A Mickey Mouse display in Orlando – Orlando City 1 – 0 Newcastle

Molino celebrating with his teammates
Last night was another disappointing late night for me and the other mental people who stayed up till early hours following NUFC. The 1-0 defeat against 3rd division side Orlando City was the first defeat our pre-season, and even though the result doesn’t matter, you can’t shy away from a very poor performance.

I know you will all already know the score, but you might not have seen the game, so I’m going to give my own take on what I saw with my tiring eyes last night.

NUFC team in full (4-4-2)- Fraser Forster, Ryan Taylor (Jose Enrique, 25), Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, James Tavernier. Dan Gosling (Haris Vuckic,71), Alan Smith (Mehdi Abeid,74), Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez. Peter Lovenkrands (Demba Ba,74), Leon Best (Shola Ameobi, 74). Subs Unused- Steve Harper, Tim Krul.

The team without Sylvain Marveaux, Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa completely lacked creativity like many expected and the two holding midfielders Cheik Tiote and Alan Smith did very little forward movement. When Abeid came on he showed glimpses of class and seemed like he could pick holes in the opposition defence. The lack of movement from our forwards didn’t help him.

The opening stages brought very little from either team. They seemed a bit shell shocked and we were sloppy with our passing – which was a running theme throughout the game. Ryan Taylor did have to go off with a knock after around 25 minutes which meant that wantaway full back Jose Enrique came on to the pitch. Peter Lovenkrands had a chance to poke one home just after the half-hour mark after Steven Taylor knocked the ball down; also Enrique had a chance to feed the ball across the goal for a tap in, but chose to go for glory and was denied. The only other chance of the half was a free kick from just outside the box taken by Lovenkrands. Yes I know, I didn’t know why he was taking it either.

You know the first half was poor when you enjoyed the fifteen minute break before the second half, for the night owls it was time to grab a drink and make sure you managed to last the next hour. Unfortunately I did.

The second half was no better than the first; we were completely over-run by an energetic Orlando City team. They had multiple chances as the game went on and Fraser Forster was doing his best to prevent them with a string of good saves. Just after we made our substitutions the breakthrough came, for them unfortunately. I didn’t get that good a look of the goal as the cameraman on my stream dropped his camera, but I managed to catch a replay where the ball was rolled across the box to be tapped in by Molino.

After that the youth of Abeid and Vuckic helped us grab hold of the game a little better and a great through ball to James Tavernier set him through on goal with Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid on his left shoulder, Tavernier chose to pass the ball across goal and it was tapped in by Haris Vuckic, sadly celebrations were cut short as the linesman ruled it as offside, wrongly in my opinion. 😛

The game seemed to fizzle out after that and it was as if both teams were just waiting for the final whistle to blow. Not long after that it blew giving Newcastle their first defeat in pre-season and their second game in a row without a goal, which is starting to worry me.

But, as I always like to look on the positive side of things this actually doesn’t matter. We could have beaten them 6-0 and we’d have been in no better position, it’s all about fitness and playing in the warm weather and it’s another game we’ve played, without a notable injury (Ryan Taylor went off injured, but he doesn’t count). Also it was another 70 minutes for Dan Gosling who really looked a good player in the first half, he tired towards the end, but that’s expected. Captain Coloccini looked calm and commanding as usual, and Abeid looked good when he came on.

The main positive for me was young James Tavernier who looked good in almost everything he did. He showed pace going up the pitch and chasing back and didn’t look out of place alongside our usual back four. Tavernier looked calm with the ball at his feet and wasn’t shy to overlap, which is something that usually annoys me with Simpson. We should watch out for this lad, he could make the team before a few of us expect.

Player Ratings

Forster – 7 – He made some very good saves and looked calm, kicking was sometimes poor.
Tavernier – 8 – Great performance by the young lad, my stand out player.
S. Taylor – 7 – Steady when called upon, did nothing wrong, but looked nothing special.
Coloccini – 7 – Looked good, calm when coming out of defence with the ball, some poor passes.
R. Taylor – 5 – Was glad when he went off the pitch injured, just looked poor. Not a right back.
Gosling – 7 – Tried his best to create and put in a lot of effort, static strikers gave him no chance.
Tiote – 6 – Didn’t really do much, worked hard and chased, but didn’t create.
Smith – 5 – Can’t pass 5 yards, runs about generally making a nuisance of himself, created nothing.
Jonas – 6 – Looked knackered after 15 mins, didn’t track back like usual, didn’t run at the defender.
Best – 6 – Looking to really shine, did little, constantly falling over, put himself about though.
Lovenkrands – 5 – Was he playing?


Enrique – 6 – Good at times, disinterested at times. Flew past defenders but played many poor balls.
Vuckic – 6 – Got amongst the play in the midfield, goal disallowed, would have liked him on earlier.
Abeid – 7 – Touches of class, really looked a talent. A bit like a little Ben Arfa.
Ba – 5 – Played off the wing, so didn’t have much chance. Poor passing and he looked rusty.
Ameobi – 5 – Typical 5 out of 6 Shola performance, showed no strength and a poor touch.

What do you think?

33 thoughts on “A Mickey Mouse display in Orlando – Orlando City 1 – 0 Newcastle

  1. Good write up and agree with the assessment. I think the play and minutes we’re getting from Gosling, Abeid, Vuckic and Tavernier are the real positives from the tour.


  2. I’d agree with this assessment of our performance, except for a couple of things:

    colo deserves 7 cos he did everything right defensively. A lot of his wayward passes were due to lack of options (smith, lovenkrands, best were never in good positions)

    enrique deserves 7 because he played a couple of lofted through balls which a most strikers would have taken advantage of. Unfortunately, it was a bad day for best and lovenkrands.

    Overall, I think the pitch and the weather had it’s effect on our boys more than on Orlando’s players. But that no excuse because the passing, movement, and positioning of our forward players was terrible from the start.


  3. @Deepak

    I think Marveaux wasnt playing because the hard surface might’ve been dangerous for his injury? maybe…


  4. Abeid was great again. He gave us a bit of cutting edge and looked to me the best player on the park even though he didn’t start!

    Jose seems to be believing his own hype now with his 50 yard runs before crossing the ball so hard it goes out for a throw in or so inaccurately that it goes out for a goal kick.

    Best didn’t do a lot to make Pardew think twice about keeping.

    Forster made some good saves but he just doesn’t look right. Maybe it’s because of his size but he doesn’t seem to move for things. I’m also quite surprised that he flapped at a few crosses.

    Smith – non-existent.

    Tiote – As above.

    Jonas – Same.

    Colo and Taylor played alright.


  5. Moreno – If you’re about, I see there was a riot at tge Fenerbahce match with hundreds injured. Not reported. I’ll provoke an angry article out of you yet.


  6. Just wish this pre season was over and the real games where upon us, friendlies and the like do nothing for me, looking at some players photos on twitter they are just using the tour as a holiday. Hope the fitness levels are actually rising come 13th august


  7. IOT-Thanks mate…hope it was just precautionary and that he is not suffering from any injury.

    BTW nice review Jobey. I agree with what you have said.Can’t believe that Smith is still here.Total waste of space.And Abeid was a real spark when he came on.Am really impressed with his progress. If only others shared his desire and drive. Thought Colo was also outstanding except for the goal.Tavernier has always impressed me whenever I have seen him. I remember last pre-season he was really good in the matches against Deportivo and the like that I thought he might actually get a chance in the first team.Wasn’t to be but hope this can be his breakthrough season.


  8. Lua Lua was just loaned to Brighton right? Just in the people today they’ve got him listed as a £1.2m purchase for them is fat man lying again to us fans


  9. and sorry Jobey07, i somehoe imagined you had given colo a rating of 6…


  10. Me and Batty would be more of a threat than Best and Lovenkrands.
    Get into that transfer market Mike
    Three weeks to go


  11. Lua Lua was just loaned to Brighton right? Just in the people today they’ve got him listed as a £1.2m purchase for them wonder if ashley is pulling the wool over our eyes :


  12. We say we have too many midfielders, but I think with an injury to any one of them, we’ll have to see one of the young lot. Abeid/Vuckic for Ben Arfa, Gosling for Cabaye/Tiote, one of them for Barton/Jonas/Marveux. I was hoping to see some of the reserve team strikers get some playing time. We really seem out of sorts up front (from what I’ve read). Vuckic played 20 minutes? What did he look like? Any trickery? Clever passes?


  13. Also, I feel when it seems like a forward isn’t in the game at all, it could either be because of terrible positioning or the midfield isn’t doing it’s job. I hope it’s the former in the case of lovenpants because (insert new strikers name here) will do better.


  14. Pavel – Neither would I, but I’d stop short at believing The People ahead of many other things 😉


  15. Joey7Barton Joseph Barton
    Nice to be linked with some big clubs today but I honestly don’t want to leave Newcastle. Thanks but no thanks. #unfinishedbusinesshere

    Bet he doesnt believe it either, hence the tweet.


  16. Having been there last night, I do agree with your assessments on the whole. Colo was an absolute rock in the defense. Would have given him an 8 if his passing was better. Tavernier and Abeid were easily the best of the lot on the pitch. The obvious glaring hole was the entire lack of creativity up front. And in case you were wondering, it was hot as hell in the Citrus Bowl last night. Say what you will about American Soccer and the fact that Orlando is in the so-called 3rd tier league, they played well last night and I think that the Magpies were expecting a walkover of a match. Orlando has a well trained and disciplined team that are pushing hard for a move into the MLS and have already beaten teams on said top league. If we had a promotion/relegation system here (which I wish we did), Orlando would be in the MLS by next season (Orlando’s team was moved from Austin, TX last year where they placed 2nd in the league last year). It was really hard for me at the match last night. I have been a fan of NUFC for over 16 years now, but have become an Orlando City fan and season ticket holder only this year. I was so proud of the performance City put in last night and so underwhelmed by Newcastle’s presence on the pitch. I think that training in the heat will help the lads though. But its obvious that they need more than just fitness.


  17. u will play mickey mouse footballl..if u play mickey mouse players i.e smith r.taylor..best and loven…what a waste of space smith is…


  18. Joey7Barton Joseph Barton

    I will most likely leave Newcastle at end of season, when my contract expires and I am no longer employed. Its out of my hands #iwanttostay?


  19. well done to our players in the bad heat,crap ref and co,crap pitch good fitness session .positives?….tavernier outstanding…(probablly get sold to a top uk club now he has been shown off!)mabe haris vukick?lets keep our top youngsters here and not loan them out ………injuries are coming thick and fast!!!


  20. Good match report but predictable outcome considering the usual suspects were featured yet again, i could have predicted those merit marks from Jobey before the match kicked off.
    We will never move forward as a club until we see the back of Lovenkrands, R Taylor, Smith and Ameobi, they are almost invisible every time they play.
    No wonder Ashley is reluctant to spend big wages on players, he got his fingers well and truly burnt with the likes of Smith and Geremi, scandalous the amount of cash they have picked up considering how pathetic they have performed.


  21. So vuckic is showing why he is being rated highly? 😎

    Any more comments about him? good?


  22. Robert, you’ll probably find the four players mentioned will solely be squad players this year.

    Agreed with Smith and Gemeri, both of them have cost the club a fortune for a very minimal return. 🙁


  23. Just what did you expect with Alan Smith in the line-up? He makes it like playing with 9.5 men, as he gets in the way of the players trying to compensate for his lack of pace, skill, etc…. He seemed to be charged with being the box to box middie, but he only could cover penalty circle to half way line. If anyone dared pass to him, he gave it right back to them. Completely lame. His play has to kill team spirit, and MA would do well to loan him out and pay 95% of his wages to be done with him.

    For the rest of the team, I’d give them some slack as I doubt if many have played on Astroturf before. I’d also say the ref was not going to let Newcastle score anything but a perfect goal.

    Credit to Orlando, all they had is speed, and they used every bit of it to outrun a small group just getting into shape. (But I doubt if any top managers would allow their squad to show up in need of so much conditioning. Just imagine what SAF would say!)


  24. You’re kidding me, it was fucking enrique who didn’t cut back? Honestly that guy is getting greedy now ffs


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