Eyebrows Raised…Even if Flags Weren’t

Newcastle players raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday night with a terrific display to gain a good point against Manchester City in a game they could have won if it wasn’t for a shocking offside decision and Joe Hart’s excellent late block.

I’m not particularly fond of attributing whole results on refereeing decisions and think that far too often managers, players and fans would rather blame the officiating team for a disappointing result than actually acknowledge that their team wasn’t good enough. Linesmen, or referee’s assistants have a difficult job.

The pace of Premier League is such that making an instant decision during open play with players moving in opposite directions and constantly changing parameters for what part of the body is considered to be offside and whether players are ‘active’ or in the ‘second phase’…it is a minefield. And we are lucky that our officials usually get things right or at least a pretty desirable proportion of decisions right.

The call on Tuesday was not, however, a difficult one. There was nothing difficult about it. The ball was stationary, Aguero was stood, for an age, in an offside position. It could not have been more straightforward. And yet somehow, the linesman kept his flag down. Even Aguero was bemused by the decision as he immediately looked to the official, fully expecting to trot back upfield to face a Darlow free-kick and then almost embarrassingly began a guilty celebration.

It was a kick in the teeth for a Newcastle side that started well. It took the sting out of the crowd but the players didn’t lose heart. Cheick Tiote was back to his combative best, his best in years in fact. In one glorious moment, right at the end of the first half, Tiote leapt like a gazelle to tower a good 4 to 6 inches above YaYa Toure to beat him in the air. Pure determination.

Sissoko has been totally reinvigorated by Benitez and was again, outstanding. His pace and power so much more effective in a central position and it was his brilliant pass that picked out Vernon Anita on the right, who controlled, cut inside and curled a beautiful left footer in off the bottom of the post. It was a magnificent goal, one of real quality and Anita again showed he has the determination and the quality to be a vital component of our fight for survival.

Where many had expected Newcastle to go down without a fight, four points in the last two games have given United a platform for survival and more importantly, the players are showing a determination, belief and desire to survive. That is, in large part, down to Benitez. A trip to his beloved Anfield is next.

185 thoughts on “Eyebrows Raised…Even if Flags Weren’t

  1. Oh dear, nowt poor Karl could do about that, well the renewed hope was nice well it lasted.
    Going down lads lets face it.

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  2. why aren’t we playing in our stripes ?

    Carrying too many poor players I’m afraid… Perez, Townsend, Cisse, Colback all anonymous…

    One of the worst teams the premier league has seen for years..

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  3. Little dose of reality today for those that let the rose tinted glasses override their better sense of judgement. 1 point behind Scum with a goal difference of something like minus 10 and they have 2 games in hand. Too much to do with too little time. The board dithered with Schteve for far too long. If Rafa had come in 3 or 4 games earlier it may have been a different case. Imagine if we had got him in during the winter transfer window?

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  4. Shamrock, not sure if any toon fans have been anywhere near rose tinted glases for years mate … not sure who you are having a pop at there mate…

    We are absolutely garbage, have been for 4 seasons now.

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  5. Sham, it was probably the drink talking mte 🙂

    I’ve been saying we’ve been pish for 5 years now…

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  6. well, I’m not wasting any more of my Saturday afternoon watching this garbage… I’m off… see you later peeps…

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  7. Icedog:
    Never mind win the last three games and we have 38 points

    Ice, it’s the hope that kills.
    Let it go
    let it go……………………………….
    😉

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  8. Munich Mag:
    well, I’m not wasting any more of my Saturday afternoon watching this garbage… I’m off… see you later peeps…

    After I put up that link too, you ungrateful sod 😆

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  9. I think what will decide it is our games against Palace and Villa. And Sunderland games against Everton and Stoke? They are two teams who look like they’ve given up and are on the beach already. Otherwise I can’t see Norwich getting more than one win, or Sunderland getting anything against Arsenal tomorrow. Today is damage limitation against L’pool, they are flying. No rose tinted glasses from me I just think we still have ‘a chance’.

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  10. Fk me just got in from gardening and we are drawing! Fair enough, I take my little dig from earlier back. How have we looked then?

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  11. That will do, 6 points from palace and Vila then just hope we can grab something against Spurs. Really think we can do this, to come back from 2-0 at Anfield, WE CAN DO THIS!!
    75% on the Stu meter

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  12. Well well well, didn’t see that come back, a precious point, i’ll take that all day long. What a pity our goal difference is so ****e.

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  13. Never really doubted it Stu. Only saying 75% to make last 3 more interesting
    I think we will be safe before we play Spurs

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  14. Yeah Stu, thats a good result. I’ll start to believe. But not at 50/50 yet. I’ll go from 20 to 40% on the Stuart-o-Meter. Fingers crossed Scum lose their games in hand, then i’ll back us to beat them to safety in a straight shoot out for the run-in.

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  15. Shamrock:
    Yeah Stu, thats a good result. I’ll start to believe. But not at 50/50 yet. I’ll go from 20 to 40% on the Stuart-o-Meter. Fingers crossed Scum lose their games in hand, then i’ll back us to beat them to safety in a straight shoot out for the run-in.

    2 games in hand

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  16. Yeah I know Gashley. I said games in hand. Still a big ask because they have shown signs of fight in them too. Hopefully all Defoe’s wife shagging will catch up with him for the run in.

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  17. Excellent decision to drop Shelvey for Colback and keep Tiote in the team.

    Colback is nowt special but he grafts all day

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  18. Shamrock:
    Yeah I know Gashley. I said games in hand. Still a big ask because they have shown signs of fight in them too. Hopefully all Defoe’s wife shagging will catch up with him for the run in.

    Lol so u did. Where’s my specs 😆

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  19. Stoke and Everton will hold the key to our safety.
    Hopefully Stoke / everton will play for a bit of pride now

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  20. I’m still staying positive. All the talk was 3 wins against swans villa and palace to be enough to stay up. That’s 2 very good bonus points in difficult games to take anything from. If we did manage to win the next 2 games I’d say that would certainly be enough. Even one win may do it looking at fixtures. Mathematically, just one draw is enough and the other 2 have harder games and have gone from being just as ****e as us to a little more ****e over the last 2 weeks.
    I can sense another successful squeaky bum end of season personally.
    Just hope our recent spirit and fight doesn’t rub off on the canaries and cats.

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  21. Gash, aye Everton over the last 2 weeks will be crucial. My best mate in primary school was a toffees fan. Least sporty person I know now though, still might drag him out for a pint those weeks mind

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  22. Well at half time I didn’t see that result coming… Well chuffed with a point but I think we could’ve won that one… Shelvey and Cisse with golden opportunities to make it 3… I think it’s still a huge task to stay up…

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  23. Well done lads. A tremendous recovery in the second half. Cisse’s goal was immense (another assist for Anita). Colback got some luck with the deflection. Very encouraging. Our pressing really rattled them.

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  24. We needed to give Rafa a few more games but he’s still doing a magnificent job with what he has. And with shirkers like Doumbia hanging around the club.

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  25. If Rafa stays on with us he’ll soon sort the parasites out. Doumbia gone, Obertan gone (overpaid w@nker), Taylor gone.

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  26. Tell you what , having Rafa about shows juat what a difference having a proper manager makes to a team. Why did the board not work this out years ago? Coming back from 2 down away at an in fodm Jurgen Klopp led Livwrpool is bloody impressive..especially with our squad. If we manage to keep Rafa then i will be excited whether we stay up or drop.

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  27. I don’t think we’ll see McLaren managing in the Prem ever again. The same can be said for Carver. Neither should get a job anywhere in English football for me.

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