Tales of defensive woe! Norwich 4-2 Newcastle

Hoolahan opens the scoring
This afternoon’s trip to Carrow Road ended in defeat for the Magpies with a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Canaries.

Alan Pardew fielded five changes to the side that had faced Chelsea in their previous match and this presented a full league debut to Italy U21 international Davide Santon. The centre-back pairing of James Perch and Danny Simpson was very makeshift and it surprised many that Tamas Kadar was not involved in the matchday squad.

The first ten minutes of the game started off very well for the visitors, they had the majority of possession and had settled the quicker out of the two sides. As the first half grew on, Norwich began to have the ascendency by forcing themselves further and further into Newcastle’s half.

Norwich did find themselves through on goal when Grant Holt out muscled James Perch. Holt advanced towards goal but a superb intervening tackle from Danny Simpson saw him block the ball and stop Norwich from taking the lead.

This was always going to be a hard test for Alan Pardew’s side, with both centre-backs out through injury this showed the side at their weakest. Although James Perch and Danny Simpson dealt with Norwich’s attacks in the game, they came undone whenever there was an aerial battle between the Magpies defence and the Canaries attack.

There had been seen good play from the Newcastle side during the half, perticularly when Dan Gosling fed the ball out to Ryan Taylor who then crossed the ball into the box for the advancing Gosling, who had continued his run forward, to volley goalwards. It was a flowing move and there were more demonstrated during the half.

The breakthrough came when Norwich gained a dubious corner in the 38th minute. Tim Krul was adjudged to have carried the ball out of play although subsequent TV replays showed that this wasn’t the case. The resulting corner came in and was headed goalwards by Andrew Crofts who forced a fine save from Krul. Unfortunately the rebound smacked straight against Wes Hoolahan who prodded it towards goal only for it to take a double deflection on its way into the back of the net.

Pardew and his team will feel aggrieved with the corner decision but those back defending were not decisive enough to make a decision to deal with it. There is also an argument to suggest that Norwich could have opened the scoring earlier on after what looked to be a handball in the penalty area from Davide Santon.

It seemed like Newcastle were to end the first half a goal down but thanks to Yohan Cabaye’s sublime pass Demba Ba found himself through on goal and calmly slotted the ball past John Ruddy into the back of the Norwich net. That meant the two sides went in at the break level at 1-1.

The second half continued with the same exuberance that had been exhibited in the first half. But ultimately, Newcastle’s makeshift centre-back pairing failed to outjump the likes of Steve Morrison and Grant Holt. Their aerial prowess proved to be our downfall, which was always the concern with two short defenders in the heart of defence.

Unfortunately Dan Gosling’s eagerness to be handed a chance to prove himself was his own downfall. He had showed some decent passing and pace during the game but that was all to be lost in a bad period for the player. When trying to retrieve the ball he passed it straight to a Norwich player only for them to cross for Morrison to head into the back of the net. Trying to perhaps make amends for his mistake, Gosling went in for a challenge with his studs up catching a Norwich player and he was shown a straight red card. His moment of madness has now cost us another player who is unavailable for games.

There was still some life in the game and Newcastle never backed down, even when left with ten men, and that was testament to the resilience that Alan Pardew has instilled in his players. On 71 minutes Demba Ba got his second of the game to reduce the deficit and make it 3-2. However it was Norwich who scored again with Grant Holt gaining his second of the match and putting the match beyond the reach of Newcastle United.

There were positives to be taken from the game though. Ryan Taylor looked a lot more settled at right-back and Davide Santon looked decent considering it was his first Premier League start. Santon showed his attacking ability by going forward several times and looked very comfortable on the ball and that bodes well for the future as there could be an very good partnership forged between him and Jonas Gutierrez in the next few weeks.

Changes undoubtedly need to be made for the next game though. There were players who were too quiet throughout and the makeshift centre-back pairing is one that needs to be addressed as that is a weak point that any team we come up against will be targeting.

The game at Carrow Road was always going to be a tough test with both centre-backs out through injury. Pardew’s gamble did not pay off and the Magpies now need to address the defeat and make sufficient changes to the side for their next game.

Newcastle still sit seventh in the table and are seven points clear of those behind them, and that is something that I never thought we would be after this amount of fixtures.

Howay the lads!

Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Morison, Whitbread, Crofts, Holt (C), Surman, Hoolahan, Fox, Tierney, Naughton

Subs: Rudd, Johnson, Jackson, Pilkington, Bennett, Barnett, Wilbraham

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson, James Perch, Davide Santon; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Demba Ba, Shola Ameobi

Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Alan Smith, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands, Leon Best

Attendance: 26,806

About Zoë Vicarage

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

49 thoughts on “Tales of defensive woe! Norwich 4-2 Newcastle

  1. Ba is our best striker since Shearer IMO. Pace, workrate, effort, skill, aerial prowess, and he knows where the back of the net is! Cracking player


  2. Demba Ba currently has a better minutes per goal ratio than any other player (with 15+ goals) in Premier League history

    11 goals this season ….give him the no.9 shirt if he keeps this up. Absolute class again today


  3. Zoe another cracking one 😉
    I thought you touched on something that I noticed that Jonas and Santon linked up well today. But there was a few players that just weren’t in the game today. and now we have lost Gosling and is Cabaye out for a game now too 😕


  4. TOONSY @1 aye pity he hasnt got a partner 😉
    well written ZOE 😉

    off topic just whizzed round another site to read match preview only had 8 comments wtf 🙄


  5. Met Peter Beardsley in Marks and Spencers today felt sorry for the guy couldn’t get his shopping done for well wishers and people wanting photos. Credit to the guy he spent some time talking about NUFC and was very positive about what Ashley is doing at NUFC and can only see good times ahead for the club. He is confident we will finish seventh this season.
    A good fella


  6. Just read Cabaye picked up his 5th booking and is suspended for the Swansea game….didn’t see it watching the match but my stream kept breaking up…anyone know if that’s right ❓


  7. @Toby le Rhone

    Peters a one off. tru Geordie hero

    I remember seeing Dean Saunders looking at Armani Suits in TKMax at Kingston Park, just after he signed up with Souey.. lol the tramp, al that money and he was in TKMax, ne one recognised him, thought it was billy the fish from the Viz 😆


  8. just checked bbc site and NO he wasnt booked,thank fuk
    and toon had 51% of the play means nowt like when you get beat 🙁


  9. Relax Ice apparently it’s bollox. This was the article I saw on Facebook which is wrong – think they would get this stuff right FFS. 👿 👿

    Newcastle United Exclusive
    Disappointing result today guys, Perch and Simpson couldnt cope at set plays, we looked good going forward apart from Obertan once again being poor, Cabaye will be suspended for the next game after picking up his 5th booking of the season, Tiote, Colo and Williamson should be back to face Swansea, Gosling also is suspended for 3 games after a straight red, Smith and Tiote in midfield next week maybe? Never mind people we’ll be back!! Toon Army!!!


  10. Good work Zoe,

    I said yesterday that Norwich would make life difficult for our makeshift CBs, and playing Holt and Morrison up front paid off for them. That isn’t their standard formation but Lambert saw a weakness and went for it, so fair play.
    We had very limited options for today, and unfortunately I think Pardew got it wrong, Perch and Simmo are just too short. Kadar not even making the bench today suggests he had no future at the club at all, which for me only left playing Santon through the middle but TBH I don’t think that would have made a difference.
    I know we are being linked with defenders for the Jan window and I hope today has reinforced it with the board that it’s an absolute must!!

    That said, thought we did ok today and had the officials not f***ed up for their first goal and we went in at half time 0-1 up, who knows what the 2nd half would have held. Ba looked class again today and seems to prefer playing with a 2nd striker so have to stick with that IMO.
    Get a couple of sicknotes back for next week and go again.


  11. bit gutted about todays result, after ba got equaliser i thought we’d push on 2nd half and win it, gone from the best defence to very mediocre – shows how little depth we have there


  12. I would start Santon at left back and drop Raylor. may be a bit harsh on Raylorbut there was enough there today to suggest he could have a great partnership with Jonas. I would like to see him given a chance


  13. agree with dropping taylor and starting Santon who looked very comfortable on the ball, Obertan was very poor today and offers nothing other than being a head down runner
    Hopefully Collo and Tiote back next week


  14. Cheers for all the comments guys, really appreciate them.

    I would start Santon again next week, he looked very comfortable and I think it is now his time to take over the LB slot. Think he will begin to become a very good player for us


  15. I’m with you Stevep, unfair on Raylor but Santon looked far more natural at LB and aloud Jonas to be more of a threat going forward, rather than providing cover and helping Raylor out.

    As for Overtan, he’s had ever opportunity to prove his worth and hasn’t just. He looked good against Stoke but other than that, very disappointing and I’d even consider moving Raylor to RW to see what he can do whipping crosses in


  16. Why the fuck is james perch standing all alone watching every goal go in. Who was he trying to blame for the first. Embarrassing


  17. After this defensive showing ,i hope too god Colo & Willo are up for it next week . The lads at the back gave their all and i am not knocking them for that , but it showed we had 2 fullbacks playing centre back . They had no chance against their CF’s with high balls .


  18. Thankfully, we play Swansea at sjp next week, so just more of a passing game to look out for, rather than dominating CFs.

    Willo probably is still too far away from starting next week, but I would be confident with Colo and Perch, hopefully with Santon starting as well


  19. The coach have to explain us why Obertan is still in the starting 11, why we played with Simpson and Perch in the heart of our defense because 3 goals came from set pieces, why kadar didn’t have chance to prove his worth, why ben arfa didn’t start. For me even if i like alan pardew, i think that our last 2 defeats against chelsea and norwich are due to coaching fault! Chelsea was poor and we were worst than them and being beat by norwich 4 2 is pure Scandalous!


  20. Disappointing result today. We need to take the positives from the game, Ba is a wonderful striker and is a sublime finisher. Santon appeared to have a good game. We conceded some poor goals from set pieces and crosses from deep. Obviously we need to cut these out cos we cannot defend against these tactics… : 🙄

    We need to keep the faith, and realise that we have a had a real hard time with injuries. Thank goodness we have the points in the bag which allow us to have this kind of blip in our season…


  21. For the first goal Timmy muffed it…he should have let the cross run out for a goal kick…unless he thought the cross was deflected, which it wasn’t 🙁


  22. I thought Danny Simpson was probably our best defender on the day. Was good to get a glimpse of Santon. However didn’t really fill me with confidence in his defensive abilities. Yes he was good going forward and assured on the ball, but defensively didn’t really offer much.

    I am still amazed at how crap Obertan is! Why the hell is Pardew still playing him. All he has is pace, and even with his pace does not have the ability to go past players. Does not know what to do with the ball most of the time. Offers nothing defensively, and has not work rate what so ever. Soft as on the ball. Surely doesn’t fight to win the ball back like the rest of the team. I’m sorry but the only winner out of that trade was Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Ba is class! We would be in trouble had we not had him. And is a bit worrying that we will be losing Ba and Tiote for at least 4 weeks in January. Ashley get your check book ready!

    I’m surprised we didn’t see HBA on the field for this match. Not sure I like the Ba-Ameobi partnership. They seem a little similar in being two big target man, even though Ameobi wishes he was as good as BA.

    I guess we look forward to next weekend with a home match at home to Swansea. Hopefully we get Colo back by then, as I don’t see us getting any points without him in the team.


  23. Santon made some good overlapping runs in this game, but unfortunately wasn’t spotted by jonas at all apart from the final 10 mins or so. Positives to take from this game, at least we know the left side is much balanced now as Jonas does not need to cover the left back so often while demba ba is a menace i must say.


  24. Just watched match of the day. The disappointing thing is that every goal came from across into the box.

    Pleased the lads kept trying though and until they got that 4th goal really thought we were going to get back into it, even with ten men.


  25. munich mag @ 42 agree with you.This is our blip every team goes through one,i don’t think there is any way we would have lost this game,with collocini,on the pitch,he would have organised things at the back,we haven’t turned into a bad team overnight,and with a few players expected back,i’m confident we will start picking points up,starting with a win next week.


  26. toonsy,thats the one thing that you get with this team,every defeat we’ve had,the lads always give the impression,that we can get back into it,thats why with a few regulars back,we will stay top seven


  27. Thanks to Hitman yesterday for the link. Watched second half only but really think we could of got something if only we’d concentrated more at set pieces. Would love to know why Kadar not in the side yesterday,hope it’s not a personality clash thing with Pards. Finally Obertan is doing my nut in ,why he can’t look up and pick a decent pass is beyond me. With his pace he COULD be a great player if only he’d get his head up. He must of frustrated the hell out of Fergie, no wonder he sold him . Does anyone know if Cabaye misses next game ? ,hope not ,was immense today.


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