Newcastle 1-0 QPR – The good, the bad, and the ugly

More important than many think?

Best celebrates the winner
In my few short months posting on this particular ‘blog I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to let the excitement die down a little before writing a review.

After all, beating QPR 1-0 is hardly our greatest achievement of the season, or of the week even, but anything short of 10s all round and three Hail Sholas is considered treason.

Waiting turned out to be a mistake as a whole new load of excitement has just surfaced, as Ashley has surprised us all and splashed a decent amount of cash on a striker, but hey – lets do the review anyway.

In the 4th Century B.C. the great Greek philosopher Aristotle was convinced that the Earth was the centre of the universe.

A generation after he popped his clogs – sorry, popped his sandals – an Astronomer and Mathematician by the name of Aristarchus (another Greek by the way) put forward the suggestion that the Earth actually rotated around the sun. Incredible considering that Greece didn’t even have internet at the time.

Does anyone else think that if the Greek Job Centres had placed a few more Plumbers and Electricians and a few less Astronomers and Philosophers their economy might be a little more robust today?

Deviating slightly, in the late ‘60s that well know Party Animal and Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking sat down with a couple of his mates after a skinfull and came up with the “Big Bang Theory” which curiously has nothing at all to do with a bang of any description.

Their theory leads us to the conclusion that there is no centre of the universe as such, which, it has been argued, also implies that everywhere then becomes the centre.

As a bit of a part time philosopher and armchair astrophysicist and I would like to suggest that there is a centre of the universe but it is in fact a constantly changing variable which is influenced by factors as diverse as random positron annihilation through gravitational time dilation and on to the number of times some perv types “Kim Kardashian’s Tits” into Ask Jeeves.

On Sunday, as the planets lined up perfectly, the pervs got online and all other factors combined, for 90 minutes the Centre of the Universe was inarguably Fabricio Coloccini.

And you wondered where this was going.

While we may have been under pressure in the first 20 minutes, we remained fairly calm, and despite the shots rattling in towards Krul the goal remained relatively unthreatened and we survived.

He may not have been the only one who played well, but he was the only one who didn’t put a foot wrong. It would be interesting to see how many times he touched the ball. A masterclass.

Mark Hughes – a man who in his day could teach Coloccini a thing or 2 about a hairdo – brought little to St James Direct Parking Sports Arena other than his once famous penchant for sticking the boot in.

Hughes, never known for his faint-hearted tackling, appears to have quickly stamped his mark on his team, who in turn attempted to stamp theirs on ours. Fair play to the lads, who apart from a bit of a French Moment, didnt react.

Late in the second half I got a text from a mate who is from……errrr…….mmm….. daaan saaaf somewhere. He told me where he was from when we first met but I honestly couldn’t see any benefit in actually remembering the whole word.

He claims to be a fan of the game but as he uses words like “rambunctious”, “incipient” and “Nottingham Forest” I very much doubt it.

Well, at least he made the effort to watch the game, so I’ll be polite.

He texted “Watched the first 20 mins, then fell asleep. Woke up 63 mins into the game. Is this the plan – bore the opposition to death?”

He had a point. We certainly lacked oomph.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The Good

Colo’s overall performance. Best’s composure for the goal. Our offside line.

It would be interesting to see Colo’s stats for the game. Superb performance.

He’s put in a few good supporting roles lately but I’m not a great fan of Leon Best. However – have to say that the flick and the step inside were seriously cool. Lets not get carried away. I’d guess that with a pair of Demba’s and healthy Ben Arfa Leon will be struggling for a game.

If there’s one thing guaranteed to piss me off in a game it’s the stranded defender thrusting himself into the Gay Bullfighter pose, hand up looking for the offside flag. Hand up where you may well ask.

But in fairness to the defence they were well co-ordinated and stepped up well. It makes a big difference when the offside works.

The Bad

Ameobi’s general performance, Santon’s contribution

I’ve seen a couple of reports that refer to how well Ameobi held the ball up front and shielded it. I may have believed it if I hadn’t actually watched the game. “…held the ball up front, shielded it and gave it away” would have been nearer the mark.

With a success rate of around 1 in 5 Shola didn’t contribute a lot and even beat Jonas as our main means of handing the ball over to the opposition further down the field.

No doubt the Santon fans will be up in arms but he was right behind Shola when it came to losing the ball. Yes he’s just a youngster but he’s trying too hard to be Enrique, dribbling where the boot would do, and coming up short.

The Ugly

QPRs tactics had the Ugly award sewn up right up until about 11 minutes from time when the cameras picked up the fan in the red crocheted hat with a fur lined jacket from a bad 60s porn movie.

OK Derry’s tackle on Cabaye wasn’t pretty, but he hardly touched him. I know this because David Pleat said so in the commentary. This is the guy who said that Ben Arfa had “Somehow hurt his shoulder” when he broke his leg, so it must be true.

As Cabaye, showing the commitment of an Italian Cruise Liner Captain, opted for the warmth of the treatment room Ben Arfa put his best foot forward, stepped up to the plate, grabbed the bull by the horns and seized the moment.

Some day I’ll have a crack at writing a full review using nothing but clichés.

There were a few pretty decent displays but we struggled to turn them into anything of substance, hardly surprising considering Tiote, Ba and Cabaye were out. Hey – Ho – the points still count

I sometimes have problems figuring out why we give teams so much space for what seems hours, then suddenly we know how to close them down. There again I have problems figuring out what is actually funny about Ricky Gervais.

The purchase of Cisse is encouraging, as it appears that someone has finally got through to the bean counters that you have to speculate to accumulate, and the push for Europe has finally started, albeit 5 months behind everyone else.

I was a bit concerned when, as the window approached in late December, Ashley advertised Sports Direct all around SJP by saying “Sale Now On – Everything Must Go”, but it now looks like that was only in his stores, not on the park.

With our new found defensive confidence, a midfield as tricky as a Taliban Visa application and almost 3 decent strikers, its going to be an interesting 3 or 4 months.

46 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-0 QPR – The good, the bad, and the ugly

  1. Very entertaining mate 😀

    Not pretty but we won which I guess is what is the most important.

    Thought Santon was pretty good against QPR also. He may have lost the ball a couple of times, but he wasn’t alone on that score. Sir Hatem did it a few times aswell.


  2. Aye I thought Santon was canny too. One of the better one’s of an unusually bad bunch that day at least.


  3. I’d agree about Santon. While he may have been imitating Enrique at times, he managed to escape from danger for the most part. One daft defensive header besides.


  4. …thought of this while the last (relevant) article was up, but there’s a new one now so I’ll post it on here instead:

    Papiss don’t cheat
    He’s got magic feet
    Papiss is sweet
    He’s a scoring treat
    …and he’s made up his mind
    …he-ee wants to be Geordie
    (he’s gona treat the Geordies, yeah-ehh)
    😆 🙄

    NEXT! 😯


  5. I’d say Ben Arfa tried too hard to unneccessarily take people on against QPR. He gave the ball away an awful lot.

    I know Shola will always bring about moans from people but i think we wouldn’t have won last game without him. It isn’t always about the players direct contribution, it is about how it forces the other team to play and how it allows a players team mates to play.

    That’s why i can never understand the “why are we playing Shola/Best over Ben Arfa” arguments. You need to take into account the overall impact rather than what the player solely does on the ball.

    Say against Man Utd, first goal, from an ameobi flick on, second goal when ameobi created the space for demba to run into and win the freekick for the goal.

    Against QPR: ball passed up to shola at the edge of the area, he holds it up, passes it to raylor who lays it off for best, another goal.

    But for some reason the contribution to the last two goal examples just go unnoticed round here, there is a lot more to a goal scored than simply the scorer and who played the final pass.


  6. Entertaining read Archie but I have to say I totally disagree about Santon being bad as I thought he was out man of the match even though the game was a dire one.
    He just looked class on the ball and it made me feel safe when he had the ball as he seems to float like a butterfly in posession and is no slow coach either.

    On the part of Stephen Hawking, he’s been in some bother apparently.
    He went out on his mates stag do….some professor he went to school with…and he started trouble with the bouncers at a nightclub and pulled a blade out on them…
    Well actually, I mean he drew a blade on his computer thingy with the words ” YOUR GETTING THIS” on it.
    The bouncers, (feeling threatened), rang the police ,who raced to the scene to find Hawking still slavvering at the bouncers on his PC, so they warned him that anymore and he will be arrested.
    That didn’t stop Hawking, and the stupid bastard went and pulled the same blade on the police, on his PC with the robotic words of ” GET BACK COPPERS OR YOUR GETTING IT AND i’M NOT MESSING ABOUT”

    The police said they had no option but to jump him and take him to the ground and tie wrap his wrists and ankles.
    Upon getting carried away, the police said Hawking seemed to accept his arrest without struggle or words and apparently, his wheelchair followed him to the police station.

    Bastard professors eh…they think they can just cause shit and get away with it because they know a bit about stars and that. 😡


  7. Bit nervous to see how Pardew fits the two Demba’s into the team. Really don’t want to lose Ben Arfa but i’m struggling to see where he plays him if he isn’t going to have faith in him on the wing.

    I think we should try Jonas right wing Ben Arfa left wing personally, maybe wait till Santon is a bit more settled.


  8. Good write up, altho i also thought Santoon was alreet + actually one of the better performers and somewhat spoilt by the comment ‘pursuaded the bean counters that you have to speculate to accumulate’ presumably directed at a man who has spent 100’s of millions buying nufc … absurd


  9. Solano, it’s easy for Pardew…If they’re both fit, they both play and terrorize defences.
    Ben Arfa will fit in and play his part, I’m sure…but the beauty is..with that strike force, not too many teams will commit too many defensive players into set piece situations against us for fear of the ball going to these two lol.

    It’s all good. 😀


  10. Just been looking at the remaining fixtures and I’ve come to the conclusion that we won’t lose any more games, drawing 7 and winning 10 along the way 😀

    Leaving us finishing with 71 points and in a Champions League spot 😆

    That’s my optimistic view 😉


  11. Tickets on sale for Brighton game, season ticket holders only tho, anyone want to get me a couple, obviously I’ll pay for em


  12. If anyone is up for sorting me 2 tickets for Brighton game, lemme know and we can sort offline or through toonsy if it’s ok with him?


  13. Good read Archie, I’ll agree with you on Shola. He was good at holding up play and getting on the end of long balls, but he gave it away too often and was rarely in the box whenever the ball came into Leon Best and about 8 QPR players.

    It was dull as dishwatta to watch, but we picked the game up after Barfa came on, and actually started to pass the ball instead of hoofing the fker up to Shola all the time, which was nice. I honestly don’t think Derry deliberately went in to do Cabaye, but Cabaye’s constant remonstrations as he was stretchered off seemed to suggest he wouldn’t agree.

    We won ugly, and as much as I didn’t want to count my chickens after we went one up, I just couldn’t see them breaching our defence and was obviously pleased they didn’t. I’m still recovering from shock at our ability to keep the goals out this season. It’s something I’m just not used to, and to see them going in at the other end as well, fantastic!

    …long may it continue!!!


  14. STEVE,I would if I could mate but if you don;t get any luck on here, try looking on the FM board or somewhere like that.


  15. Fair assesment but to say Santons trying too hard to be like Enrique is rubbish, he has his own style, against Qpr I thought he had a solid game. Santons passing going by NUFC stats seems to be fine.

    Davide Santon has the best pass succession rate at NUFC with 85.3% of his passes being accurate #nufc


  16. The game was dull and QPR dominated large sections of it. Without Colo we would have been scored on early in the game. Shola was just being Shola. Sluggish and slow, lacking in any creativity. Still has only 1 goal in the Prem this season. Ben Arfa changed the whole tempo of the game when he came on. His passing and distribuition were very good. He will only get better. We will push Liverpool hard for sixth and Arsenal are terrible defensively every few games so who knows about fifth? I am a lot more optimistic now but still waiting for that quality CB to come in.


  17. I thought we had signed a new Brazilian CB called Aristotole when I first started reading this!!!
    Then I gave it my full attention.

    I thought Santon done pretty well but SWP was definately their best player and maybe at times caught Santon out. I agree that Best is going to have to accept that the Demba boys are going to be first choice but he took his goal well and hopefully he will get us the goals needed during the ACoNs.
    I know people don’t like to read negative comments about our players and I don’t like posting them, but have to be honest and say Shola was hopeless on Sunday and worried when Best came off for Perch.
    I know he’s not long got a new contract but for me, I’d look to offload him in the summer. Keep reading he has a role to play and can be an impact sub. Not for me, and I think Best will be that impact sub. We need to get rid of Shola, Loven and Ranger to allow new signings to come in but also to allow the likes of Airey and Hooper to come through.
    On a lighter note, I thought that whilst the Man Utd game was a far better watch, not every game is going to go like that for us. QPR came with a game plan and that fight playing for a new manager seems to inspire. I thought we played sensible football. It was Swansea v Arsenal but we got 3 points without being overly stretched. A clean sheet and a long overdue goal for Best, not a bad days work.

    Another 3 points against Fulham now please boys.


  18. WE won’t be parting with Shola unfortunately sharpy17. He just signed a contract extension which will have him finish his career with us. He will be 4th choice striker from now on though so we won’t see that much of him once ACoN is over. Smith will go in the summer and probably Peter as well. Peter just gives us a little more cover for cup games mainly. Airey is nowhere near ready after his injuries and Ranger is a lost cause but has a long term contract like Xisco had (only 1 more year to go thank God). We are probably more likely to get something out of JJ Hooper but he has a knock right now and will need at least a couple of years to develop. Things are looking very bright indeed especially if we land a quality CB in the next couple of weeks. 😀


  19. Good old Archie 😆 😆 that gave me a laugh for the 1st time today 😉 I thought Santon done well but your entitiled to your opinion as much as me, even though you know I will be right 😀 😉
    Keep up the good work Lad


  20. Archie- Very amusing article. I’m right with you on Ricky Gervais ,just don’t get the funny thing at all. As far as Shola goes i think he’s been a great servant to the club but he’s just too slow and his strike rate is woefull. I personaly thought Santon did o.k for the most part , which as others have said the stats would seem to back up.Benny should be played on the left wing, though i don’t think Pards is of a mind to play him from the start .We played so much better when he came on last week ,yes i know he gave the ball away at times but we looked so much more in control without the hoofball.


  21. Just watching ssn transfer centre. Apparently Demba Ba very much on PSG radar but BA wishes to say ” I love the Newcastle fans and would not disrespect them by leaving this window” ❗ So are we to assume he’s off in the summer then , hope not .


  22. I can see Santon is going to take the place of Shola as the crowds favourite.
    The secret is that you can always throw one or the other into the conversation to get a rise.
    Good result either way.
    I do think Santo will settle in but I think he has to be a bit less fancy.
    Barfa can get away with it cos he’s 50 yards further up the field.


  23. Sharpy – think you’re right – Shola is now like a 4th choice.
    Not sure if we’ll get rid of him or he’ll just fade into the reserves.
    But he’s probably a bit expensive to be there


  24. Rodz
    Well that’s me AND sidekick who have learnt something today
    Isn’t education a wonderful thing?
    I’ve been hooked on anagrams since I discovered that Titus Bramble was a bumblers tit.


  25. haha, I was just kidding anyway, I’ve always called him Barfa but it never occurred to me to try and stitch the rest up. Anagrams never really appealed to me, although I love messing about with worms, and have been a heavy spooner ever since watching the Two Ronnies for the first time as a bairn. Ronnie Barker is a legend. 😎


  26. “Tricky as a Taliban visa application”
    😆 😆

    Laughed my ass off. Feckin mint, Archie!! Love your articles every time.


  27. My missus is not from these parts – lets just say that English is her third language. We’re both well into Open All Hours.
    Sometimes when we;re out and the subject of TV comes up and people start
    quoting comedy she’ll chip in with “Ger Ger Granville – F-Fetch Your Cloth”.
    If you’re a fan Its funny enough to start with……. but with a think accent


  28. OHURLEY – that was the third version. I had to tone the first 2 down as being possibly offensive.


  29. Good read again Archie :mrgreen:
    Speaking of accents, wor lass says “no you can’t stick it in there” with her Spanish accent……I don’t find it funny in the slightest though 😉 😥


  30. Having full backs who aren’t comfortable on the ball and can only defend okish i.e raylor and simpson is not good for a club trying to be in the top 8/10. Tony hibbert is probably better than them both. We need to be more dynamic, a la Santon who was class against QPR and manure, backed up by his passing stats.


  31. Humour – 4/10
    Football News – 0/10
    Editorial Commentary – 2/10
    Game Analysis – 3/10
    Quality Sporting Journalism – 0/10
    Give it up, mate. Go get a day job.


  32. @43
    Oh dear – what shall I do?
    One person obviously came home pissed and slagged off the article, while many more enjoyed it and said so.
    Tricky decision……..
    Stick with the Beano mate.


  33. tut tut @ 43. Don’t you know that it’s ok to question a man’s sexuality, cast aspersions on his intellect, doubt his grasp of reality, but to comment on his writing is the greatest sin known to webkind.


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