Sunday 1 April 2012 1.30pm

Newcastle United 2 (Cissé 19, 59)
Liverpool 0

Where do you start? The only question for me is whether this was even better than the January demolition of Manchester United?

I would argue it is, despite clearly Liverpool not being in the same league as Manchester United at the moment.

The towering scoreline and performance against the Mancs was remarkable but it was achieved with most of not having great expectations and seeing it as a free go against arguably the top team in England.

However, I would say today’s match has had the biggest build up by far of any of our fixtures this season, certainly on a national and international basis.

How many times have we not turned up at the big occasion, when expectations are high and we have a match that is an acid test of our aspirations?

‘You stole my Easter eggs’ (replacing ‘You stole my stereo’)

This was billed as Pardew the miracle worker v Kenny the money waster, the return of the ponytailed one, as well as of course Enrique and Bellamy.

Alan Pardew threw a curve ball before kick-off with Jonas back at left-back and the returning Tiote making up a three man midfield.

The aim clearly was to pressure the scouser high up the pitch and so the game was always going to be stretched, the question was in whose favour?

Early on we looked dangerous with the ball but Liverpool were comfortably working the ball out of defence and several times Jonas was outnumbered leading to Bellamy putting in some dangerous balls. While Bellamy was having his usual decent game against us, Enrique was strangely subdued while Carroll was all over the place and summed up his performance with a shocking dive when he could possibly still have scored, instead he got a yellow card for his pains.

Massive credit to Williamson (I was very relieved when I saw Carroll was playing as ideal when Willo is in the team) and Perch who was outstanding against Suarez.

‘You’re (Dalglish) getting sacked in the morning’

Every player though worked their socks off from the strikers to the midfield, to the defence and Cabaye must have covered every blade of grass while Tiote’s gave a performance every bit as good as the on eagainst Manchester United, I can’t give him a bigger pat on the back than that.

Perspiration only gets you so far though and on nineteen minutes Ben Arfa twisted and teased Enrique before putting over a cross that was  inch perfect, just eluding the defender and Cissé’s finish was also inch perfect as his header back across goal went in off the post.

The interplay and ball retention was excellent overall but determined last gap defending also played its part as every player put their heart and soul into this pivotal match.

Cissé and Ba are absolute stars, they look to play with absolutely no edge to them, they look like they want to chase back and don’t see it as beneath them. While Ben Arfa was maybe used more sparingly but whenever he got the ball he had them on the back foot.

Cissé could have made it two with a glancing header and Williamson planted an excellent header against the post  but two indeed it was on fifty nine minutes.

‘(Carroll) What a waste of money’

A flowing move saw the ball worked out of defence and Ben Arfa accelerated inside before combining with Demba Ba, the ball eventually reaching Cissé some eight yards out. He feinted to shoot and put Reina on his backside before tapping it home and putting the topping on another class performance.

Newcastle combined effort with talent and never allowed Liverpool back into the game, with Gosling replacing the injured Guthrie, Shola letting Cissé take his own personal bow as the minutes ticked by and then Ben Arfa getting his own applause as Santon replaced him almost on the final whistle.

Carroll was dragged off as was Bellamy late on, the final insult saw Reina seeing red for an attempted headbutt on Perch with Enrique seeing out the last ten minutes in goal which must have seemed a lonely lifetime as the Leazes end poured down their scorn on the departed player.

An exceptional performance from all concerned , beginning to wish this season wasn’t coming to a close.

‘Jose Enrique, we’re in the top six’

A sobering thought for Kenny is that he brings a very average Jordan Henderson and Downing off the bench and either of those cost around the same as Cabaye, Cissé and Tiote combined.

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Danny Guthrie (Dan Gosling 65), Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (Davide Santon 90), Papiss Cissé  (Shola Ameobi 74), Demba Ba

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic

Liverpool (4-4-2): Pepe Reina, Jon Flanagan, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Jonjo Shelvey (Stewart Downing 76), Steven Gerrard (c), Jay Spearing, Craig Bellamy (Jordan Henderson 80), Andy Carroll (Dirk Kuyt 79), Luis Suarez

Subs not used: Alexander Doni, Fabio Aurelio, Sebastian Coates, Maxi Rodriguez

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 52,363

mactoon 5pts

Absolute rubbish! The clubs get the massive influx of cash next season due to the new TV rights deal so why would he sell with so much money coming in?

Dogg1892 5pts

@mactoon I agree, what other 'business 'earns' 129m a year simply  for existing? The man owns a golden goose which has helped increase his personal wealth more than threefold in less than ten years.

He will only sell if someone makes an offer in excess of 350 m  or the TV money bubble pops.  


nice to see some joviality on here 

at nufc we aint doin so bad come the end of the season i expect we will have seen some great games 

moved up the charts a bit got some new guys bedded in

a bit less hostile toward MA 

and a lot more tolerant of each others person called me an idiot  

2 Tone
2 Tone 5pts

'Moved up the charts a bit'. ? Please explain, peferably in English we can understand.

djarnot22031960 5pts

No real change in Newcastle's business tactics to quell the fans 

Declare interest in players the do nothing was Mitrovic a good deal in three matches 2 yellow and a red card seems like a player bound for regular suspensions (money wasted)

new midfielders look promising but no one to pass the ball forward to 

in this day and age the £15m price tag on Charlie Austin was probably a bargain worth trying for (probably better deal than £13m paid for a player to sit out under suspension)

MilitantGeordie 5pts

@djarnot22031960 Austin is out of conract next year so 15m is rediculous. QPR should have bitten Leicesters hand off when they offered 12m, QPR will kick themselves if they end up getting nowt for him. My gut feeling says they will drop the price tag massively in January since they expected a bidding war that failed to materialise. For once i agree with Ashley NOT spending money.

LeazesEnder 5pts

@MilitantGeordie @djarnot22031960 My gut feeling is QPR are mental, with nine months left on his contract they were never going to get  £15 million for a player valued at £8 million..... he obviously doesn't fancy Leicester and other clubs are being used only to create a bidding war.... there really only is United in for him at the moment.

The story....It filled the Chronicle for the entire summer but that's Ryder for you!

radgiegadgie 5pts

@djarnot22031960 I think that is overly pessimistic or at the very least premature.

All 4 signings look decent, Mitrovich will at some point learn how to control himself - probably sooner rather than later.

Last season we were saying Cisse would score, he just needs someone to pass it to him or be able to deliver via decent set pieces.

Regardless, this team is a million miles away from where it was under Carver and I would bet it would be had we made no signings.

We all wait - with bated breath -  though, whether we can turn these resilient draws/narrow defeats (twice with a man down) against top opposition into some wins against lesser teams.  It is nervy for sure but, unlike last year when a trouncing was a foregone conclusion especially in the derby.

Dogg1892 5pts

@radgiegadgie @djarnot22031960 I think the new signings look decent with the exception of Mitrovic. I cannot understand why Ashley sanctioned a 13m deal for a player who cost Anderlect less than four million only two years earlier. I like many others would have preferred Charlie Austin. Trouble is Ashley is buying players for future sell on values rather than their worth to the team at present. 

Andgeo 5pts

Mitrovic works hard for the team, he just needs to stay on the pitch to do that. Mariner and arsenal were a disgrace on Saturday, and not for the first time. Whe should all go rolling around in the emirates when we play them away.

radgiegadgie 5pts

I am another that does not agree.  That 50m is easily recouped with TV money.  This money is making average English clubs richer than all of Europe bar the elite clubs like Bayer, Real Madrid etc.

12m is the new 6m in respect to middle of the road PL club purchases.  I personally think that is what is causing a trend of a tighter PL.  The money Man utd and Chelsea have invested is not allowing them to steam roller clubs like they use to.

I agree with some of the other comments below:  Mash has been learning as he goes along but, his overriding objective has been a self sustaining, profitable club.

A few mistakes in terms of playing and non-playing staff has seen the latest incarnation of a relatively professional set up in Newcastle terms (the club has never been particularly professionally run even in more successful days) as well as a recognition that you can't get away with spine of 6m players anymore.

So, in a nutshell, he knows he needs to spend more on players these days and fortunately that is now compatible with a profitable club because of the TV money.

Once you get beyond that 10m mark is there really much difference unless you are talking about elite players.  Is this Martial guy really going to get to 20m more value than Mitrovich?

magpiefifer 5pts

DownUnder,let's hope it's not you 'having a moment', and that prospects are looking up.

Despite his apparent lack of football knowledge and turning to 'people he thought knew what they were doing' - my interpretation is one of pure cronyism and total lack of pragmatism when deciding on the likes of the unemployed Kinnear,Pardew etc.

I rate McClaren better than Pardew but still have doubts,and Charnley doesn't convince me either!When I look at clubs like Swansea and Southampton and see what they are able to do - with a much lower fan base/revenue stream - It shows what can be done, without being deluded!


ha ha ha well looking at it that way

i take it he loves his BUD better than MA .. for sure those darts will be fitted with rubber suckers no doubt so as not to burst his bubble

bless him hes a bit predictable


oh yea of no fkn faith at all ..give your venom a break ..put the bile to bed

i bet ye have ashley blow up dolls  that ye throw darts at 

get a life man move on from the dark pit your in ...ah suns shining just going fer a walk in fresh air

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

@WAYNEANDCATH1     It’s certainly an overriding obsession with him…writing about Ashley selling up, I mean…not throwing darts at his blow up dolls!!

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

@LeazesEnder         Why do you want everybody to be called Ed Harrison?…that’s what you called me last week…strange!!


nope i am glad to say 

but if it makes you happy you can address me any way you like 

can i take it the hunt is on for...

Ed Harrison there a prize or finders reward ???

2 Tone
2 Tone 5pts

Eh? Can you type in language please.

Jeff Dorritt
Jeff Dorritt 5pts

I think M.A. can still make a healthy profit from the club if he continues to invest but it has to be measured and he has to keep the club and the fans united. I think most fans would be happy if we were challenging for top six and trying to win domestic/europa cups. With all the TV money, sponsors, match day revenue etc. I believe both profit and the above could be achieved.

Roppa2 5pts

Your way off the mark. The interview was a PR stunt. No more no less. His net dealings this year is £39mill, having taken into account the Mbiba, Santon, Pardew and Kemen money. The profits reported in the last financial year were £39mil. To me that is balancing the books and no investment over and above that which the club generates itself.

Cashley will never sell as he needs St James park to promote his cheap, some say tacky,  sports shops of which , had we received the 'normal' income for the advertising, our transfer budget would be far greater.

Cashley has learnt two things' from the past. 1/ Cheap low cost players, will get you in trouble and potentially loose the free advertising for his shops and 2/ Players which we previously targeted but baulked at their cost, such as Boney, Lascette, etc were resold or are worth triple what he refused to pay at the time. So he has learnt that if you pay a bit more he will reap greater returns when he tells Charnley to sell the players and replace them with cheaper and younger versions.

At the moment the spirit in the team this season is far better and the coaching team has improved the defence significantly. But I fear this could be temporary and I await for the seasonal Taylor injury.  I am stunned that, having had the one of the worst defences for three seasons, we end up buying one defender who is 20years old. Thats asking for trouble.

radgiegadgie 5pts

@Roppa2 You forget the words of iron mike, he intends to be a "key player this season" so we will be fine.

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

This account makes no sense at all…it’s just pure speculation with nothing more than a large dollop of wishful thinking being used to back up your argument…

...every season since he bought the club you’ve rattled off similar articles spouting the same old sentiments, and now that he has invested some of the money that he’s been stashing over the years…

...and the PL/ TV bonanza increasing dramatically… it looks a lot less likely to happen now than in those previous years!!

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

@v0ices         I’m not your god, v0ices…I thought that was Snotts Toon!!

v0ices 5pts

@wor monga @v0ices and you are being funny too i have to ask did you bang your head do you need help?

DownUnderMag 5pts

The main issue revolves around Ashley not having any prior experience with football and as such has clearly been flying blind a lot of the time, unable to decide which direction is best for the club, for him personally and for his bank account.  In the absence of personal knowledge he turned to people he thought knew what they were doing but from his point of view has been let down too many times and has subsequently changed tack and went off in a completely different direction.

His latest foray into running the club realistically as he can without bankrolling an unsustainable spending spree, to achieve some moderate success, has in large been good to see but sadly far too late in the day after so long without investment.  The club has slipped too far back for a few moderately promising signings to make us a competitive force overnight, but the signs are there of a recovery of sorts.  

Hopefully the people he has now chosen to have around him and to run the inner workings of the club will be much better and we will have no more of the past Kinnear, Wise or Pardew moments.  So far McClaren is showing good signs of changing things around and the signings in large are looking very good (we just need to lace Mitrovic's powerade with some tamazepam before sending him out).  Let's hope we continue the upward spiral and maybe, just maybe, someday Ashley will finally achieve some success here other than just profit margin and can win his favour back in the eyes of so many fans.  

Or perhaps i'm just having a overly optimistic moment...

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

@DownUnderMag         No I don’t think you’re being overly optimistic…the mood at the club is changing, and the supporters can sense it…were seeing some fight, and a better work ethic for the shirt at long last, possibly a bit too much in Mitrovic’s case though!!.

...It’ll come together we always knew the first few games were going to be tough for us, and a lot tougher with a new set-up, new players, and some old ones who hardly ever got on the field…

... even harder again with only 10men on the field twice, one for innocuous offences and the other because the referee had allowed himself to be conned by Wenger!!

NUFC9 5pts

It should be possible for the owner of NUFC, be it Ashley or someone else, to run the club successfully and buy the necessary players without having to invest their own private cash.  How many clubs in the PL are capable of generating the income we can?  Simply reinvesting the money the club generates (and not depriving it of commercial revenue) should/would put us on a very solid footing.

Greg Codling
Greg Codling 5pts

Well, I don't think he is doing a bad job now

magpiefifer 5pts

Leazes - we've had Ashley not knowing what he's doing for 8 years!!!

Hughie 5pts

He told us very recently that he was here until we won something. He has no intention of selling.

Greg Codling
Greg Codling 5pts

He ain't leaving, he has spent loads and will want to win something.

Billy Goat
Billy Goat 5pts

We've always known he's eventually going to sell he's realised at long last he's made huge mistakes, that's why he now wants to put the club in a position to be attractive to potential buyers. This way he gets the best financial deal for Mike Ashley PLC. when? is the question possibly if things settle down at the end of this or next season ? but more importantly who to ?????

LeazesEnder 5pts

I get the feeling that Ashley doesn't know what the hell he's doing

magpiefifer 5pts

I do hope you're right Wiz!

There'll be some celebrations when that day comes!!!

Michael Teasdale
Michael Teasdale 5pts

How does his legal action against a fan group who have sold a paltry five hundred shirts factor into your theory?

desree 5pts

good opinion piece Wiz. you make a lot of sense, I think you might be right, the time to get out may be now, if he can get a multiple of 7 on ebit (possible with the EPL tv deal) he might just sell.

I'm sure we'll p!ss and moan at the next owners, I have some mates who are chelsea fans, they romanticise about ken bates and slag off abramovich!

Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly 5pts

the only thing that will come close to the feeling when thatcher kicked the bucket!