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Now that's a wake up call

By Lee Ryder on Sep 12, 10 05:08 PM

So then the mighty run of 26 games unbeaten comes to an unexpected end against the team that could well finish the season rock bottom in Blackpool.

Blackpool have had a decent start to be fair but how much can you read into early season results?

Remember Burnley beating Man United and having a decent start anybody?

All of that has got nowt to do with Newcastle United but it's not like it isn't clearly obvious and simple why the Magpies were beaten in their own backyard for the first time since May 2009.

Quite simply, they didn't take their chances and you don't need to be a brain surgeon to work that one out.

The opposing keeper had the proverbial outstanding display yesterday and it was reminiscent of the display of Dean Gerken of Bristol City last season about 12 months ago when everything went right for him.

This time it was the turn of former Rochdale hero Matt Gilks who stopped everything that came his way.

Joey Barton, Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Peter Lovenkrands and then Hatem Ben Arfa threatened but in the end Gilks walked off with a well deserved clean sheet.

It's gone now, but if there are any positives to take from the game, it was that Newcastle are still creating their fair share of chances.

As it turned out they created as many chances as they did against Aston Villa in the 6-0 hiding but yesterday it just wouldn't go in.

Yes, it's disappointing but now is not the time to panic.

Next up is a trip to Everton when Ben Arfa will be pushing for a start and could even be joined by Cheik Tiote or Sol Campbell.

Everton are yet to win, but wouldn't it be just like Newcastle to go to Goodison Park and win?

Here's hoping.

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21 Comments

AndyMac said:

"Yes, it's disappointing but now is not the time to panic."

Who's panicking Lee ? I'm certainly not but the lesson to be learned from yesterday was not about taking chances (as everyone knows you have to do that) but it was about being more tactically aware of the opponents game plan.

CH recognised Blackpool came here to attack on the break but defesively we looked like we were expecting it to happen every other minute of the game. I didnt feel at any time that the defense looked completely comfortable based upon that sort of threat yet there are often simple solutions to the problem eg dont play so high up the pitch.

We must learn to react to opponents strategies and not be so reliant on the same old systems when we're getting beaten. IMO we must forget 4-4-2 at home and 4-5-1 away because we need to bring our tactics and formations into the 21st century and the crowd need to understand that too.

This is not KK's "Entertainers" its NUFC trying to establish itself in a league where even Birmingham, Blackburn and Bolton have improved since we were last here.

Our front four need to be more mobile and capable of complimenting each other as we dont have great pace up front but we do have strength and a little skill now that HBA has arrived. If HBA, AC, JG and WR played to their potential and kept pushing forward instead of trying to track back, opposition full backs would be less likely to roam forward and leave them unmarked. We should be able to defend with seven players and leave our front forward unit free to pick up loose balls from defensive situations.

As an example take the Mancs game yesterday when at least three goals came as a direct result of having personnel high up the pitch ready to take advantage of breaks out of defence.

Its possible to do because Blackpool played a similar game yesterday. They exploited the space behind our defensive flanks which meant if our full backs went forward they'd be caught out of position on the counter attack.

Yesterday cried out for a radical rethink at halftime if not to change the game then at least to prod some of the underperformers into action. I'm concerned that CH either couldnt see it or he failed to respond quickly enough. Its not a weakness if you change players and formations within the first thirty minutes of a game. Its what Jose would do and it seems to work for him more often than not.

Anyway the honeymoon is now over and we have to start performing like a BPL team, difficult to break down but effective on the counter attack as so many of the other teams try to do in this league.

Admittedly that's tough if you want to see wide players hugging the touchline and hooking crosses over to our No. 9 to nod into the net but the truth is we dont have players of that calibre to make it happen. So let's work to the strengths of what we do have and lets not be so slow to change things when plan A is not working.

toonagain said:

well at least CH has maybe foreseen this and brought us a few players in that might change things. why is it newcastle do this time and time again? one good win and they seem to come out the next game and just trot around?? we did this the season we went down, losing games we should of won. come on lads learn the lesson. 0-0 is better than a losing at home. i'm blaming the bbc turning up, they always give which ever club they focus on the kiss of death!? at least we can all stop thinking about the CL now and back to picking up as many points as possible.

Bill Bradley said:

Perch was poor but he had precious little help from Routledge and Williamson was having an off day. It didn't take Blackpool long to pick up on this and most of their best play came down their left. It's not merely about our chances, it was about some abject positional play and poor (in some cases, the absence of) tackling. And that perennial: the slow central midfield.

steve80 said:

Hughton got it wrong, pure & simple. When we played Blackpool at home earlier in the year, Lovenkrands & Carroll played up front together, why this time was 4 5 1 trotted out? Why again does Smith start over Tiote, a bona fide defensive midfielder. Ben Arfa on the bench? Madness. And why the dreadful Perch gets the nod over Ryan Taylor, who is the most under rated player at the club, is mind boggling frankly. Best we can hope for is too grind out a draw at Goodison, and hopefully get 3 points against Stoke (but again for that game i'd be reasonably happy with a draw). Once you start losing at home to your relegation rivals, its a slippery slope. But this is Newcastle, and as we know, things are rarely straight forward. On the plus side, i think our relegation rivals consist of 7 or 8 teams, so competition for the drop is stiff. West Ham look dire, so do Wigan, and Stoke could well be in trouble also. And when you look at Sunderland's up coming fixtures, they're certainly not out of the reckoning.

Terry Tibbs said:

Poor result yes but come on anyone there knows we created enough chances to have won two games, Blackpool had one chance in the second half & scored!
As for team selection what was CH supposed to do? The 11 on the pitch had done well enough to justify starting with them on Saturday & even if others may have selected a different 11 surely you can understand CH thinking. It's easy to have a pop after the event but come on how many would have changed it & if you had what would that have done for the confidence of those left out?
For me Smith must give way & I'd leave Jonas/Routledge out for Ben Arfa. On the R.Taylor commenet sorry but I don't think he's a full back in fact I'd say he'll never be one as long as I've got a hole in my a....!
I'm sure we'll see 2/3 changes for the Everton game & those will be easier for Ch to justify after Saturday's result but I agree now's not the time to panic, see where we are after 10 games & if we're bottom then PANIC!!

toonagain said:

steve I agree, simply by playing 4-5-1 just puts us on the back foot from the off and with a team like blackpool who are playing to win each game, they must of loved it. i can just about handle 4-5-1 away from home but on our own manner we have to start off a little more positively; maybe the players felt this too hense a lack luster parformance from the off, i'm sure they would of thought at least 4-4-2!!? -CH don't believe the hype mate, you're not that good yet!

captnkidd said:

Not a wake up call to some. As some of us have been saying it for sometime now this squad is lightweight in strength and depth for a club this size and for the division it is in. I am sorry if the truth hurts trust me it hurts saying it. We have a chance to stay up if we can hang in there till the new year where money must be spent it is that simple.

Rosco said:

To be honest captn all the money in the world cant make players gel and throwing money at the situation imo would be covering a forest fire with a blanket, i believe we have the skill right here, and well enough players i think to want more players in january is not giving the guys out there the now the confidence they need.

captnkidd said:

Rosco
Dont get me wrong m8 my meani8ng is in January we need tobring in the striker that we tried to in august as iun Robie Keene or someone of that ilk. We simply do not have enough firepower withing th squad.
That is not crack papering but a fact that nearly everyone recognisesd including CH or why did he gofor Keene in the first place.

captnkidd said:

Bill Bradley
I know what you mean m8, but don't you think Williamson had an off game because of having to keep Perch right all the time he spent most of the game shouting at perch and telling him to get into position. Perch kept coming inside and got in Williamsons way coutless times sometimes two marking one and leaving a yawning gap on our right, which presumably Routledge was supposed to fill if and when he could be bothered.

I would play Jonas {who admittedly was terrible against Blackpool]on the right to help out Perch untill Simpson is fit as he does Enrique on the left. If Stevie Taylor is fit first I would play him right back Perch simply is not up to it.

Sulphuric909 said:

I tried to give Perch the benefit of the doubt during the man utd game....then came the freak villa result....he lost the plot once again vs wolves, and now we have last saturdays game. I think RT should be used until either Danny Boy or Stevie is fit again. Nothing bad to say about the other 3's commitment or performances. I think JB had a bad game and may have been wary about another Karl Henry moment against a team of similar statute as wolves (just look at what happened to Zamora). Smith just reminds me of Scott Parker - he pulls out a good tackle once in a while, and give it 100%, but most of his time on the pitch is spent running around in circles (mainly the centre one!)
Jonas needs a rest, and Routledge is the impact sub we need to come on in the last 15-20 mins. Nolan looks as though he needs a rest, but we've just had 2 weeks off...maybe drop him back into CM and let him and JB pull some strings. Carroll lacked the service at times, and at other times lacked the placement of the shot similar to what we witnessed at man utd. Carrol needs Lovenkrands to start with him - it works. HBA needs to have his chains removed and start terrorising the whole defense of our opposing team. Jonas / Wazza have to find the composure to put in a cross, and when to pass / beat a player.

I think a starting line up of Harper(preferably KRUL), Jose, Colo, Williamson, RT, HBA, Nolan, Tiote(JB), Jonas, Carroll, Lovenkrands we would have a solid, and more worrying team (for the opposition to deal with) that the current underperformers are showing.

We're in the EPL for a reason and we want to stay here!

AndyMac said:

Against top sides we dont have the personnel to go 4-4-2 and I'd argue we dont have it against mediocre sides either. CH, by playing 4-5-1 is trying to stop us from being overrun in midfield while having more support for the defence but it doesnt work even against Blackpool when large proportions of the team are having bad days at the office.

We had several players under performing including Perch, Jose, Barton, Smith, Routledge and Jonas. You wonder if CH's tactics had them confused before they'd stepped foot on the pitch especially when Blackpool started with four strikers and we had one.

Its a managers role to try and second guess what his opposite number is planning to do before the game begins and at least recognise that during the early stages of the match and adjust his team where necessary.

Missed chances maybe but CH needs to work on his game just as much as the rest of the squad.

Relton said:

love your comments capn - however - I dont think its a valid argument in this instance - to moan about strength in depth and the amount of money spent on strengthening the club.
FACT - we were beaten in out own backyard by a team that has spent about £20 quid on transfers - and even wheeled out on-loan toon reject Marion Harewood to beat us.
No - this argument will have to wait for another day I am afraid. We have to say they tried - they werent good enough - they should have been - but - in the end they let us and themselves down.
Backlash against Everton.

DormAnt said:

There is no point in substituting any players, in any match, if you can't change the team tactics or the mindset of all involved to match the changes.

We had the lions share of chances in the match and failed to convert a single one over the course of the match. While Blackpool had but a few chances and converted two, there conversion rate being something like 97%.
There has to be a moral in this sequence of events somewhere - I'll continue to work on it.

It's not time to panic - I beg to differ.
If we act now (a minor panic) we will have the time and chances to put things right. If we wait until Christmas and we are in the bottom three the time to panic will be long gone.

If we go down because of the points we have dropped at home I will be more than a little miffed. The fortress has been breached after just two games into the home programme (our supposed strength) to a so called lesser light in the division.

Digitum extractum Chris, get it out and get on and put it right on the turf.

DormAnt said:

There is no point in substituting any players, in any match, if you can't change the team tactics or the mindset of all involved to match the changes.

We had the lions share of chances in the match and failed to convert a single one over the course of the match. While Blackpool had but a few chances and converted two, there conversion rate being something like 97%.
There has to be a moral in this sequence of events somewhere - I'll continue to work on it.

It's not time to panic - I beg to differ.
If we act now (a minor panic) we will have the time and chances to put things right. If we wait until Christmas and we are in the bottom three the time to panic will be long gone.

If we go down because of the points we have dropped at home I will be more than a little miffed. The fortress has been breached after just two games into the home programme (our supposed strength) to a so called lesser light in the division.

Digitum extractum Chris, get it out and get on and put it right on the turf.

Bill Bradley said:

"Bill Bradley
I know what you mean m8, but don't you think Williamson had an off game because of having to keep Perch right all the time he spent most of the game shouting at perch and telling him to get into position."

Yes. Very much the case, and as I said, Perch wasn't helped at all by Routledge wandering off into the middle of the field.

On Ryan Taylor: I admit I don't think he's wonderful, but he's probably as good as Simpson and better than Perch and could probably give you more going forward than Routledge. But... I think S Taylor is a better right back than either one of them.

Someone needs to teach Jonas to cross. I can't understand for the life of me why he doesn't practise taking crosses in the warm up before a game.

Bill Bradley said:

I see Nolan is already claiming it's a wake-up call. Charity begins at home, Kevin...

captnkidd said:

relton
Not advocating we spent a fortune m8 just a striker to help out Carroll and give us the option we do not have right now thats all. As I said they went for Robbie Keene for a rewason he turned us down and we did not have a plan B.

captnkidd said:

Bill Bradley
I agree whole heartedly about Stevie Taylor m8.

Lee why is the coment section not on for the new stories on the main page. A vibrant site is suffering and stagnating because of it.

Geordie Lee said:

The reason we didn't get Keane is because Spurs wanted Carroll, as reported in some of the media today.

Routledge isn't good enough for the Premier League (as other teams have found out), Perch looks like a fish out of water (pun intended) and Jonas couldn't cross his fingers.

Hopefully Ben Arfa will produce some quality for Carroll to feed off, but as many of us continued to say even after the Villa game, we're in for a long hard slog.

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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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