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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Ray Mills
Ray Mills 5pts

He's done himself proud And apparently shows his authority in dressing room when we've been woeful (many times). And not scared to dish stick Oot to so called 'seniour pros'. Good on u son. #cares

GORDO1674 5pts

A well thoughtout and factual based article on Elliott. It's fair to say he has grasped a great opportunity.

Krul, has like a few at the club recently, become complacent which was plain to see from the stands.

Elliott although hardly your athletic goalkeeper mould....( remember the 1st class Neville Southall ) is a great shot stopper and is improving game by game.

In my opinion he was given a chance through someone's else's misfortune and he has taken it big style.

Krul has much work to do when fit again to get the jersey back.

Morpeth mag
Morpeth mag 5pts

IMO he has been our player of the season, his standards have been the same in every game, I wasn't a fan of his, but he has changed my mind, his distribution is far better than Kruls (who's kicking is abysmal and he always takes too long to release the ball after catching it, giving the the opposition the opportunity to get there shape back), in fact I'm starting to prefer him to Krul, if only he had a strong defence in front of him,,,,

amacdee 5pts

Good read Jonathan, never was an Elliot fan but this latest stint between the sticks has changed my opinion. I also agree he's a talker and there is the faint possibility of him taking over the captaincy next season when Colo finally leaves ? Ironically Fattie sacked all the voluble players in the dressing room hopefully he now realises they're an important part of any team ?

1957 5pts

He has earned the right to be first choice and when TK is fit again he will have to wait for his chance IMO.

Personally I was never comfortable with him in goal previously, he looked overweight, slow to react and indecisive. I don't know what has changed for him, but I suspect the departure Woodman may have something to do with it. He is clearly a leader in the team now and has spoken with the press more than Colo has in his whole NUFC career.

Philippines 5pts

The unfortunate thing about being the 'reserve' goalie is that you can be World class player but understudy to "World class plus 1%". Take Steve Harper…. I never had any qualms when he was in goal. I always thought that if Steve had got more playing time he could have got an England call up. He was a great servant to NUFC.

Greg Codling
Greg Codling 5pts

I say play till he loses form, revolve, do the same with Tim

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

A good article…Elliot has always been a first class professional at the club, who waited for the opportunity, and when it happened went on to prove his quality. 

...Now when Tim gets back he won’t expect to be the automatic first choice again, but will have to wait for an opportunity to take the jersey back…and that’s a healthy situation for the club!!

MrDolf 5pts

It's terrifying to think where we'd be without this guy's contribution this season, gives his all. I wish we could put his SIM card in some of the others.

Regarding the injury, I noticed he seemed reluctant to kick long on Saturday, preferring to play it out to a defender. Hopefully our forthcoming enforced break will help with any healing needed

amacdee 5pts

@MrDolf We'd be at least three points worse off for sure.