced players give or take two or three.

    Man C have a mix of both and wont be as easy to accommodate. they have a lot more tools in their box than Man u IMO and are and have been a lot more difficult to defend against.
    their front foot football has pretty much got them where they are, the are fast on the break and will and can cause Newcastle a lot of problems.

    with Tevez back there is no toll to the damage he could inflict.

    i think we will be playing a full strength Man C team that a lot of the other teams in our league have not played for one reason or the other. we will be playing a team that has been missing vital players. since tevez came back man c have performed well.

    i dont understand the mentality where an attacking player can not defend.
    sometimes it beats me why footballers are treat like children.
    footballers are grown men who do a job like every one else in the world, theirs just happens to be playing football. it does not mean you can not do a job if you are a skillful player.

    as a football players you play with 10 others who play for the same team. if you think you dont need to defend because your toes twinkle then you are mistaken.

    Chuck its time you woke up and smelt the coffee. football is football you play to win, if that means you have to get as many players behind the ball to stop the other team scoring then so be it.

    and with this game meaning so much we cant afford to give any amount of flair for the sake of watching a decent game, definitely not against Man C.

    sorry chuck but obviously your time away from the North East has reduced your enthusiasm for three points.

    personally i would be happy if i watched paint dry tomorrow if it meant we got 3 points.

    play like we did in the 50s or 60s so be it but does it really matter what Italian coffee shop you get your inspiration from as long we win?

    football starts at 00:00 and ends at 90:00 minutes what happens before or after is meaningless, if we need to play oven door football then so be it.

    for this game if it brings in 3 points, we could play barn door, fridge door, car door as long as we don’t play open door then i don’t mind.

    if all you have to do it win……….Does it matter how?

    i think not chuck

  28. GS
    We do have the players to play any kind of game you want.
    But if you dont play according to instructions, you sit.
    With a lead and ten men defending, not a pretty sight.
    What i’m saying is, can we employ a side that’s more balanced between defense and attack and dont park the bus in front of goal.
    It also appears we have difficulty breaking sides down and rely on a lot of long balls over the top, not a pretty sight either.
    The idea i undertand is the opposition have to deploy their defenders high, in order to support their outnumbered attackers, therefor susceptible to a counter attack.
    If thats so, why do we seldom score on such counters and why are we usually outplayed in most games second half ?

  29. Part of the point of having top class players is to scare the opponent into an overly defensive approach, double teaming certain key players out of the game whilst leaving room for others to exploit said space!

    Just look at Ba’s sacrificed game play for Cisse, it’ll turn the other way soon enough too when Cisse sacrifices for Ba. Jonas has been double teamed many a game, but now teams don’t know who to & can’t double up on everyone.
    Cisse, Ba, HBA, Cabaye, Jonas or even Shola & Best.
    It was great to see Marv warming up from the bench last wed too.

  30. chuck……

    why are we 5th in the league?

    you speak like we are battling Bolton and Blackburn for relegation FFS.

    how can you sit there and criticize Newcastle United when for the first time we are on the verge of Europe’s top league.

    the arguments you are trying to give is redundant. i for one, now the season is near over look back at each game and see more than just hoofball or oven door football, i see contributing factors that has given us the opportunity of a few days away now and again, visiting different parts of Europe, something lots of us have not experienced.

    and now the season is in the twilight and we are dusting off our passports, does it matter? does it make a difference to how we got their?

    chuck my friend, smile.

    then again poor chuck stuck in the USA missing out on the action. poor bugger.

  31. Stephen C
    Ermmm! far be it from me to challenge such an erudite view !

    Hmmm, you dont say!

  32. Stephen,


    After all, when we actually won a euro cup, we got in it by coming 10th in the league i think, yet still won the thing at our first attempt.

    manure, liverpool & arse have won numerous titles between them playing some of the most dour football riddled with 1-0’s for decades, it is in fact the only way.
    It’s very rare that the team playing all the football wins in this league!
    Sad, but true!

  33. Outta here, gotta watch the Kentucky Derby, you guys getting the race on telly ?

  34. chuck,
    i’m not condescending ya’ man, just saying ‘horses for courses’ & like Stephen says: Winning the 3 points is what counts at the end of the game.

  35. Looking forward to the match. The only bad result would be a draw. Of course I really want Newcastle to win, but if it is a good game and City shade it then they will probably win/buy the league. I think Man U play good football but it gets pretty boring for the rest of us when they win all of the time.

    Watching a football convention in Liverpool on Fox Soccer. Phil Thompson (with a straight face) is explaining Liverpool’s bad league season by saying they have hit the woodwork more than 30 times and John Barnes has finally answered the question of who ate all the pies (I thought it was Kenny Sansom, but I was wrong, he is a mere amateur compared to barnseeyy.)

  36. Chuck, real “catenaccio” doesn’t really exist anymore. It was blown out of the window by the great Ajax team of the early ‘seventies in two landmark games. The first was against Internazionale in the European Cup final of 1973, and the second against Milan in the European Super Cup.

    In the first Ajax won the second of their three consecutive European Cups 2-0, and in the 1973 Super Cup, they completely eviscerated Milan, and the “Catenaccio” style forever, winning 6-0. It just couldn’t couldn’t deal with the fluidity (Clint’s favourite word) of Ajax’s game. Catenaccio’s man to man marking system was completely busted by a bunch of local lads from a little club in Amsterdam.

    From then on, the Italian style as a whole moved on to embrace a more zonal form of marking in amongst the more traditional man marking, which became known as “Zona Mista” or “Mixed zone,” or even just the “Italian style.” This adaptation subsequently brought success to the Italian national team in the 1982 World Cup, which they won.

  37. Stephen C says:
    May 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    “how can you sit there and criticize Newcastle United when for the first time we are on the verge of Europe’s top league.”

    Stephen, I seem to recall that a little gadgie with a perm, a grumpy, illegible Scotsman who was in the FA Cup final today, and an auld gadgie who was always getting players names wrong had us in “Europe’s top league” before now?

    ps; does “oven door” football have something to do with Delia Smith by any chance?

  38. Worky:

    Are you sure they stopped playing that type of football? I remember an Italian side hacking the sh*t out of one of Bobby Robson’s Ipswich sides in the ’80s. Whether it is catenaccio or insalata mista it was still the same tactics – hacking and getting away with it.

  39. workyticket says:
    May 6, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Stephen, I seem to recall that a little gadgie with a perm, a grumpy, illegible Scotsman who was in the FA Cup final today, and an auld gadgie who was always getting players names wrong had us in “Europe’s top league” before now?

    worky i think you are mistaking your scots men. the one with the perm was Souness, the one that was in the final was Dogleesh.

    but as for similarities, not sure what you are getting at.
    dogleesh took a decent team “the entertainers” and turned them into “the purple rincers” and it wasnt a pretty sight. and more importantly rode on the back of keagan until he dismantled the team we loved.

    SBR on the other hand was a different class, turned a team of nearly rans into also rans.
    and he didnt ride on the back of anyone, he took a team underperforming and made them excel.

    as for sourness well he can keep his perm.

    but if im going to compare the way things are now, do we have the new keagan or more the new robson?

    im thinking in Pardew we might have a little more Robson than Keagan.

  40. Worky:

    I was just pointing out in a pratty way that you wrote “illegible”.

    I really have better things to do than go around correcting people’s spelling, grammar etc. on Blogs. I think that was Chapter 2 in “How to win Friends and Influence People”.

  41. GS says:
    May 6, 2012 at 2:58 am


    I was just pointing out in a pratty way that you wrote “illegible”.”

    Oops! I did write “illegible” rather than “unintelligible.” I must stop trying to concentrate on too many things at once.

    On the subject of “Catenaccio,” perhaps I did give the wrong impression. When I wrote that it doesn’t “really” exist anymore, I didn’t mean that it was completely and utterly extinct since the 70s. Trappatoni and Iggy Pop have used it with Italian national sides in championships far more recently sometimes, and Otto Rahagel with that Greek side who somehow managed to win the European Championships against Portugal. They shut out the Portuguese completely, got one corner in the whole game, their only opportunity, and scored from it! Sometimes it may be dragged out and dusted down when teams are down to 9/10 men as suchlike. This idea that any highly defensive team which may put the odd x rated tackle in is using a “Catenaccio” system is utterly wrong in 99 out of a hundred cases though.

    Catenaccio isn’t a general term meaning “hacking the sh*t out of.” VERY roughly, it is a definite, defensive, counter attacking style which involves a back four which included one defender in a “libero” (free) or “sweeper” role behind the other three. Later on this became more of a back five with four plus a sweeper, usually with very tight man to man marking of the opposition’s attack.

  42. Worky @57:


    I had never even heard of the term catenaccio before today. As I have said before, I don’t really know much about the technical side of the game.

    I know it is heresy but, I prefer to watch Madrid to Barcelona – don’t tell Chuck. And I really don’t know what “total football” means. My, perhaps naive, view was that they had very skillful players who could interchange positions if need be. Obviously there is more to it since Cruyff took it to Barca.

    I am the Harry Rednapp of NUFCBLOG.ORG posters.

    I do have a blind loyalty to NUFC though.

  43. These early games are really a pain. Starts at 7.30am over here. I would really like to go down the pub and watch it.

    I could record it, but I wouldn’t be able to stop myself checking the result.

  44. GS says:
    May 6, 2012 at 4:23 am

    “My, perhaps naive, view was that they had very skillful players who could interchange positions if need be.”

    In the very broadest terms, yes, that’s what it is about. But it is easier said than done and it has been a rare thing in reality, with the term being much misused. In practice it’s about players developing a very acute sense of space as much as anything. I don’t think that any footballer ever had a better sense of space, or ability to see the whole game than Johan Cruyff. He was like the conductor of an orchestra with Ajax, or someone who was constantly directing traffic during a game.

  45. Those complaining about alan pardews tactics really get me going this team is THE ONLY team in the history of newcastle for the past 20 0dd years that can truly defend and people r complaining about tactics in my opoinion this is the only team in recent history that stands a chance of ending this jorrible trophyless run cos any dummy know u can onlky win things when your back line is sorted people that want “sexy” football shud cross over to the arsenal as they embark on their long trophyless journey

  46. I agree NTA

    I find it astounding that Pards has managed the team to a point where we will finish at least 5th and possibly 3rd – yet there are people arguing about whether he is tactically inept!! LOL!

    Luckily, none of Pards’ critics have ever been unleashed on managing a footy team!!

  47. UTD – yes, astounding indeed! I have been one of his critics but the table proves me wrong! And I’m pleased to be wrong – well done AP and Pardew’s Black & White Army!

  48. Win loose or draw today – the world is watching, let’s show them a damn good exciting game!
    Next season will have respect and a euro place – what a season! What a team!

  49. Workey
    Of course i know that a true catenaccio system no longer exists, but variations of it are still played by sides like Roma and other seria A sides.
    And yes, there are variations played even to-day by the Italian national side.
    And yes i am also familiar that so called total football has it’s own variations in to-days game.
    If you had read my comments, you will find you are repeating what i already stated, so i dont know what you are on about ?