Grinding out the results

Keep grinding away...
Newcastle United consolidated their position in fifth place with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Aston Villa yesterday.

The match saw the return of Shay Given to his former club and the game was a mostly scrappy affair but the two Demba’s provided the goods for the Geordie faithful and manager, Alan Pardew.

The last two fixtures have seen the Magpies not at their best but have taken their chances on goal in order to grind out a victory. Against Blackburn, Newcastle found themselves under pressure from Steve Kean’s side but managed to win the match 2-0. The match against Aston Villa was much the same, Pardew’s side never settled into a proper rhythm in the first half and took the lead thanks to superb work by Danny Guthrie and Demba Ba. The goal came against the run of play, Villa had had several chances in front of Newcastle’s net but were thwarted by the superb form of the Dutchman, Tim Krul in between the sticks.

Newcastle looked uneasy at the back, several times both Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini were undone by the pace of Darren Bent but managed to recover well to stop Villa from gaining an equaliser.

Before the stroke of half-time, Newcastle’s hard work was to be undone when Robbie Keane scored for the visitors. The two teams went in level at half-time, there were many times throughout the first half when Villa cold have taken a large advantage into the break but it was not to be for them.

Pardew had obviously had strong words to say to his side during the interval, their had been no signs of the fluidity that had been present in recent matches. The side looked rather disjointed but they attacked the second half with venom.

They were more chances created on goal for the men in black and white but Villa defended resiliently to deny Newcastle the chance to go in front. A moment of magic came on the 71st minute when Papiss Demba Cisse struck a left-footed half volley into the top left corner. It was a brilliant goal to fire Newcastle back into fifth place in the Premier League table.

The last two fixtures have seen Newcastle’s performance been below par than usual but it is testament to Alan Pardew and the players that even though they have been playing below par they have ground out the results in order to keep up with those in the top four. This lack in performance may be down to the fact that two key players: Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye are missing from the fray but it is very encouraging to see that the side have been able to cope without them and gain a vital three points that guarantees Premier League football for next season.

Even when putting in below par performances, Newcastle are still able to gain a victory that may allow the dream of European football returning to St James’ Park to continue.

About Zoรซ Vicarage

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

67 thoughts on “Grinding out the results

  1. The players have been excellant in terms of their work rate but if I was to have one complaint, Williamson is a weak link at the back for me. Not just when defending but you can see he really isn’t comfortable with the ball at his feet. Simpson is also vunerable to players running at him as he does have a tendancy to back off. Maybe something to work on in the summer…

    Cannot fault the work rate though and that has got us through the season.


  2. I’d say Willo had a good game yesterday. In fact, he largely done well every time he’s been called upon since half way through last season. Still think Steven Taylor is 1st choice ahead of him though, but he’s well worth his place in the squad and easily good enough to step into the 1st team for prolongued periods.

    I think Simmo has cut out the backing off stuff recently, however it crept back in yesterday. He also keeps giving the ball away in the opposition half, leaving us exposed to fast breaks minus a defender. Quite frustrating, however he has steadily improved this season and if he stays beyond the summer i’m sure Steve Stone will teach him how to cut those mistakes out.

    Like you say Zoe, we keep grinding out the results and have to be taken seriously for Top 6 – however we are depending on luck when it comes to our defenders staying injury free. That’s the only thing I can see derailing us.


  3. Well I had us down for a draw yesterday, and I think overall, that’s what type of game it was.
    Haven’t seen the stats yet, but assuming possession was 50:50 ish.
    Villa had more attempts than us I think, but we held firm again at the end. I got bloody raw stumps where my finiger nails used to be and a bad head today.
    Over the moon with all the lads. There goal was just a good goal, it happens, but what a great opening goal for Pappas.:-D


  4. 1 point i noticed about cisse was he looked nervous to me on his debut,but another thing i noticed about him was all his nerves were over as soon as he scored,have a look at how he celebrated when he got the goal, all the weight was lifted off his shoulders ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. Haha Toonsy, well I have to say you are both looking fine. Carry on! ๐Ÿ˜†

    BB – Possession stats will be interesting, as we had 75% at one point in the 2nd half…


  6. I think Santon has to get an honourable mention for yesterday’s performance – he didn’t put a foot wrong and was an absolute menace going forward.


  7. Btw the last player to score on his prem lge debut for us was Xisco.
    Hope this not a bad omen. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


  8. Agreed Shamrock

    Williamson has maybe had five bad games that I can recall, They rest he has been rock solid.
    Simpson for me is a very good defender, but is very weak in possession and going forward he often arrives too late to give Obertan that extra space or extra option as a pass. Defensively I don’t have any problems with him, I think he’s been great.


  9. Jon R

    Best is out for at least six weeks with medial ligament damage. Raylor is out for a couple weeks with severe bruising of the bone.


  10. JJ, I’ve watched the match again and you were right about the ratings I gave this morning – I should have give Guthrie 7.5 – he put in a very good shift. Still thought Krul was our man of the match though. He didn’t put a foot wrong for me, like.


  11. JJ

    Thanks for the info, not as bad as it could have been then. When they got out the laughing gas and the leg brace I thought his season was over. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I think Krul should have been man of the match too. If it wasn’t for him we’d have been 0-2 down within 25 mins and probably game over. To think ManU scouted for ages and spent a fortune trying to replace Van Der Sar, if he’d just looked to his own national under 21 side he’d have found a natural replacement right there! ๐Ÿ˜†


  12. another thing i noticed is tottenham next 4 matchs ouch if we grind out a draw at there place i think we can catch them ๐Ÿ˜€


  13. I agree with the choice of Guthrie as MOTM. He was everywhere – real determination and guile. He and Perch may not be quite the Cabaye-Tiote combo, but they’re a fine backup, and catching up too. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I also like the fact that we fielded 5 English players yesterday. I don’t like the club to look too much like Chelski and Arsenal, and it’s great to see the home-grown talent taking their chances well.

    Ba’s goal was just a classic example of what he can do – brilliant to see him back. And as for Cisse… just brilliant. So pleased for him. Welcome to Toon, Papista!


  14. Thought Perch had his best game yet for us yesterday, and christ his attempt at goal! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Not too far away at all, would have been a bloody screamer.

    Nice to see 2 able back ups for centre midfield.

    Thought Cisse had an excellent debut, even if he hadn’t scored. Showed loads of determination, clever passes and runs. Was unlucky not to have grabbed a couple to be fair that header was a sitter, but his half volley was an utter peach. Very pleased for the lad and he looks comfortable.

    Still think 4th is a massive ask but while it’s still mathematically possible you have to dream.


  15. Whumpie – I don’t agree with a draw tonight fella, would much rather see Spurs destroy the bindippers and give us that gap. We will never win the league (this year anyway! ๐Ÿ˜† ) or realistically finish higher than 4th so no point worrying about Spurs ๐Ÿ˜‰


  16. Perch is becoming something of a cult hero thanks to his performances in recent weeks. Defo found a role for him. Could the most written off player in the last few seasons be creating a space in the squad for himself? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ




  18. Re: Perch, a recent pole on this site showed 70% of almost 200 people thought he was not worth keeping, me included.

    After his recent rejuvenation in this new postion I’d be fairly confident in saying it would 70% in favor of him staying now! ๐Ÿ˜†


  19. Good article Zoe although I thought I had entered a dutch sadochist porn site given the pic above ๐Ÿ™‚


    definitely, Perch is doing great, just shows ppl should hold their tongue, including me ๐Ÿ™‚ …before Perch is was right back to possible N Butt.. he had a torrid time before being loaned out to B’ham although everyone knew he had quality. Made a fist of it when he returned and did well.

    Excellent result y’day.. I’ve had two days of drink which is a big no-no for a t-totaller like me, How ppl can drink everynight is alien to me..

    Toon Toon


  20. If only we had the quality of Perch and Guthrie as backup across the squad
    Gk ??
    CB Willo & ??
    FB Raylor & ??
    WM Marveaux & HBA
    Sk Best & Shola
    need more depth, hopefully the kids come good, or we have another good summer transfer window


  21. Toonsy
    “Perch is becoming something of a cult hero thanks to his performances in recent weeks. Defo found a role for him. Could the most written off player in the last few seasons be creating a space in the squad for himself?”

    The problem is he can have five good performances and one bad one and the usual lot will be saying he’s no good and needs to be got rid of…


  22. Mark, I don’t know about holding our tongues! For most of Perch’s career at the Toon he played somewhere in defence and nearly always made costly mistakes that should quite rightly be criticised. However, since he has played midfield he has done well and quite rightly attracted praise.

    I see nothing wrong with fans voicing their disapproval at a player who is not producing the goods – otherwise the management willl never know what their clubs’ fans want. Although boo’ing them constantly on the pitch is non productive I agree…


  23. Premandup

    Keeper: Foster/Harper
    Centre backs: Williamson/?
    Fullbacks: Raylor/Fergie
    Centre mids: Perch/Guthrie/Abied
    Wings: Marv/?
    Strikers/AM: Best/Ben Arfa/Vuckic

    Not too much strengthening needed really. The thing is, I wouldn’t buy cover, I’d buy young talent that can be cover and perhaps potentially better than what we have.


  24. Prem – Full Back – Santon, Simmo, Raylor and Ferguson. That’s good depth.
    We definitely need a CB and should have got one in January.
    Not sure where Gosling stands now Perch has made the back up to Tiote role his own and Guthrie has nailed the Cabaye role???

    Think we need a decent striker still. We will be without the two Dembas for a long period next season and I think Shola’s body (bless him) has given up on him. Just dont think we can rely on him in the 1st team for a run of games any more.

    As for GK, we have no idea how good Elliot is… โ“


  25. Saying that, as JJ points out – I really rate Vukic. Would like to see him get a run in the team at some point just behind the main striker. Maybe we dont need a striker after all?

    He is definitely good enough, just needs game time now.


  26. We have to be careful about buying cover ; it’s fine buying cover but that cover player has to have the attitude of knowing he is actually a cover player and knows that if he works hard and produces the goods when his cover is needed then he can make it hard for him to be replaced.

    Buying top quality players to be bit part players would be counter productive to this club, so there has to be a happy medium I think.

    It’s why I think the emphasis is being put on buying in quality youngsters for the future in abundance because the law of averages dictates that a few of them will become special.


  27. My expected summer levers would be loverboy past his sell by date imho. best simply not good enough thanks for trying but see ya laters mate,though i been 1 of sholas supporters over the years just feel the times right to freshen up, no had feelings shola been a true pro for the club over the years .And last but prob not the least is collo,just cant see the club handing him a 5 and a half year deal on more money,smith and and hopefully some1 will take zisco.


  28. Wolfie, If you buy quality that can challenge for a place in the 1st team straight away then that can only be a good thing as it increases competition and drives performances up. If someone comes in and displaces one of our ‘better performers’ who then gets put out and demands a move then fair enough, because they have lost their place to a better performer. If they stay and fight, we have proven quality in depth. The only thing they need to be careful about is buying at the right price, so that if these signings dont work – they can at least break even when it comes to a sale.

    I can see both sides of the argument, but surely what is best would be a mixture of incoming proven quality alongside incoming future prospects.


  29. I would like us to play Benny on the wings in certain games, or as a no.10 behind a single striker.
    It will allow Vuckic to perform the same role. But personally, I think he and Gosling need to go out on loan and get some football under their belts, like Cleverly, Sturridge and Welbeck and the Arsenal lad who’s name eludes me.
    All of them spent two seasons on loan and came back much better players.


  30. nice article zoe, picture is bait disturbing mind, great result yesterday and what a strike from papisto, perch was class and i think that could spell the end for gosling especially with abeid and vuckik coming through, still need cb cover and a left back in the summer imo.

    if we can get a draw at spurs that would be amazing hopefully they beat liverpool tonight, modric gets sent off and bale gets a little injury. ๐Ÿ˜†


  31. What’s wrong with Shane Ferguson then? He has done really well every time he has represented us and is well worth a place in the 1st team squad in my opinion.


  32. [email protected]

    I understand you think Besty doesn’t have the class of ba and Cisse but i think he’s definately worthy of a squad position. In fact i think he’s perfect for it, i’m sure we’d all love another cisse/tevez/shearer type striker to come in and be back up… but i’m not sure the player would want that would they? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  33. I think the Liverpool game highlighted why Pardew is holding Vuckic back a little bit as Vuckic looked and played very nervy in that game.


  34. BTW good to hear the ‘EE-I-EE-I-EE-I-OH’ song come back yesterday. It’s been a long time since we sang that on eh? ๐Ÿ˜†

    We may not get anything against Spurs but they’ll have their work cut out against us. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ


  35. i think young fergie is a winger if I’m being honest he glides past defenders and can deliver a decent ball, got a lot of pace to go with it.


  36. Well Smith is finally out of contract com e the summer so that frees up 60k a week, unfortunately Xiscos contract doesn’t finish until 06/13 meaning we’ll be paying the majority of his wages for another year.

    Hope Spurs win tonight, although I dont think we can realistically challenge for 4th, we should try to stay in the mix as long as possible and hopefully get 6th or 7th which will make ofr a fantastic season, add a bit more strength in depth over the summer and push on for next season ( hopefully we wont sell our better players)


  37. Personally think if we get anything at spuds we need HBA.
    move jonas to the right to track bale. HBA could be such a good foil for the two dembas. We need spurs to worry about us on the counter.

    Btw how pacey is this team;

    Simmo, Colo, Saylor, Santon
    Obertan, Cabaye,Tiote, HBA
    Ba, Cisse

    Pace everywhere ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


  38. Can you imagine a pace wing battle between;


    Btw in the game at SJP obertan outpaced bale a couple of times ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


  39. Can you count suckersssssssssssssssss?
    i say the future is oursssssssssssssssssss….if you can count.



    THE LEAGUE IS OURS BY RIGHT…….CAN YOU DIG IT???????????????????????????????????????????


    CAN YOU DIG IT????????????????……CAN YOU DIG IT???????????????


  40. Toon Chicken

    I have no idea how Ferdinand is there. He was directly responsible for Chelsea’s third goal.
    His set up for the free kick gave Mata achres of space to hi the free kick into even after Carrick pointed it out to him. And then he went on to shoulder the ball into his own net!
    For some pundits though, only a few premier league teams actually exist.


  41. Alright lads, only just seen the comments as I’ve been at 6th form. Toonsy all I can say to that picture is LOL.

    You guys have inspired me to write another article about the squad depth, I was sorta toying with the idea last night to write one about it. But seeing as a lot of you have suggested stuff like that its inspired me to write it.


  42. Great win yesterday , impressed with all the lad’s. Not gonna single out Colo or Simmo for theyr’e goal as even the best defenders get caught out . Thought Papiss goal was great and on his left foot too ,i thought he was right footed!,really pleased for the lad and that will be a weight off his shoulders now that’s out the way…[email protected] We all know the Beeb are a joke .You must know by now that we don’t actually exist , it’s just a fog sitting in 5th ๐Ÿ˜†


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