Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Newcastle 2 City 2

"We're disappointed. We were in complete control early on and in a funny way the thing that went against us was the sending off. They're fighting for their lives and they got a lucky break with both goals.

"So they got the rub of the green with that but in fairness we've got to do better than that. We didn't do a great deal in that second half when we needed to press the opposition. They were running and chasing everything down but we should be better than that.

"We needed to show a little bit of craft and guile in the final third and we didn't really move them around enough. Once they got two banks of four we found it difficult to break them down. In fairness we got a point out of a game that looked like it was going to go away from us, but it should have been an easy three points for us here."

>>Mark Hughes.

For me, it was almost a throwback to watching City games of years gone by last night, where we looked set to completely throw away a game that was as there for the taking as you could hope for.

Echoing Hughes's comments, Didi Hamman lamented the inability to keep possession, and this was symptamatic of a second half that I had to keep reminding myself our opponents were playing with ten men.

It was all looking good in the first half hour, with a 1-0 lead through Robinho's penalty - which subsequently saw Beye sent off. Newcastle are set to appeal the red card decision, but for me it was both a penalty, and therefore a sending off.

Yes, Beye got a touch on the ball, but what has been missed is he went through Robinho to get there and impeded Robinho's advance on goal so it was clear cut, despite the Setanta 'experts' view at half time.

What has been overlooked as well is we could (should?) have had a penalty when Richards was being obstructed by Coloccini as he went through on goal, but perhaps because he is a defender, he stayed on his feet and managed to get his shot away, which was saved by Given.

Richards was looking positive in the first half, with his runs down the right hand side far more productive than would have been offered by Ben Haim, so the decision to split the Richards-Dunne partnership was a good one. Unfortunately, Richards was forced off with injury, which saw the return of Nedum Onouha - who looked rusty indeed.

And so we headed towards the break, with a 1-0 lead that disappointingly wasn't more, against a side low on confidence, low on ideas and appearing to lack the wherewithal to mount a comeback.

Perhaps inevitable then it was going to a goal of the comedic proportions we saw to get Newcastle back on level terms.

A City clearance rebounded off Damian Duff, off the knee of Ben Haim straight into the path of Shola Ameobi - who almost managed to fluff his chance, slicing the ball but still managing to beat Joe Hart.

The goal sparked both the team, and given they were playing with ten men, more importantly the crowd.

The most disappointing aspect for me in the second half was how little pace and urgency we played with, allowing Newcastle far too much time and space as opposed to using our own pace and attacking purpose to overwhelm them.

Damian Duff looked particularly inventive for the home side, but with set pieces going to be a big threat, it was from one of these that we managed to fall behind. And we were the architects of our downfall, with Richard Dunne smashing home his own goal of the season contender to add to his litanty of errors, and weight to a small band of critical opinion which is beginning to gather.

Hughes threw on youngsters Evans and Sturridge in a bid to add weight to the attack - in the absence of any real presence from Jo, and I was surprised Elano was not introduced long before they were to try and create something.

The equaliser came from a moment of class, when Robinho threaded a neat pass to Stephen Ireland who poked past Given - moments after being denied by a great save - to rescue a point.

The press have gone with the line of 'unlucky Newcastle', but despite their battling approach, we were value for the point, but again it is more points dropped and more goals conceded (we are now the league's worst defence - to go with the best attack).

We now have five games (Stoke, Middlesbrough, Bolton, Spurs and Hull) where we do need to put a run together, and develop some real consistency in our play - with the defence becoming a worry.

The talent is undoubtedly there in our squad, but Hughes does not seem to have fully got to grips with the squad or approach so far.

Plenty to ponder then as we approach a potentially defining set of fixtures.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

Take off your Arab sponsored glasses you idiot. You are an always will be the smallest team in Manchester. Accept it. And as for the view that it was a penalty. Nonsense. As his been recognised by all sane football fans across the country. If you want to side with Graham Pole (sorry Poll) who can't even count to three (yellow cards) then you're opinion is worth jack! If Bobby Moore had made that challenge, they'd still be showing it today. You were average at best and got what you just about deserved against a relegation threatened club in turmoil who were wrongly down to 10 men for 80 minutes. Losers!

Anonymous said...

For the guy who isnt a city fan your an idiot and a loser because only a total prick which is what you are would be trawling through a teams fan site which you dont support, so you just carry on sitting at your computer in london or ireland which ever one it is dreaming about one day how you might buy the shirt of the team you claim to support if you can afford that maybe you will be able to dream of putting a sign saying old trafford on your armchair where you do all your cheering from so it feels like your there obviously that would also mean having nobody else in the room with you to create the real atmosphere of silence that you get at old trafford you wanker.

Wigan Blue said...

As for the 'penalty', I thought as you did that Robinho was bundled off the ball, but after seeing replays I think the contact was minimal. There should definitely be room for the referee to use discretion. Penalty or no, Beye didn't deserve the red card.

Negatives: Dunney is having a mare this season. Tal Ben Haim is more disappointing every time I see him. Our passing and movement ground to a halt.

Positives: A world class save from Joe. Stevie Ireland must now realise that he CAN put his head down and change a game. And Nedum got a run out - MH needs to realise that he has a very valuable resource there.

Verdict: Although their goals were Keystone Cops affairs, we should have torn them apart. Kinnear has got Newcastle playing like Wimbledon. Never thought I'd see the day!

Anonymous said...

Wigan blue ur spot on with everything there specially bout dunne and ben haim, i find it difficult to criticise dunne he probably 80% of the reason we stayed up so long so im not gona go into hopefully he can get back on track, what i cant believe is all those years the defence was bailing out a poor midfield now we have a decent midfield the defence have give up. you touched on joe makin a great save im not sure a remember a great save but by the by joe hart is not good enough we need a better goalkeeper and was glad to see us linked with mandanda in the paper today as i posted on here a couple months back i would like to see him in our goals he is a good keeper i hope that speculation is true.

Wigan Blue said...

Not sure about the thoughts on Joe Hart. Joe was our keeper for the first half of last season, and the defense were tops.

Something happened around last Christmas, and I don't know what it was. Whatever it was, it blew Dunney's form right out of the water, turned Elano into a cabbage, and affected the whole team. Elano (probably due to the other Brazilian signings) has got his act together again, as has Stevie Ireland. Unfortunately Dunney doesn't seem able to shake it off, and that's affected the whole defence including Micah.

No doubt it will come out in the fullness of time, but in the meanwhile, I'd just love to see Richard get back to what we all know he's capable of. It has to be something to do with City (Thaksin?), because he's performing as well as ever for Ireland...

Anonymous said...

Elano's wife went back to brazil around the time his form dropped, as for ireland he frustrates me he will follow a good pass with a bad one i still think he needs to realise how good he is himself before that will stop, only god knows what is wrong with dunne i watched him play for ireland last week and he was amazing, and joe hart just to elaberate i dont think he is good enough because hes still lacking basics like torres goal he should of been right up his arse punching his head off but he flapped and he does that alot, also really top goal keepers keep thier defence in shape throughout a game i never see joe organising them and my seat is behind a goal so im not missing it, i do think he is good he got rushed in to soon for me i also think that if schmeichel has learned how to come for a cross he is better than joe hart even though joe is poor at that too because he will organise the defence and will be brave but its a tough one to decide on i would say bring a keeper in.