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Tayls from the unexpected

By Lee Ryder on Nov 24, 06 08:15 AM

Steven TaylorSo then, what a European run we are having.

Not only a 100% record but also a headed winner from Steven Taylor to see Newcastle into the last 32, yes Steven Taylor of all people!

No victories in the Premiership since September but when it comes to the UEFA Cup, Glenn Roeder's side cannot stop winning.

It is so typically Newcastle United but when the draw for Group H was made many Toon fans feared the Euro dream wouldn't last beyond the group stages.

Who would have thought United would have wins against sides from Serie A and La Liga in the bag as well as a hard fought triumph over the rugged Turks of Fenerbahce?

The last 32 awaits now for Roeder - a man who went into the final day of last season as caretaker knowing only victory would do against Chelsea just to squeeze into the InterToto Cup.

But is Euro success enough for Roeder?

The UEFA Cup is miles away from the Champions League of course but even still Barcelona could be alongside United for the draw in the next stage.

It would be a shame for United not to finish as group winners now and the Toon fans who will head to Frankfurt next week are sure to be in good voice in Germany.

Many of them ducked the trip to Palermo, and in doing so dodged a shower of fireworks in Sicily, in order to get to Frankfurt and they will be looking forward to emulating the England World Cup fans at the Commerzbank Arena roar their side home in first place.

But with Pompey due on Tyneside on Sunday how much does European success paper over the cracks of a bad season in the Premiership?

Because unless United go all of the way in Europe, eventually, as Middlesbrough found out last term the bubble will burst.

Nevertheless, confidence is high going into the Portsmouth game but victory against Andy Cole and Co has never been more important.

The latest talk-in at Idols is on Sunday at 12pm and features Chronicle columnist Supermac and Joe Allon.

The event is free ahead of the Portsmouth game.

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5 Comments

ZORRO said:

OOOOO ME HEED(HANG OVER)....BUT VERY WORTH IT..1 OF THE BEST MATCHES IVE WENT TO SEE IN AGES..THEY HAD HEART, BELIEF AND HOPE..AND IT GOT US THROUGH...WELL DONE BOYS...SO NO ONE DARE TO COMPLAIN TODAY...COZ THE BLACK AND WHITE BOYS HAVE DONE WHAT THEY SAID THEY,LL DO...SPOT ON.

oxboy said:

Perhaps the difference between european and premiership form can be found in the tactics Roeder employs.
For european games w ehave seen more defensive players selected, often more by neccesity than choice, but the effect of say the Palermo defnse is to have defenders who can attack a bit as opposed to attackers who can defend a bit. Also Butt has helped stiffen the oppsostuon in midfield.
Sadly in the premiership Roeder tries to attack with a woefully ineffective assortment of alleged attacking players.Think about it -right wing Milner and Carr. Left wing Duff and Babyaro. Centre Martins and Emre all adefensive nightmare but as always when it goes wrong - blame Titus!
The answer is simple Glen, play proper defenders in place of the pretend full backs and only one attacking winger when away from home.

jackie w said:

well done to the lads for last nights performance and for once i wont pull anyone out for critisism as they pulled off another quality result by playing as a team.BUT, this europe adventure is a nice distraction from the real issue which is premiership survival..Sounds a bit over the top but the fact is we have been showing relagation form,i honestly believe we are to good to go down and will start to play a bit,but how many times we heard that from fans only to see them slip into the gloom which is the championship.this sundays game is huge and if we cant send the rum swilling sailor boys back down south with there tails between there legs then we are in bigger trouble than i thought.My optimisim is fading fast,,,jackie

Ian Teasdale said:

Well done Tayls,
Apart from Tayls early mistake which he more than made up for, i can't fault anybody in the team.
Even though they went down to an early goal, they found a weakness and capitalised on it in style.
Its a pity Martins didn't get longer but i suppose they have to keep him for Sunday.
More of the same please against Pompey, and get up the league.

Kenny West said:

Great win against a decent Spanish side.
Now its time to finish the job if Germany!

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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