Saturday 10 December 2011 3pm

Norwich City 4
Newcastle United 2 (Ba 45,70)

“I think there was extra emphasis on them to go and attack knowing we didn’t have out three first choice centre halves on the pitch and I think that’s unusual and I think any premier league team is going to struggle with that” Alan Pardew

In the lead up to the match we said that if Newcastle controlled possession then that would equal a decent result.

Well, despite Gosling’s sending off with 25 minutes to go, we did ‘control’ possession but only by 51% to 49%.

It was maybe a match where you could take out of it what you will. United played some good football at times but ended up conceding more goals than in any other match this season.

Norwich became Stokewich as they changed tactics to a two big knackers up front and unfortunately it worked. I don’t particularly rate Williamson but if we’d had somebody there to literally just stand and head the ball away then we’d have almost certainly done better on the day.

Simpson and Perch did ok as individuals at centre-half but without an experienced/natural head at the heart of your defence you are always going to be struggling.

The linesman cocked up on their first goal when he awarded a corner but you can’t then just blame that when your defence fails to deal with a standard corner.

Cabaye and Ba were class and they combined to make it 1-1 but overall the squad are very much struggling to cope with the short-sighted limitations of the summer transfer dealing. We all knew we needed at least an extra defender (or two) and forward plus another midfielder/wide man but Pardew wasn’t given the freedom to bring those players in.

“It was a bit of a rash challenge by Dan” Alan Pardew

The other positives today were the usual high energy display of Gutierrez and a good showing of Santon at left-back, while Gosling did ok until he gave the referee the chance to red card him at 3-1 down.

The issue today though was soft goals from standard crosses that should have been dealt with, as a team they didn’t defend to anywhere near their ability but they do just need to pick themselves up and play for both manager and supporters.

The ten man Newcastle had the home side on the ropes for ten minutes and at 2-3 we looked the better team, a soft sixth goal followed and all that work proved to be for nothing.

“We should have done better regardless of the personnel we had out” Alan Pardew

Those clean sheets of the early games may becoming a distant memory for some but with reasonable backing from Mike Ashley, Alan Pardew will be able to shuffle the pack and make the ability and team spirit count for best of the rest (seventh) or possibly even better.

Norwich City: (4-4-2): John Ruddy, Kyle Naughton, Zak Whitbread (Leon Barnett 83), Russell Martin, Marc Tierney, David Fox, Andrew Crofts, Andrew Surman (Bradley Johnson 77), Wes Hoolahan (Simoen Jackson 85), Steven Morison, Grant Holt (c).
Subs not used: Declan Rudd, Anthony Pilkington, Elliott Bennett, Aaron Wilbraham.

Newcastle United: (4-4-2): Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, James Perch, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon (Shane Ferguson 90+2), Gabriel Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 81), Dan Gosling, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez (c), Shola Ameobi (Alan Smith 90), Demba Ba.
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands, Leon Best.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 26,816

  • Anonymous

    ‘ Pardew wasnt given the freedom to bring those players in ” ..or ..in other words ..hes an Ashley Yes Man . Football ..its a squad game … as ‘ Pards ‘ well knows …but then so should some of the ‘ fans ‘ who gave this idiot the benefit of the doubt , due to a lucky start this season . Will you all call him ‘ Pards ‘ when he sells Tiote in January ?

  • A bit harsh I feel! Pardew has done well with what he has got and if he is a yes man well he wont have a say in which player will be sold in January- the one to really attack is Ashley!

    • Anonymous

      I attack Ashley by attacking his Yes Man .

  • Anonymous

    At the end Gosling should ve kept his head, he was already on a yellow. Not many team with 10 men away bring home 3 pts. Disappointed but still optimistic. Not many team with that many 1st team players out would score 2 goals. Ba is class.

  • Big Davey G

    Come one guys, yes eveyone critized Pardew upon his appointment (myself included.) But would anyone have done a better job under the control of these two “hatchet men?” I think not! Ashley/Lambias are to far driven by commercialism, we are now the biggest and most famous sports retail outlet in the world. Hence the renaming of our beloved stadium. In the short term the fans don’t count, neither does the team. It’s about making a “quick buck while you can” (Just like our owners many stores.) Pardew is already sending out the early warning signs about possible sales. In my oppinion he has done wonders with what he has at present, lets just hope he can do the same with what he’s left with afer January.

    • Anonymous

      Until the past month we hadnt really played anyone ..Arsenal had a bad start to the season …the end of the season will see us finish mid table …Pardew is a party to that mediocrity

      • Tone army

        as davey asks though, realisticaly who would have done better under the circumstances? don’t know how much of a hand he has had in all the incoming transfers so far but we have secured some decent talent, a couple of good prospects, and what looks like a diamond in demba ba, all for good money & all on long term deals that will benefit the club for years.

        Any club in europe outside the the champs league elite would lose a player if “big clubs” come asking about them with an open cheque book, regardless of who is in charge.

        PS thought davide santon put in a good confident debut on saturday, not really heard anyone mention him since but he was a real positive (along with exceptional finishing of Ba) on the day.