Well, after the gut-wrenching disappointment of the home defeat at home at the hands of Steve Bruce and Hull City, our true faith : TIFOSI are getting ready to download their prognosis on yet another terrible day of abysmal defending, apalling set-pieces, lamentable tactics and completely non-responses to changes in the opposition’s tactics at St James’ Park under Alan Pardew.
Here we go.
Pre-match, Steve Bruce had speculated in the press about what sort of reception he’d receive on his return to SJP. Not even in old potato face’s wildest dreams did he imagine being serenaded by exuberant Tigers fans as his team triumphed with a convincing win over his boyhood team. If Bruce’s faith in mackem reject Danny Graham had not prevailed, it would have been a victory by several more than one. Thankfully, the lad somehow couldn’t score despite being present with several clear cut opportunities from a shockingly disastrous defence and a flapping, indecisive goalkeeper. For the first ten minutes, United were all over the tigers, the form from the villa game matched in some lovely passing and a deserved opening goal from Loic Remy. Then Hull equalised and something happened to Newcastle, a hideous 80-minute long implosion. Ben Arfa was having an off day, fair enough, it happens, but that meant the tactic of ‘give it to Benny, he’ll do something mint’ was untenable. Plan B it was then….a repulsive, long-ball plan B, which only furthered the isolation of a lacklustre Cisse as any sort of goal threat. The performance smacked horribly of last season, heads down, inspiration absent, plenty of huff and puff and no final ball. Two set pieces and a decent volley gave Hull a trip home with all 3 deserved points; Newcastle equalised twice but as the time ticked away, it was increasingly impossible to see any way back. There’lll be some who’ll blame Kinnear, Ashley et al. for today’s performance but this evening, the buck lies with the manager. Substitutions were ineffective, tactics were insipid and motivation bereft after ten minutes. we’ve now lost the momentum of the villa and Fulham victories, not to mention the chance of going joint top of the Premier League. File this under the dictionary definition of ‘Typical’.
Hear that sound? That’s NUFC coming back down to earth with a bump. I’m not trying to be a clever bastard, because trust me, I’m not, but I tweeted earlier in the week that it’d be typical Newcastle to get something when we didn’t really expect it (Villa), and struggle when we did (Hull), it was every thus and lo’ and behold.. Start with the positives, and I thought we passed the ball around really well in the first half. Building from the back, we looked for a pass rather than a hopeless hump forward, something we did more and more later in the game. Loic Remy was a huge positive. He impressed when he came on against Fulham. Played well against down at Villa but was something else today. Looked so sharp as well. Negatives, take your pick. Awful defending for all the goals. Debuchy is more of a winger, and really doesn’t seem cut out for a full-back role. Ben Arfa another negative. Everything he did right in the last two games, did wrong this one. Disappointing. Papiss Cisse. It’s been like playing with 10 men all season when he lines up. This seemed a lot like most games last season, going in at HT and coming back out a totally different side, so negative and passive. What does Pardew say at HT? Remember Reading last year? Leading a newly promoted side at home, only to end up losing. Not good enough. Losing the lead twice at home to end up losing against Hull? Regardless of how we played, that fact tells you we got what we deserved. Fuck all. 3 – Remy (Obvious reasons) 2 – Anita (Did the least amount wrong in a woeful midfield area) 1 – Krul (Simply for his save at 1-0. He’s too good for us).
Going into this match – I had a feeling things were going too well. It would be just like us to go into a game with bloody Hull and get turned over. The first 20 minutes were exceptional – we played some lovely football and fully deserved to take the lead. They got a break with their equalizer and from then they were a typical Steve Bruce team. Stifle the opposition. I can only imagine that a large proportion of these coaching courses they attend is on stifling the opposition. Make no bones about it Hull are dreadful – a team of cloggers and Championship players. This makes the defeat even harder to take. At the same time, we played appallingly for the last hour. There was no shape or rhythm and I don’t really think anyone can come out of that game with his head held high – perhaps with the exception of Remy. Even now, I can’t work out what formation we were playing when Pardew made the subs. It was a muddled mess. So what could have been a brilliant start to the season has turned into a “meh” start. It’s the only word I can think of. We never make it easy for ourselves. If we expect to get anything from the next two away games – we cannot play anything like we did today against the worst team in the league.
Shite….that pretty much sums it up. We started really well and I thought we were in for a hatfull against Brucey’s boys but what on earth went wrong? As soon as Remy scored we seemed to take our foot off the gas and just let them come at us. Huddlestone looked like a massive fridge in the middle of the park but he can’t half play. Sissoko didnt get a sniff. I actually thought Anita was our best player although a number of people around me disagreed. I honestly dont know what Alan says to them at half time but something is seriously wrong. Every time we get a whiff of optimism it all goes out of the window and the real Newcastle step up. A pretty awful day all round.
If last week’s victory at Villa Park had us under the illusion that the European spots were a possibility, this afternoon’s result brought us back down to earth with a jolt. For 10 minutes or so we were top drawer. Energy and passion, combined with a touch of quality and the oft-absent cutting edge, saw us take a deserved early lead through Loic Remy. Then for some reason, when most thought we’d kick on, it stopped. Credit where its due Hull stepped up their game. After a couple of close shaves Timmy was alert to make a point blank save at the feet Danny Graham. But, the defence failed to clear its lines and Robbie Brady tucked in the equaliser. Remy somewhat fortuitously put us back ahead minutes before half time, however, shortly after the break sloppy defending from a set piece saw the scores levelled. This seemed to take the sting completely out of our boys and by the time Sone Aluko brilliantly put Agent Bruce’s charges ahead with 15 minutes remaining the life had been sucked out of us. The one bright spot of the afternoon was Remy’s display and the Frenchman perhaps should have had a hat trick when he missed a decent chance to equalise in injury time. But as for his partner up top, well the less said the better. With his barren run stretching to 11 games perhaps our number 9 just isn’t the player we thought he was. Hatem went from the sublime to the ridiculous in the course of a week, although in mitigation he was doubled up on all afternoon. Still the key word remains consistency. Anita was once again one of our top performers, but sadly it could easily be him for makes way for ‘tackler’ Tiote at Goodison next week.