Newcastle United v Swansea – Match Report
I guess that for a neutral today was probably not a bad match to watch…shame we aren’t neutrals.
With each passing match, the team looks more and more predictable;
Never even look like scoring from a set-piece.
No real belief when most players have a shot.
Ponderous team play with little or no imagination.
When opposition break, just how slow are we as a team to get back?
Having said all that, we looked like we could get the first goal in the opening half, though the opposition did as well.
Always tightly marked, the way he twists and turns, throwing the opposition off balance, is a joy to see. His shooting was a bit wayward but some of the balls he put into the box were begging to be finished but the margins were just against us.
Their keeper, Tremmel, made some decent saves but once again it looks like only Demba Ba has real belief he is going to score.
Thanks to a few key injuries and a disastrous summer transfer window, the squad, never mind the team, picked itself. With Coloccini suspended it was almost comical when it was announced Cisse was also not available with a war of words between Senegal and Newcastle as to who was to blame. God knows where the fault lay but FIFA sided with Senegal…
I looked at our bench before kick-off and thought we were in big trouble if we didn’t get the first goal.
We didn’t and that was despite a positive start to the second half with Shola joining Ba up front and Sammy Ameobi filling in for the substituted Ferguson on the left.
Anita and Ba went close but it was the visitors who took the lead as the hour mark approached. A quick break had already caught United out when Shechter shot over with the goal at his mercy before Krul made another excellent save.
By the end of the match we were truly all over the pitch and Alan Pardew was basically switching things round hoping against hope he would get something from what he had at his disposal.
Players like Ben Arfa are head and shoulders above some of their teammates and one devastating run saw him drive at the heart of the Swansea defence, before releasing Shola inside the box for a simple cut back that would surely bring an equaliser…instead Shola scuffed his low cross and it was easily cleared.
While Ben Arfa was star of the (losing side of the) show, others such as Santon, Tiote, Steven Taylor and (his kicking excepted) Krul are also well ahead of the level of others.
Other teams are targeting our weaknesses and rush Krul because they know we are now incapable of building from the back, allow Williamson to have the ball in space because they know he is a liability when he has it, then we have younger players who are very likely not up to the job but aren’t being done any favours by getting chucked into the action.
In comparison Swansea were slick and disciplined and a fair score could have been something like 4-2 to the visitors as they were better overall but Newcastle did deserve some consolation, if nothing more.
The killer second came with a few minutes left and Krul could only parry a close in shot before De Guzman knocked in the rebound.
In injury time Newcastle at last forced one over the line.
It kind of summed up our day/team; a brilliant run in from the left by Ben Arfa eventually fed Marveaux who managed to lift it against the bar from six yards but Ba was still sharp enough to get the highest and knock it in. Our most creative player creating and our most likely (only?) goalscorer putting it in.
Can we pull out of this lack of belief and imagination?
I’d like to think so but it depends on getting our big hitters back on the pitch because the fringe players are looking severely lacking.
Newcastle United: Krul, Simpson (Bigirimana 74), Williamson, Steven Taylor, Santon, Ben arfa, Tiote, Anita, Ferguson (Shola 46), Sammy Ameobi (Marveaux 80), Ba
Unused Subs: Elliot, Tavernier, Abeid, Amalfitano
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Monk, Williams, Davies, Dyer (Routledge 62), De Guzman, Britton, Hernandez, Shechter (Agustien 66), Michu (Graham 82)
Ref: Phil Dowd
Crowd: 49,403 (1,000 Away Fans)
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