A game of two halves? West Brom 1-1 Newcastle

Gouffran opens the scoring at The Hawthorns

Gouffran opens the scoring at The Hawthorns
Gouffran opens the scoring at The Hawthorns
Newcastle and West Brom shared the spoils at The Hawthorns yesterday after dominating a half each in what was ultimately a tight affair.

United could and probably should have been out of sight by half-time but some poor finishing proved costly in a first-half dominated by the away side.

And in true United fashion that profligacy in front of goal came back to haunt us as the home side took control of the second period of the match resulting in a 64th minute equaliser for Billy Jones. Steve Clarke was clearly unhappy with his side at half-time and made some decisive changes in terms of formation and personnel and no doubt sent his side out with a rocket up their rear end following their first-half display, but Alan Pardew should have been prepared for that and could maybe have set his side up differently to deal with it.

Needing to make amends for the Tyne-Wear derby defeat last weekend, United started off brightly and soon grabbed the lead after Yohan Cabaye released Papiss Cisse who crossed for Yoan Gouffran to flick home a header after Ben Foster came off his line to clear a ball he was never likely to get anywhere near to.

It could have been more soon after when Gouffran released Steven Taylor who tried to lob the ball over the onrushing Foster only to find the West Brom goalkeeper equal to his effort this time.

West Brom looked shaky and very nearly became the architects of their own downfall when Jonas Olsson inexplicably passed the ball straight to Papiss Cisse who found himself through on goal only to see his effort go over after trying to chip Foster when perhaps a bit less finesse might have been required. A guilt-edged chance that should have been buried.

Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy also had efforts worthy of a brief mention but none of them really tested Ben Foster despite not being far away from finding the target and in the end the away side had to make do with just a one goal lead.

There was some controversy just before half-time as James Perch slid in to challenge a West Brom attacker. My own opinion is that there was nothing wrong with the tackle as Perch won the ball, his feet were on the floor and it wasn’t dangerous, but the referee didn’t see it that way and awarded a free-kick, which is fair enough but even live at full speed I could see it was inside the box so if the ref sees it as a foul then surely it should be a penalty? It wasn’t and for some unknown reason a free-kick was awarded just outside the box.

Half-time: West Brom 0-1 Newcastle

Steve Clarke shuffled the pack at the start of the second period and took off a defensive midfielder in the shape of Claudio Yacob and replaced him with a striker in the shape of Shane Long – a move that meant the home side would now be playing with three strikers on the pitch.

And the move worked. United had dominated things up until half-time but West Brom soon changed that as they pinned the away side back inside their own half, with Shane Long nearly getting on the end of a shot which was spilled by Rob Elliot but the former Charlton man eventually did enough to deny Long on the rebound.

Romelu Lukaku, who had been beasting our defenders all game due to his sheer size and athleticism, nearly found a leveller six minutes after the interval but his header from a corner rebounded off the crossbar before United managed to clear.

As the hour-mark passed it looked as though Newcastle might have managed to weather the storm but Billy Jones had other ideas and levelled the match on 64 minutes after being played in by Lukaku and finishing smartly past Elliot and Massadio Haidara who had tried to get back on the goal-line to clear. It was the 26-year-olds first Premier League goal.

West Brom continued to press but despite enjoying most of the possession and territory they failed to really create much. Rob Elliot had to be on hand to divert a James Morrison header over the crossbar but aside from that the Baggies failed to really test the United defence and goalkeeper.

Mind you the same can be said for United who failed to create a single chance in the second-half and in the end both sides had to settle for a point each along with an equal share of time dominated in the match. The phrase “a game of two halves” really did apply here, for both sides.

Full-time: West Brom 1-1 Newcastle

To be honest I’d have settled for a point before kick-off so I’m reasonably happy with the result overall, but it could and perhaps should have been three points but for some missed chances in that first-half.

The result looks worse because most of the teams around us won but I’m not overly bothered about them. To be honest, as a fan, is crowing about finishing 13th or 17th is hardly something to get excited about and all that matters is staying in the league after what has been a disastrous season. On that score, Wigan lost and Aston Villa still have to travel to Manchester United so we’re still six points clear of the drop zone which is now our ultimate aim for the season, so if you look at it like that we’re now a point closer to safety!

Howay the lads!

West Brom: Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Goran Popov; Graham Dorrans, Claudio Yacob, James Morrison, Chris Brunt; Marc-Antione Fortune, Romelu Lukaku

Subs: Boaz Myhill, Kemar Roofe, Markus Rosenberg, Steven Reid, Shane Long, Liam Ridgewell, Jerome Thomas

Newcastle: Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara; James Perch, Yohan Cabaye; Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse

Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Vurnon Anita, Dan Gosling, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi

Attendance: 25,671

43 thoughts on “A game of two halves? West Brom 1-1 Newcastle

  1. Very good first half but how often do we play well first half and just come out in the second half a totally different team? It really is unacceptable.

    I know the players missed the chances but what Pardew was doing telling them to drop deeper is beyond me. Not good enough!


  2. Well written. Looking at the comments I thought we had lost and were already relegated. Not pretty. Not a foul. should have gone in at least 2 up, Credit to West Brom for their second half. Take their Chelsea striker out and they would not be where they are. I hate inter club loans in the same division.


  3. This has been our problem all season, we play well for one then poor the second or the other way around. We have been very lucky this season that there is another 4 teams that have been worse than us now let’s hope that continues for the last few games or we will go down. We still have some very hard games with only 2 been at home now they r against liverfool and the arsenal. We still need another striker and we need to practice the corners.

    Let’s still keep the faith and carry on. HWTL

    Keep the blogs coming too ( smiley face )


  4. Good read and it was a tale of two halves the 1st was one that showed we can play and trouble teams but the 2nd was a case of the sameshit different day as we just look useless and always on the back foot, I could understand trying to park the bus for the 1st 10_15 mins of the 2hd half when you know they are going to be straight out to try to hit you straight away, and they were pretty good in that time, but we tried to keep the bus parked but it never worked.
    So I worry in that when we go behind we never seem to be able to get back into a game, but then we have the side that if we go in at halftime leading we never seem to come out and carry on trying to score again we seem to always try to shut up shop, but it never seems to work


  5. Well written Toonsy . Still gutted as I see it as two points lost as we really should of capitalised on our first half dominance. We saw two sides to Cisse yesterday ,some great link up play ,work rate and a beautiful pass for Goofy’s goal and then missing that sitter which no doubt he’ll get crucified for (rolls eyes ). But equally befor his miss Cabs could of put us two up and then Saylor really should of. As the 1st half wore on you just knew those missed chances would come back to haunt us and so it proved with Jones equaliser 2nd half, by the way that was a perfectly good challenge by Perch imo ,never a pen. What irks me most is when they put the extra striker on Pards was so slow to react to it and it was plain to see they would soon score and I just feel he should of been more proactive sooner and not wait for them to equalise. You could see our guys backing off ,all the energy and impetus of the 1st half evaporating with every passing minute ,total agony to watch .I cannot wait for the season to end and pray we stay up but feel we still have a mammoth task as the Dippers ,West Ham, QPR and Arsenal will all be tough ones. I can only see a possible 1 more point 2 possibly and just pray 38/39 will be enough but no doubt about it this season has been shocking and not at all enjoyable to watch.


  6. Are our team fit enough to last 95 minutes or is it a question of poor tactics from the manager that our second half invariably turns into a backs to the wall affair ?
    Having said that we have scored so many goals in added on time lately maybe that explains itself.

    It’s baffling really…. 🙄


  7. Dave ,do you reckon Pards is activly telling them to sit deeper and defend the lead cause it sure looks that way to me and if that’s the case why has he not yet sussed it ain’t working ( rolls eyes ) .


  8. Should have made it 2-0 and we would have probably seen it out. We’ve gone back to starting well and losing our intensity rather than picking up as the game goes on. Pity we can’t just perform for a whole match for once.


  9. MM@6 ,I do wonder if the fear of letting one in causes lethargy as the constant fear of relegation ( wether they admit it or not ) must weigh heavy on the players ,you can certainly see it on Pards face when he’s on the touchline. Stress and worry/fear are incredibly tiring on the brain and I suspect would hamper ones performance. I’m not making excuses for them just thinking out load really .


  10. Toonsy – well summed up mate.
    It definately was a game of 2 halves and I thought we played some excellent football in the first.
    However half time had a big effect on how the game changed, which was to be expected as Clarke was always likely to make changes, they were the home side being outplayed.
    The fact is that Clarke was able to change his attacking options and basically went with 3 up front with Long, Lukaku and Fortune and with that changed the formation of the team. I think we struggled to cope with that and instead of sticking to our game plan, we tried to work out theirs.

    I would love someone to ask Pardew what his thinking is with this Shola for Gouffran substitution?!. I’m not slagging Shola at all I just don’t understand the logic – and why always for Goof?.


  11. “Credit to West Brom for their second half. Take their Chelsea striker out and they would not be where they are. I hate inter club loans in the same division.”

    It’s true, if we hadn’t had Lukaku then Albion would be sampling massive amounts of squeaky-bum time, but then I’d argue that inter-club loans work as much as normal player acquisitions do – if you get the right player, one who has potential, isn’t just coasting it and wants to develop, then who can argue if it works out for the best? You may hate those kind of loans, but really, would you be arguing against it if you had done the same and it had worked out for you? I don’t think so.

    Anyway, best wishes for your team and club.


  12. Going by what I saw on MOTD, Wigan seemed fairly unlucky as well, although didn’t look at their best. 2 wins and they’re level with us with a pretty close goal difference…really need to hope they can’t pull it out the bag this year.


  13. Kim I do think when we go in at half time winninghe does send them out to try to hold on to the 3pts because he is shit scared of attacking and leaving ourselves open. But the main problem is it very rarely works and when we get caught we never seem to be able to get our noses infront again.


  14. Ian-we’re just bitter we are where we are, Clarke did a brilliant job getting lukaku for nowt, although how he doesn’t actually start or play for Chelsea anyway is beyond me. I mean, Lukaku or victor bloody moses…


  15. KIM/DAVE well i thought yous would have least sussed it by now more so you dave lol,its quite simple to me,lets look right back to the fulham game and take it from there and follow the games to now,we always look like in the second half we fade badly “why”to me there is eye sight in it at half time there manager will change tactics to counter us and better us pardew hasnt got a clue how to adapt to it other than throw subs at it ie shola ect but doesnt change the way we play to counter them that is why imo pardew will never be a good PL manager he hasnt got the noice,hes saying now we will be a top ten club next yr dont know where he gets that we are not playing like a top ten team now,it will be the same old bullshit next yr imo


  16. Newkie – Well, Clarke’s links with Chelsea may have had more than a little sway in that department. Sometimes you can strike very lucky. Anyway, Chelsea have such an abundance of cash, personnel, contacts and facilities that they could easily buy another talented kid, stick him in the reserves and forget about him for a while. On the Newcastle front, I think they’re in a sticky situation, but, as long as Wigan keep being generous to opposing attacks (and not to forget Stoke’s lame run of form – even if they did win at QPR, which may be a flash-in-the-pan) I think you’ll stop up. But only just.


  17. Ian-Yeah, definitely. The fact they still want to buy another striker seems evidence that they’re not too fussed about Lukaku, although wasn’t it AVB who brought him to the club? Maybe the fourth manager responsible for him in his two years here will think more of him after Rafa goes in the summer 😆

    I think Stoke may grind out another draw or two, really hope that we can get one more win because I still think Wigan could get two wins which would put us in the shit. Thanks for your vote of confidence though.


  18. Ice – totally agree mate, that was the point I was trying to make also. We seemed to spend most of the 2nd half trying to figure out how to counter balance WBA changes rather than getting on with our own gameplan.
    Regarding subs, I personally think he’s missing a trick with Campbell. I’m not saying he’d come on and win us games but he’s abit of an enigma and teams won’t know how to defend against him, which could make him a very dangerous option.

    I saw that MYM also made MOTDs team of the day as well.


  19. Our lack of goals also effects the teams thinking imo.
    We know we have no goals in the side, so are always wary about giving things away.

    Quite interesting to read that Wigan lost unluckily again yesterday. They played really well in midweek against City and lost to a wonderful goal from Tevez. They also reached the FA Cup final so are obviously no diddy’s.

    They aren’t giving up without a fight.

    Worrying times for the toon…


  20. SHARPY yes mate agree about cambell he has to be better than shola,the lad has pace which defenders hate more so in the last 20min or so give the kid a chance i say


  21. Do you hear the post match interwiew of Pardew?

    I dont understand good english or this guy doesnt see the same game than us?
    has he says the subs made an impact and stop the west brom momentum in the second half? Fucking joke there.

    I dont blame Pardew for everything but the selection of some players and the trust he puts on them its really strange.
    For me Shola and Guti must no play anymore in this team. Because this kind of guys made you play a bad style of football because they doesn’t know how to play football.
    You can say to some players, TY for you time at newcastle but now we decided to go one step further and try to win something. So we don’t need you anymore.


  22. And what’s the purpose on bringing Benny for the last 15 min and just hoof the ball. I can’t understand if you bring him try to tell players give him at least one ball in his feet. Watching the ball in the sky during 15 min for a genius like that it must really not be easy


  23. Still think we will stay up i reckon we will get 5 points from the last games with a win against QPR being the high point . We need HBA starting games though ,that would make the difference .If he was on the pitch 1st half yesterday we would of been out of sight by half time . Instead we had Jonas on who i hope leaves in the summer .


  24. I do think Benny should be getting more time…can his fitness be that bad now? I suppose he has always struggled for 90 minutes but teams know and fear him and would probably be more hesitant at sending their men forward if we had him on the field. I guess we don’t want him to relapse, but I’d really like to see him v liverpool. He was top notch against them last time out.


  25. Ice yeah I agree with you, in that it is Pards tactics or lack of, I also can’t stand that he has his favourites and will.stick by them, ie he came out earlier and said that basically that Jonas was going through a bad run but that he would stick with him, while I do think that that is a good quality for a manager to have, there has to be a cut off point of where he says enough is enoughsorry I stuck with you long enough but can’t anymore, i’m going to have to drop you and give Marv his chance.
    Same with Strolla there is noway that young Campbell couldn’t offer as much of an attacking threat and if he can’t he should be loaned out and not on the bench.
    I do understand that all managers have their ever faithfull’s but you have to have the balls to drop them if its not going well, and imo he hasn’t shown enough of that.


  26. Hey folks,

    Just a semi-random observation: Did you know we have the 2nd worst defensive record in the league? A three way tie with Villa and Wigan–60 goals against in 34 games. Only Reading is worse.

    I wondered if we’d improved but over the last six games with our new boy Mbiwa playing, but we’re still 3rd worst, having given up 11 goals in 6 games.


  27. Fans, our defence has been gash, I have to say our main man Saylor is an expert at marking space… where the opposition forwards aren’t. That fella flatters to decieve..


  28. FSOTC-I’ve said the same thing several times but people are angry because we’re not scoring 3 goals a game. We’ve actually scored the same amount of goals as Wbrom and Swansea now. Read into that what you will.


  29. Ice 🙂 🙂 Na mate, I have never really rated Saylor. He really seems to do his own thing in regards to his positioning. Half of his blocked shots come from him not maning up tight enough. At least he has tempered his agressive play somewhat..


  30. Newkie I wasn’t talking about yesterday I was talking more about earlier on in the season 😕 when Jonas looked well off the pace and carrying a lot of wait.


  31. Aussie If you watch Saylor he spends a lot of time indicating where others should be Instead of watching where he should be himself.

    Dave First time Campbell came on as a sub for a short spell he contributed to an assist then won a corner. Next time he came on Shola was already on and he played wide left. I cannot understand why he hasn’t been tried again up front in place of Shola unless the object is hoof ball. Pardew has praised the West Brom goalie for being able to kick the ball into our box. Condemned out of his own mouth.


  32. Dave-fair enough then, said the same myself really. I can’t see how he could get anywhere near our side as a winger or a full back when we have a fully fit or even one other option in those positions. He might make central midfield but only because Tiote is so shit…personally i’d have sissoko there anyway.


  33. Aussie-aye, to be fair Staylor did really well a while back, plus it must be tough playing alongside a new partner. But I still don’t trust him so…but like you say, at least he isn’t all flying elbows anymore. Still, funny when he tugs a shirt and no pen is given, there’s very little mention of it. But if Willo gives a pen away it’s all his fault and he should know better. When Staylor does it it’s because Pardew put poor Stevie under pressure..



  34. Newkie there is a slight difference Saylor like 90% of other prem CB’s will tug a shirt etc but Willo actualy looked as if he was tangoing with a partner that was trying to get away from him. There is noway you can compare


  35. Dave-they all do it at some stage, I just don’t understand why one players gets crucified and another doesn’t. A foul is a foul. Not that it mattered against the scum because they fucked us royally us anyway


  36. Something fundamentally wrong with our tactics. Either the manager is giving the wrong instructions or the players are not listening and just doing their own thing. Either way the manager is on thin ice.
    Every game this season we have went ahead in we have dropped deeper and deeper. Reading at home a prime example. Where your defence positions itself is critical. When they are back on the the 18 yard line the midfield has to drop deep to be just in front of them. This obviously means they can no way support the forward players. One of the reasons our midfield doesn’t score many goals.
    In the second half WBA were crossing the half way line without any pressure or a challenge being made. You cannot survive in a game allowing teams so much territory


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