SholaAmeobi23Saturday 22 December 3pm
Newcastle United 1 (Shola 81)
Queens Park Rangers 0
Watch Match Highlights Here

A crowd of over fifty thousand who stayed with the team throughout, might just have saved our season.

Amazingly, today’s crowd was more than when we played Manchester City last week, particularly surprising considering that QPR brought only 922 hardy souls.

Anybody who’d looked at the weather forecast, or just glanced out of the window, would have seen little to convince them that they should turn up and pay on the door.

Just maybe it will be one of those moments when you can say I was there, when Newcastle got a vital win that set them on the path to better things.

What is clear is that Shola’s winner has almost certainly saved us from the possibility of seeing the new year in as a bottom three team and all the statistics associated with teams who have gone into the new year in the relegation zone and where they end up.

The mackems winning at Southampton might turn out to be not the worst result in the end but if that had been combined with less than three points for Newcastle, then the combination could potentially have been fatal in terms of morale.

KITBAG_SALEThe effort was once more there and the approach play ok but the final ball into the box is yet again abysmal. Jonas cannot cross the ball and he is seemingly not alone, it was little surprise then that our most creative player, Davide Santon was behind the winner.

His mazy run from left back carried him some sixty yards diagonally across the pitch and he fed Perch, who had a a simple ball on to Shola on his right, who stepped inside and coolly curled it left-footed past Green. Relief.

Rangers were abysmal and the least adventurous visiting team we’ve seen, seemingly wasting time from the first minute.

Maybe we should be grateful because their lack of enterprise meant they created not one decent chance and gave United only their third clean sheet of the season. As we know, if we had gone behind then we aren’t going to win.

The first half saw corners and free-kicks created but all wasted, Demba Ba has scored the odd stunner from deadball situations but was high, wide and handsome today. In open play he cut a lonely figure as United basically played a 4-5-1 to match the visitors, Jonas and Cisse deep on the flanks.

As the match wore on, the grim faces matched the weather and with creative options looking once again very limited on the bench it looked as though we were relying on what we saw in front of us.

Cisse had done ok in his less than best right midfield role and his departure wasn’t welcomed as Alan Pardew shuffled his thin pack. Shola was welcomed though onto the pitch, as Obertan also replaced Gutierrez.

SJP4United then straight away went to two up top and Cisse quite rightly will be wondering why they couldn’t have done that when he was on the pitch. The 4-4-2 though saw Obertan end up on the left and Anita on the right, with seemingly little initial improvement in our play.

There was though a bit of an old fashioned lift from the crowd with just over ten minutes left and maybe that lift helped as Santon surged across the pitch and helped create our moment of the match.

Marveaux had also joined the fray, in place of the yellow carded Tiote who now misses Old Trafford.

The goal led to a final charge from the visitors but that only led to at last some room for Newcastle to play in, Obertan looking decent on his return and Marveaux seeing his shot well saved by Green.

It might not be quite ‘United Are Back’ but it could be United back from the dead and a bit of confidence to use this result to start looking up over the next half a dozen league matches. Extra quality in the transfer window is an essential, today proved that sheer effort alone can only give us so much on the pitch.

Newcastle United: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (Marveaux 77), Anita, Cisse (Shola 61), Ba, Gutierrez (Obertan 61)
Unused Subs: Harper, Ferguson, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi

Queens Park Rangers: Green, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Da Silva, Granero (Wright-Phillips 56), Mbia, Faurlin (Derry 79), Mackie, Cisse (Hoilett 64), Taarabt

Ref: Kevin Friend

Crowd: 50,180 (922 Away fans)

Buy a Gift Subscription to our magazine – the ideal present, as part of the package we can email a Gift letter (on request) to you that can then be handed to the lucky recipient, offer available right up to Christmas Eve.


NottsToon 5pts

Not gonna happen, shops shut.

nufcmag777 5pts

The questions we have to ask is.

1)Do we need a premiership striker who can score goals-Yes

2)Have we got cover if/when Mitrovich gets injured-No

3)Will Austin be an improvement in our squad-Yes

4)Can we gamble on our current strikers keeping us up-No

5)Should we pay £15mill in order to increase our chances of premiership survival and the £100 mill tv deal-yes

People will agree & disagree with my feelings but this is what i feel & i believe Austin would cause havoc alongside Mitrovich.

NottsToon 5pts

How do you know this? Do you have a source or are you on the sauce?

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin 5pts

@nufcmag777 I'd love to watch you spend your own money, do you negotiate when you buy a car, house?

We have taken a watching brief with Austin, QPR are struggling financially and frankly worried that they cannot afford his wage and need the money, they HAVE to sell.  No one is willing to pay £15m and only NUFC are really serious. We are likely to put a one and only offer bid with the player now willing to come and when QPR realise that it is the only bid they are going to receive they will cave in and accept.

The spanner is Wham are thought to be offering a player cash deal as they are now short on strikers after Enner Valencia's injury.

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin 5pts

@NottsToon I'm not going to claim I'm in the know, there are enough of them. In answer, I'm usually on the sauce. 

DownUnderMag 5pts

One good season....that is all people.  Yes he was in a poor side and still managed goals, but would he suit the style McClaren wants to play?  Would he fit in with the rest of the squad?  Would he be willing to join us without wanting silly money??  Is he really worth £15m??  There are a lot of questions around his value and in particular whether he would make a difference.  People assuming one good season means he is now our answer to everything need to look no further than Torres and how he flopped when put into a new team with high expectations and having to fit in to a new style of play. We have much higher priorities than another striker right now...if we get the rest of the side in order then maybe we can think about another striker!

dude 1
dude 1 5pts

Austin I wunder if he can play centre half ? Because that's what we need first and foremost when building a new team most managers start from the back and then midfield making sure your spin of the team is strong, us it's wingers,midfielders,forwards, Mcdoughnut thinks we have good defenders let's not hope I am wrong and we have a centre half coming in before next weekend

NUFC9 5pts

Just out of interest, what do people think Austin would be worth if he wasn't in the final year of his contract?

Good lower league record.  One good PL season. Age 26.  Current club relegated and need to sell.

I'm not sure QPR could expect to get massively more than they are asking now.

NUFC9 5pts

Brinkmanship.  Clubs probably waiting for QPR to blink first.  They have big FFP problems and fines and need to balance the books.  If they don't sell him this month, he'll be worth relative peanuts in Jan with 5 months left on his contract.

Also, if any club did make a serious bid at this stage QPR would possibly stall on the deal hoping to start a bidding war with 4 weeks of the window still to go.  I see someone snapping him up in the last minute when QPR get desperate.

1957 5pts

No board or owner has allowed their club to go for Austin at £15m, not just Ashley. QPR will not get that money for him until/unless desperation sets in for a club at the end of the transfer window.

He isn't as far as I can see in demand with top teams, so is it just the fee or is there something about Charlie football clubs know we don't.

Geordie Zebra
Geordie Zebra 5pts

Think it's the fee related to 1 year left on his contract. Various clubs are trying not to blink and one will win (west ham possibly) and others (us inevitably) will 'not get him over the line'. How familiar.

If we want him and presume he'll do better than what we have, then pay the cash. If we don't, then say so now and publicly move onto that big centre half we require.

I think he'd be a hero up here, but if it is about the cash, I'd rather pay £15m now and get some points in August than pay £13.5m at last knockings and have only scored the odd consolation. Never easy with us lot.