A bridge too far! Newcastle 1-1 Benfica (2-4 agg)

Cisse's strike wasn't enough

Cisse's strike wasn't enough
Cisse’s strike wasn’t enough
Newcastle United bowed out of the Europa League last night losing 4-2 on aggregate to a classy Benfica side, but at least the Magpies can be proud of their efforts on the night.

Coming back from two goals down was always going to be a tough ask against a side who just do not lose and like to score a lot of goals whilst avoiding defeat.

Domestically Benfica are unbeaten in 30 matches although continentally they have been beaten twice this term, once by Barcelona and once by Spartak Moscow, before they dropped out of the Champions League and into the Europa League. They’ve also scored over 100 goals already this term which isn’t too shabby.

However United had them on the ropes in the second period and were so close to pulling off what would have been a huge upset. In the end they had to settle for parity on the night and must now look back on a number of “what if” moments that have been seen over the two ties. What if one or both of Cisse’s efforts in Lisbon had been an inch inside the post? What if Davide Santon didn’t make that backpass? What if Steven Taylor hadn’t have made that handball? Fine margins is all we’re talking about about here.

The home side struggled to get going in the first period in truth and Benfica could and probably should have put the tie beyond doubt. First Lima forced Tim Krul into an early save from a cheeky back-heeled effort before the Dutchman was once again called into action to deal with Lorenzo Melgarejo’s heavy cross.

Benfica continued to create chances as United struggled to get a foothold in the game. Next up Lima rounded Tim Krul and squared the ball for Nico Gaitan to roll into an unguarded net but Massadio Haidara got back superbly to clear off the line. Eduardo Salvio also nodded a header wide of the post eight minutes before the interval in what was another close shave for United.

In truth the best the home side could muster in the first period was some long balls pumped up front, but with no outlet these didn’t come to anything and it was left to Gael Bigirimana to register our only shot on target of the half although his tame effort was easily collected by Artur in the Benfica goal. Papiss Cisse did have the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half-time but it was correctly flagged for offside and in the end both sides went in at the break level on the night.

Half-time: Newcastle 0-0 Benfica (1-3 agg)

The start of the second-half saw Shola Ameobi replace Gael Bigirimana as the home side tried to take the game to Benfica, and it worked as the performance levels were much improved. Yohan Cabaye’s free-kick presented no danger to the visitors while Papiss Cisse found the back of the net again only to see his second effort of the evening correctly chalked off by the linesman.

Then came the introduction of Hatem Ben Arfa, and it was his endeavour that led to United finding a way back into the tie with 20 minutes remaining. A probing run forward looked to have come to nothing but the former Marseille man persevered and managed to get the ball to Shola Ameobi who crossed for Papiss Cisse to nod home from point-blank range and score his fifth goal in his last five home games.

United then tried to turn the screws and enjoyed the bulk of the play without being really able to test Artur in the Benfica goal,but with moments left Ben Arfa danced into the box before blazing his effort high over the Gallowgate goal. It was to be our last chance.

As the home side continued to press, Benfica surged forward on the counter-attack with the extra time and space allowing Rodrigo to break down the right and cross for Salvio who slid in and effectively end the tie in stoppage time.

Full-time: Newcastle 1-1 Benfica (2-4 agg)

The standing ovation given to the players by those inside the ground on the night will say a lot more than I possibly could. They know we gave it a shot and they also understand that Benfica are a good team who have to be in with a shout of winning the competition.

It wasn’t to be for us and now it’s over. It’s been good though even if I have had reservations about the Europa League at times. Still now we can concentrate on securing Premier League safety and the little old matter of the visit of Sunderland on Sunday. One thing is for sure, and that is that if the team that finished the match last night can start the game this weekend and match the intensity which they played at in the second period we could give Sunderland a good seeing to.

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara; Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez; Moussa Sissoko; Papiss Cisse

Subs: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi

Benfica: Artur, Lorenzo Melgarego, Luisao, Ezequiel Garay, Andre Almeida, Nico Gaitan, Nemanja Matic, Enzo Perez, Lima, Ola John, Salvio

Subs: Paulo, Oscar Cardoza, Pablo Aimar, Maxi Pereira, Rodrigo, Jardel, Andre Gomes

Attendance: 52,157

68 thoughts on “A bridge too far! Newcastle 1-1 Benfica (2-4 agg)

  1. With all my ailments, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged or posted on here, but it’s always an interesting read. I think that injuries to the squad or not, or second half display was just about our best performance of the season. If we are capable of pouring in shifts like we did yesterday, I honestly don’t see why we don’t more often. Also, with the same formation & lineup as yesterday’s second half, Sunday is going to be interesting…


  2. Good read, Toonsy.

    At first I was really baffled by the selection of the starting 11. Leaving Marveaux on the bench, and playing without any real width, left me scratching my head to begin with.
    A lot has been said about Pardew’s tactical ability or lack thereof, but I must say, that his approach to the game yesterday turned out to be the right one – and could have been a real masterstroke, had we been able to convert our heavy domination into that second goal.
    The first half was admittedly a pretty flat 45 minutes to watch, and we didn’t create anything of note. But with the introduction of Ben Arfa and Marveaux (with fresh legs), we really put the pressure on them. So keeping the score low, and waiting Benfica out for the first hour, almost did the trick.
    I think Pardew deserves a lot of credit, and so do the players. I can’t seem to recall, Williamson putting a foot wrong last night, which will do a lot for his confidence, but also gives us fans a glimmer of hope on his behalf. Should Saylor be out for a while, and Coloccini have an unexpected setback, we can still call upon Big Mike.

    As you mention, Toonsy, the players that finished the game, really should be able to put Sunderland under a lot of pressure, and after last night, I have great confidence, that our boys will dominate The Unwashed, and send them home with a good old slapping ..


  3. A good read Toonsy.
    Gutted tbh but that’s life as a Newcastle fan, our motto is “there’s always next season” (not in the Europa obviously) but the lads give it a real go in the 2nd half against a very good team. Bring on the web toed scum sucking pondlife, beat them feckers and everyone will be smiling again :mrgreen:

    Fernando..Good to see you back, hope you’re on the mend.


  4. Don’t know if anyone has already said it, but heard from a mate last night that this ‘biggest commercial deal in the clubs history’ that Llambias talked about the other week is a deal to hold concerts at the ground.

    He wasn’t bullshitting, was just what he had heard, watch this space eh


  5. A brilliant effort from the players and manager last night. We had them on the ropes. Agree with Pardew we need big european nights. Prefer them to be champions league nights but that might be dreamng. Europa league will do as we build our team.
    We had Benfica on the ropes but couldn’t find the knock out goal.
    Couldn’t believe one guy as we were coming down the gallowgate steps on his phone saying “did you watch that, we were shite”. Nearly rammed his phone sideways where the sun doesn’t shine.
    Proud to be part of a great club.
    Just can’t stop thinking how good a side we would be with everyone fit.
    A cracking X1 and a strong bench.
    Friday and Saturday will fly by but are getting in the way. Want the mackems now.


  6. I think Pards got it spot on last night, he’s done that a bit lately, so has he…
    A) Started listening to his coaches more?
    B)Stopped listening to his coaches?
    C)Started playing Championship Manager?
    D)Not quite as bad a manager as some on here would believe(probably some of whom get their views from playing the aforementioned game) ๐Ÿ˜†


  7. Funkness
    Agree with that. At first I was fuming at Pardew’s negative starting line up, but his tactics actually worked. Benfica came at us strong looking for the away goal and we had to hold them off.
    After Cisse scored I honestly felt we would do it, and Ben Arfa had a great chance which would have put us through.

    I think considering Marv had an injury and Ben Arfa wasn’t fit, Pardew did a really good job. Despite my initial doubt.

    I thought the second half performance was just brilliant.


  8. Pardew was just lucky that his negative brand of positive football actually paid off to some small extent . ๐Ÿ˜ฏ If he had played a more positive style of negative football we would have snatched a win I reckon :mrgreen:


  9. I can’t help but find comparison between Cisse and Andy Cole.

    He flirts with offsides a lot, but that is why he is always there to tuck the ball in the net when need be.

    I was frustrated with him for the first couple offside decisions, but when you look back, he can’t really be blamed for the other two when he scored.

    The first one, Shola just got a touch on it, which had he missed, Cisse would have been onsides, but the touch put him off sides.

    The second, Cisse would have been onsides had Shola got a touch on his flick on but he just missed the ball which meant Cisse was offsides.

    Its not as straight forward for strikers to time these runs as it seems.

    Actually thought Shola did well. He showed a lot of fight and energy that I don’t often see from him.

    Cisse’s passion is just remarkable.

    The first half could have been better, but overall, I was very proud of the team. Can’t wait for Sunderland now.


  10. JJ…Aye, Cole had the massive benefit of having an extremely talented and quick thinker(unlike Aussie) feeding the ball through at the right time for him…oh to have a young Beardsley in the team now.


  11. You are no position to have a go at anyone about poor digestion Cuda ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†


  12. Toonsy good review of the game . Richie @11 That’s spot on ,Cisse is just too quick and needs a quick thinking link up man to make that killer pass. Notice how well him and Benny linked up last night ,No surprise he scored after he came on . I do like the look of Benny and Marv ,if they both stay fit we have a little dream team going on there .Sunday can’t come quick enough now ,bring it on HWTL.


  13. Toonsy good summing up, i’m still gutted but proud of the team for getting so far and giving it a real go against a top side.

    Fernando hope your feeling a bit better fella ๐Ÿ˜‰


  14. Really proud of the lads for getting through to the quarter finals especially as we had the hardest draw in this round. Gutted that we have went out due to the defensive calamities last week that caused us to adopt the game plan we did last night. While I agree that we needed to stop them from scoring at all costs, was disappointed that it translated into only one shot on target from us in the first half at home in front of a packed St James Park. However last twenty to thirty minutes what a massive difference Ben Arfa and Marv made. When we went for them their defence really rocked and you felt we could have got something. But alas was not to be. Glad all our players seem to have come through unscathed before the tussle with the rat munchers on Sunday.


  15. I was full of hope last night until I saw the team. Please Bigi in a game of that status. If Pards tells me Marveaux couldn’t have lasted the whole game as he had a knock fair enough but he hasn’t. Most teams in our situation are aware of a goal against but at least have some creative attacking options on the pitch to try and get something. He was suckered into playing Williamson to mark Cardoza then he was on the bench. Perch was the better option. Pardew as we know as an ego and I think he tried to be clever and try something different and if it had come off would have been tactical genius at its best and everyone would have hailed him and thought he’s not has bad as we all thought with his subs and tactics.

    Now I am not advocating getting rid of him I’m not sure if that’s a good thing but can I throw it open for debate.

    With the influx of foreign players and we have an excellent pool of say 14 decent players when all fit should we not be looking at a foreign coach also something we haven’t had since Ardiles that I can think off.
    Do we need someone to take us as they say to the next level or should we give him one more season to see what he can do with the squad.
    If not there has got to be some managers abroad who can do something with this group for god’s sake the Benfica Manager has got to be worth a shout.

    Any thoughts and as for Sunday living here and with my two boys attending the games with me defeat is not an option or our lives will be hell


  16. Full credit to Pardew for selecting a side and choosing a formation that allowed us to camp in our own half for the first 45 as it was vital to defend our two goal lead from the first leg. That was 45 minutes of my life that I will never get back, but it was worth it if it meant Benfica didn’t get that all important away goal and get back into the tie.

    So eventually in the second half Pardew brought on another forward to help a poor isolated Cisse, whose talents had hitherto been wasted. Then, with 20 minutes to go, John Carver had a word in his ear and informed him that we did not have a two goal lead. So Pardew thought it would be a good idea to bring on the club’s two best and most mercurial players, whom, for reasons best known to him, he had been holding back.

    Unbelievably, it worked. The crowd had been right to question the initial line up. With the introduction of my man, Marv, the star of the show in the first leg, and Benny Boy, we picked up where we left off in Portugal. We looked like world beaters, ripping them apart left, right and centre. They didn’t know what had hit them.

    Unfortunately, however, it was just too late. In the end we ran out of time. Desperately seeking the second goal in the precious few minutes remaining, we got hit with the sucker punch.

    Well done Pardew! We needed 90 minutes to pull two goals back. You gave us 20. But because you so nearly did it, we can all be happy and feel rightly proud. You are truly a great manager, if not a tactical genius!


  17. Comments at Michael12 were harsh last night

    i disagreed with his comments on cisse and especially saying williamson was ‘solid’

    however theres no need to abuse him

    were all toon fans on here


  18. Blackley and Brownlie cant make my mind up whether you believe that or not great Manager’s would have won it last night.


  19. TFIS – Pardew always tries to be too clever, and overthink it.

    When we stop trying to counter the opposition, and concentrate on our own strengths, we see what we all thought: that we did in fact sign some quality players who are capable of playing together to be more than a match for some of Europe’s best.


  20. hopefully next season we will add some depth in our squad so our backup squad could stand a chance against good opponent. it will allow players like bigi(who by the way really poor last night) to develop his talent properly


  21. Toon fan in Scumderland – That was arguably the best performance we have turned in all season and without a fully fit team. That performance was thanks to the way Pardew approached the game – so I’m not sure how or why you even ask the question nevermind what to debate the point.
    I think he set his team up to not to concede in the first half – regardless of who was in their starting 11. Having been a big critic for most of the season ill happily say I thought Willo had a very good game last night, as did Jonas. Pardew then brought Shola on at half time and later introduced Benny and Marv, not in response to Benfica changes but because he had a game plan and was sticking to it. When Benny cut in from the right and the goal opened up for him I thought it had worked as well, instead someone in row X took one on the head.
    This is Pardews first season managing in Europe as well don’t forget and he admits inexperience and lack of preparation (summer buys) have cost us this season.
    Spurs went out last night as well mate, with their foreign manager. I think living in Scumderland and their recent appointment of DIC may have turned your head a little mate ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Negatives from last night were the same as normal – not enough attacking options or goals throughout the rest of the team. No threat from corners or freekicks.
    But there were alot more positives from last night than there has been for a number of games.

    Let the players rest for Sunday now and lets destroy the scum, which we would do if we play like we did last night. Marv and Benny are so dangerous we have to play them on Sunday.


  22. Pardews plan nearly came off, Get to an hour in, hoy the kitchen sink and hope for two goals. When Ben Arfa cut inside on his left my arse nearly dropped and time stood still, When he got underneath it i think we all knew it had gone.

    The equaliser was an unwarranted kick in the bollocks but still cant take away the pride in how we went toe to toe with a true european giant and so nearly won. If we play owt like the 2nd half on sunday with a few more fit (Debuchy, Tiote, Saylor) well beat lL Duces red and white shower…


  23. B&B, I have to hand it to you mate, your counter Pardews tactics have worked in every game. You know who should start, who is under done or carrying a knock, when to make subs and most importantly… how to win every game. Your brilliance is a joy to behold. My god why aren’t you a manager by now?? It is a travesty ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


  24. TFIS – I can’t understand why any manager would not play his strongest team from the start in one the most important matches in the club’s history. The bottom line is we’re out as a result of that. I was furious when I heard the starting XI.

    It didn’t help my mood that the club had only two of the four turnstiles open for my platinum club ticket and I missed the first few minutes. When I did get in, I ended up getting lost and nearly wandered onto the pitch in the milburn/leazes corner. By some fluke it was my mate who works for the TV station and was stood pitch side, who pointed me in the right direction.


  25. B&B – Had Pardew deployed an all out attack approach to the game, playing Benny and Marv from the start and Benfica scored the away goal early on I’m sure you would have gave credit to Pardew as well would you?!.
    Seriously mate, your constant criticism of Pardew is ridiculous now like. Most other people can clearly see what Pardew was trying to do last night, and your comments at no point take into consideration the quality of our opponents.
    It’s starting to get quite sad now to be honest.


  26. Aussie – Are you serious? I haven’t heard Pardew. In fact, I haven’t had a chance to read any post or comments or see TV. I’ve just come straight on here because I’m so mad. What are his excuses this time?

    Please explain why we camped in our own half in the first 45 and very nearly conceded the sucker punch whilst being completely ineffective at the other end? Please explain to me why my man Marv was left out when he showed with Benny Boy that he could do a fantastic job?


  27. B&B, OK here we go… we had a make shift defensive unit so we needed to help them out and to absorb most of the early pressure. If we conceded a goal early, mentally our boys would have been shot. Pardz obviously had one eye on the weekend game and used a couple of player sparingly. Benny has been out for months and you would start him?? Give over mate, your prejudices against Pardew are clouding your common sense levels..


  28. Sharpy – I knew you and the pardophiles would be hailing Pards as a tactical genius. Of course, for you, it’s all about being clever isn’t it? It’s all about game plans. It’s nothing to do with getting your best players on the pitch. IT IS A FACT THAT WE WASTED 45 MINUTES. It served no good purpose other than to indulge Pardew’s ego. No fan would have chosen that starting XI. It is no surprise that we nearly blew it in the first half and that we were never going to get any goals back. We were bloody awful.

    You seem to suppose that good players can’t play cautiously at times in order to strike the right balance. If Pardew had played the finishing XI from the start, it wouldn’t have been all gung ho. It was in the last 25 because it had to be. Pardew got it wrong from the start and left it too ****ing late!

    You seem to think I can’t see what Pardew was trying to do. I can and I simply didn’t agree with it. I have paid good money to go to all the Europa home games and for that reason, I’m as entitled as you to give my opinion.


  29. Fernando666 – Good to see you around my friend. I hope things are going a lot better for you these days? ๐Ÿ™‚


  30. Sharpy 17 I agree best last 30 minutes performance all season but it should have been for longer. Not even going into the living in Sunderland jibe. I have always tried to support and defend Pardew but agree with Blackley he tries to be to clever due to his ego. Like I said can’t make my mind up about Pards at the minute where up until lately wanted stability.

    I believe if Marv had been on from the start I wouldn’t have complained at all because he has been our best player all season and would love to see him and Benny in the same team but it wont happen as Pards will see that as far to an attacking policy. I felt sorry for Bigi being thrown in there last night no pressure on the lad to perform for gods sake.


  31. Aussie – By your own words, he had one eye on the weekend. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You might be happy with that but I’m not. I had two eyes on last night and will have two eyes on the weekend.

    I would certainly have no hesitation in playing Marv from the start. Would you? I would also have played Benny from the start because he is our most gifted player. A half fit Benny is better than a fully fit Ameobi. That bloke should simply give up even trying to kick with his left foot. If Benny tired too much, then take him off. How does Pards know how long Benny is going to last? Besides, Benny needs to build up his fitness for Sunday. What better way than going for as long as you can?


  32. B&B I totally agree with you. Good players can play different systems. Keep it tight for first 15 minutes then have a go. Not one fan would have put Bigi in last night. Williamson maybe but there was steady eddy Perch available as well. Debate is fine but Sharpy and the rest be honest did any of you see Bigi in the starting line up


  33. Sharpy @ 24 – What the F has TFIS living in Sunderland or summer buys got to do with it?

    “Auguably the best performance we have turned in all season”! A performance comprises a whole game. The first half was disjointed, precarious gash!

    “Seriously mate, your constant criticism of Pardew is ridiculous now like.” You seem to forget I was giving Pardew full credit for our performance in the first leg because I will give it where it is due. So get it right please.


  34. B&B

    “Sharpy โ€“ I knew you and the pardophiles would be hailing Pards as a tactical genius. Of course, for you, itโ€™s all about being clever isnโ€™t it? Itโ€™s all about game plans. ”

    No mate, it’s about giving credit where it’s due.
    It’s all about being clever, yet it’s you that has came up with the term ‘pardophiles’, which I personally think is a disgusting turn of phrase. Not because you’re suggesting I’m a blind follower of Pardew – which I’m not, but because of the word you have taken it from and there is a valid reason.
    Back to football though and whilst we didn’t score in the first half, we didn’t concede either so it wasn’t a waste of time at all. As for selecting his ‘strongest 11’, Marv has been injured in the last couple of weeks and Benny has just came back in. Only Pardew and his staff knew how fit they were in terms of how much game time they could manage.
    I don’t think Pardew is a tactical genius – but I also certainly don’t think you are either. I don’t have a problem with you having your opinion – whether you paid money for platinum club tickets or sat and watched it in your living room. What’s getting boring is your constant criticism of Pardew, I mean you even suggest the the subs made was down to Carver – it’s pathetic man.
    Yet when TFIS asked the question is it time Pardew was replaced with a foreign manager – you still choose not to enter into that one.
    Oh I know, your stance on Pardew has never changed – trouble is – no sod knows what that means. But we do know that you’ll continue to come on here and slag the bloke off.


  35. TFIS – Even if you were going to put Bigi in, which you wouldn’t when you’ve got better players, you don’t put a young kid in and play him out of position. He has done the exact same thing with Adam Campbell and he’s struggled. I’ve heard managers talk about protecting young players and not putting them in too early, and I can see that even if I think managers are sometimes overly cautious with it. However, to put young kids in out of position is highly questionable to say the least.


  36. Sharpy – What’s a Francophile? What’s an Anglophile? You really are getting desperate now!

    If you’re so keen on giving people credit where it’s due, go back and find my quotes following the first leg and contrast with your statement about my constant criticism of pardew.

    Even Aussie is saying he had one eye on Sunderland. Are you?

    Are you saying that Marv or Benny looked like they were unfit when they came on? When Benny played on the plastic, that was a player unfit. He was nothing like that. So Pards misjudged their fitness if that’s the excuse he’s making because they were livelier than anyone else. None of us, not even Pardew, will ever know how long they could have lasted.


  37. “Whatโ€™s getting boring is your constant criticism of Pardew, I mean you even suggest the the subs made was down to Carver โ€“ itโ€™s pathetic man.” Sharpy – That was a joke. It was never meant to be taken literally. We played the first 45 as if the manager thought we were two goals up. When he made the changes it was as if someone had tapped him on the shoulder and informed of the real situation. It was clearly a crap joke if I have to explain it.


  38. TFIS – I meant nothing by the ‘jibe’, it was meant as banter. I live in Chester le Street mate, just along the road.
    I’m not sure Pardew made his decisions based on ego – although that is a new one to pin on him. I think it was probably more out of respect for his opponents and the threat they posed. I agree Bigi was out of position and commented on that at half time last night. Maybe it was to help Simmo out defensively as Simmo seemed to overlap him quite a bit, or maybe it was that we were lacking in options for that position. Either way, I don’t think it worked. Jonas, Anita and Cabaye seemed to break Benfica down and not let them get into their way of playing, which kept it at 0-0 and allowed that last 30mins to happen and the introduction of not fully fit Marv and Benny.
    Last night was always going to be a big ask as the tie was lost in the 1st leg really. But had Benny scored his effort having cut inside it may have been a different story. I’m not suggesting its Bennys fault, far from it, and I know they went on the score afterwards but maybe they wouldn’t have if we were winning 2-0 we may have attacked more or defended better, who knows.
    All I know is it was a good effort by ALL IMO.


  39. Well to be fair, we only see the players once a week. Pards and his staffs watched them daily. They should know more than us about the players’ fitness and which players are ready to play.

    B&B, If Pards play Marv and Ben from the start, we lost the game and they went off injured, i think you will be furious with Pardew to play our magicians in a game with a little hope of winning as we are not safe yet in PL.

    Most of the time this season (in Europe) Pards got his tactics right which I can considered quite good as this was his first season in Europe.


  40. B&B

    “Sharpy โ€“ Whatโ€™s a Francophile? Whatโ€™s an Anglophile? You really are getting desperate now!”

    I think it may be you getting desperate with that but nevermind.

    “Whatโ€™s getting boring is your constant criticism of Pardew, I mean you even suggest the the subs made was down to Carver โ€“ itโ€™s pathetic man.โ€ Sharpy โ€“ That was a joke. It was never meant to be taken literally. We played the first 45 as if the manager thought we were two goals up. When he made the changes it was as if someone had tapped him on the shoulder and informed of the real situation. It was clearly a crap joke if I have to explain it.”

    How about you cut the crap jokes, break a habit and credit Pardew for making those subs.

    As for them looking fully fit, Barca said Messi was injured in game against PSG, he came on and changed their game too. It’s about knowing what the players can bring to the game, and surely Pardew and his staff know that better than us.


  41. Sharpy if Marv was unfit I agree keep him on the bench. I vary rarely enter into or make comments on any blogs articles on the internet although I read a lot of them and find the comments interesting. I never slag off the team or manager on line either even when Pardew makes strange subs selections etc he’s the manager are my thoughts normally.

    Last night he had the chance to take us through in a competition I believe we could have won and if that happens he would have been a hero forever and we aren’t going to get many better chances moving forward. I hope I’m wrong on that point and for his selections last night I came on and commented because I went believing we could do it as usual, saw the team and felt like it only mattered to us supporters and Pardew still doesn’t quite get what it means to us as die hard fans of our club.

    The jibe I did take as banter.


  42. Pards has done well in the Europa League with tactics, was spot on last night – going gung ho from the off would probably have meant them scoring and I couldnt see us scoring 4, shame but close but no cigar last night
    Thought the back four played well last night, Yanga was excellent
    Jonas put a huge shift in but thought Cabaye had an off night – big difference when we brought Marv and HBA on, those 2 players are guys who can change a game for us – quality players


  43. TFIS
    I respect your opinion mate but I believe Pardew did the right thing, he knew that if we went hung-ho into the game we’d be ripped to shreds so he had us play patiently, knowing that at 0-0 with 20 minutes to go we could attack them with some impact substitutions. The plan very nearly worked and he should be praised for that, to say he doesn’t consider us the fans is wrong IMO, he knew what was the best thing to do with the players he had available that were fit and he implanted it.


  44. I honestly cannot believe some people were actually slagging Cisse off! What do people want? Unfortunately we haven’t got Messi and Ronaldo in our team although I am sure some would complain about their work rate if we had them! Get a fckin life!

    Great effort from the lads – was very proud. Know lets just thrash these mother fckers on Sunday!


  45. Andy – We won that game. What is your point? it doesn’t mean the lad didn’t struggle out of position. Because of pardew’s team selections and tactics, we’ve played with one hand tied behind our backs and won far too few games this season, most often only managing to scrape points with last ditch efforts because Pards has started with his team and finished with the fans’ team far too late.

    We needed two goals in 90 and completely wasted 45. When Shola came on, we at least took some shape. When our best players came on with 25 or so left, we ripped them apart. Unfortunately, on this occasion, time ran out. No last ditch winner from Cisse to get us out the shit.

    As I said after the first leg, when I was buzzing at our performance, it was still game on. It was far from the impossible task that the pardophiles are making out. If Pardew had one eye on Sunderland, that’s his choice!


  46. Andymag respect your opinion as well.

    We went at them in the first leg and frightened them albeit under different circumstances we weren’t 3-1 down but we still got at them with offensive players. He had Marv in then. Just so disappointed that we constantly fail not against better teams than us that I can accept like when Drogba destroyed us years ago but against teams we can beat.

    Hope he goes for it next year in FA or Capital cup but that could depend where we are in the league. Does he not get it most of us would finish bloody 4th bottom and win a trophy than top 6 with nowt


  47. Massively disappointed to go out of the cup but we were playing a very good team indeed. It was a tie of many ‘what ifs’. The way Benfica played for the majority of the tie was good football and would love to have some of their players in our squad.

    I hope, and think, that Benfica will go on to win the Europa League. They play nice attractive football, good fans and the thing that tops it off for me is the laying of the wreath on Sir Bobby’s statue by the Benfica club President, Manager and Captain before the game. Hats off to them, I have a lot of respect for them and will be supporting them in the semi’s and the final too if they get there.


  48. SteveP – I’ve been saying Marv is a quality player ages before the penny dropped with Pardew and many on here. When I was giving it the big MARVO, people were pointing to his faults. Just when the lad was picking up his game, Pards left him out in favour of others like Squidward, Bikini Bottom’s best. Even now, Pard’s and quite a few on here are not convinced and think he’s only good enough as an impact sub.


    via Soccernet

    CISSE: 35 goals and two assists in 69 (four sub appearances) starts…

    = one goal every 0.47 games. (124 shots at goal, one goal every 3.5 attempts)

    BA: 29 goals and two assists in 54 (four sub appearances) starts…

    = one goal every 0.53 games (202 shots at goal, one goal every 6.9 attempts).

    I think we were always going to lose one of the two and if I had to pick which one it was going to be it was going to be Cisse to stay.

    Amazing also that all those saying “when Ba leaves Cisse will start banging them in” – and they brought it up countless times, now never bring it up to strengthen their arguement – WHY?

    Because since Ba left Cisse has started scoring regularly again.

    In fact, Cisse’s record when he has played as an out and out central striker for Newcastle is 31 goals in 48 starts (two sub appearances) which is basically two goals every three games.

    Yet people still say its not enough and he is poor…

    Amazing… unless we buy Ronaldo, Messi or van Persie, we won’t get a better goal scorer anywhere. We are very fortunate to have him and he’s a great man with a superb work ethic and passion to boot.

    Anyway, continue with the criticism please…


  50. B&B, sorry mate, if you think Pardz should have thrown all our top playing stock into this game with no regard to an up and comรฎng fixture then you are not worth debating with. Talk about short sighted, your own selfish, narrow minded needs have not been met and you can’t see past them. I can only imagine how much you whinged and bitched as a kid when Santa didn’t bring that bike you wanted for christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


  51. B&B
    Marv has been excellent in spells, but there have many games where he may as well not be on the park.

    I think his form of late has earned him a start, no doubt, however, Pardew said he needed to be protected. In other words he was carrying a slight injury. So he couldn’t play the full game.

    I’m far from Pardew’s biggest fan. I think we could do with a better manager, but I’m not going to knock him when I don’t think he’s done anything wrong this game.


  52. The thing that most excites me about Marv and Ben Arfa and Gouffran being up front o support Cisse is that not only will there be more creativity, but Sissoko will be pushed back to a position which suits him more…

    For me he needs to be next to Cabaye slightly ahead of him.

    For me Cabaye needs to be DM playing as quarterback and in a sort of Xabi Alonso role.

    At the moment Sissoko is running into brick walls. He reminds me a bit of Jonas when he first arrived. Looks unreal on the ball and then gives it away in the final third with a sloppy pass or cross. Or takes too long to spot the run and by that time the striker is offsides.

    Ideally playing deeper, his energy would be better used both offensively and defensively leaving the final ball to clever more technical players like Marvaeux and Ben Arfa.

    When will be see them all fully fit and in form? If ever…


  53. Ola John and Eduardo Salvio

    Two Benfica players who really caught the eye for me. Both looked unreal players and neither have turned 22 yet.

    Hope Carr’s next journey is off to Portugal.


  54. JJ – Ola John is Dutch isn’t he? Either that or Tim Krul went to the wrong country when he said he played with him in the international team ๐Ÿ˜†


  55. Aussie @ 56 What a very well thought out, considered, cogent response. How crass of me to want to want us to win a European trophy after all of the effort to date.


  56. Richie, Big Dave, Toonsy…
    It’s good to be back lads. Almost completely on the mend. Will be back on here in no time…


  57. JJ, you say, “Pardew said he needed to be protected. In other words he was carrying a slight injury.” Are you just surmising that he was carrying an injury? Aussie thought he was saving him for Sunday. Some performance for a man carrying an injury, however slight. What can this boy do when he’s fully fit?


  58. Jez the dark clouds have desended again I see, is it just me or does anyone else get sick of listening to the same anti Pards shit over and over again from B&B tis funny that he thinks so little of Pards and thinks that we’ll get no where but down under him, but it seems that B&B is happy enough with that because he hasn’t came out and asked for him to be replaced.


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