Tubthumping on Tyneside

By Lee Ryder on Jan 9, 11 12:27 PM

Let's make no bones about, Newcastle United were lucky to be classed as second best at Broadhall Way.

Stevenage were simply miles ahead of United and outfought, outthought and overall out played the Magpies in Hertfordshire.

If it was the stuff of dreams for Stevenage, this was United's worst nightmare.

Anybody connected with the black and whites will be hurting like hell today after this embarrassing day in the history of Newcastle United.

It's right up there with the exits at Hereford in 1972 and Exeter in 1981 and underlined exactly what the FA Cup is supposed to be about - not that it's any consolation to the Toon Army.

Alan Pardew played his strongest XI and fittest side available against the League Two minnows.

But it simply wasn't enough against a Stevenage side that played like their lives depended on it.

With the Stevenage players plying their trade in the basement division and classed as a non-league outfit before this season, you could say their lives do depend on days like this.

No excuses, from Newcastle, it should have been a straight forward passage to the next round.

United underestimated the Boro and didn't learn from their mistakes in the first half after Stevenage came close on a couple of occasions.

The two goal blitz just after half-time was in the post and Newcastle had no answer to being 2-0 down despite 35 minutes still to play on the clock.

Joey Barton's consolation was a scorcher but it came far too late.

And it would have flattered Newcastle if they'd have left the field with a 2-1 scoreline let alone a draw.

That Stevenage wrapped it up at 3-1 was some type of footballing justice.

But that doesn't mean anybody on Tyneside is happy about it.

Well done, Stevenage you deserved your day in the sun.

You deserve to be in round four and apart from a few idiots who invaded the pitch at the end of the game, your club - despite a few spiky remarks before the game provoked from 1998 - were a credit to League Two.

Maybe we'll meet again, maybe we won't.

But one thing I do know is that Newcastle United fans won't be in the doldrums for too long.

Especially with a big Tyne-Wear derby to come in seven days time and we all know that Newcastle simply can't afford to mope around after this.

After the exit at Hereford in 1972, United beat Man U 2-0 at Old Trafford.

We now travel to the Stadium of Light for a huge Premier League derby, Stevenage go to Chesterfield in the old Fourth Division.

Wearside awaits...and Tyneside expects.

Cue Chumbawamba.

*For a full match report on Stevenage and reaction from Toon players and Alan Pardew, see tomorrow's Chronicle


AndyMac said:

"Alan Pardew played his strongest XI and fittest side available against the League Two minnows"

Fittest ? Not according to Pardwho.

As I've said before there's a world of difference between a strongest XI and an XI for the job in hand. The left side yesterday was hopelessly inadequate and the right had a non productive Routledge on it so immediately we're down to little or no service to the front two.

The best side yesterday would have had Ferguson replacing Jonas and possibly Kadar as the left sided defender instead of the woeful Perch, who performs badly at right back let alone at left back.

Best is no Shearer but on Wednesday he got some great service, mainly from Barton, and profited. The key to yesterday was repeating that formula with plenty of balls into the box. Ferguson and Barton could have been relied on to do that, from their respective wide positions.

It's not rocket science Pardwho, get it right next time otherwise you'll begin to know how Ashley feels when he takes his seat at SJP :)

Tom Harrison said:

Perch didn't have a bad game yesterday. Their goals came down our right where neither Simpson or Williamson could tackle. Barton's crossing was abysmal. When he's poor, the team is. Great shot, though. Nolan and Smith were overrun in central midfield, but they were last season, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. Routledge was awful and I wasn't aware Lovenkrands was on the pitch in the second half. Ferguson and Kadar should've played on the left. Vuckic should've been in for Smith. Barton could at least have been moved to the right where he's more comfortable. I thought Best put himself about in the first half whereas Ranger was poor in the second. A lot of our problems stem from the woeful central midfield. Tiote didn't deserve the red 9and I hope it's rescinded), but flailing around like that was a bit worrying

Phil K said:

Tom Harrison mainly had it right.
He was wrong about Perch though. He was no worse than the rest, but he was abysmal.
The choice of players by Pardew was appalling.
Midfield needs desperately improved.
A MILLION per cent improvement is needed at S.O.S. or Sunderland will get FULL revenge for the 5-1.
Absolutely disgraceful, humiliating performance. The national press will be partying for months on this, as they (bafflingly - why, for God's sake ?) always glory in our unhappiness.
They take shadenfreuder to obscene extremes.

DormAnt said:

There is no logical reason for this misfortune. Thus it must be part of my destiny.

Zi Sang, Zhou Dynasty.

Mike said:

Agree with the points made about playing Barton on the left. Pardew has said numerous times since taking over just how valuable JB is and what a top performer he has been. So play him in a position where he can be influential then! Playing 2 right footed players on the left side was a recipe for having no natural width down that side. Ferguson should have been given a chance. Barton should not be getting shifted around the midfield just to accommodate Nolan, who when he isn't scoring, contributes nothing. I'd rather have Tiote and Barton in the centre, with 2 proper wingers on the flanks. If they do sign Larsson or Bentley, I wonder where Barton will end up playing?

nick said:


“get it right next time otherwise you'll begin to know how Ashley feels when he takes his seat at SJP”

You’re threatening to get on the back of a bloke who’s been in charge for half a dozen games.

No wonder people in other parts of the country laugh at us.

Cannymans Ghost said:

We got what we deserved, the players just thought they just had to show up to win.
The sad papt is they never responded when it was slipping away. Dont blame Pardew.
If I was Pardew there are players I would not play again until they show some hunger.......Jonas,Routledge,Williamson, Ranger,Best and .........Nolan.......disgraceful.


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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