Plenty of positives, but room for improvement?

More than just this happened in the game!
Let me start by saying how delighted how I am with gaining a point against Arsenal. Although it was marred by the controversy of Joey Barton and Gervinho. Whilst watching the game there was plenty of positives that bode well for this season.

Coloccini put in a man of the match performance throughout the game. He dealt with many balls that the opposition sent in and carried the ball out of our penalty area. Captain Colo even advanced further up the pitch on a couple of occasions which showed that he has the ability to use his attacking abilities when he gets further forward.

There was something different about his defending in this game, he seemed to have worked on his play and seems to have become a better player over the summer. Along with this the partnership with Steven Taylor looked very solid and they seemed to have a very good understanding with each other. They managed to read what Van Persie was up to all throughout the game and kept him at bay.

Steven Taylor had a very solid game too. I was very impressed with the performance that he gave throughout the game. He looked very comfortable alongside the curly haired Argentinian and seemed to deal with Robin Van Persie very well. Their partnership looks set to blossom throughout the season and they seem to have worked on playing with each other together during this year’s pre season.

Gabriel Obertan looked very lively when he came on at half-time. I knew he had pace but my my my I was surprised by how fast he could actually run. He looked to improve how the team played, he was sort of given a free role and he looked very lively whenever he was on the ball.



Obertan also tracked back to help out Simpson several times, dispossessing Arsenal when they were looking threatingly upon our box. He also seems to have a tremendous leap on him which was demonstrated when long balls were floated their way over to him. He certainly will have a point to prove and he has a great opportunity to show the Newcastle faithful what he can do. There’s more to come from this lad

There were moments in the game where we nearly strung the right passes together. One of them being when Cabaye was played through by Obertan. Frustratingly they always seemed to come up short in some way. However I have confidence that when these group of players keep playing together the passes will come more naturally to them and we will have a very exciting team on our hands, they just need time to gel.

Although there were positives in the game there were a couple of places were the side may have to improve.

Joey Barton several times left Simpson exposed, he drifted in too far infield leaving the right-back vulnerable to attack. I think if he is set to play there for a while then he needs to understand that he needs to cover the positions in front of his right-back.

Leaving those huge areas exposed is an immense gift to any attacker, Barton will have to work on that area of his positioning. At some times I felt Barton was trying to do Cabaye’s role when he wandered his way into the middle of the park. Barton needs to know his role for future games of the season.

The same could be said for Simpson himself, at times he dealt with the Arsenal attackers well but at other points he fell back into the clutches of his old habit: backing off the attacker allowing them more time on the ball to pick out a teammate. If Simpson learns the basics then he will be a very a stable right-back for us this season.

Tiote to me didn’t look 100% match fit; he seemed off the pace during the majority of the game but still managed to put tackles in so that the Arsenal attack didn’t break through. I’m sure a week of full training will be able to sort his fitness out but if not why not give Gosling a chance after he performed so well in pre-season?

I think there was plenty for us to take out of the game and once the team settles down then we look to have a very exciting team for this season. Along with this the return of Hatem Ben Arfa will surely boost the team as well. When the team start playing regular football together with the added addition of a left-back and a striker then our side looks like one that could do well this season.

Next week could be an exciting weekend for the Toon Army with the first derby of the season occurring. Howay the lads!

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

75 thoughts on “Plenty of positives, but room for improvement?

  1. I thought it was a solid start….nothing spectacular but there’s a foundation on which to build on.

    Just avoid defeat against the mackems…couldn’t give a sh1t how we play tbh just don’t get beat

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  2. I know its arsenal but for all pardews talk of how we are going to play we did an awful lot of long balls…that were unwon by shola.

    Cabaye wasnt given the ball enough, when he did have it he used it well and suprised me with his high work rate. We have a class ball playing centre half, but seemed to happy to just hoof it.
    Hopefully against the scum we will really see cabaye, barton and cheick boss it more.

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  3. Joe Barton is a thug! I wish Gervinho would have butted him properly. The ref should have sent him off as well. The biased officiating has to stop. Even Song should have been sent off as well for stepping on Joe the thug.

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  4. Would take a point this Saturday, obviously 3 would be better but losing would be a disaster. Not just because it’s insufferable, but it will inevitably bring on talks of “crisis” and further harm the club.

    That said, the last time we felt this anxious about a derby day we promptly went out and smashed the shite out of them… well some of it anyway there’s clearly a lot left in them. Here’s “dreaming” of another 5-1 (I’ll take 4-1 this time since our squad seems to have “gone backwards” summat… who says I’m not realistic?)

    Maiga seems promising, definitely has the “hunger” and “desire” to play for us, honestly if Erdinc wanted to come he would be here by now. 1 goal in 2 games last season too… bring him over and no doubt his mates Martin and Boudebouz will follow… Hatem Ben Arfa style.

    Just some random thoughts to steer the conversation away from the whole Barton Gervinho Song saga over the weekend…

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  5. Gosh gooner fans are a real whiny whinging moaning bunch aren’t they? Kinda puts our “where has the 35m gone”ers to shame…

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  6. “If Simpson learns the basics, he will be a very stable left back for us this season.” Nice one, Zoe.

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  7. ZOE good and fair summing up imo,i never look to much into early games anyway lets get half doz games under or belts first after a nightmare pre-season in my view then judge.
    some good news today owl-heed has said we are not after bentner 😀

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  8. Zoe good read and I agree with most of it, I will say one thing in Joey’s defence he did drift in a bit but we had that same problem when we played Guthrie out there aswell I just think they drift in to their natural position without really thinking about it.
    I took a lot of positives out of the game, I think Obertan will turn out to be a real good bit of business.

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  9. ❗ ❗ ❗ ❗ Blimey Ive read ‘rose tinted reports before but mate you take the cake’! After watching this match my mates and I saw….NUFC outplayed for 75 minutes by an Arsenal team without many players. I saw Newcastle play like ‘Stoke & Blackburn’ ie; long boot to no one. I saw Arsenals goalie with a single save? I saw Barton cheat, assault and lie to get an apponent sent off and the admit it later? I saw AFC still outplay NUFC with 10 men …again? As for your man of the match….of course a defender! Pardews sides have by tradition been long ball kickers with little brain and NUFC have become the latest in a long line. Now I know NUFC fans dont care how they win or even draw, but Milburn would have been ashamed of what I saw during this game…..I would also suggest that someone watches it all again and have a very long chat with Taylor and Barton about their blatant cheating.

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  10. Pretty accurate once again Zoe, but got to be honest some of our so called supporters leave me speechless(well almost)
    1ST game of the season, howay man remember when you start a new job, it takes weeks if not months to settle in and gell with your new colleagues before you start to contribute in a meaningful way.
    So my take on things re our new signings.
    Demba Ba—Our set up 4:4:2 with Shola didn`t work, they just didn`t know how to play off each other and Arse passed us to death in midfield.–Still reckon he`ll get 15 goals for us this season tho`.
    Cabaye—Remember Rob Lee, 1st 10xgames the pace passed him by, the rest is history. I saw Jim Baxter play for Scum and he looked shit, but it`was because his ability and vision was too quick for his team mates, played balls that opened up defences but they couldn`t read them.
    Make no mistake this guy is class, once we learn to run the channels and Tiote is fit to cover this guy will come into his own.
    Obertan—This could be the steal of the transfer window or not?–We`ll just wait and hope.
    Add Marv into the mix whose equally as quick as Obertan, when fit we could be very dangerous on the break.
    Against Scum, GoT to play 3 :1: 5;1–
    ————-Krul
    —-Simps–Saylor—Collo
    —————Tiote
    —–Barton–Cabaye–Gos
    Obertan————————Jonas
    ————–Best or Ba or Shola(take your pick?)

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  11. @Zoe

    Totally disagree that you that we look as if we have a very exciting team when things settle down.

    I fail to see how you come to that conclusion on a day when we didn’t create one clear cut chance and never made the keeper make a save.

    I believe we competed well and defended solidly as a unit but evidence of a very exciting side?

    Never saw it this game or pre season.

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  12. @CT

    I’m not saying we are poor at this early stage but it’s being realistic in my opinion to challenge those who say we will be exciting and it was a class performance.

    It was painful to watch but a decent result. 😕 😕

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  13. Yeah, it’s just an area that worries me when the opposition are attacking just a huge gap that leaves simpson open to attack

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  14. Pete @14 yeah we were poor overall but you’s still couldn’t beat us as for Joey cheat and assult IMO picking a player up of the floor is no where near as bad as Stamping or Slapping, 😀
    people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    So I suggest you worry about your own cheaters and thugs and when you sort that out then you can have a go at us 😉

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  15. Blackley & Brownlie August 15, 2011 at 18:46 (Edit)

    “If Simpson learns the basics, he will be a very stable left back for us this season.” Nice one, Zoe.
    ————————

    Care to stop your lying and attempts to make my ‘blog writers look like they are making errors?

    It says right back in the article. It’s said right back all along. In fact the last revision was done below. I copied and pasted the time and who it was done by from the admin side of things.

    15 August, 2011 @ 18:20 by toonsy

    Now I think you owe Zoe an apology. Soeone with balls would say sorry Mr Scott.

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  16. Pete…pot kettle black. You lot are the original cheaters. Oh & you didn’t mention Song or that he’s been charged by the FA for a cowardly stamp on an opponent.

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  17. Dave, cut Pete a little slack. He’s just a little down about losing Fabregas and the likely 6-7th place finish that will follow this year.

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  18. Yeah, it’s just an area that worries me when the opposition are attacking just a huge gap that leaves simpson open to attack
    ——————-
    that’s going to happen with JB on the wing. They need to move him back inside…

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  19. Pete – You’re right that we should be ashamed that we never tested your keeper once. That is a disgrace away never mind at SJP. However, it’s a bit rich of a gooner to call NUFC cheaters! Did your kid not slap Barton then? Barton only picked the kid up for cheating and had a stern word with him. Anyhow, your lot didn’t do much to worry us. You look pretty ordinary with two of your three stars out.

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  20. “Blimey Ive read ‘rose tinted reports before but mate you take the cake’”…ah the irony, no mention of that dirty fecker Song I see, how many saves did Krul make?….and as for Pardew teams having a long ball rep, ask Hammers and Saints fans and you’ll find they disagree, I’ve come to the conclusion you’ve never been to a match going off your comments, probably just watched the odd one on your new tv, did you pay for it? 🙄

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  21. Got to be honest, not sure how anyone can come to the conclusion we will have an exciting team by watching that. I actually thought we were absolutely abject in attack, although so were Arsenal.

    As for the Arsenal fans on here, dont you have any plasma tv’s you have to sell?

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  22. Stuart…agree, we “may” have one, when and if they all gel but Saturdays game, while a decent result was poor and boring as feck from both teams.

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  23. Toonsy – Apologies, my error. I never noticed that. My point was a very different one.

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  24. Witters – The “apologies” go to both if that wasn’t clear without mentioning Zoe’s name. It was funny a line though. Much appreciated here.

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  25. Thanks Zoe for the report. Meanwhile, can anyone comment on the 14 million that was being touted by Man Utd. for Tiote? I was out in the wilderness of the Hollywood Hills yesterday afternoon and along comes a Geordie in his Newcastle jersey (poor chap – he’ll need to replace it because it had Enrique on the back!). Anyway, we had a great chat until his friends got bored and he had to move on but he was predicting Tiote will be sold to either Man U or Chelsea before the end of the month. Is there any truth to these rumours?

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  26. Heard nowt Paul and I think/hope the big guns will stay away until Tiote curbs the amount of yellow cards imo……keep picking up bookings I say 😆

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  27. Zoe – don’t listen to Troy.

    He has only ever played 1 league game of football in his entire life! Therefore we must all discount everything he says by 100 percent!

    I too thought we played well. For me Saylor had a shocking first half – he looked like an old clogger when the team had moved on. The second half he put in a decent effort but again – too many last ditch heroic tackles for my liking.

    The only benefit to playing Saylor is he is good in the oppositions box for goals but why on earth were Raylor and Joey taking the free kicks? Cabaye never got a chance and he is accurate? Weak management by Pards IMO.

    Loved the way we played though – for a first game we showed great promise. I think Loven could benefit most if he gets a chance from Cabayes presence – he looked up for clever passes as every chance – and that’s not Sholas or Bas fault – its not their game – I thought Shola played OK – his ability to control and dribble and pass may see him having a bigger part this year than many fans want – I don’t think he will ever be consistent though – time has proven that – but an effective player on occasion.

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  28. Paul in Hollywood – the pens went back in the top pocket after tiote’s last performance

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  29. Stardy – Troy has never played anything more than 5 a side game, save for one match for charity.
    “His ability to control, dribble and pass may see him play a bigger part this year …” [checked twice in case of any misquote] I’m not detecting any sarcasm here, Stardy. You must elaborate.

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  30. Blackley & Brownlie
    August 15, 2011 at 19:49

    “Paul in Hollywood – the pens went back in the top pocket after tiote’s last performance”

    Was just going to say that judging by his last game we’ll be fine.

    However football scouts and managers aren’t as fickle as football fans and can generally see the bigger picture when it comes to players. They understand players have bad games and that it doesn’t make them bad players.

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  31. I think if the group of players who played on saturday play together regularly then they will look a lot better. You have to remember that this was the first time these group of players played together.

    I did look like lovenkrands when he came on, added a bit more pace to our attack

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  32. Toonsy – I would have taken my £50M back on Torres (if I’d bought him in the first place, which I wouldn’t for that money). Still would take it back, even after yesterdays showing. That’s because some players come and go like will o the wisp. Form is ephemoral. As for Tiote, that was largely tongue in cheek for Paul’s benefit, although there’s no guarantees he will hit the highs of last season. He certainly looked out of sorts, and any sensible potential buyer would wait and watch all the way up to 31 August in case he has caught a touch of that Torres flu, which can hang around for years.

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  33. Zoe
    You were doing really well until your last sentence.
    Why on earth was loverman even in the squad.
    He has done well for us in the past but he is our most goal shy forward.
    A striker of bottom six top of the championship quality.
    Where was Vuckic?

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  34. Poor match main thing is we didn’t lose?, atmosphere was flat for first game of the season. Roll on the scum 4 points from first 2 games hopefully onwards and upwards

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  35. CT

    did your young un enjoy herself.
    decent little footballer NUWFC have a player in the future

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  36. Jostoon

    Atmosphere was ok for me. Not many games where keepers aren’t having to make any saves have a crackling atmosphere

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  37. Sorry Toby, I do like him and he puts effort in for us. A lot more effort than shola does.

    I would like to see vuckic in the side a lot more but Pardew may think he might not be ready. I’m sure he will get integrated into the squad soon.

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  38. Stardy instead of playing pass the parcel or reach around with Mike you need to spend more attention watching the game fella, and instead of your usual dig at Pards try giving him a chance. You need to try to forget about Hooters he isn’t our assitant manager anymore and he aint coming back so you need to get over him 😆
    Blackley & Brownlie how’s it going fella 😉

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  39. Zoe
    We all have our guilty pleasures.
    I am a fan of Shoala but don’t tell them on here or my creditibility will go down the swannee

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  40. Thank feck for Steve Mcmanaman increasing my knowledge, “Swansea is in Wales which is a different country” 🙄

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  41. B&B

    Yep – that’s 100percent correct. Troy plays five aside, played one league 11 aside game and one 11 aside charity game his entire life including school and he is 43 now!

    Its hilarious when he tries to give opinions – he is usually wrong as he hasn’t a clue what he is on about – Bit like Potty – Big Dave and Batty 😆

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  42. Zoe you touched on something there about Vuckic, I think the younger ones will get a chance this season but I dont think Pards would have wanted to play any younguns in the 1st game of the season against a top 4 team.
    If he had off and we got beat he would have got slaughtered for it, Pards will soon learn that he is in a no win situation with a lot of the fans, but I hope it doesn’t get too much for him because I hate the thoughts of JFK returning 👿

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  43. I think Pardew knows what he is doing with the team and I’m sure we will see that as the game goes on. I agree about vuckic, quite a big ask if he had been playing against the gunners. I’m sure he will get his chance this season

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  44. Hi Richietoon and B&B (35 & 37), many thanks for the feedback. I only hope you both are right.

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  45. Stardy – To be fair to Troy, he’s quite knowledgeable on footballing matters given his lack of practical experience. I notice you haven’t explained that Shola comment.
    Big Dave – It was going okay until I made a typo and Toonsy had me by the throat up against the wall. I normally check first to see whether it is the milkman, the gas man, the post man or wor lass’s bit on the side before I pummel the latter, strip him naked, and bundle him out of the boot onto Redheugh Bridge! I just happened to laugh at Zoe’s comment “If Simpson learns the basics …” Anything that can make you laugh in these worrying times of riots and economic woes has got to be applauded.

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  46. was on here yesterday and this morning mate, porridge arse has been spreading crap rumours about me the vile slag 😥

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  47. two bits of good news today noo,owl-heed says we are not after the gunners reject,now keane joins the yanks,thank god for small mercys 😀 😀

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  48. I REALLY hope that pardew goes with a 4-5-1 against the scum. We have the midfielders to play it well and simply don’t have the strikers to play 2 up top.
    I think we could really take the game to the mackems if we started like that. Obertan to start for sure

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  49. he text me to say he told everyone that i said i’m to good for the blog because i’ve got a season ticket to dirty gobshite 😆

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  50. @Blackley &Brownlie

    Thankyou for your compliment regarding my knowledge on football matters.
    Some of the worst football managers and pundits are footballers. Some of the best never played at a high level.,

    I’ve played at SJP and won the MOTM award and scored a goal.
    Doesnt get much better than that! 😛

    As for Stardy, he’s the typical headless chicken who gets picked for work rate only.
    But the worst accusation ibcan throw at him is he used to take turns (within the last 5 years) to alternate between visiting SJP and the SOL.

    Enough side on that front.

    @B&B
    I can see you being popular on here. You have a bit wit and put some serious points across.
    Watch out though cos Bobby Shinton was the same and the snipers killed him off!!! 😕

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  51. Icedog@66….you’re right there mate, the ghost of Robbie Keane sems to have passed us by…just leaves Carlton Cole now though, lets keep wor heeds doon… 🙄

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  52. Can’t believe Bobby has created all these new characters.

    What a sad sad individual… Troy is a sad Bastard too and B&B is his Bobbys living twin brother. 😉

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  53. Long time no see stardust.
    You still bumming fat mick and owl heed on the big red bus?

    Don’t tell me it got a puncture 😯

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