TK0003_Tim_Krul_Newcastle_United_NUFCThursday 14 February 8.05pm
Newcastle United 0
FC Metalist Kharkiv 0

Newcastle United extended their unbeaten run in European (non-Intertoto) home matches to 23 on Thursday night but it could and should have been so much better.

A combination of crucial decisions going against us from the match officials and wasteful finishing, meant Newcastle take their chance in the Ukraine next week with no advantage.

The visitors looked dangerous with swift and skillful counter-attacks but Papiss Cisse alone could have had four or five goals on another day.You could argue that at least he made the keeper work but such were the quality of chances that he should have really done better. Firstly, Yohan Cabaye released him with a defence splitting through ball and though Cisse kept the chasing defender at bay, his shot was straight at the keeper. Then in the last seconds he made good connection with his head to a spinning ball but once again could only direct it at the keeper, in between these two golden chances we’d seen Papiss also pass up a couple of half chances as the ball buzzed around the Metalist box.

Cisse did get the ball in the net twice but the linesmen denied him. Replays showed a first time through ball set Sissoko away in an onside position with Cisse converting, only for a disbelieving Newcastle team to see the official’s flag.

Second half and once again a low cross, this time from Mapou, was turned in by Cisse and while TV replays suggested Cisse may have been offside, it was literally by an inch or two and impossible for the human eye to gauge. The official getting it right but only by guesswork, unlucky.

Layout 1Speaking to people after the match, the viewpoint appeared to revolve around how decent supporters though FC Metalist were.

I was in the camp that thought Newcastle had done well against a talented opposition, while others thought United were simply not on top of their game enough.

One thing I did think was that Obertan stood out like a sore thumb as being below the level of his teammates, harsh but true. Yet again he gets a game and then when he gets into an attacking position, he doesn’t take responsibility and passes the ball/buck to Davide Santon to try and create something.

The whole match was played in a kind of stop/start fashion as both teams attacked in their different ways. Five bookings for Newcastle disrupted our flow and it was left to players like Jonas to come into his own as he showed good ball retention and chased back to cover his defence. Speaking of defence, Tim Krul may not have had loads to do but he made some fine saves and just generally has that assured air that makes you think he won’t be beaten, if given decent protection.

Not the best, or worst, day in Newcastle’s European history but a mountain to climb in the Ukraine.

One thing is for sure and that is Newcastle won’t field as strong a team with the Southampton match in mind, which should spell curtains for United, or will it?

Newcastle United: Krul, Mapou, Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote (Shola 79mins), Cabaye, Obertan, (Marveaux 62mins), Sissoko, Gutierrez, Cisse

Unused Subs: Elliot, Simpson, Perch, Haidara, Anita

FC Metalist Kharkiv: Goryainov, Villagra, Gueye, Torsiglieri, Fininho, Edmar, Torres, Marlos (Willian 73mins), Xavier, Sosa, Cristaldo (Jaja 82mins)

Ref: Tom Harald Hagen (Norway)

Crowd: 30,167

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Brown Bottle
Brown Bottle

In one of his earliest interviews he mentioned how much he was looking forward to playing for the N.U.F.C. over the next couple of years. Yes he did. He said the next 2 years. 

Of course the fact he's made of glass has delayed the timetable one year minimum. 

The inference being of course that, although he'd just signed a 5 year contract but was quoted saying the next 2 seasons, kinda let the cat out of the bag for those still in denial. Everyday confirmation of the club's preparedness to sell on anyone that wants to leave and there's a decent wedge on the table. Not only are we ambition free we're also reduced to stepping - stone status.

So for the glassman to now plead a case for not selling our best players, nothing to do with returning to full fitness, with a pre-season under his belt, so he has some decent players around him as opposed to strutting his stuff with the deadbeats in this squad, must fill him with a fearsome sense of dread. Join the club bonny lad.

The irony, the horror, the dashed ambition. Hoping his boss will refuse cash for a lump of meat kicking a ball is, at best, naive.

Progress ? Here ?


It will be a great day when the fans of this club can dream of "pushing forward" rather than just having to be content to stagnate or even go backwards as long as the club remains in the premiership and raking in the huge TV cash cow!

Jarra MIck
Jarra MIck

No sh*t Sherlock! Why doesn't he keep his stupid Dutch mush shut till he actually contributes something to the team instead of just collecting his humongous wages and spouting inane drivel. Makes me sick.

toon tony
toon tony

He hasn't read the NUFC script has he. !!!!

No Brainer
No Brainer

No club would buy newcastle's best players as they never play many games injured suspended blah blah.


@No Brainer Aye, we should keep on signing players with one good lung and let go of youngsters who within a month or two are called up for international duty. Muppet.

This Club is riddled with ineptitude from the fat man down to the coaching staff. 


Ashley says "oh yes we can".