SholaAmeobiSQ30Saturday 5 January 12.30pm
Brighton 2
Newcastle United 0

Total rubbish.

Shola’s double booking and sending off might have been laughable but that is also a word to perfectly sum up the performance.

The first half was tedious and with neither side really threatening, it was a surprise when the goal actually came. A low cross from our right was met by Brighton’s Orlandi with his back to goal but Williamson didn’t get tight enough and the player half turned and hooked the ball beyond Elliot.

Any hint of fightback was hard to find and half-time saw Ranger and Dummett on for Abeid and Perch, Santon moving to right-back with Dummett going to left. Ranger allegedly joining the attack.

A soft booking for Shola two minutes into the second-half was followed on the hour mark by another, with the Brighton player theatrically rolling over four times. It didn’t really change the game for better or worse as Brighton continued to look the better team, which didn’t take much.

Marveaux replaced the embarrassing Obertan with twenty minutes left and gradually Newcastle looked a little more of a threat, though it was only thanks to a number of long range free-kicks that Krul punted into the box which produced a few possible situations.

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The home keeper still wasn’t tested though and then with five minutes left it was Williamson again to blame, getting the wrong side of his man and a simple through ball was finished off through Elliot’s legs by Hoskins.

I can’t claim that anybody played well but I could have guessed beforehand who could be guaranteed to have been least worst. Sure enough Anita and Bigirimana worked tirelessly but when you have the likes of Sammy Ameobi and Obertan offering so little and frequently giving the ball away, it is an impossible situation.

While he was on the pitch Shola reminded us how limited he is when asked to play from the start and while the likes of Dummett and Tavernier battled away, they aren’t any kind of an answer to this season’s, or probably any other’s, shortcomings.

Santon’s frustrations were there for all to see and he should really have been booked when kicking the ball away but for once a bit of leniency was shown to somebody in black & white (maroon) by a ref, the Italian full-back didn’t stop trying and did ok but his obvious talent is in danger of being driven from this club if the quality of his teammates doesn’t improve.

Two words sum up our current position, one of them is Nile and the other is Ranger. A player with little ability and far less heart, I’m embarrassed he is even still at the club never mind getting on the pitch. Leon Best was poor to average but as it stands now, if he was still here he’d be our number one striker if anything happens to Papiss Cisse.

Under Mike Ashley we’ve never gone beyond the 4th round of the FA Cup, is that another strand of his ‘five year plan’?

Brighton: Ankergren, Lopez, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Hammond (Crofts 82), Bridcutt, Dicker, Orlandi (LuaLua 60), Mackail-Smith (Hoskins 70), Barnes

Newcastle United: Elliot, Tavernier, Williamson, Perch (Dummett 46), Santon, Bigirimana, Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Abeid (Ranger 46), Obertan (Marveaux 70), Shola

Unused Subs: Krul, Ferguson, Amalfitano, Campbell

Ref: Lee Probert

Crowd: 21,740

  • Little Plum

    We are involved in a desperate relegation fight. It has come about by a failure to improve our squad in previous transfer windows. To be honest I am not confident that we will sign anyone else after Debuchy. A cup run will stretch our already paper thin squad even further. Do we need that? I am devastated at the loss, but relegation would be MUCH worse. Win the next 3 games and I will not be half as gutted as I am now.

    • BigJB147

      We won’t be signing anyone else unless we sell another player – remember ‘nil capital outlay’? If, and it’s a big IF, we stay up in 17th, Ashley will view it as a successful season; more TV revenue and more likely to sell a few of our bigger names in the summer and replace them with unproven youngsters or journeymen squad players. Also Xisco and Harper will be gone in the summer saving another £70k p/w off the wage bill.

  • Hello

    If only it were Krul playing…

  • Brontosaurus

    Glad we got out of that one early, Shola suspended for 1(?) match for 2 soft fouls, not as bad as Cabaye missing 3 for falling over.

    Pardew should’ve given Campbell a run out, needs to get regular first team football even if it’s 20 minutes at the end of games that are already won (or lost) but instead is being wasted.

    A new striker and a new manager are needed.

  • East Stand Al

    The next three games will decide our fate. Anything less than 5 points(really should be either 7 or 9) will be a total disaster with relegation staring us firmly in the face.
    Today’s result and more importantly performance has shown the short shortsightedness of the clubs transfer policy. It is a sad state of affairs when the likes of Williamson and Obertan are anywhere near our first time squad. Personally if we weren’t so short of numbers they should have been out the door on January 2nd.
    Anyway like others i fear that the owners will once again gamble with the clubs future and bring in very little else hoping that what we have is good enough.Today shows that while the first 11 is up to scratch the squad is not

  • Lintonlad

    In truth, in that eleven only Santon could be considered a first team player, but the rest (Anita apart) weren’t even Championship class. On that showing, I would happily swop Ranger and Sami for Lua-Lua. Would Gus Poyet have any of our lot in his team? I doubt it.

    • Graeme

      Bigi played well in my opinion, pity no one else shared his work rate

      • Lintonlad

        I agree, Graeme – Anita did his best too. However, were they better than their counterparts in the midfield of lowly Championship Brighton? The B&HA defenders, Greer and El-Abd, were hardly troubled all game – perhaps Ash should buy them instead of continental defenders, who traditionally need a season to settle? They’d be at least as good as Williamson.

  • Mal

    Yesterday was quite honestly an embarrasement and even in our darkest days I’ve rarely been in an away end that was so disillusioned with the way we played. If we were taking this game seriously why wasn’t marveaux selected and goodness knows what was in the manager’s thinking when he selected Shola to play on his own up front – he was captain as well though you wouldn’t think it the (lack of) effort he put in. It says it all that we actually looked better with 10 men. Do the owner and manager realise that, now Ba has gone, we need 2 strikers to come in? – I doubt it.
    I think supporters who made the trip deserve an apology and Pardew should understand that, no matter what the circumstances, there is no way that Nile Ranger should ever step out for our first eleven. Cambell should have been brought on.
    The only positives I thought were that Bigi and Anita ran themselves into the ground (but sadly were on their own), Elliott has shown he’s a capable keeper and I thought Dummett did well when he came on. There isn’t enough space to write about all of the negatives although, despite the comments from so many of us, I can’t quite believe that it was still the case that EVERY free kick was played up to Williamson’s head – what do messrs Pardew, Carver, Stone and Beardsley do on the training ground during the week. Serious questions need to be asked.