No Blue Monday in store for Toon fans

By Lee Ryder on Apr 22, 07 08:27 PM

So there you have it.

The penultimate game of the campaign at St James' Park ends in a goalless draw and I suppose you have to be satisfied with a point.

OK, you can't be punching the air after that one but at least United looked up for it.

Wasted half chances and the presence of the predator we've lacked all season (Michael Owen that is) were obvious and were the reason why United took only point.

But surely this was a bit better?

Better than Pompey, better than Man City at home and a million miles away from Birmingham and 5-1!

I'm talking only about the performance and the outcome of the game of course and not where the club is going or who should be in charge now, but that was more like it and although it was far from the finished article three more performances like that might just sneak a place in the Intertoto believe it or not!

Well, let's not get carried away and whether United would deserve that place is up for debate yet would you really give a hoot if it means European football next season?

Chelsea could easily have left St James' Park with nothing today because Newcastle just about edged it overall.

Yet the reason Newcastle got just a point was because they lacked that little tiny bit extra.

You know it, the bit you need to finish teams off at the top level?

However, that has really been the story of the season for Newcastle, they have been that bit short.

Short in numbers, short in quality defenders, short in a goalscoring forward to partner Oba Martins and certainly short in luck when it comes injuries.

Now all that's left is a home game with Blackburn that is sandwiched between trips to Reading and Watford before a summer to reflect on what has been a long, long season.

The end may well be in sight now, but at least there was tiny chink of light after an encouraging draw with Chelsea.

*FORMER Toon hero Kevin Carr will be at Fluid bar for the final talk-in of the season with Steve Wraith at 7.45pm ahead of the Reading game and again at half-time.


oxboy said:

Just as I predicted a 0-0 face saver.
Why Lee did we not win due to no partner for Martins? I'd say we didn't win because of Martins.
Martins -bought to replace Owen for this season yet we are told he need time to settle in England, time to get used to playing regularly, time to pick up the pace of the premiership. Time to grow up!
Strange one year signing them especially as he can't control the ball, can't pass with accuracy or weight, has no idea where his team mates are and has the vision of Stevie Wonder.Mind he can swing his boot.
Sorry Lee the problem was, as it has been so often, Martins himself.
Other than that did we play that well or did Chelsea expect us to lie down but when we didn't their tired legs and minds could simply not pick up the pace.
Another false dawn me thinks to go with all the others.
Ryder's reply: As ever some good points Oxboy, but I couldn't help but think had Owen been on the field that late cross Carroll put across the face of goal would have been just up his street.
I do not regard Martins as a poacher myself but he still has 17 goals which is an impressive tally, if Martins gets the long rangers and Owen gets the tap ins, it could be interesting next season.
Yet I do agree that some of the runs Martins makes are baffling. 17 goals though eh?

ZORRO said:

a thought it was a great what we didnt win..but we also didnt lose..and we played like champions...coz we stopped champions...and im happy with that...if we treat ev team as if they were a big team then next season should and will be diffrent..judge glenn next season when he feels he,s picked HIS team....UP OR DOON ..I,LL STAND BY THE TOON....FOR LIFE.

Sean K said:

Lee, the players were motivated themselves for this game, Roeder had no contribution to that.
The players worked their socks off, and I agree, with Owen, or a similar skillful striker, we could have won the game.

However, it won't stop us losing to the lesser teams, I mean, Man City have beaten us at SJP, so have Sheff Utd, and Bolton, it's not acceptable.

Roeder should have gone after the 5-1 drubbing by Birmingham.

What this club needs is a TOP CLASS manager and we will be gracing the top 6 once more.

Ryder's reply: United have had top class managers in the past with Sir Bobby Robson and Kenny Dalglish both sporting great trophy laden records but both leaving with no silverware.
With a fully fit Owen in the side I think we actually would beat the Man Citys, Sheff Uniteds and Boltons as these are the games where he was missed the most.
If you give managers flak for bad results surely you have to give them credit for the better results though Sean K?

ActionSteve said:

Martins is incredibly hit and miss, but it wasn't him that should have made it on the end of Carroll's cross. It was Dyer, who after an initial spark when he first returned, has once again proven to be the most over-rated player in the game. He was dead centre, edge of the box when the ball was played to Carroll, and he was still there 5 seconds later as Carroll fizzed a perfect cross along the 6 yard box where any player with half a brain would have been running had they been in Dyers position, except Dyer decided to stay where he was, hands on hips.

oxboy said:

Rename that greener grass Michael Owen.
Why oh why at the end of another poor season, and I mean poor footie not a lack of trophies, do we find some flotsom to cling to for next year. Looks like Owen is Lee's
great hope but all our players have in their time carried such a burden and look where we are.
Its never the individual star we lacked for many years,its a motivated and inspired team. If Owen is the new Shearer (or is that Martins or Sibierski?) we had the real Shearer for 10 years and where did that take us - where we are today. So sorry Lee, I hope you are right and Owen is our salvation next season but unless we get some consistency, creation in midfield, proper full backs and thinking strikers who can control the ball and the game from up front we will still be flicking dust from our navels and thinking its gold dust.

toonfantone said:

I can't believe that people are actually having a go at Oba Martins. He has the one thing that every prem striker needs.....a ruthless ability to put the ball in the net. I'm not saying he's big Al, but you surely wouldn't put Sibierski or Ameobi in front of him to play alongside Owen? I'm sure that playing with a world class striker like Owen will help his overall game unlike playing with any second-rate attacker we happen to have fit. Owen and Martins have got to be given a chance to play together and prove themselves and if too few goals come then I will stand corrected. We all know we need more quality in defence and in the middle, but surely we are not that far off? We can't judge a ramshackle team which Roeder has inherited and half of which aren't fit. Let Glen have some spending power over the summer, get Oba and Owen playing together, then judge him after a dozen games in the premiership. Nobody can say fairer than that? Changing manager every other season helps nobody (except the daparting manager that is, financially).

Dave Russell said:

How do you work out Dalglish was a top class manager?

He did win the title at Liverpool and Blackburn Dave before he came to Newcastle even though it didn't work out here, which is the point I'm trying to make.


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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