MATCH REPORT: West Bromwich Albion 1 Newcastle United 0, 1/Jan/14, KO: 3pm., The Hawthorns, Att: 26,430, PL.

by • January 1, 2014 • Match reportsComments (16)1276

There was no New Year’s cheer for Newcastle fans as Sadio Berahino’s late penalty Debuchyoffcondemned 10-man Toon to a 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns.

The England u-21 international stepped up to slot past a helpless Tim Krul after the Dutchman had brought down Matěj Vydra in the box.

Earlier in the afternoon Mathieu Debuchy had seen red for a reckless two-footed lunge on Claudio Yacob as the visitors slipped to their second league defeat in four days.

United’s hopes of victory had been dealt an early blow when Shola Ameobi was named in the starting XI.

Without a league goal in 2013, the big man somehow managed once again to con himself into 60 odd minutes of professional football.

Alan Pardew’s desire to fight fire with Shola is nowt new, but the joke really is starting to wear thin.

Not fit for purpose is an understatement.

The day we play to our strengths rather than pandering to the needs of the opposition will be a glorious one.

Clad in the lucky canary yellow the away side made a comfortable enough start with the packed away end in full voice.

However, it was the home side that created the first clear-cut chance when Liam Ridgewell’s cross was superbly diverted from the path of ex-Mackem Stephane Sessegnon by a full stretch Mike Williamson

At the other end Yoan Gouffran completely missed a cross from Debuchy, before Cabaye fired a snap shot narrowly wide from a Williamson knock down.

Davide Santon has been a little out of sorts over the last month or so, particularly against Stoke on Boxing Day, and the full-back was once again having a tough time down the left hand side.

Morgan Amalfitano, brother of Romain, in particular was proving to be a thorn in the Italian’s side.

Having fired a warning shot when a whipped corner was nodded powerfully wide Jonas Olsson, the tricky winger created two clear cut chances in quick succession.

Firstly he crossed for Chris Brunt, who should have done better with his unmarked header from the edge of the box.

Then a neat one-two with Sessegnon saw the ball put on a plate for Nicholas Anelka only for the Frenchman to somehow scoop his effort over the bar when it was easier to score.

Truth be told, the half time whistle couldn’t come quick enough for the visitors who looked leggy after their efforts against Arsenal little more than 72 hours earlier.

Gouffran looked dead on his feet, while the less said about the turgid Ameobi the better.

The one bright spot at least was the shifting of Remy to the left-hand side allowed him the opportunity to run at defenders from deep.

As his exploits in South Wales earlier in the season prove, the QPR loanee is at his most dangerous when deployed out wide and able to cut in.

If only there was someone who could actually play up top in his absence.

Towards the end of the half AP had been seen readying Hatem Ben Arfa for battle.

It therefore came as little surprise when the number 10 was unleashed in place of Gouffran for the second period.

And it was United who looked the most likely in the early exchanges with Moussa Sissoko and Debuchy both whipping in dangerous crosses to nobody in particular, before Remy curled narrowly over after cutting inside from the left.

Why professional footballers never have the wherewithal to look up before firing aimlessly across the box is a question to which there will never be an answer.

However, having looked the most likely, any ambitions of a 6th away victory this season were soon dampened by a moment of madness from Debuchy.

Now our man has been outstanding over the last few months.

No doubt he’ll be a front-runner for any number of awards come the end of the season.

But that does not excuse the idiocy of his two footed leap in the direction of Claudio Yacob.

Yes, replays may later show that the Frenchman got the ball and very little of the man.

Even so he needlessly left the ground with both feet and even from 100 odd yards away in the away end it looked every bit a red card.

Ref Lee Mason had little choice but to dismiss the right back who will now miss the next three games.

With the rain falling steadily and nearly half an hour left on the clock, United’s backs were well and truly up against the wall.

They were dealt a further blow when skipper Fabricio Coloccini hobbled off minutes later with a knee injury.

The curly haired centre half looks set to miss the next month or so, including the Derby…again.

No doubt the conspiracy theorists will be out in force to explain how, having contrived to break his own back this time last year, the Argentinian has engineered another injury and subsequent spell back in his mother land.

In MYM there is a ready made and deserving replacement to fill the void, but splitting up the Williccini combo that has served us so well over the last 8 weeks or so is still a bitter blow.

With their tails suddenly up, the Baggies suddenly sensed an opportunity to improve a pretty average home record.

For the first time in the afternoon the home fans woke up and realised they were at a football match as their side surged forward.

MYM was immediately in action, sliding to block a Berahino effort, with Krul keeping out Anelka’s follow up shot.

And AP’s men must have felt their luck was in when Ridgewell somehow side-footed wide from inside the six-yard box.

But it was not to be and with their next attack West Brom won a penalty when the on-rushing Krul felled Vydra.

Berahino coolly stepped up to convert the spot kick and to give the manager less hosts their first win in 10.

A late flurry from the visitors was not enough to find an equaliser, with Ben Arfa wasting a great chance in the dying moments after being forced wide when really he should have got a shot away.

There was a degree of frustration at the mercurial Frenchman’s performance, with his decision making again leaving something be desired.

When all you get is 20 minutes here and there though, there’s little wonder the lad looks a little rusty and less than match fit at times.

While there a degree of responsibility lies with the player himself, there is also a certain amount of blame than can be levelled at a manager who is unable to integrate such a talented football into the side.

Heading back up the motorway United sit in a healthy 8th place with 18 games to go.

However, with the in-form Man City next up in the league and both Colocinni and Debuchy missing there’s every chance that it could be three defeats on the trot.

Having built up such momentum, it would be a shame to see it all go to waste.

Re-enforcements are a must over the next few weeks, with the squad crying out for an out and out striker who can contribute meaningfully and last the distance.

Playing to win from the outset once in a while would also not go amiss either.

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa (s 45′), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (s 65′), Massadio Haidara (s 76′)

Unused Subs: Vurnon Anita, Papiss Cisse, Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor

Referee: Lee Mason- Had no other option with the Red or the penalty, but other than that didn’t really notice him – usually a sign of at least a competent showing. 

Home Fans – not an empty seat in the house, but very little in the way of atmosphere until the sending off. Even then it wasn’t great. Perhaps a few nursing sore heads from the previous night’s exploits.
 
Away Fans – excellent in the first half, going through the full repertoire of songs. Tailed off a bit with the game at a stalemate, but going again for the last 20 or so.

 

 SAM DALLING 

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16 Responses to MATCH REPORT: West Bromwich Albion 1 Newcastle United 0, 1/Jan/14, KO: 3pm., The Hawthorns, Att: 26,430, PL.

  1. tony reilly says:

    Get Mr Whelan back for a match report instead of this pish!!

    • Very, very harsh that Tony. I think most readers agree its difficult to have the same level of inspiration for losing away to West Brom as winning away at Man Utd. I don’t think this is any way to treat a fellow Mag, one of our writers who has done a round trip to the West Midlands and had this typed up for our entertainment. Perhaps, you’d like to have a go at doing the Cardiff FAC 3rd Round report?

      • Stephen B says:

        Totally agree with you Michael, should be thankful for a match report, at the end of the day it is just a fellow mags opinions, no need to be shot down.

  2. Dave hetheringtonl says:

    Not one swear word word in sight……….. Very good report

  3. Keiron Young says:

    Pretty fair assessment from Sam. Over the game, they threatened more and pushed on to win the game following the sending off. Shola, does what he does, which is not enough and doesn’t score goals. How he maintains the support of the manager, local press and a fair few fans is beyond me. I’m sure he’s a good lad, role model etc but that’s not what we need away to West Brom on New Year’s day. We need a mobile, dangerous striker who worries opposition defences.
    I also agree about Ben Arfa, he can’t remain an impact sub, his seeming lack of fitness does worry me though. Hopefully, we’ll regain any lost momentum against Cardiff at home on Saturday. Big game, our last chance at silverware this season…

  4. tony reilly says:

    Point taken Michael and apologies to Sam if any offence caused. Your writers do a great job and my comment was out of order. Again apologies

  5. Sam says:

    Non taken Tony – after all it’s only my reflection on the game immediately afterwards. You, or anyone else for that matter, is more than within their rights to disagree completely.

    That said, i’d be much more interested to hear why you think it’s pish, rather than just a simple criticism so please do feel free to elaborate further. I felt on the train home yesterday, and still do today, that our team selection was unnecessarily negative. Even despite this we were still within a shout with winning the game until the completely stupid red card (and i’m one of Debuchy’s biggest fans and am not trying to say what he did yesterday completely undoes this, but when any player does something like they did yesterday they are there to be knocked). It just frustrates me how we don’t go into what would be classed as more ‘winnable’ games not playing to our own strengths.

  6. Gordon Young says:

    I´d like to stick up for Shola. I think Sam´s comment about him are totally out of order.
    Nobody can say he has fulfilled his promise but I think he will be at the World Cup finals in Brazil – injuries permitting and I don´t think Nigeria pick mugs.
    Did you see his goal for them in London, world class.
    I think all the negativity has got to him and he´s afraid to get into the box as much as he should for fear of missing and being crucified. He should have been given the ball for a penalty like Cisse was.
    I can´t understand why Cisse is cheered onto the pitch while Shola isn´t and I still cringe about all the “fans” who actually booed him on once.
    This is the lad who has put his body on the line, played when he was injured while other strikers were recovering from injuries far less serious than his – remember his hip injury for example. He should be given a testimonial for all his service to the club, far more than 10 years, plus he was never a big earner as far as footballers go.

  7. tony reilly says:

    I read your report after being on the booze all day Sam and then made a cringe worthy comment which I regret. I slightly disagree with your views on Shola but the rest of your report and comment afterwards is pretty much spot on. Certainly not pish(unlike my comment). I think in previous games that Remy has looked better when Shola has played alongside him and which is possibly what Pardew was thinking. Obviously didn’t work yesterday. Thing is we don’t have many other options as Cisse looks shot.

    • very decent of you Tony.

    • Sam says:

      Completely agree that Remy looks better alongside someone – much prefer him with the ball at his feet running at defenders at pace. However, for me personally, when the option is Shola up top with Remy off him, or Remy up top with say Hatem, Anita or even Cisse in the side i’d always go the latter, particularly against sides that we should be aiming to attack. Shola did that thing his does once every year or so when he has a couple of half decent games (against Norwich and may even have been West Brom at home). The rest of the time he is a hinderance more than a help. No league goals in 2013 doesn’t lie. Even Papiss must have managed 5 plus in that time and he was stranded on the right wing half of last season.

  8. Gordon Young says:

    I forgot to add that he is second only to Milburn in derby goals scored which should put him in the hero category.

    • Sam says:

      “Cult Hero”, mackem slayer, warrior, nice guy etc. he may be, but a striker capable of starting games for a PL side pushing for Europe he is not. Arguably never has been, not on a consistent basis anyway. And by the way i’d never advocate booing one of our own players onto the pitch ever, but, although not a massive earner, he’s picked up a fair few million quid for doing very little.

  9. tony reilly says:

    Only thing you can guarantee Shola doing is divide opinion. My mate I sit with at SJP would rather play with 10 men than have him playing!!! Its certainly a situation that needs addressed as Remy isn’t even ours and we’d be knackered without him. We’ll see if our beloved leader allows the manager to spend some of OUR money on a bit of support for him

  10. Keiron Young says:

    Gordon, you don’t need to stickup for Shola, people like him as a bloke, he’s incredibly well paid and has played football for Newcastle United.
    But he’s a striker, who doesn’t score goals, gives loads of fouls away, is injured frequently and has frustrated toon fans for over a decade with occasional glimpses of quality. So good luck to him in the world cup but please let’s sign someone better in January.