MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 0 Stoke City 0, St James’ Park, 31/Oct/15, KO : 3pm Att: 47,139

by • October 31, 2015 • Match reportsComments (13)3319

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A decent match saw us pick up a point in a game that we could have won against a reasonable Stoke side but our lack of firepower remains a major concern at the start of a critical run of games.  Anita came in to replace the suspended Colback but otherwise the side remained unchanged from the derby and the game was pretty open from the off with Stoke a vastly changed outfit (apart from a couple of notable exceptions) from the ugly Pulis sides.

They had the first real chance of the game when a cross evaded Mbemba but also fortunately Walters at the back post McClarenStokewhilst Perez looked our main threat with his usual deftness of touch.  Dummett sent over a grass cutter that Mitrovic failed to get on target and Wijnaldum almost opened them up on a couple of occasions but the closest that we came all game was a Mitrovic header that came back off the post from a Sissoko cross with Butland beaten.  For all that the game was fairly open and expansive, chances were few and far between and the sides went in deservedly level at the break.

The second half followed a similar pattern but slowly we began to get on top and really Butland saved them on a number of occasions as we started to build momentum.  The first chance saw a Perez curling effort, crafted from nothing just going wide of the far post and possibly our best chance of the game saw Sissoko played in behind the defence but he dithered slightly and his shot was very well saved by the Stoke keeper, although really we should have scored.

The sideshow to our increasing hold on the game was an ongoing spat between Mitrovic and mainly Wollscheid, although Ellesse Lombardy Jacket - Red (1)horrible bastard Shawcross was also involved on occasion.  This peaked with Mitro pushing the defender over and then flinging himself to the ground when Wollscheid got up and barged into him, earning both yellows.  Mitrovic’s focus seemed to go completely for a while as he went looking for it and a red card for one of the protagonists looked a certainty but eventually it fizzled out.  For me, Mitrovic is still a very raw, young striker unaccustomed to playing at this level week on week and I thought he was poor today – lumbering and too easily drawn into a game of handbags – he certainly looks nothing like the 15 goal a season striker we desperately need him to be.

We introduced the bone idle and deeply unimpressive Siem de Jong for Tiote to try and muster some creativity but he might as well not even bother coming on, such is his totally nondescript contribution to the cause.  Gash.

Butland continued to keep them in it, saving a shot and then a free kick from Wijnaldum that were on target and then saving possibly the best till last, palming over a bulleted header from Lascelles, who had only just come on to replace the injured Janmaat.  In fairness, a lot of the efforts were pretty much straight at him, but still he looked the part and it was one of those days where nowt was going past him.

Hearts were in mouths when Crouch was introduced for the final few minutes but we looked pretty solid defensively throughout all afternoon and he never threatened anything other than a hissy fit in his brief cameo.  In the end the final whistle was greeted overwhelmingly with applause and for a nil-nil against Stoke City, which doesn’t exactly set the pulses racing it was actually a canny game of football.

The caveat to that though is that it is another poor result for us and our inability to convert superiority in games into goalsAquascutum Paine Down Filled Puffa Jacket - Navy (1) is worrying.  It would certainly be correct to say that there are signs of encouragement in the side and we are improving but we simply have to put sides around us away when we have the chances and anything less than a win down at Bournemouth would be a huge disappointment when we might have the chance to pull ourselves out of the bottom three for the first time all season.

Keep the Faith

Newcastle United  – Eliott 7, Janmaat 6 (Lascelles n/a), Mbemba 7, Coloccini 7, Dummett 7, Sissoko 6, ANITA 8, Tiote 6 (de Jong 3), Wijnaldum 7, Perez 6, Mitrovic 5

Ref – East – 7 – I actually think he was alright, a bit lenient on them at times but was relatively sensible in a game that could have turned nasty

Our Fans – 7 – Backed the side well albeit with a notable amount of empty seats – never 47,000 there.

Their Fans – 8 – Best following they’ve had up here that I can remember(Ed: damning with feint praise)

GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892

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13 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 0 Stoke City 0, St James’ Park, 31/Oct/15, KO : 3pm Att: 47,139

  1. Andy bee says:

    Tiiote was he interested? Siem de Jong is he a footballer? It’s a game of football where you need a team of 11……. Go back three months where I implored we played Perez ….now the little genius will be poached in jan. Quite simply the most inept Stoke team in recent times not even their usual physicality present – just wish I could glimpse that corner we will turn. Ps I’m with shearer don’t send me any more emails .

  2. Bob says:

    Piss poor referee, (once again) and a good goalkeeper. I thought they were a bit physical but niggly things which the ref allowed them to get away with too many times. Some decent play at times but we still play ourselves into trouble and allow too much space to wingers and overlapping fullbacks. Hope Janmaat injury isn’t too bad. Need to beat Bournemouth.

  3. Drew Murty says:

    We’ll beat Bouremouth

  4. Pat Hughes says:

    Despite giving up my ST, I went yesterday – need overcame reason and I just don’t know what to make of it. Overall we played well but still those silly passes to nowhere, little overlapping and support all over the pitch, we just don’t seem to have the pace. Plenty of chances and even though Stoke’s keeper was a nuisance jumping up, leaping around and generally getting in our way, you’d think a cunning plan might be put in place to confuse the irritant.

  5. Bob says:

    Sometimes the build up was very slow, mainly with Tiote and I just don’t know what’s gone wrong there. If he wants to get away I can’t even see any half decent sides wanting him on these sort of performances. If he wants to play again for us there has to be a vast improvement. He’s become a bit of a liability.

  6. Graeme says:

    Once you get battered with an endless tirade of ambitionless speil, you tend to think of a point against Stoke (one of the Prem’s dullard survivors) as an achievment. Keep the Faith? Ram it!

  7. tom Bates says:

    Well for those who think we’ll beat Bournemouth and I do you can get good odds 11/4 on us to win online. They’re evens with the bookies probably down to our dire away form. It would have been a tough game two months ago

  8. Keiron says:

    Pretty good analysis Gareth. I thought Mitro started well though but agree about his maturity in the PL. I think whilst Sissoko continues to frustrate he’s more involved and should have scored. Interesting we all love Ayoze and he played well yesterday but he gave the ball away a few times also yet he seems to be forgiven more easily than Sissoko.

    • Bob says:

      Perez does give the ball away at times and is sometimes knocked of the ball easy. The difference with Sissoko is that Ayoze is a ton more consistent and gives it all every game. He also has more technical ability.

  9. Jarra mick says:

    Keep saying Sissoko is our best chance of a goal as he was yesterday but he has the annoying habit of drifting out of games for spells. Generally we are carrying too many mediocre players who shouldn’t get anywhere near the first team, Dummett, Anita, De Jong just aren’t good enough. I don’t know where in the ground Gareth watches the game from but from the West stand all I could hear were the Stoke fans. The worst atmosphere I think I have ever witnessed probably down to the fact the majority of the proper fans have given up and have been replaced with plastic Ashleites.

  10. skychaserhigh says:

    Mitrovic was niggled, pulled, held and kicked all afternoon. Fairly standard in the premier league and largely ignored by refs. He’ll just have to deal with it and play smarter.
    Another game where we should have been out of sight by 60 mins, like the Derby, but wasted chances and England’s number 2(3) bolloxked that.
    De jong? Well he is better than his brother. Tiote was terrible, Williamson looked more comfortable in the ball than he did, and Sissoko just couldn’t be arsed at times on Saturday.
    Having said that I quite enjoyed the game…

  11. mik says:

    if we cant beat teams like this then heaven help us

    • Anton says:

      Yep, heaven help us indeed. How many winnable games are there for us this season?
      We’ve already messed up Sunderland, Watford and Stoke. How much room is there for any more hard luck stories?

      There are 18 home and away points we MUST win: Villa, Bournemouth, Sunderland, Norwich. These will take our total to 25. We then need to find another 10 points from the other 21 games to get us to 35 points which should be enough to keep us up.

      I know the above is a depressing exercise, but I’m getting very concerned from all this talk of “the team is getting better”, “give them time”, etc. We are running out of time; we’re playing Bournemouth next week and Villa in December. If we don’t get our act together, we could be adrift before new year’s day.