Game on! Stoke v Newcastle.

Do you remember the last time?

After two weeks off it’s back to Premier League action for The Magpies as they take on The Potters of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

A brief 90 minutes of football today will take is into yet another two week break, which is why it’s important to try and get a positive result this afternoon at what is one of the leagues toughest grounds to visit. Both teams could very easily get sucked into the relegation mire, but I would suggest that Stoke have the greater need for a win whereas Newcastle could probably just about settle for a point that will keep us ticking over until the Wolves game at the start of April.


It isn’t looking pretty with regard to injury news either although there was no official confirmation that any one of Joey Barton, Jose Enrique or Jonas Gutierrez have been ruled out in the build up to the match. It’s looks as though at least one, if not all, of them will miss the match as I speculated in my match match preview.

Being a Saturday 3pm game means that the game will not be live on TV, well not in the UK anyway. This will mean that many people are relying on streaming the game if they are to watch it. Reliability of streams has been crap on the whole recently, but if you do manage to find a decent one then please feel free to throw a link to it in the comments section below.

I guess all that is left for me to say is that I hope we all enjoy the game and get the result at the end of it. I’ve pre-written this as I’m at the match myself, so the team news has today been supplied by Moreno.

Howay the lads!

Team news….

Stoke: Begovic; Wilson, Shawcross, Huth, Higginbotham; Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington; Jones, Walters

Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Fuller, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson.

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Sol Campbell, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique. Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Kevin Nolan. Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands.

Subs: Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Danny Guthrie, Shane Ferguson, Jonas Gutierrez, Shefki Kuqi, Nile Ranger.

Newcastle go to a 3-5-2 formation. Sol Campbell comes in to replace Steven Taylor who drops to the bench. Jose Enrique and Joey Barton pass late fitness tests to give the starting 11 a much needed boost as Leon Best is absent due to an injury he picked up in training on Thursday.

HOWAY THE LADS !

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

219 thoughts on “Game on! Stoke v Newcastle.

  1. as I was writing that Blackburn equalised and Birmingham lost to Wigan (who are still rock-bottom). If anyone says that’s not lucky for us they’re too pessimistic to bother with.
    HWTL

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  2. Blackpool/Blackburn drew, West brom drew, Brum lost, Villa lost

    There are still plenty of team having bad results with difficult fixtures

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  3. Last goal was partly Fergies fault but he showed enough to let us know he has a bright future
    Defence had a mare today, forster back from celtic as no1 next season ?

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  4. Love the optimism Devon,

    the cruel harsh reality though, is that we are firmly in a relegation battle. fair enough a couple of teams salvaged results so I don’t mean based on that.
    I mean the fact that EVERY other team below us are proving they can fight and can potentially pick up results.
    If we constantly decide on playing Lovenkrands and Danny Simpson out of position, we will continue to lose games.

    We might only be 4 points of relegation….but we are also only 6 points off the BOTTOM

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  5. Poor result obviously but lets move on. Huge game vs Wolves in 2 weeks lets get Ireland and Best back on the pitch. Young Ferguson was the only bright spark. Attack Wolves from the off!

    HWTL.

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  6. The next two games will go along way to deciding our future. Fixtures get tougher after that

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  7. Totally agree Toby but lets say 4 points is a good return from the next 2 games. I wouldn’t put it past us to get 1 but then pick up 3/4 in the harder games!

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  8. Sol is just plain AWFUL 😡

    Definitely need to win against Wolves

    We’re so desperately short of players who could fit in right now.
    Jonas looks like he was struggling all the time while he was on and Jose with another injury set back. Sigh, hopefully we’ll have some good news in two weeks time.

    As much as I like what I’ve seen from Ferguson today, he is still too lightweight to play in the LB role and has to work on his defending, wouldn’t blame him though since he’s naturally a left winger

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  9. MeanwHile, only three points separates 13th to 20th. Wigan remain bottom with 30, but are joined in the bottom three by Birmingham (31). Wolves (32), move up a place to 18th.
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    geez
    i fear for newcastle.oh dear. 😯 🙄

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  10. My natural reaction is to panic, call Pardew and Ashley muppets and pick apart player performance. Instead, I am going to forget about it and watch England win the grand slam…..

    Oh wait, we are getting hammered, great

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  11. Shyte. What’s worse is that we contributed very much to our downfall.

    Still, I got on telly again so from a vain perspective it was a success 😀

    Geordie Cubano – if you’re still about you need to log in to stop that happening. Its not a server issue, or any issue really, its just that without logging in you see a cached version of the site and if you happen to catch it towards the end of the cycle it can appear to be a bit behind with comments 🙂

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  12. I think we are in a barren run and the teams confidence has suffered and we need to rectify that. What strikes me was we had enough time to prepare for this game and we didn’t perform, we need to get behind the team for next week.

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  13. I’m afraid that Pardew’s team selection in recent weeks has been appalling. Vs Everton Simmo at RB and Saylor at RM.
    And today, yes clearly Jose is our best LB by miles, but he was clearly not fit. Pardew needs to have faith in the youngsters instead of playing players either out of position or who are really past it. He is changing the formation but he should have gone with a standard 442 and not 532(I think that is what we played??.) He seems to have no faith in youngsters. Ranger, Vuckic and Ferguson etc

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  14. I think he wanted to use the strongest team available but it clearly didn’t work at all. I think Ferguson needs to start against Wolves next week and put Barton in the centre with Nolan and if Ireland is fit to put him on the right.

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  15. Because he plays a clearly not fit Enrique ahead of a perfectly able replacement. But also with not giving Ranger a start or Vuckic a look in.

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  16. pearceet – I agree with Ferguson and Ranger but I don’t think Vuckic is fit mate but if he was I don’t see who he would get ahead of.

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  17. Dan
    Yeh maybe not a start but I haven’t seen him on the bench for ages. I may be wrong and if he’s injured then that may be the reason!

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  18. pearceet Im not 100% but Jose must have declared himself fit, although Fergie done brilliant I think it was a big risk starting him against big cloggers of Stoke.
    As for Vukic I didn’t even know he was back from injury ?
    I really dont think Ranger should be starting until he can sort himself out as it would be a bad signal to the other players to see that you get picked to start games even when you cant turn up on time for training etc and I am a fan of Rangers.

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  19. Dave, totally agree, team picked itself.
    Jose and joey played a training match on thursday and were passed fit from that. best was ruled out after that.
    just due to the clubs lack of communication that we didn’t know.
    It wasn’t as ‘touch and go’ with Jose as people are making it out to be.

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  20. regarding ranger surely he is more deserving of a start than lovenkrands. ranger might have his head all over the place but we need footballers

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  21. I know people will deem it too early to be talking line up for Wolves but I’m hoping for;

    Harper
    Simpson Williamson Coloccini Enrique
    Barton Nolan Ireland Jonas
    Ameobi Best.

    I would say young Ferguson to start but I think he will start get a place on bench.

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  22. Toby as I said I am a big fan of Rangers, but what message would it send out to ( Lovens ) and the other players that turn up on time for training and give 100% while there.
    If Ranger gets picked ahead of them when he just cant be bothered to turn up even when he is so highly paid to do his job, and what message would it give Ranger ??? that he can keep fuking about and he will still get picked ???

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  23. Dan4toon
    Would agree with that only because to go and make rash changes will send panic through the ranks. Our defence is not great and their is no midfield shield in that eleven but that is because we have nobody to do the job.
    Confidence will be low and it is going to be a nervous atmosphere and I worry with the likes of Simpson and Williamson as they seem to show nerves and fear in their game at the best of time. Simpson will be up against one of the best widemen in the league.
    Enrique if fit but I cannot see him playing in two weeks time

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  24. If ranger is doing what you say Big Dave then he has to be disciplined I agree. But the problem I have is if he is in the 17 man squad then he plays ahead of lovenkrands. If ranger is the ill disciplined as you say he should not be in the 17 man squad.

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  25. Dave
    I guess he must have done still think it’s a bit iffy. Ranger does need to sort out his attitude but it may be because he is getting frustrated because he isn’t been given a chance. Under Hoots he had chances and there was no complaining about his attitude. I have no idea about Vuckic but if he’s injured then that’s fair enough.

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  26. Tell you what though, happy with the calibre of fans on this blog.
    The stat I posted before, about Pardew being statistically the third worst manager in history, was also posted on United for Newcastle’s facebook page.

    The vast vast majority of fans on that are calling for Pardews head. No doubt the media will start this tomorrow as well, if they haven’t already. More turmoil, more uncertainty.

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  27. Pearceet im sure Ranger gets more time on the pitch with Pards than he did with Hoots who would bring him on sometimes with 5 mins to go 😕 and his attitude was even worse under Hoots.
    I know Pards has said Ranger is improving, and I think putting him on the bench is his way of encouraging him to get better a bit like the stick and the carrot 😀

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  28. Moreno

    I’m not calling for him to be sacked that would be stupid, he started very well and for a while things were looking good. But recently things haven’t been going so well and I think he needs to rethink a bit. And you are right as soon as things start to go even the slightest bit wrong, it’s a field day for the media!

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  29. Moreno I really dont think Pards is that bad mate we have to remember that Judas was one of the most important players in our team and he isn’t hear anymore, and we have been ravaged with injuries 🙁

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  30. Do you really think that Ferguson did well???
    Going forward he did great but defensively he was very poor. Nowhere to be seen with the first goal when Pennant had 10 plus yards of space to cross from and not following in with Pennant when he put the third one in. Haven’t seen the final goal properly (looked offside to me) but someone was saying he wasn’t brillant for that one either. He is definetly not a defender.

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  31. I was going to say I am losing faith in Pardew – if some people use the stats to say he has done better than Hughton, then the stats show that as his run has progressed, it has turned into a steaming pile of shoes.

    However, we have to take into account the most outrageous run of injuries in a long time. The media focus on Man Utd and Arsenal’s injuries but we have almost our entire first team out at the moment – it feels that way anyway.

    I am not gonna turn on Pardew yet, despite the stats showing he’s useless, as the injuries have contributed to that.

    He is running out of time though, as (and someone had to say it at some point) I feel Hughton would have gotten more out of the team in this circumstance. The squad players and the main players left would have had a bit more fight.

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  32. knocky > He is definetly not a defender.
    😉 Your spot on he is a midfielder 😀
    I think for the 1st Sol is the one to hold his hands up and for the 2nd Harper

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  33. Crap, just read that Tiote was booked today. That means he misses the games against Wolves and Aston Villa.

    At least he is back for the Blackpool game, which I feel could be a game that decides whether we stay up or go down if results continue this way for Blackpool and ourselves.

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  34. FJ it is all about opinions as Hoots had the luxury of having Judas Pards dosn’t.
    And I think the players have showed a lot more fight under Pards than they did with Hoots admittidly the last 2 games have been a bit lax, but so many times under Hoots I thought the players had very little fight and went missing in a few games too. 😉
    I honestly believe that under Hoots we would have been in the bottom 3 by now

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  35. “He is running out of time though, as (and someone had to say it at some point) I feel Hughton would have gotten more out of the team in this circumstance.”

    Sorry mate, disagree on bout counts. Firstly, if it was anyone else then maybe, are you forgetting the relationship between the chairman and the manager? Are you also forgetting how many games were left last season when we had a managerial change and the result? You can say a lot of things about Ashley, he does seem to learn from mistakes.

    Secondly, Chris had one set of tactics and they were sussed out by Premier League clubs pretty early. I don’t think he had the experience to be doing any better than Pards.

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  36. Big Dave
    Sol was very poor when letting Walters get across him for the first goal (maybe even Saylor would have done better) but the cross never should have come in. The whole point about playing Stoke is to stop them getting the ball in the box.
    Yes Harper was to blame for the second but you can’t just switch off. Pennant has never been the most committed player and he showed more heart than our defenders to get to the ball. If we’d reverted to a 4-4-2 when Enrique came off or if we’d switched Simpson over to left side, and put Jonas/Guthrie on the right then maybe we could have played 3-5-2 (5-3-2). We looked like we’d never practiced 3-5-2 and irrespective of attitude, Ranger has to play ahead over Lovenkrands. Nolan was a passenger and was poor, when turning his back for the third goal. Without geniune wide men, we have no creativety when Nolan and Tiote play together. (Arteta anyone?) Nolan has had a great season but when he’s off he’s really off.

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  37. To sack Pardew would be suicide. He started very brightly and we have been hit by an outrageous spell of injuries. Cant really fault him on that. He has had limited resources to work with.

    It reminds me of roeders spell. I never understood why he was sacked so quickly. The injuries he had to deal was incredible, and his stats wasn’t that bad!

    Anyway howay the Toon, we still have lots of games left to pick up some points which will hopefully see us safe.

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  38. From the stands, I rate the lads as follows

    Harper – Shocking
    Jose – Not involved enough
    Ferguson – Did really well
    Campbell – Shocking
    Colo – Bullied by Jones all game long
    Williamson – Arguably his best game for a while, Right up his street.
    Simpson – Good in patches
    Barton – Good to bad at varying parts of the game
    Nolan – Not the best, but nowhere near the worst performer.
    Tiote – Poor.
    Shola – Beyond poor
    Lovo – As above.

    Mind you, Stoke were everywhere today and forced the issue. We knew it was going to happen but we just couldn’t deal with it.

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  39. Knocky I said at the time Nolan turned his back on the ball and should have stood tall and it wouldn’t have went in.
    And I have said before we could play 1 striker and stick Nolan in behind him as IMO he dosn’t have the legs for CM and goes missing for most of the game leaving the rest of the MF with more work to do

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  40. I did find it strange that Sol never got much stick for the 1st goal but if it had of been Taylor he would have got slaugthered 😯
    I would also say I think Stoke played better than they normally do but then I think they got their tails up after getting a 2 goal start

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  41. As for Ferguson getting the blame for the first goal and for allowing the cross….. The lad was doubled up and they passed it round him. He didn’t have the luxury of a Jonas helping out with defence and was outnumbered.

    This is why we’ll likely struggle to brig any kids through as they are hounded upon from the word go and for their very first error, mhich wasn’t really an error to be fair.

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  42. I think Ferguson will make it. I am not too sure why but I think he will. In the (little) I have seen of him, his playing style seems to be that of “I don’t care”. I don’t mean that in the lazy, arrogant way, he just seems to do his thing. It’s a sign of confidence and I think he can handle the often lunatic fringe aspect of the support for this team.

    Also, I wasn’t calling for Pardew to go, I was just saying time is running out before people go mad at him and start getting really negative. Hughton was accused of being tactically inept but Pardew is throwing all sorts of formations and players in the wrong positions all to absolute failure.

    He isn’t exactly tactically aware himself.

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  43. Toonsy we always expect too much from the kids and there is far too much weight put on their shoulders, I thought Ferguson was the real highlight of the game for us, he done himself proud 😉

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  44. Big Dave
    Posted March 19, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    “Toonsy we always expect too much from the kids and there is far too much weight put on their shoulders, I thought Ferguson was the real highlight of the game for us, he done himself proud”

    Indeed. Myself and a few others said much the same when leaving the ground. Fergie was undoubtedly the bright spot for me.

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  45. Just got back in the house now, everyone but Ferguson was sh*it and I mean everyone. I wont go through every negative because there was too many but the main ones were Shola not doing anything, probably scared to hurt his face, and once again Lovenkrands showed why he just is not anywhere close enough to being a Prem striker.

    Once again Harpers kicking cost us, you would think with him training everyday of the week he would work on it? What does Woodman do? What did PB do? The bloke cant kick a ball straight.

    Ferguson did class, the only player to show real fight and quality. Wolves is a must win.

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  46. Have to say if we do sell Jose having got a good look at Ferguson today it would not be such a big blow.

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  47. “Have to say if we do sell Jose having got a good look at Ferguson today it would not be such a big blow.”

    hmmm, dunno like.
    Don’t see ferguson being our number one left back next season mate!

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  48. @212 Nah he wouldn’t be our number one but it’s nice to know Ferguson has the ability to come in and play.

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  49. from the bits of the game i can remember, barton’s delivery was surprisingly poor a lot of the time.
    sulzeer might aswell just retire he just looks out of his depth. ferguson had their right flank in his pocket going foward.
    okay tiote didn’t have his best game but his suspension should get that out of his system and with ireland coming in, its a nice way to give him his chance.

    harper, shola, lovenkrands diabolical… 😥

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