Newcastle Match Report

From an attacking viewpoint Cole and Ashton combined rather well yesterday, but defensively we were a shambles, with Lucas Neill and Anton Ferdinand the main culprits. Overall I thought we played reasonably well, but with Etherington playing his vanishing act again and the lack of a right winger to get crosses in Cole and Ashton did well to fashion as many chances as they did. I don’t think anyone should get too depressed over this defeat, but I am beginning to wonder if James Collins might be a better partner for Upson than Anton. Your views?

Green 7 Couldn’t be blamed for the goals
Neill 5 All over the place for two of the goals
McCartney 7 Some good attacking play
Upson 7 Fairly solid
Ferdinand 5 To blame for the opening goal
Noble 8 Again, man of the match
Mullins 7 Solid
Etherington 5 Anonymous
Bowyer 7 Should have had a goal
Cole 7 Great in the air
Ashton 7 Really getting back into form
Curbishley 7 Subs used well, but perhaps Freddie should have been on from the start to give more width


28 Responses to Newcastle Match Report

  1. jon l.colney says:

    Neil hasnt looked good in a few games this season,bit worrying i be for anton,i think hes on borrowed time for that role as no1.ginge and gabbs must be in line and as for ashton for england … fa gods sake someone say no! weve only just got him back ! we have enough bods in the treatment room thank you england!

  2. Nick Clark says:

    As an NUFC season ticket holder I always enjoy reading our opponent’s take on things. I thought yesterday’s game was a very enjoyable one with little to choose between two emerging sides. I thought the Hammers shaded the first and we, the second.

    From your point of view, i was well impressed with Ashton. I always felt we should have had a bash at him years ago.

    Any, best of luck.


  3. kevin mousley says:

    As a mid-table side, for the moment at least , we can reckon on losing eight to ten games this season and I’m afraid ‘Newcastle away’ always had home banker written all over it . That said, the wins against Reading and Middlesborough could easily have gone the other way if the opposition strikers had had their scoring boots on. Our defense gave up several opportunities and against a team with decent strikers we awere always liable to suffer. Upson; good but slow, Ferdinand; pacey but inconsistent. I’m no real expert in these matters but I believe Collins is our stopper-in-form at present, plus he likes to get forward and score. perhaps Curbs should give him a break and build the defence around him for a few games to see what gives. I don’t want to tempt fate but Upson does seem to get injured a lot.

  4. supernumbersix says:

    Our defending was poor. Neill looked like he was playing in a different time zone ie he is STILL jet lagged, Ferdinand had no urgency and again lost concentration, my mum can’t tackle as well as Upson, but she can certainly run faster, (8 mill was it ? Do me a favour) for me Mcartney was the only one in the defence that played anywhere near his best and even he ran into blind alleys, which is more to do with trying to find Etherington who didn’t seem to want to be found.
    If it doesn’t get sorted this week, I fear we are looking at a thrashing by the in-form gooners and a banana skin slip up on Wednesday, because after the last two performances from this defence, (we were lucky against ‘Boro) Plymouth will be thinking we are there for the taking.

    On the plus side(!) I thought Cole did well when the ball didn’t go to his feet. Ashton is our best player at the moment (I hope no one comes in for him in January) although I would still try Camara with Ashtonand.

  5. aphammer says:

    I worry about Collins and Upson in the middle. We will then lack pace and forwards will get behind us all the time. Maybe try Danny with Collins/Upson. Ferdinand was to blame for the first goal only because of his good pace and covering of Neil.

  6. west ham johnny says:

    i’m sure curbs will change things around for the cup game and give certain players a chance to earn a spot. i’m sure gabbs, parker, camara and ljungberg will all start against plymouth. gabbs would be perfect with upson at the back. now we’ve lost a game parker will come in for mullins and i think he might play ljungberg instead of bowyer. also if bellemys not fit for saturday i’d like to see camara upfront with ashton on wednesday to tryand strike up some sort of partnership. anyway as for the result yesterday i dont think we were that bad from midfield to forwards just a bad defensive display cost us so hopefuly curbs can sort it in time for arsenal next week. irons, irons, irons

  7. Prince H says:

    Upson 7 ? Well if you get a seven that’s allright then? I think you have to ask Upson for much, much more, on their second he has to mark his man in the box and go much closer on Viduka, and he was nowhere to be seen on their third….
    Hope Collins and Gabbs will show Curbs what they can this week…

  8. Rooster says:

    I would give Neill & ferdinand 3 each and very sloppy defending, main cause of the loss, and Cole 5, never really gave a great contribution, I agree that Ljungberg should have been on from the start or for the at least 60 mins. Overall:- very disappointed with performance, We definitley need Bellamy back for the Arsenal game alongside Ashton.

  9. Plaistow54 says:

    I was keyed up for a great game. Didn’t happen. I,m not depressed, disappointed. I thought we’d win it in midfield & that was where we lost it. Lucas Neill didn’t play well in the Asian Cup & has continued that form. I couldn’t remember at the end of the game if Ferdinand had played or not. Far too many long balls from the back trying too find Ashton & Cole. We played well the last 20 minutes of the first half because we worked the ball wide. After half time went back to long balls forward. Newcastle didn’t deserve that score as Vidukas goals were scrappy but he does get the ball in any way he can even if he falls over it. I thought Ljungberg should’ve started & Collins. Mullins looked frustrated & showed it. Ashtons goal was decisive, he made his mind up that ball was going in. Too many balls didn’t find the players. Always going to be a hard game but if we don’t work the ball well against Arsenal, expect Green to earn his wages. Have i got a suggestion, yeah passing practice.

  10. Laurie n Spain says:

    I have seen us play much worse and win. Cole looked me composed than I have seen him before, but eitand maybe this is as good as it gets – Or does he have another notch or two to raise his game that little bit more to give Curbs a selection headache (anyone else reminded of Kanoute? The first minute incident where he got to the ball ahead of their keeper was pure Freddie, especially as we ended up not even getting a corner).
    Collins looks like a must and we have the Plymouth game to get a more comfortable back line. Noone looks like they quite trust eachother at the moment. When Neill ran through a crowd starting at the corner flag and finally losing possession in front of the box for their first goal it epitomised the problem.
    Too many times Bowyer was slow getting back there to cover when we attacked… he must have been reading his own press and now believes we wont score unless he is also charging in to the edge of the box every time.
    Disappointed but not disheartened. Good win come Wednesday night, and a chance to give a the likes of Collins, Parker and Freddie 90 minutes and we will in shape for the Gooners!!! Just a shame we are not now playing for top spot.

  11. ny hammer says:

    agree with basic premise that from attacking point of view we were fine, but defensively a shambles. i didn t think etherington was “anoinymous” but i ll agree he wasn t at his best. i agree with those pointing out neill and ferdnand in partiicular as being subpar- the comment that neill may still have been suffering from jet lag is not far off the mark. i don t agree with the assessment of upson as 7 out of 10. he nearly caused us to concede the 4th , an di felt he cud have done more to prevent the second.

    ferdinand and upson as central pair is not solid enuf. colins may not be the quickest but i trust him more than ferdinand. there is an argument to be made for gabbidon to be given a shot. i agree that newcastle away was going to be tough, but despite injuries we shud have been able to get a point, and have only our own carelessness to blame for not doing so . newcastle have quality upfront now, so i wasnt looking for more than a point . thx for your comment nick clark

  12. Laurie n Spain says:

    By the way.

    As long as they read the game well then central defenders can live without blistering pace, as long as they are well protected by their midfield.

    John Terry…? nuff said.

  13. Hinsdale Hammer says:

    I really want to see Collins in the side. I think he’s our best central defender. What i don’t get is why Curbs doesn’t stick with the central defence that ended the season so well last year.

  14. jon l.colney says:

    with all these centre backs we still have problems? i honestly thaought that slot wasnt going to be a problem this season but how wrong was that?

    collins and someone .

  15. Tom says:

    One deafeat a all the negativity comes out. The skipper was poor and he was poor last week …. Upson has been fine and Ferdinand is still learning …. we’ve a cup game on wednesday for Parker and Freddie … and a chance to look at Gabby and Ginge. Owen and Viduka are one of the best strike pairsin the country, however I thought our two played well. Mid table and Gujohnson will push us on to europe.

  16. vdm says:

    Neill to blame for all 3 goals – got caught dribbling out of defence for the first and posted missing for the other two-to be honest I thought Upson and Ferdinand did ok while the game was still competetive – once the third went in we lost our shape a bit.
    As for Ljungberg I thought he gave us NO width at all – kept coming inside and hiding behind the full back.

  17. Brooking knows best says:

    I am starting to worry about our defence. I thought Lucus Neil was a quality player from the top draw. I feel he hasnt turned up yet this season. Maybe that micky mouse tournament those aussies play with the other nations in those parts is taking it’s tole on him. Yeah, and the frequent return trips don’t help either.
    I’m a bit unsure who to play in central defence. Collins is quality in the air but lacks pace. I’d still play him ahead of Upson. then it’s between Gabbidon and Ferdinand. Difficult, but i would let Gabbidon have a run due to the fact we have not looked solid at the back once this season. Apart from the school boy defending, I thought we played quite well.
    Ouch it hurts losing and that’s another weekend ruined!

  18. hammer says:

    Got it pretty much right their Iain, but i do think we have to worry. Our defence is looking a shambles to be honest. The signs have been there since the start of the season and it has gradually been looking worse. The game against Middlesbourgh showed the weaknesses in the defence, Curbs said he was aware of the probs. but we took our chances & they did not. Well it was a reversal on Sunday. Worringly despite looking by far the better side in the first half, battling for everything & creating openings our defence conceded to NCU only two attacks and the first one we (Neill) created for them. Like everyone (& hopefully, that includes Curbs.) i am worried about the game against the Gunners. A thrashing by them could do real damage to the moral in the camp. Hopefully the Plymouth game will enable a bit of belief to be built & we’ll go into the game against the arse in good shape.

  19. Betfair Kid says:

    Viduka definitely showed us what we could have had, after trying to sign him in January. Nevertheless, it is good to see Deano scoring again. I just hope Newcastle won’t try and sign him up in January, he has always been linked with them.

    We have to remember though, that Newcastle away is always going to be a hard game so we shouldn’t be too downbeat at this result Plus. I’d imagine only Noble is any of the current midfield 4 who was in Curbishley’s plans at the start of the season. Hopefully when Faubert and Parker are back, we will find some creativity because with Benayoun gone, it is lacking.

    Still think it is the defence that we need to invest in though.

  20. Andy says:

    Sorry, Cole is a lumbering clumsy elephant. Might be good in the air because of his size but is slow and can’t get the ball out from under his feet. Every time he touched the ball, apart from the back header, he didn’t look like he knew what to do with it or where to go with it.

  21. Kiwi says:

    I wasn’t too worried after seeing the game because I know what depth we still have available, but after reading the comments on here I’ve suddenly become a lot more nervous.

    I feel its time to accentuate the positive…

    Noble and Ashton in great form
    Englands best goalkeeper
    Ljungberg to start soon
    Bellamy back to add more zip up front (I assume hes only out short term?)
    Best fans in the league (you drowned out the Toon Army on tele)

  22. Welsh_Tory_Referee says:

    The best pairing for the Hammers are Gabbs & Collins. Why was the former not even in the squad last Sunday?

  23. phil says:

    Not sure about you’re rating of 7 for Curbs – bringing on a defender for an attacker when your 3-1 down?

  24. EastHammer says:

    Upson 7? Have to disagree. He was awful as was ferdinand. For Viduka’s 2nd and N’Zogbia’s goals he just watched them tap them in. When you track a player you have to be up his backside, not hold your heads in your hands when he scores.

    Collins and Gabbidon please. Neill is too slow for right back, plus he is left footed and can only kick a bit with his right. Play him in the middle or left back or dont play him at all.

    Cole and Ashton were very impressive.

  25. Ian the Hammer says:

    Neil was poor, expect so much more from him & can only think Curbs feels Ferdinand has the pace to cover Upson’s lack of. Have shoutd Collins up since last seasons heroic’s but we where also a shables in defence against Boro. Was really pleased with first half performance, thought we controled the game & have high hopes for the future if we carry onwards & upwards. Deano loks very good & will only get better.

  26. Rooster says:

    We was unorganised like a bunch of school boys in the playground, shit passing & kicked the ball to anyone who looked like he had bleached hair.
    Newcastle were shit, we were shittier. its hard to forcast a future like Arsenal can!
    lets see how our next 3-4 games go, and then we will have some idea whether to spend tons more money in January.
    A lot of you seem to be content with Cole & Neill, then it looks like your going to be content with around 12th place finishing. Enuf Said.
    Bring on the Ruski Gooners.

  27. ny hammer says:

    Cole is improving-obviously he s not “first choice” material , but to be calling him clumsy etc is just silly. yes, he s not the most elegant sometimes with the ball, but he s had a part in several of our goals since he s come into the side. when we can t use bellamy,dyer or zamora owing to injury cole isn t a bad guy to have around. i thought that last year he was lazt, like harewood, but i think he s improved a bit along those lines. when you consider how many players we are missing due to various injuries,10 points from 18 is not a bad return.

  28. DevoDevo says:

    Thought Newcastle were poor and the game was there for the taking, unfortunately, we didn’t figure much better. Lucas Neill has IMO, been poor all season and, apart from his aerial ability, Upson is not good enough at this level. McCartney has been our best defender this season and I would also play Gabby/Collins with Ferdinand as back up. Perhaps it’s worth taking a punt with pantsil as well, as he doesn’t semm to have had any chance since joining the club. Carlton Cole’s first touch is abysmal, as is his speed of thought. Had Ashton had his chances West Ham would have won comfortably.
    Curbishley will need to make some brave choices re his defensive signings if we are to progress upwards and not downwards.

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