MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 West Brom 0, St James’ Park, 6/Feb/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,152

by • February 6, 2016 • Match reportsComments (10)3655

A vital win saw us climb out of the bottom three on a day when we should have won with much more to spare against a truly awful West Brom side.  Perez and Saivet were dropped from the Goodison horror show – does McLaren see it as ‘easy’ to drop Ayoze?  He shouldn’t.  Dummett and Mbemba were injured so in came Aarons, Tiote, Steven Taylor and Mitrovic and we were the better side from the word go.

Townsend and Shelvey tested Foster with shots from outside the area in the opening minutes and Mitrovic had a golden chance when a hacked clearance from a corner fell to him but he drew a fine reaction save from Foster from six yards out – should have scored but it was a good stop.  West Brom were limited to howking long balls up to five-stone overweight Anichebe and their general lack of shape was startling – I thought Berahino looked to be carrying a load of timber when he came on later too – hardly the look of a £30m striker and symptomatic of the rot under Pulis.

Sissoko whipped a low cross in that Mitrovic seemed to only need to waft a toe at to put us ahead but it evaded him beforeMitroWestBrom it looked like we had taken the lead from an unlikely source.  Tiote shot from outside the area and the ball looked to move in the air, wrongfooting Foster without having much power behind it.  Tiote raced to the bench to celebrate while the Albion players surrounded the ref.  After some deliberation with the linesman, who hadn’t raised his flag, the goal was ruled out.  The decision was probably right but I’m not quite sure how it was reached given that the lino seemingly hadn’t spotted it?  It didn’t feel quite as unjust as the one the poor bugger had ruled off against Man City a couple of seasons ago and it was quickly forgotten when we took the lead a couple of minutes later.

Shelvey picked a perfect pass to split the defence and play in Mitrovic and for once he kept his cool and slotted a lovely finish under Foster to put us ahead.  I thought he led the line pretty well today and there are some signs of ability there but the goals simply must become more regular, especially as Doumbia is yet to figure at all.  West Brom had a chance themselves as the half drew to a close when Janmaat threw himself of the utterly twatful McCLean, unfortunately failing to remove his leg at the knee in the process and we went in one up.

Tubby Berahino and some annoying little ginger twat came on at the break for them but the momentum was still very much with us.  Townsend worked the space for a lovely dinked cross that Wijnaldum headed over with the goal gaping and the winger then hit the post with a curling effort from the edge of the box.  I’ll openly say that I had my head in my hands when we signed Townsend but he was canny today and is certainly direct.  A lovely bit of interplay between Wijnaldum and Sissoko saw the latter shoot just wide from inside the box and Sissoko shot weakly at Foster after a lung busting run from the half way line.

Nerves were setting in, not because West Brom had offered anything but because we should have been out of sight and our worst fears were nearly realised when a break away ended with a  McClean cross that flashed across our box, luckily evading attackers and defenders alike and then at the death, substitute Rondon had the opportunity to play Berahino in for a certain goal before Janmaat managed to get across to scramble clear.

To say that we were worth the three points would be an understatement and with other results going our way, we clawed ourselves out of the relegation zone, with Norwich seemingly dropping like a stone.  No-one expects us to get something at Chelsea next weekend but we can’t afford to just write it off – they have improved under Hiddink but are still a long way from formidable and with a huge gap before our next game, we can’t be stewing on a hiding for three weeks.  Great to have three points, but a long long way to go yet.

Keep the Faith

Newcastle United  – Eliott 6, JANMAAT 8, Taylor 7, Coloccini 7, Aarons 7, Tiote 7, Shelvey 7 (Saivet n/a), Sissoko 7, Wijnaldum 6, Townsend 7 (Perez n/a) Mitrovic 7

Ref – Mason – 7 – The offside was offside and I thought he handled it well

Our Fans – 6 – Great turnout, bit nervy but relieved

Their Fans – 3 – Poorest I can remember them up here, albeit that they are absolutely sick of Pulis.


GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892

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10 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Newcastle United 1 West Brom 0, St James’ Park, 6/Feb/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League. Att: 50,152

  1. which the says:

    Certainly one of the better games of the season, not much of a choice really, with Shelvey again making a difference along with Townsend. In his two home games we’ve seen more good passes from Shelvey than we have over a couple of seasons. He made a couple at Everton but everyone was well below par there and this performance was a huge improvement, who knows why? Not McClaren.I think you are right about McClaren finding it easy to drop Perez, especially after he’s just, thankfully signed a new contract. Like a few managers he’s a bit of a coward dropping some of the big names or even substituting them. I thought Tiote and Taylor had decent comeback games, maybe Tiote was still trying to prove to the Chinese he’s still got it. I understand the goal was disallowed because Mitro was obstructing the keeper’s view, as was his Man City goal. Mitro was maybe offside but as it was a direct shot not interfering with play. Either way its hard on Tiote as it was a good strike. Those two, along with his Arsenal goal probably his only decent shots. Vital 3 ponts.

  2. Anton says:

    So, Mr McClaren: against a crappy team, where we had a lot of penetration and chances in and around the box, our most accurate/cool finisher is sat at the bench for 98 minutes while we watch Gini fail to hit a barn door. I can’t wait to see Perez being played as a long striker vs Chelsea, while McClaren reverts to his system of 3 centre-backs and 4 holding mid-fielders. We are going to destroy one of the brightest prospects in the Premiership.

    Isn’t it amazing that terrible, terrible teams like WB and Swansea have more points than us? I made the grave mistake of watching them play vs each other last week: the death of football. If only we could play to our strengths now and then. £28m for Berahino? Nah! Get a decent manager and a couple of defenders instead. And keep the change to improve the Academy.

  3. Rob says:

    Good to see Taylor back, not everyones cuppa but we’ve missed him the past couple of seasons, we certainly seem to concede less goals when he plays than when he doesn’t.

  4. mike says:

    Disagree with your comments about the ref. thought he was total crp no idea of what he was doing most of the game and frustrating stupid petty decisions made. We played a team that were the worst ive seen at St James not interested in playing football. 11 men behind the halfway line most of the game. Think Elliot didnt even get his gloves dirty. But negative tactics by you know who AWAY from home are our undoing.

  5. Wallace Wilson says:

    Despite his goal I don’t think we can rely on Mitrovic to be a regular source of goals. He is too ponderous in thought and deed and that is unlikely to improve with age. £13m is well overpriced. We could have bought better from the lower leagues. Money also wasted on Thauvin and that £25m could have improved the team if spent wisely i.e. on what the team needs rather than looking for future profit which rarely materialises. A top class centre half wouldn’t have gone amiss

    • Iain says:

      Funny that, I think his outstanding quality is his ability to read the game, make or find space and put himself into positions where he can miss from; hardly ponderous in thought at all.

    • Stephen says:

      I’m not sure what he wastes more of ….. chances or ‘bullets’ !!

  6. Kenny Henderson says:

    Simply have to get a win from one of the next two games, both away, but win one we must. lose them both we will be in it up to the armpits. Canny performance but should have been out of sight, we’ll not play a worse team again this season.

  7. Simon Sharp says:

    A game we had to win given how reliant on our home form we are; anything we get on our travels is a bonus but it would be dreadful not to get at least 4 points, given that we have Norwich and Villa still to come away from home. You wouldn’t anticipate Chelsea yielding anything, nor Stoke. It is worrying that despite our domination, and despite WBA’s awfulness, we only came out with a single goal victory. I am thankful that we’ve still got Swansea, Bournemouth, Sunderland and Palace still to come at SJP; there again, when did Newcastle ever make it easy for themselves by winning winnable fixtures? Not sure we’ll pick up any more than 15 points between now and the end of the season. Looks like we’re going to be very reliant on teams being more awful than us.

  8. Tom Bates says:

    I’m not convinced we need to win as many games as people are making out if Norwich keep losing, it could be Sunderland who end up pushing us closer.
    Its good to see that Liverpools protest has had the desired impact, at least in terms of coverage and highlighting the issue, just annoyinG that we cant muster up the same spirit when the clubs owners are taking advantage of us. Look at he negative publicity it has directed towards the Liverpool owners.