Game On! Newcastle v Stoke

It'll be homely this Christmas...

It'll be homely this Christmas...
It’ll be homely this Christmas…
Good afternoon one and all. I trust you had a wonderful Christmas Day full of happiness?

Well that’s all gone now. Only 364 days until the next one. So with Christmas out of the way we can all focus on football once more.

Up today we have the visit of Stoke City in what is a rare Boxing Day fixture at home for us. Usually it is fans of United who are subjected to long trips over the Christmas period but this time round it has fallen rather favourably for us with back-to-back home games between now and New Year.

This won’t be an easy game – matches against Stoke rarely are and while much has been made about our recent form, as pointed out in my match preview , it is well worth noting that Stoke have only lost one of the last eight games just like us.

Both sides are missing at least one player as Cheik Tiote sits out for United through suspension and Robert Huth continues to recover from an operation for Stoke. Full team news will be available ahead of the match and can be seen at the bottom of this article.

Unfortunately we are kicking off at 3pm UK time which we aren’t being broadcast live here in Blighty. The good news is that a rake of overseas companies are showing the game so there should be some streams kicking about. If you do find one then please share it with your fellow NUFC fans and leave a link to it in the ‘comments’ section below.

Sticking with the Christmas theme, I guess this article is now neatly wrapped up and we can focus on the football. Hopefully our players laid off the party food yesterday and we don’t suffer from a hangover.

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Santon; Sissoko, Cabaye, Anita; Ben Arfa, Remy, Gouffran

Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, S.Taylor, Haidara, Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Cisse

Stoke: Sorensen, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Walters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Adam, Assaidi, Crouch

Subs: Butland, Muniesa, Palacios, Jones, Arnautovic, Wilkinson, Ireland

275 thoughts on “Game On! Newcastle v Stoke

  1. Moreno,
    Agree Shola has been decent lately. Not great but battled well and contributed well. Although today he’s been poor against 9 men.


  2. In this occasion I think Shola was canny to do it but in general I have seen this happen with Cisse in the past. Been on a barren run (his Newcastle career apart from first half season) been given a penalty to sort it out and he’s missed it. Forget who against but remember this exact situation a while back and he knacked it. Why have him taking penalties when there are probably 5 others better than him at it?


  3. Moreno , If Cisse didn’t deserve it ,then why does Shola, it’s up to Shola to score a goal as much as it is Cisse . Hard work means sod all , I have seen Cisse work bloody hard and still not get a goal and even have perfectly good ones chalked off no less than 7 times last season and once this season that’s enough to kill any forwards confidence, oh and now the manager doesn’t pick him either. 🙄


  4. I really don’t understand all the Cisse hate ,it fair does my head in ,even when the guy scores he is begrudged it, baffling . 😕


  5. I don’t hate Cisse. I really like him as a player and think he’s a top human being. Just because I think he couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo (see JJ for statistics) doesn’t mean I hate him


  6. I’ll settle for those 3 points and goal difference of +6. Nice Christmas prezzie. They looked in control for the first half an hour.


  7. Liverpool face man city later,

    then chelsea for year end…

    If everything goes our way, we might be in UCL spot by new year. ❗ ❗


  8. <<<<<<<<<<<<<< thinks MORENO is chating out of what he should be sitting on regards cisse 😆

    hey dude there aint a keeper in world football that would of saved that pen so ya have the answer to your ? right there is cisse good enough cause he is


  9. Mate if you get paid 50 grand per week or whatever he does you should be able to hit the net from there 100 times out of 100 in my opinion. They do this for a full time profession you know. Strikers who can’t score a penalty when you’re already winning the game again 9 men should go play netball


  10. Phew!

    We were very lucky today. We started the game off slow, some players were working hard but not others. When we were 0-1 down it looked like the same old story.

    As good as the fitness coach is, she clearly isn’t making sure the players have the energy to play 2 games a week. This is the second midweek game where we looked leggy!

    Then we got a huge slice of luck & took most of our chances when they came but the game was already tilted in our favour.

    We need to start off with much more energy against arsenal.


  11. I don’t think i am as happy as i should be after that 5-1 win ( 😯 )

    That first half is still to fresh in my mind. We were dire and Stoke a team full of “Average” players were dominating us. I think it was our worst half performance of the season.

    2nd half against 9 men we were cruising. I don’t think we should get to excited for individual performances.

    Arsenal will destroy us if we play like we did in the first half. We made Stoke look like Arsenal ffs


  12. Santi , Agree we were awful first half ,very poor in and around the box for the home team imo. The ref should for ever be on Pards Christmas card list now. Having said that Remy was through on goal for the second red and there was a lot of suicidal play from Stoke defenders second half ,there could of been a couple more pens but the ref was sympathetic to their plight I think. They really had themselves to blame in the end, when the 1st red came how ever soft, I knew it was coming for him ,as we would be targeting him knowing he was on a yellow.


  13. @SANTII

    It wasn’t our worst first half performance this season but yeah, 100% agree.

    5-1 against looks good but against 9 men for 45 mins is pretty standard.

    The ref changed the game & we won’t get the same luck vs Arsenal. We need to be focused & have more energy.

    Ben Arfa was as unselfish as i’ve seen him.

    Anita played the fantastic through ball to Remy for the penalty. Anybody that doesn’t think Anita is one of our most important players & therefore should be starting almost every game…well, i don’t know what to call them 😯


  14. @ SANTII 251
    <<<<<<<<<<<< put that down to tiote not in the midfield meself we certainly missed his calming effect in the 1st half


  15. The first yellow seemed soft.

    The second yellow/first red was because it almost seemed like the player was trying to have a hack at Cabaye. It had to be yellow imo.


  16. mind i did feel we got lucky with the 2nd goal ball looked over the bye line to me,but makes a change for us to get the decisions going our way for once 😆


  17. I don’t think Stoke can complain about the ref to much today. I think the only soft one was whelan’s first when he kicked the ball away (But even that gets you a yellow 5 times out of 10.) The kick on Cabaye was a definite yellow and the pen/red was stonewall. We had 2 extra penalty shouts turned down i think the haidara one was a clear pen. The cabaye one would have been soft but again i have seen ones like that given.

    The first bad thing i have seen from Haidara is how shocking was his crossing when he came on and he had time and space nearly every time. Santon could of had a few assists today with his crossing. Though he was shocking in the first half (our worst player imo)


  18. I think the ref had just booked Whelan and then when you look at it again he was no where near the ball and just kicked Cabaye. (who he had been squaring up to as Cabaye is a right little workey ticket) You can’t just go around kicking at fresh air like that when you are on a yellow card. Harsh or not, what was he thinking? The second one, Remy was through on goal and clearly taken out by the last defender. He has to walk, simple as that. Stoke shot themselves in the foot because they were playing well and had lots of chances. I still think we would have come back into it in the second half, but it was a lot easier than it might have been.


  19. It is harsh when the penalty is given and the player is sent off. It’s like a double whammy but it has happened to us already this season so it’s the same for every team. .


  20. @ SANTII
    afra would be the 1 i would drop yes he had a decent game today,but to play him against arsenal would be a mistake in my view,need a solid midfield v them


  21. I just had a look on one of the Stoke forums lol Atkinson better not show his face round there for a while. The only two things they can complain about is Williamson’s handball in the lead up to our first (i dont even know if it was i didn’t see any replays)

    and the ball being out of play for the second goal (again i didn’t see a replay for it)

    But omg just have a look at how OTT they are being


  22. @ SANTII
    yeah the ball hit williamsons hand the reason the ref did not give it was the distance the ball traveled


  23. mind when cisse scored from the spot i was half expecting the linesman to put his flag up for offside 😆 😆 😆 😆


  24. 😎 hi KK.post11..ur genius …M.of the M. Is ❓ ❓ ❓ BennY BoY ❗ 😎
    Have a nice dream JJ jarrrrrrrrhhhhh….. 😕 hmmm.sorry…
    Come on toon toon toon ❗ ❗ ❗ 😉


  25. @DJEBS9

    Thanks buddy! When i first posted on this blog people thought i was a WUM ❗

    It’s only now that people are beginning to see me as the genius that i am.


  26. Only Man City have picked up as many points as us over the last 10 games (22pts)

    Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham & Man Utd have improved recently compared to us but we’ve still done better than them.

    If results go our way, we could be 3 points of the top of the league with half the season gone!


  27. Such a strange game today. We weren’t great tbf, but credit to Stoke who did their homework on us and set up almost perfectly. They mixed it up with their style of play, alternating possession play with long ball and it made it hard for us to defend against them…Problem is, their rough house tactics weren’t appreciated by the referee and it cost them. Not much more to it than that really.

    I thought Anita was good offensively in the first half, but he kept losing Adam when the fat Scotsman drifted into the middle and it almost cost us a couple of goals. I totally understand why Pardew sacrificed him instead of Sissoko (who was dire in the first 45). Especially when playing against a side as big as Stoke. I would bring him back in alongside Tiote v Arsenal as we will need central players that can not only win, but also keep possession against the North London Reds 😆

    What odds on Gouffran scoring next game? 💡


  28. Don’t see what the problem is.

    Both sending offs were correct… Whelan had a deliberate dig on Cabaye for his 2nd yellow card when he had no chance of making a clean tackle. The 1st yellow was 50-50 but certainly nothing they can really complain about.

    2nd red card had to be given. It was a clear goal scoring opportunity and Remy was dragged down. It’s exactly the same as what happened to us against Liverpool when Mbiwa pulled down Suarez.

    You can argue about the handball before our equaliser. It was definitely a handball but it was struck straight at him from 5 yards away. We were denied a couple of pens against Swansea for the same thing.

    Then we come onto the Ben Arfa cross in / out of play debate. It looked out of play from the angle I saw but it wasn’t a good angle to judge it on. Match of the day will hopefully sort it out. However it looked like the linesmans view of the ball was blocked by Ben Arfas back anyway. If he can’t see it he can’t give it.

    So my assessment of this is that we got the benefit of the doubt on the key 50-50 decisions…

    Stoke had plenty of decisions and some luck go their way too though with Ben Arfa hitting the woodwork twice and we had 2-3 good penalty shouts denied.

    The stoke fans seem certain they were robbed of a win but the game wasn’t even half way through at the time that Whelan and wothisname were correctly sent off.


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