Kings of Leon! Birmingham 0-2 Newcastle.

Best scores again.
Newcastle took a massive step towards Premier League survival by beating Birmingham 2-0 at St Andrews.

The win eases the pressure a bit and leaves us sitting in ninth place in the table on 35 points, which is already more than we managed in that dreadful relegation season, and we still have eleven games to go.

The match was played on a pitch that looked like it would be more suited to growing potatoes, but it didn’t stop Newcastle as they once again put in a performance that deserved to get a result, only this time they managed to find the back of the net to get the win that they deserved.

Both sides remained unchanged from their respective weekend matches, which given the impotency of our attack against Blackburn could have been cause for concern. Peter Lovenkrands allayed those fears just two minutes into the match though when he finished superbly from a near-post Jonas Gutierrez cross.

Birmingham seized the game at that point and had most of the ball, but they were unable to do much with it although Nikola Zigic forced a fine save from Steve Harper whilst Roger Johnson wasted another chance for the home side by heading wide from close range.

The home sides attack generally consisted of a long ball to Nikola Zigic with Obafemi Martins feeding off any knock-downs. Unfortunately for Birmingham though, and as Nufc fans know themselves, Martins football brain is the size of a pea which resulted in him being less than effective.

Both sides huffed and puffed their way to the half-time whistle with few chances being created by either side. On balance of play though, Birmingham could perhaps feel a little aggrieved at going in behind at the interval. Such is life though, eh?

Lighting struck twice early in the second half when Leon Best put the away side two up, thanks to another assist from Jonas Gutierrez. The Argentine, who had his best game in a while in my opinion, jinked and twisted on the left before crossing to the back post where Best out-jumped the Birmingham defence and slammed his header into the back of the net to send the away fans into raptures.

Jonas has had his critics, and will continue to do so, but he was superb tonight in my opinion and summed up his performance quite nicely just after that second goal when he ran the ball the entire half of the pitch past several players only to be denied by a last ditch Stephen Carr challenge.

If Birmingham just shaded the first half, Newcastle most definitely had the second half as they looked solid in defence, again, looked assured in possession, again, and worked hard all over the pitch, again.

Birmingham did manage to mount a late rally, but they still never really managed to create anything and the defence and goalkeeper mopped up most of what was thrown at them.

Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands have their critics, but the pair of them ran themselves into the ground and defended from the front. Best actually managed to boss Roger Johnson, who is arguably one of the most physical defenders in the league and Alan Pardew said in his brief post-match interview how both of their injuries were intensified by the amount of work they both put in.

Speaking of Pardew, he also has his critics, but I think he called the game superbly. He made the right decisions from start to finish and set the team up superbly well. He deserves his portion of praise in my opinion.

Newcastle now have a break of eleven days to rest and recuperate before a double-header of home games against Bolton and Everton, and that break will be made sweeter by the win over Birmingham.

Howay the lads!

Birmingham: Ben Foster, Stephen Carr, Roger Johnson, Liam Ridgewell, Martin Jiranek, Seb Larsson, Anthony Gardner, Barry Ferguson, David Bentley, Obafemi Martins, Nikola Zigic.

Subs: Colin Doyle, David Murphy, Lee Bowyer, Keith Fahey, Jean Beausejour, Kevin Phillips, Cameron Jerome.

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands.

Subs: Tim Krul, James Perch, Sol Campbell, Danny Guthrie, Shane Ferguson, Shefki Kuqi, Nile Ranger.

Attendance: 28,270.

Referee: Lee Mason.

64 thoughts on “Kings of Leon! Birmingham 0-2 Newcastle.

  1. Great win and we are looking a solid decent side. Getting good points away from home, turning it on at home. A midfield which is the match of anyones and our strikers are really growing in confidence and performance. Plus we have gosling, ireland, ben arfa, ameobi to add to the mix for the run in so why cant we start to think about europe

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  2. Well done Leon I believed you, thaassands wouldn’t (in cockney).

    If we’d lost tonight, we’d be up sh1t creek without a paddle actually. If we’d draw, many many wise owls had agreeded it would be an okay result! But to beat them (with some 2 goal comfort in the end) is just great if you ask me. And for the 2 boo boys to score the 2 goals away from home I think is great for them, because we NEED them we do! Hopefully this will give them extra confidence!
    One last thing ‘In Pardew we trust!’ ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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  3. “The match was played on a pitch that looked like it would be more suited to growing potatoes”

    “Unfortunately for Birmingham though, and as Newcastle fans know themselves, Martins football brain is the size of a pea which resulted in him being less than effective.”

    ๐Ÿ˜† Great stuff

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  4. Pardew not doing too badly then is he… I hope Worky is ready to admit that.
    Really today result was huge. It means were on a good defeated run. A loss would have meant a poor winless run. If you know what I mean….

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  5. Slarth

    I think we will get safety (answer this season 42-43) I think after the next 3 games and with Benny, Ireland and co. back we should be looking to beat blunderland and them not just safety, it’s easy to get carried away with 3 points like, especially when its the first 3 points in 5 games. I still think we will strugle against Bolton although hope im wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. DJG ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Well in our defense Carr is shite… I still think Jonas would be more effective with end product in the right hand side. But even then, he need time to adapt. He has massive potential. Just usually a poor product.

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  7. Just got back from watching the game at the local.

    Thought we deserved the win.

    Tiote and Collo were outstanding.

    Massive win.

    HWTL

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  8. And yes I know my English is shocking, but I too lazy to read through what I’ve typed on my phone, and my autospell has a mind of its own.

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  9. It’s looking good and to be fair we’ve looked and played decent football last few games
    Happy as fook winning tonight, good effort from the lads
    In uk time i’m still 49, stuck in Frankfurt till tomorrow ๐Ÿ™

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  10. JJ – You see I don’t think he would. I agree with the football brains of malcolm McDonald when he says ‘what right wing’ ‘the guy is a left winger’. I’ll tell you why. He likes to link up with the fellow spanish speakers Enrique and Collocinni on the left, right thats just for starters. In his play he likes to take it wide and dribble, he isn’t a shooter or even a big crosser. He CANT hit a ball with laces whatsoever, I CAN HIT IT BETTER WITH LACES than him!! He just cannot whatsoever he dances about with the ball and dribbles about. He loves playing on the outside and takes it all over he is like Messi or similar left-footers like playing on the right side. That is why he is a left winger, he could play right wing don’t get me wrong but I dont think he wan’t to.

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  11. Good sum up. Pretty much agree with everything you said Toonsy. The lads look focused, tidy and very professional.
    I must say it’s impressive how they can’t boss the match when they are on that kind of form.

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  12. Jonas was quality today, I think Pardew’s been getting him to learn crossing off Enrique ๐Ÿ˜€ Glad to see our team effectively running down the clock at the end as well-no doubt something Pardew thought we should learn, and rightfully so. It aint pretty, but hey it means we don’t lose out on points again. If Jonas played like that every week we’d have real headache problems with Arfa…he’d be playing off the striker on current performances I guess? Ah well, hopefully plenty of time to see where they can all fit in to our European class squad ;D

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  13. We said it would be a nice win to have when we don’t play again till the 26th february /my birthday. Goodnight all. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. If I were AP, I’d be telling the squad in the locker room that our sights are set right on Liverpool. IF NUFC surpass Liverpool, then Liverpool is unlikely to make Europe in any form & will have intensified financial worries. And, if NUFC pass Liverpool, the Toon may be in Europe, which would help Newcastle finances.

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  15. Would love to finish above Liverpool, would be beautiful if we could finish above them and the scum, absolutely beautiful. Still, won’t hold my breath and 17th would still count as a successful season. Hope neither liverpool or the scum get into Europe, need them to collapse damnit! By the way-are liverpool even in debt now? is it liek interest free loans? Or has their new owner actually wiped the slate clean?

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  16. Forget about getting loads of points, Bolton are good, 1 point or 3 pointss aginst them would bw good, then 3 points in next home game ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  17. Aye Bolton are the only teams thats actually thrashed us, will be good to see the lads put in a good performance against them and hope for the best, a win aint impossible. I think we’d be able to handle them decently in open play as well-doesn’t elmander play on the right now that sturridge is up front? Weakness that could be exploited if Enrique and Jonas are on form again. Still, plenty of goal threats in that team. Were we without Tiote last time we played them? I remember we had Nolan and Carroll..I think i might be thinking of west brom.

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  18. Great win. I pray daily that we will surpass the scum and the scousers lol. Perfectly reasonable thing to ask of the almighty hehe..

    Also- Kings of Leon is from Nashville, my home town ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember seeing those guys play at a bar when I was in college a few years ago lol.

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  19. And to think, when AC was sold the drama queens among us were predicting relegation and total calamity.

    This is a good team we have. Still a few players from being a Euro qualifying side, but hopefully we’ll go some way to rectifying that for next season.

    I’ll be mighty pissed off if we don’t.

    btw I thought bringing Campbell on at the end was a good move by Pardew. Probably inspired by memories of those late goals we had against us v 5under1and and Spurs. I expect to see that more in the coming weeks – if we’re winning of course.

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  20. Yeah I agree Brisvegas, bringing sol on at the end shows Pards is using his loaf. Good move I thought. Didn’t want a repeat late equaliser.
    Unfortunatly a better team would have scored a few goals against us last night. They certainly had some good chances which they failed to take and we rode our luck a bit.
    Not wanting to be negative, as we did enough to win the game clearly, but Bolton will be a much tougher game. Cant see us keeping a clean sheet against them, plus we do seem fragile at home for some reason.
    Well being out of the fa cup will at least allow the Lads time to recover fully and prepare.

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  21. The last time I was at St Andrews was in the early 80s when the wall collapsed and killed a kid (I was in the away end with a leeds fan). Besides the tragic events of the wall collapsing I do remember that the atmoshpere was electric and hostile.

    What a different place st andrews is now. A better stadium but their support was poor to say the least. There were some pretty cheesed off fans outside the ground though ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    We fully deserved the win though and I never thought I would see Jonas putting in the crosses for both goals!

    Everyone worked hard to a man, and it was a great team performence. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  22. “Unfortunately I agree, itโ€™s just a shame weโ€™re relying on Best and Lovenkrands to finish the good work off”………sorry Stuart, I couldn’t resist ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

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  23. Shrews….aye they were terrible, much like the Rovers fans on Saturday. Bloody satnav decided to bring me back a completely different way to the way it got me there ๐Ÿ˜• ๐Ÿ™„

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  24. Richietoon … at least the rovers fans had an excuse … there was none of them there ๐Ÿ˜› … but last night the ground was full ๐Ÿ™„

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  25. DJG

    I know, the problem is Jonas is so comfortable on the left because he has spent so much time there, and if he can keep his delivery like it was last night, then by all means keep him there, because his final ball is all thats lacking from his game (albeit, its a crucial part of being a winger).

    I just feel his crossing would be more consistantly good if he ‘got used’ to playing on the right.

    I think (unlike some) that he is good defensively too and he’d give Simpson some cover. Simpson isn’t bad at crossing either and he could get forward a bit more.

    On the left with regards to the link up play with Enrique, well I think Enrique is good enough to form that kind of link up with anybody, so don’t see that as an issue, whether its Ben Arfa, or an incoming NZogbia?

    As for Best, he isn’t world class, and for what we paid for him, what’d you expect. But for me, he is better than Ameobi. And still getting better.

    Lovenkrans (despite his critics) is also only a squad player, but a very good one. He has good movement, and his goal record is far from the worst – even for us.

    Key is to keep our players, and add two or three quality addtitions with the Carroll funds.

    We’ll be a really solid outfit. Better squad than the Scum (perhaps even top six material).

    Pardew did well again. On the pitch, he’s really done little wrong has he. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  26. Brisvegas
    “And to think, when AC was sold the drama queens among us were predicting relegation and total calamity.”

    I don’t think its fair to directly attack Stuart like that!!! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

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  27. richietoon – fair comment … it emptied pretty quick and when the players came over at the end it felt like we were the only fans left in the ground ๐Ÿ˜›

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  28. Alan Partridge
    “Well being out of the fa cup will at least allow the Lads time to recover fully and prepare.”

    Yup, that Pardew is a genius purposely losing to Stevenage! Pity it cost me 2k though ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

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  29. “great result..just wish jose would stop thinking hes messi when trying to bring the ball out from the backโ€ฆ”

    I don’t. It’s risky, but it’s what makes him the player he is. Best left back in the League is Jose.

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  30. birmingham had obviously been watching videos of Jose, as they didn’t allow him any space at all last night … but this was to the benefit of Jonas who had a little more space and his best game for a long time ๐Ÿ™‚

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  31. Just a quick stat I heard on sky last night….. Leon Best now has 5 goals from 7 starts. Keep it up Leon son. Pleased he scored with his head last night as his previous headed attempts have been woeful. Hopefully, now his blood is right up and he can fire us to a successful end. All we need now is for Ranger to gain a bit of confidence in front of goal and I think we’ll be onto a winner.

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  32. JJ
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:09 AM
    Brisvegas
    โ€œAnd to think, when AC was sold the drama queens among us were predicting relegation and total calamity.โ€

    I donโ€™t think its fair to directly attack Stuart like that!!!

    Don’t ever remember saying we’d be relegated when Carroll left. Happy to fight my corner and stand up for things I said, but I cannot do that for things that are complete lies and misrepresentation.

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  33. ~ El Toro ~
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    โ€œgreat result..just wish jose would stop thinking hes messi when trying to bring the ball out from the backโ€ฆโ€

    I donโ€™t. Itโ€™s risky, but itโ€™s what makes him the player he is. Best left back in the League is Jose.

    I disagree. In fact I’d say that is what is stopping him from becoming the best.

    Sometimes you just have to clear it. Knowing when to do that is what separates the good from the great.

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  34. “~ El Toro ~
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    โ€œgreat result..just wish jose would stop thinking hes messi when trying to bring the ball out from the backโ€ฆโ€

    I donโ€™t. Itโ€™s risky, but itโ€™s what makes him the player he is. Best left back in the League is Jose.

    I disagree. In fact Iโ€™d say that is what is stopping him from becoming the best.

    Sometimes you just have to clear it. Knowing when to do that is what separates the good from the great.”

    I disagree right back at you. ๐Ÿ˜€ You have to speculate to accumulate and I can safely say that a very large portion of our attacks on the left flank have come as a result of Enrique playing it out of defence.

    Also, I’m not a fan of the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to football. The best and most entertaining moments in football arrive when players take risks.

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  35. You’ve totally misunderstood me than. ๐Ÿ˜•

    I’m not saying don’t take risks.

    And I’m definitely not saying see ball, hoof ball.

    I’m just saying don’t do it ALL THE TIME.

    Does Messi try and beat someone everytime he gets the ball? No.

    There’s a time and a place to take risks. Being able to decide when that is in a split second is what makes a truly world class player. Which, IMO, Jose is not… yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  36. When Jose, Tiote and Colo play well we get a result. We need to get them tied down on new contracts then have the balls to turn down any bids for them. If any of those 3 go we won’t be able to replace them with players as good, let alone better.

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  37. Toon Chicken

    I take your point, but still disagree with you as I don’t feel Enrique tries to play his way out of danger all of the time..Just the majority. He clearly knows he has the better of his opposition 90% of the time and is just using the tools in his locker to turn defence into attack. Long may it continue in my opinion.

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  38. Toon Chicken

    I take your point, but still disagree with you as I don’t feel Enrique tries to play his way out of danger all of the time…Just the majority. He clearly knows he has the better of his opposition 90% of the time and is just using the tools in his locker to turn defence into attack. Long may it continue in my opinion.

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  39. El Toro

    I agree with both your last two comments, almost exactly equally!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I think Jose has a pretty solid mix of playing the ball out and passing out.
    I’d rather he took on his man though because his one rare weakness is the occasional sloppy mishit pass/hoof which puts the pressure directly back on us.
    He does it far less often than he used to though and nobody is perfect.

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  40. Stuart

    I’m only kidding mate, I only picked on you because you are probably the biggest pessimist on the blog football wise, but its just your personality I guess.

    Doesn’t mean I’m attacking you, just ragging you. I actually agree with quite a lot you say, just try to be more positive about it myself.

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  41. Stuart said: Donโ€™t ever remember saying weโ€™d be relegated when Carroll left.

    That’s true, Stuart. You said, after the Fulham game:

    “for the first time this season Iโ€™m genuinely worried about relegation”

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