Howard the duck strikes again

By Lee Ryder on Apr 10, 07 07:21 AM

We may have taken four points from six over the weekend to make sure of Premiership football next term and fire ourselves back into the top 10 but many Toon fans left St James' Park feeling they should have taken six from six.

And the man to blame?

Well that'll be Howard 'the duck' Webb who dramatically waved away protests after Gooch Onyewu was man-handled by Abou Diaby right at the death and right in front of the ref.

Gooch later explained that Webb had warned both sets of players about use of hands and arms in the box but managed to look skywards when the Arsenal man got fresh with the American defender.

And it's not the first time Webb's bottled it either this season.

Don't forget it was Mr Webb in charge at Bolton on Boxing Day when Kevin Nolan made a clear push on Peter Ramage before his own goal at the Reebok and then later in the game the ref missed Kevin Davies' push on David Edgar.

Webb's one sided display at SJP yesterday DID contribute to United taking just a point but to be fair Newcastle had Nobby Solano to thank for a double clearance to prevent Gilberto taking the points in the second half.

Yet had many of us been offered four points from the six on offer over Easter, it's a fair bet many would have grabbed the chance with both hands.

So where does it leave us?

Well although a few doom merchants had tipped us to go down at a couple of stages this season, that's now not going to happen.

But for the rest of us, 10th place isn't a comfortable spot either.

Injury crisis or no injury crisis, nobody gets any pleasure out of being behind the forces of Reading and Portsmouth.

And unless there is an almighty wobble from the teams gunning for UEFA Cup slot only a sparkling run of form in the final five games with see United push for a place in Europe, perhaps an Intertoto Cup place is the best on offer.

There is the possible sighting of Michael Owen to come in a black and white shirt before the end of the season and Shola Ameobi so it isn't all bad news.

But be honest have you got any energy left to complain about anything? Or have you already started getting the holiday brochures out!


Ian Teasdale said:

If Howard Webb was a doctor he would have been struck off based on his performance yesterday. I wasn't surprised by his decisions, most Newcastle fans expected a poorly officiated game when they saw who the referee was, as its not the first time this season he has robbed us of three points.
Luckily for us Henry wasn't playing because he would have bagged a hat trick. Arsenal continued their poor run of form, and Martins continued to waste a hat full of chances. In my opinion he also continued to be the laziest player on the pitch.
He never put any effort into closing the keeper down and spent too much time in his own half defending, to make many attempts on goal.
I also believe Dyer will never make a striker as long as our ground is called St James' park. He's good playing behind a front 2 but he'll never be a striker,especialy playing along side Martins, they can't play together. Add to that the fact we have a £9.5M striker on the bench who's only purpose is to come on to run the clock down and as we have seen all to often this season yet another goalless game.
Shepherd should find somebody who knows something about tactics to work along side Roeder for next season, because he is a good man manager but he knows nothing about tactics. and how he can justify playing Carr week after week beggars belief, the man is the waste of a shirt on the pitch. Ok he's not a left back and keeps getting put there but he doesn't want to play for the club so why let him. Duff of Zogs would be the sensible option to me.
Well, enough whinging, well done lads on a point earned and keep at it. And when Chelsea come calling lets do them over and really lift ourselves for the last few games.

Anonymous said:

Roeder is a players coach. I do see very small signs of him not being a tactically gifted manager. Why would you replace Parker after he gets hurt. Emre should be put in as a tactical substitution, even after 2-3 months off. The same goes for Dyer. These guys have more experience than Parker and Sibierski have in their dreams. Roeder if you are listening or reading, I'm just trying to help you realize that some openings are there and don't be so stubborn. But again Roeder is on the pitch and is a head manager for a major sports club. I tip my hat to Mr. Roeder, he truly deserves respect for his accomplshment for the way he has handled this year's circus of injuries. You too Mr. Parker, you are truly a leader. Mr Sibierski you too have come on very strong this year.

The deal with Gooch is right on. He's a new comer vying for a spot on a world stage. What do you expect him to do? Yeah, show your American physical type mentality where body checking is allowed or the team that controls possession with brut takes the advantage. One penalty and he'll be all over the newspapers and back in Belguim in no time. And his buddy on Arsenal would love to see that. A cheap shot against an American.

The team has to win against Portsmouth. This may be the biggest game this year. I vote it be broadcasted on World TV. Bodies will be flying in this game.

alvan said:

Can we settle this once and for all?We don't get to see Albert Luque too often. Is he really that bad?


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.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links