Saturday 25 February 2012 3pm

Newcastle United  2 (Cisse 6, Gutierrez 16)
Wolves 2

It is always easy to read certain things into a match after the ninety minutes is over but the simple fact is that Newcastle were two up after 16 minutes yet didn’t win the game.

I’ll be interested to see the possession figures overall but even in that opening sixteen minute period I wouldn’t put money on United being ahead in the keep ball stakes.

Nevertheless, both goals were classics of their kind, the first coming after great closing down by Cabaye saw him win the ball on the right and his low cross met with a clever flick by Ba that Hennessey did well to keep out. The ball was only cleared to the edge of the box where Tiote was first to it and our latest number nine supplied the instinctive finish.

Ten minutes later Jonas made it five goals in the Premier League with three of them against Wolves!

The ball cleared out to the left where Gutierrez hit a rocket from twenty five yards into the top corner. As always when he scores a goal they are screamers and we are left asking, why doesn’t he score these more often…..

Curiously Newcastle still didn’t really stamp their authority on the game, seemingly happy to soak up the Wolves pressure, though having said that United looked dangerous whenever they roused themselves.

The first half meandered to a more than satisfactory conclusion as the only real scare was a Doyle header that flashed wide.

Five minutes into the second period and Wolves fluked one, Jarvis shot from wide and a wicked deflection looped it over Krul. Though you would still have to question why Simpson wasn’t closer to Jarvis as he shot/crossed.

Twenty five minutes left and Alan Pardew was waiting to make a double substitution, they’d been waiting a couple of minutes and then play stopped for a dubious free-kick out on our left. Ben Arfa and Guthrie replaced Ryan Taylor and Cissé, ball swung over…scramble…bundled in.

Many footballing sayings don’t make sense but I think the one about not making changes when you are defending a set-piece is more than valid. A rare black mark for the manager.

Shola eventually replaced Tiote as Newcastle tried to force a win but the final whistle brought frustration to manager, players and fans – exactly why some were booing (fans!) is beyond me.

Conclusions? Clearly it is going to take time before we get the very best out of the Ba/Cissé partnership though as today showed it is unlikely to stop them scoring goals in the meantime, even if they aren’t an instant perfect fit in the team.

Williamson continues to be a bundle of nerves, especially on the ball, while the right-hand side is maybe our achilles heel.

On the left the Santon/Jonas combo is looking at least every bit as effective as the one with Jose Enrique, both defending and attacking they look quality. In fact they are our best (only at times?) threat to the other team, while it is ominous how often the opposition are targeting the other flank.

Simpson is looking more and more exposed and how much that is down to not having an obvious player to play in front of him is open to question. For me Santon was easily our best player today and in the harsh light of a defeat ( for that is what it feels like) you have to look at whether Simpson & Ryan Taylor are in the same league as Jonas & Santon, I think the answer you are looking for is NO!

I’m a big fan of Ben Arfa and less so of Guthrie but felt sorry for both as they stepped on the field and instantly were under pressure as Wolves equalised, both then were trying to force the pass or the run and failed in both.

I hope the boo boys stay at home next Sunday because we need everybody pulling together if we want to make sure the season gets back on track against you know who.


Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon, Ryan Taylor (Danny Guthrie 65), Cheick Tiote (Shola Ameobi 80), Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cissé (Hatem Ben Arfa 65), Demba Ba

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wayne Hennessey, Ronald Zubar, Christophe Berra, Richard Stearman, Stephen Ward (c), Kevin Foley (Nenad Milijas 90), Karl Henry, David Edwards, Jamie O’Hara (Michael Kightly 70), Matt Jarvis (Stephen Hunt 85), Kevin Doyle

Subs not used: Dorus De Vries, Jody Craddock, Roger Johnson, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

Referee: Peter Walton

Attendance: 52,287 (1550 Visitors)

  • Horsey

    I think the difference today was they wanted it and we thought we just had to turn up, probably compounded by being 2-0 up so early.

    I agree Santon and Jonas were our best performers.  I couldn’t single anyone else out as being poor (other than the ref who ignored all the shirt pulling and blatant body checking) as in my opinion everyone else was equally poor. we got what we deserved today and I’m just glad we managed to hang on for a point.

    The booing was not good and no doubt some were happy that Shola came on so they could blame him for the result.

    I can only hope they are saving their effort for next Sunday!!

  • Gordonthemag

    the booing was disgraceful. This is a team over achieving in terms of where we are this season. There are no easy games in the division and this match proved it. I thought we were poor all game and did not deserve to be 2 up. Nevertheless it is very disappointing not to win form that position in spite of the spirit and effort of our opponents. Our defence is the problem and the number of goals conceded since Stephen Taylor was injured tells its own story

  • Dave469fun

    First half we were cruising to an easy victory, we were pressing them and forcing them into basic mistakes helping ourselves to two goals in the process. Then half time happened! They come out looking like they had a purpose and we come out looking like we’d forgotten all of the basics we did so well in the first, add to that an ill timed substitution (sorry Alan you but have to take the blame for that one) and there we have it, Wolves are level. 

    A game of two halves is the most apt description of what I witnessed today, with Wolves doing to us in the second half exactly what we did to them in the first half.

    Now I’m gonna have a rantAs for the boo boys, show some respect to the true fans who turn up week in week out to support the team! After all you’re probably the same people who were jumping around shouting and singing when the same players took Man Utd apart. You’ve got to learn to take the rough with the smooth and not play into the hands of the Manc/London based press who just love mentioning those “fickle Geordies who live above their station.” Get it?

  • Froldinio del fartio

    Pretty much got what we deserved, two nil up at half time but not playing that well, way too many sloppy passes and wrong decisions. Second half we never got going – but be positive, still got a point – we would have lost this game a few years back. As for the boo boys, have a look at the league table and if Newcastle aren’t high enough for you go find another team more deserving of your “support”.

  • Mal

    I think this game illustrated that we are still very much a team ‘in progress’ and there are improvements to be made, but this doesn’t happen overnight. We are in a league table position that no-one predicted before the season started and is due to our unbelievable start when we got 25 ponts from our first 11 games. Since then we have achieved 18 points from 15 games and, as someone points out, we have missed Stephen Taylor a lot. The reason we have missed him so much is that the powers that be (not Pardew) haven’t addressed the glaring weakness that has been there for all to see for the last 12 months, but hopefully that will finally happen in the summer. We are moving in the right direction though and we shouldn’t forget that.
    In the meantime we have to stay behind the team as we still have a very good chance of finishing in the top 6 and the others around us will drop points – a win next week will do our chances no harm.
    As for the boo boys – not true supporters. Obviously they haven’t been around that long if they think this is failure.

  • Example

    We can’t lose leads like this if we are wanting to play in Europe.