Our lot going to Cardiff this afternoon might double for a re-make of planes, trains and planes such is the variety of transport to an away which is more difficult (and expensive) to get to than some foreign cities. But our own TIFOSI will be watching proceedings themselves and ready to bring you their verdict on a fixture that is absolutely vital for Alan Pardew and his credibility as manager of Newcastle United. If he can even be described as manager, such is his lack of authority at St James’ Park. Some reputations are on the line as well in South Wales and not to put too fine a point on it, I get the impression, there is very little appreciation left for many at Newcastle United from Ashley down to the tea-lady.
The TIFOSI will tell it like it is.
Newcastle decided to show up for this game’s first 45 minutes, which was nice of them. Cheers for that. Tiote came to the party as the Tiote from a couple of seasons ago.Niggling, tackling, stretching for every ball and soaking up Cardiff pressure like a terrifying, mowhawked sponge. And what can I say about Remy…the lad oozes class… Williamson was solid and deserves mentioning for his performance. They guy’s never going to be a world beater but he put in a shift and did little wrong. After an intital few flaps and nerves, United settled into a calm passing game, the result of which generated two superb goals, both from Remy, where we’d be without him now is nightmarish to think about.Cardiff threatened little and United were in full control of the game. A Cabaye free kick clattering the post could have made it three. After the half-time talk, United decided that was enough, the job was done and total capitulation ensued. Cardiff pulled a goal back, Remy came off with a knock and Cardiff ran rampant. Watching the last 45 minutes half was a painful, nerve-shredding experience as United seemed unable to hold possession of the ball and simply stood off, allowing Cardiff to nearly claw the game back, but for a fine save from Krul. Amazingly, we ended the game, not-quite so deserved victors. David Marshall should be credited for excellent goalkeeping as it could have been wrapped up by half time. Three points is all well and good against such poor opposition and should have been a given, but the inconsistent performances from half to half remain. Not quite as convincing as it should have been today, but marginally better. The mystery remains why we can’t perform consistently over a full game. Like I keep telling myself, not without a whiff of futility in my voice…maybe next time…it’s Liverpool at home and we can’t go missing for 1 minute, let alone 45…
We owe a lot to the brilliance of Joe Kinnear’s only (cough) signing of the summer, after Remy was the difference in a fairly comfortable encounter. The first half was very good and we were fully worth the two goal cushion. As is always the case, we followed a good 45 with a not so good 45 as we sat back and were pegged back. Cue twitchy bottoms. Against Cardiff. In fairness, we looked fairly comfortable, even when they were on the ball they didn’t offer a huge amount. At the start of the season they looked like relegation candidates and I still believe they are. I do hope that we aren’t in that category and I think there has been enough this season to show that there is some reason for optimism. As much as there have been some abysmal moments, there have been some very good. The second 45 against Fulham and Everton, a strong away performance at Villa as well as a good first half against Hull. We can now add to that the first half today. It’s always a weight off the shoulders going into an international break with the wind in your sails. I only hope we can maintain our current league placing. Yup – I’m dreaming of mid table. Hash tag – ambition.
Yes yes yes! Once again, a performance of two half’s, once again, questions were raised about Pardew’s ability in the dugout, but this time, we came away with three points. A lot of talk about the team set out by Pardew, as he dropped Ben Arfa and Anita, I was more pissed off at the latter to be honest. The one thing he did do well was bring Yohan Cabaye back into the side, as everything good we did today went through him, he’s a wonderful talent, who acted the prick in the summer, but now seems committed to NUFC, at least until the next transfer window. Speaking of transfer windows, JFK wants to hope we’ve got a set-in clause in the contract of Loic Remy to gain him some credit with the fans, because if we haven’t, he won’t be here next season, we simply won’t pay the money, what a player. Two excellent finishes today, the second in particular was fantastic. The way he didn’t even need a touch to set himself after Cissé had shot at Marshall, and just opened his body up and stroked it into the far corner, a joy to behold. We came out a different team in the second half, as Cardiff came out with new purpose and we struggled to get any real grasp of the game in the middle, despite making a few chances which Sissoko and Cissé squandered. Their goal could have been defended better, but I thought on the whole the defence played well. I’m not a fan of Santon in the left-back role, he gets caught out of position a lot, but today he was steady enough in the main. If I’m not mistaken we’ve now already won the same amount of games away from home this season as we did last. Mental. Another two weeks off as England take centre stage, but at least we can go into it on a bit of a high, this was a huge game for Pardew, he came through it with a win, many fans on twitter still want him gone. I’m one of them, but I’ll enjoy days like this when they are here… 3 – Remy (Fucking menace. He won’t be playing for NUFC next season, so enjoy him now) 2 – Cabaye (Head down, and showing his class on the pitch. Keeps things ticking over, and at times does the work of Sissoko and Tioté too) 1 – The defence (Not one of the defenders particularly stood out, but were solid as a unit and ultimately came out with the three points)
(missing in action aka on holiday)
Alex Hurst steps in for him:
It may be a slight exaggeration but I think the first 45 minutes today was the best performance by United since we dismantled West Brom in the heady days of early 2012 when we wnt into half time with a three nil lead. Cardiff couldn’t have complained if it’d have been 3 or 4 at the break, such was our dominance. Cardiff were poor, but are no mugs. They came up against a well drilled and motivated United with Yohan Cabaye simply running the show in a way few players can in this league. He’s back after being missing for the last 18 months (with the exception of Chelsea at home last season). Pardew picked the right team. Pre-game social media hysteria about benching HBA and Anita was mental and I though the manager got it spot on. Signs of the old Tiote – Goufrann grafted as he always does and I though Debucy and Santon were solid. It was great to see Jonas back, whose introduction was crucial in killing the momentum the Welshman were beginning to build. Loic Remy is class. He’s still tiring badly in the second half of games, I’m anticipating the day when he’s fully fit. For the stick Cisse gets he put in a good shift today and on another day could have had a couple. Williamson was outstanding first half and he and Colo were solid. It’s such a great feeling to win away from home in this league, regardless of the opposition and there’ll be a spring in the step of many a mag this next couple of weeks before a gruelling set of fixtures. I think today the most important result was the performance the team put in for the manager. They’re behind him and so should we be in the next month or as the team will need everyone ragged up and up for it when Liverpool, Chelsea and City visit in the space of a month.