United gunned down in Wigan (again)
NEWCASTLE UNITED were gunned down by Wigan Athletic today as Steve Bruce played the role of party pooper for the 5,000 strong Toon Army.
It was UnitedÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s fourth straight loss at the JJB Stadium but Wigan were full value for their 1-0 win as Ryan Taylor bagged the only goal of the game.
Big Sam did not hesitate to wield the axe following the inept performance against Derby County with the Toon boss making FIVE changes to the side that drew 2-2 with the Rams at St JamesÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s Park three days earlier.
Toon owner Mike Ashley watched from the away section as Newcastle supporters lost their cool at the end of a deeply disappointing day.
Geremi returned to the starting line-up along with defender Adboulaye Faye, Turkish playmaker Emre, fit again winger Damien Duff and Steven Taylor.
Alan Smith captained United despite GeremiÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s return as United looked to stretch their unbeaten run to five games.
However, there was no place on the bench for Michael Owen who was still not ready to make his Premier League return.
Joey Barton also missed out but an experienced bench included Cacapa, Nicky Butt and top scorer Oba Martins.
The game began in low key fashion but Shay Given had to be fully focused on 12 minutes when defender Paul ScharnerÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s long range swerving shot went straight at the Irish stopper.
United barely threatened in the first 15 minutes and Wigan enjoyed the better of the play in a cautious start to the game by the Magpies.
Much has been made of the ProZone stats that surround NewcastleÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s season so far but the fact that United only made two entries into the penalty box in the first 30 minutes told the real story.
And it was no wonder that the 5,000 travelling Geordie fans pleaded for their side to ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã ÂattackÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬? as Wigan controlled the opening period.
Newcastle eventually won a corner on 31 minutes but it hardly scratched the surface as far as Wigan were concerned.
Indeed James MilnerÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s cross was hacked to safety by the home side but EmreÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s flag kick was easily cleared by Titus Bramble ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ booed throughout by Toon fans ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ before Habib BeyeÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢s blocked shot was claimed by Chris Kirkland.
United were then handed another chance on 35 minutes when Milner was upended by Kevin Kilbane only for Emre to blast the set-piece straight into the Wigan wall from 25 yards.
Newcastle though lacked quality and a cutting edge in a poor first half.
Yet with eight minutes of the second period played a poor Wigan clearance from Kirkland thudded off Viduka and looped towards the empty net until Bramble got back to nod it off the line, it was their first attempt on target but the Aussie knew little about it.
On 64 minutes it was the home side who made the breakthrough.
The goal arrived when Smith fouled Brown on the edge of the box before Ryan Taylor swept home the free-kick right-footed over both the wall and Given to open the scores.
For Taylor the Wigan star repeated his effort in the corresponding fixture after netting the winner last term.
United though couldnÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢t find a reply and as some fans headed for the exits others turned on both their manager Allardyce and the team.
Toon fans chanted ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã Âyou donÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢t know what you are doingÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬? while the name of legendary striker Alan Shearer was also belted out by pockets of supporters on a day to forget for the black and whites.
WIGAN: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Kilblane, Valencia, Landzaat, Brown, R Taylor (Olembe 75), Bent, Sibierski (Aghahowa 70)
Subs: Pollitt, Boyce, Skoko
UNITED: Given, Beye, S Taylor, Faye, NÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã¢ÂÂ¢Zogbia, Milner, Emre, Geremi (Martins 67), Duff (Enrique 78), Smith, Viduka.
Subs: Harper, Cacapa, Butt.
Crowd: 20, 304
Ref: Mike Dean