Rochdale 1-1 Newcastle: A tale of two halves & familiar FA Cup story for NUFC..

A tale of two halves but a very familiar FA Cup story for us Newcastle fans, with us allowing Rochdale to force a replay after failing to turn up in the second 45.

Early dominance, 74% possession, some good football and a brilliant Miguel Almiron goal had us in cruise control early on, but our second half display was non existent and shambolic at times.

Rochdale took full advantage and have not only forced a replay at St James’ Park but will be wondering how they didn’t win it late on.

Bruce was forced into several changes with a dozen senior players ruled out. We saw Krafth and Hayden either side of Fernandez in a three-man defence, Atsu and Yedlin in wide areas as attacking wing-backs, a midfield duo of Sean and Matty Longstaff and Miguel Almiron in the no.10 role just behind Joelinton and Muto, with U-23 trio Thomas Allan, Lewis Cass and Elias Sorensen on the bench.

We started very positively and controlled the game from the outset. We’ve been guilty of not taking the cup seriously in recent years, but the most heartening thing about our first 45 was the committed, focused and professional performance we put in

OK, it’s Rochdale – a struggling League One side we should look MUCH better than – but we moved the ball quickly and precisely, were first to every loose ball and created chances. The one negative was our inability to finish some of the chances Atsu and Yedlin created (who ran riot in wide areas), with Joelinton and Muto guilty of missing a few they should’ve put away.

One player who was not wasteful in front of goal was Miguel Almiron, however.

After some brilliant work from Atsu, his touch and powerful finish was the highlight of a dominant first half:

Again, it’s Rochdale, but Atsu was outstanding. So good in fact that the home side decided to take off their right-back just 28 minutes in, with him beating Magloire for fun and regularly delivering good balls into the box when he did.

Joelinton was..well, very Joelinton – and little did we know he was going to get MUCH worse in the second half. A few nice bursts forward with the ball, but he snatched at too many of his chances. He enjoyed one nice turn, touch and hit which was well saved:

We lacked that killer touch to finish off smart moves in the first half, but it felt like we were well on our way to a rare comfortable win in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. How wrong was I.

The turning point was not only Aaron Wilbraham’s introduction – a physical player who we struggled to deal with – but mainly the loss of Miguel Almiron; a player who gave us that energy, creativity and spark between midfield and attack.

Muto – who was buzzing about alongside Joelinton up top – was forced off through injury. He struggled in parts, but his movement and running in behind pushed Rochdale back, making Bruce’s decision to bring on Ki in his place a baffling and costly mistake. We were then overcrowded in midfield but light on options in attack. It not only invited Rochdale onto us but seemed like a safe move to protect what we had – and it backfired.

Dubravka made a few smart saves to keep us ahead, but it wasn’t long before Rochdale drew level, with a 40-year-old Aaron Wilbraham showing a £40m Joelinton how to finish with 10 minutes remaining:

The goal came on the back of a loose Joelinton pass which pretty much sums up his afternoon. His lack of confidence, his age (23) and the pressure on him (number 9 shirt and £40m price tag) makes me want to defend him, but he needs to stop throwing his arms up in the air and start showing much more desire in and around the box. And that doesn’t even factor in the basic hold up play and finishing he’s failing to execute.

I hate when new signings are written off, but he’s making it difficult now.

Bruce’s subs didn’t help (they were forced yet contributed to our downfall), but the way our heads drops, the mistakes, the lack of intensity and defensive fragility against an ageing League One striker. It was unacceptable given how dominant we were in the first 45. We never recovered and were lucky to get a replay in the end.

At half-time this looked like it could be a positive day and confidence building win for Steve Bruce and this out of form Newcastle side, but missed chances, poor subs and a second half collapse has cost us.

Onto Wolves next weekend and the upcoming replay at St James’ Park before our home game with Chelsea on January 18th!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

146 thoughts on “Rochdale 1-1 Newcastle: A tale of two halves & familiar FA Cup story for NUFC..

  1. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: A loan for Geroud would be perfect. There is no way that Carroll will stay fit and we can play him more sparingly and not rely on Koelinton as a number 9. I would even extend Giroud’s deal if he does well. He was never had pace so could easily play until he is 35. It is either us or MLS.

    Maybe Beckham will want him in Miami but it gets unbearably hot there in summer. I have been in late spring and almost passed out with the heat. Could have been the dehydration from the beer as well but I am sticking with my heat story.

    Eric – Tosun may also be available from Everton mate?. He’s getting next to no game time there either and didn’t feature today.


  2. Read the Liverpool readers’ comments in The Guardian. There are about a thousand of them so far. Man, are them Scousers funny. There must be a hundred of them repeating the Shankley comment that there are 2 great teams on Merseyside – Liverpool and Liverpool reserves. Then about 20 chip in with Tranmere as the 3rd best team. They would make Stan Boardman proud. Is he dead because he would be having a field day because, like – Klopp is a German and that was the entirety of his “comedy” routine. Germins and Fokkers, that’s me Stan Boardman out of material, Goodnight.


  3. If you couldn’t guess Stan Boardman used to get on my nerves. It wasn’t just that he did the same routine every time he was on TV but that he would be cracking himself up before he even told the joke. Adam Sandler did the same on SNL over here and he annoyed me as well for that. Plus he was not funny and still isn’t. He still does the same thing now when he is on talk shows and has a quivering lip like he is about to laugh before he even delivers the line.

    Enough Stan Boardman Eric.


  4. I see Saint could be back for Wolves. What’s the chances he’s being rushed back too quickly…


  5. Stuart79:
    I see Saint could be back for Wolves. What’s the chances he’s being rushed back too quickly…

    Stu – my thoughts too mate. Back 1 game out for another 4 weeks.

    I know it’s was only against Rochdale, but I thought Yedlin was a good option as a right winger – as a fill in – I still think we should be going to buy Bowen


  6. Moreles from Rangers the next on the list. Two reasons why this has absolutely no chance of happening. First, Rangers are right up there and have the league in their own hands to stop Celtic to -0 in a row. Second, I doubt they’d help Jabba given the current frayed and legal relationship between Jabba and Rangers.



  7. Surely Bruce must ditch Joelinton now. The bloke’s an embarrassment, not even fit for League 2. Muto’s not far behind either. What a waste!


  8. I read the 5live quotes from Robbie Savage. He says it doesn’t bother him and then goes on for paragraph after paragraph talking about it. Methinks Robbie doth protest too much! He seems very thin skinned and a typical bully.

    Has anybody ever read his column? Slags everybody and their brother off. He also makes predictions and then amends them when they aren’t right and takes credit for the correct prediction when it happens.

    A typical example would be that Robbie picks Man City to win the title by 10 points. He looks at the table on Jan 6 and then says he now knows Liverpool will win. Then in March with Liverpool 15 points clear he will write “as I predicted Liverpool are romping their way to the title”. The man is a thin skinned baby, a blow hard, a coward and a fraud.

    An average player who knows he has to say something controversial to be relevant in his mind and then gets upset when people think he is a w@nker when he was intentionally being a w@nker.


  9. Stuart79:
    Moreles from Rangers the next on the list. Two reasons why this has absolutely no chance of happening. First, Rangers are right up there and have the league in their own hands to stop Celtic to -0 in a row. Second, I doubt they’d help Jabba given the current frayed and legal relationship between Jabba and Rangers.


    Stu – agree mate. No way Rangers would sell him when they have a chance of the league. They wouldn’t sell to Ashley EVER and wouldn’t want to p!ss Gerrard off.
    Also, if we thought Mitrovic was a hot head, this lad is the hulk of red cards


  10. It is impossible to predict the lineup for Wolves. Even after we see who trains it will still be difficult. Carroll always takes double the time to recover than they say. Will the long term injured players be risked? Can Ritchie start? What about Lejeune, now he will have had 2 weeks rest. And Dwight, is he really injured or being saved so he can be moved out. And they haven’t said much about Manquillo and why no new contract, he has done better than Krafth? And then there’s Almiron and Muto. And Shelvey, no news on him either.

    The only ones I can confidently predict to start are Dubravka, Yedlin, one of the Longstaffs and Hayden.


  11. georgio:
    Surely Bruce must ditch Joelinton now. The bloke’s an embarrassment, not even fit for League 2. Muto’s not far behind either. What a waste!

    Georgio – that’s why I think the Giroud signing could be beneficial. He’s not going to fix Joelinton but I do think working with Giroud could help to improve Joe.

    I think Bruce needs a striker coach, but signing Giroud could give both an experienced CF for the forwards to watch and learn from, plus a play we can select.


  12. Back in the day you would worry about reintroducing injured players against a bunch of League 1 cloggers with nothing to lose. But it is more a risk against PL teams now who are a super fast, super fit bunch of terminators flying into tackles. Even the forwards with most teams playing the high press and intentionally fouling in your half if they lose the ball. Safer to wait for Rochdale for most.


  13. From Ryder:

    Giroud is out contract in the summer but Chelsea would still require a healthy loan fee and he is on more than 100k a week.

    I say, if it is 2 million that is a risk worth taking to try to ensure PL survival. And the 100k a week is for 20 weeks FFS. So, another 2 million. Who can we buy for 4 million?

    And Piasek’s goals have dried up according to Wor Lee. 4 in 17 games. That’s Shearer-esque compared to our strikers and extrapolates out to 9 in 38 which is close to Rondon and Perez. I don’t think he would come but his goalscoring in the past has been good and I would take 4 or 5 in our remaining games if he is also a threat and opens space for others.


  14. I don’t have much time for Big Fat Sam but when he was at Bolton he knew when to throw money at players at the end of their careers to keep Bolton competitive. I don’t think Giroud is a risk at 4 mil if Chelsea would let us have him. As I have said before, if he does OK I’d offer him a new deal especially as he is on a free. Certainly LESS risky than 40 million for a player who scored 7 goals in the Bundesliga. That’s 7 goals total in the Bundesliga because he was in the very much inferior Austrian League the 2 years before that. Steve Nickson’s job should be on the line for taking this punt. Maybe he can partially redeem himself by getting us Giroud?


  15. So, OGS has told JLingz to lay off the social media. Good luck with that one. That’s what he is now. A social media influencer more than a footballer. He has millions of followers. God knows why but I don’t understand the Kardashians or Taylor Swift either.

    He has signed up for Raiola now. What do you think that is about? Raiola says he wants more English clients and who better to show them how to get rich for doing nothing than a limited at best player who somehow has become a social media phenomenon. Shame about his fashion line though.


  16. Great that the Smoggies get to go to the bestest stadium in the world and go to the cheese cave and get beer filled from the bottom of the glass. Thanks Mr Levy. 70 quid a ticket you say, plus the cheese. London weighting.


  17. When did Redfearn resign? There is news in The Chronic that Peter Ramage has applied for the vacant U23 job. How long does this stuff usually take? Wouldn’t you have a list of potential managers and go after them? Then again this is Newcastle United.

    Same goes with the loan market. I know we are after Giroud but that is a bit of a long shot, probably because we might not be willing to pay the loan fee and others will. But also, shouldn’t we be round to Man City and Liverpool with the begging bowl for some of their youngsters?

    You would think we would be the ideal club. Not that far away and not London which can be overwhelming – I know, I lived there for 3 years and was happy to leave even though I had a great time. Plus it was when I was 23-26 so I wasn’t some callow 17 year old.


  18. Has there ever been anybody more up their own arse than Jesse Lingard? Pogba? Donald Trump?


  19. And Newcastle “Legend” Micky Quinn writes an article in today’s Chronic about Joelinton. And half the article is about – you guessed it – Mick Quinn. What Jim Smith said to him and when he was out of the team at Coventry and his coping mechanisms. I am just shocked that he didn’t bring up the time he scored 4 for NUFC. Haven’t heard that one since your last article Micky.


  20. It is actually relevant what a former striker did to cope when going through a bad patch. It is just with Quinn he always makes every article about him. Like his experiences apply to every situation in life and he doesn’t have any other insights or anything else to say from 40 years in football. Everything always comes back to him and every article starts with “I remember the time when I…”.


  21. John Gibson does it as well in Gibbo’s Geordie Colloquialism Corner. McDonald to some extent, but he doesn’t really dwell. Maybe he is content for his career to speak for itself and not be like Quinny and tell us how good he was (he wasn’t) all of the time. I don’t mind relating some modern day football back to his own career but forcing it smacks of insecurity despite his bluster.


  22. It’s me alone, Oh well.

    Back to Robbie Savage. He must be aware that he is a bit of a ****. That’s the way he played as well, always on the wind up. His column and commentary are all about getting a reaction. I just cannot believe he doesn’t do it on purpose, but it is also part of his nature. It would be like Roy Keane saying he is the shy and retiring type for Robbie to deny he is a w@nker.

    The only one that I think is completely in denial/unaware that he himself is a w@nker is Richard Keys. I think his ego is so large that he thinks he is correct on every single point he makes.


  23. Another site blocks Scvnthorpe. Change the v to a u and you have a 4 letter word contained in a place name but it blocks it.


  24. Where do these “journalists” get their training – Jamie Oliver school for the culinary arts? Just read in the Daily Hate Mail that Liverpool are “Champions Elect”. No they are not. British journos always get this wrong. A US President gets voted into office in early November but is not sworn in until January. Meanwhile the sitting president remains in office even though a new president has been elected.

    This is why it is called President Elect. Liverpool have many games to go before the mathematically clinch the PL (are “elected” winners) so they are in no way Champions Elect. It is the wrong term.

    You may think I am being pedantic but these people are supposed to be educated and make their living using words. They should know the difference.


  25. So Chancer Stewart Donald has now put the Mackems up for sale. He is still trying to con the fans though saying he has bowed to public pressure and reluctantly is going along with the fans’ wishes.

    No he hasn’t. He struck a terrible deal with a bunch of Yank Hedgefunders that means the club will be theirs for 10 mil if Sunderland are not promoted. This was an act of desperation because Con-man Donald did not have the money to fund day to day operations. Now he sees that promotion is not likely (7/2 at the bookies) he is desperately trying to get back the cash he put in and not give up the club for nothing which is how it stands at the moment.

    He supposedly put in 6 mil of his own money and that is why he is trying to sell the club. Not some noble deed to Sunderland fans who have eventually seen the light and want rid. But like the con-man he is, he is bluffing them to the end. I hope they see this for what it is. But their track record with this Chancer is not good and they probably believe every word he says.


  26. My guess is that Chancer Donald is desperate and will sell Sunderland for 20-25 million as he risks losing it for nothing. He could pay off the 10 mil loan and come away with a profit.

    That price for Sunderland is a steal and shows the total incompetence of Donald and his Pals. They still have the stadium, the infrastructure and the fans. Importantly they have just about every big contract expiring at the end of the year.

    A new investor with actual money could start from scratch with no debt and build their own team. It wouldn’t cost that much to storm League 1. Probably 15 million and once in The Championship, who knows.

    This is the best possible result for the Mackems if the con-man accepts a realistic offer. The longer he waits though the more desperate he will become because losing the club for nowt gets ever closer.

    And they wont have any money for transfers in January so I cant see them suddenly becoming automatic promotion candidate. Playoffs are possible but that is a crap shoot that I don’t think the Chancer wants to risk.


  27. Sidekick: everything I said about Sunderland has come true. I did think they might be heading for administration but then Ellis Short essentially gave them away. He did threaten the league that he would allow them to go bust if they didn’t let him sell to Chancer Donald and get the remaining parachute payments so I wasn’t really wrong there.


  28. Since it is just me then I will put up my expected team for Wolves 🙂 I think he will risk Dummett as he has other centre backs close to fitness. Same with Lejuene after a rest. The midfield picks itself with a Lonstaff and Hayden. I think Sean will get another chance. Then upfront I think he will risk Almiron because he is our spark at the moment without St Max. Carroll will be back and Joelinton will play because it is away. The away fans tend to be more forgiving whatever happened last time out. So:


    Yedlin Fernandez Lejeune Dummett Ritchie

    Hatden Longstaff

    Joelinton Carroll Almiron


  29. That’s actually not a bad team and I am hoping that it will overcome my negativity for the next 3 PL games and get us a point. I don’t want Brucie to go into a death spiral because there are so many, on so many blogs and twitter, just waiting for it.


  30. If I am wrong you can slag me later but Man U playing with 8 1/2 men. Jones and Jlinnz is minus 2. Romero > De Gea.


  31. Forgot about Pierara and James who has been totally overhyped.

    Worst Man U team of the past 30 years.


  32. JLingz hauled off at half time. I am getting a bit sick of myself being right about him for the last 2 years. And Wilshere and Rooney for the last 5 years. And of course Chancer Donald and Ugly John.

    Have a giant smug pat on your smug back Eric.


  33. The Lookman loan deal looks entirely possible – he would tick all of Ashley’s boxes.

    He’s a very talented young player, but last time I checked – he’s a left winger … I’m pretty sure we are stock piled with those like ??‍♂️


  34. Plays on the right mostly. At least he did for Everton. The bloke that coached Dele Ali brought him through and says he has all the same attributes. We’ll see but we need a bloody striker!


  35. If we do not get a striker in January (buy or loan ) then it might be worth trying St. Maximin at centre forward.


  36. Lookman on loan would be a good deal because he woundn’t affect the PL loans we could do. We are short on the right wing and Brucie tried to shoehorn Almiron in there which didn’t really work. I think Miggy should have a free role like he did at Atlanta where he scored a lot and set up Martinez.

    That would leave Atsu as probably surplus to requirements. I am not bothered about that because he plays 1 decent game in 3.

    And that leaves JoeLinton and St Max for left winger. Maybe taking a bit of the pressure off Joe will help and so far St Max has been injured more than he has played. Having cover there cannot hurt, even if it is Atsu until we sell him in the summer.

    And they can juggle any squad numbers/positions they want in January so creating space shouldn’t be a problem.


  37. I didn’t know Lookman is English. Played and scored in the England U19s and U21s who were very good and difficult to get into. Only 1 goal in 35 games at Everton so he is not a striker although his record is better at Leipzig.


  38. I expect this to go down to the wire this month. Would Bruce trust them to sell Gayle first and then replace him?


  39. I’d loan Lookman with the option to buy – largely because I don’t see Hull letting Bowen go when they are pushing for play off places.
    But he may be available in the summer – so that could give us a choice between Bowen or making the Lookman deal permanent.

    Lookman could be done pretty quickly if they get their act together.

    But I agree with Stu – the striker situation will probably be last day of the window. Taking Chelsea as the example – they won’t let Giroud or Batshuayi go until they have someone in to replace them.

    My money would be on Batshuayi from the possibles.

    If we could get Lookman, Batshuayi and a midfielder – that would be a good window imo.


  40. The Chronic have done a poll on who the “fans” want.

    Bowen comes top. I have never seen him. They don’t show many (any) Hull games in the US.

    Then Batshuaiy – why? I have never really noticed him in most games until he misses an easy chance.

    I also have to admit I didn’t take much notice of Lookman but if he was in those England U19 andU21 teams he is worth a look, man – loan with a buy clause.

    The no-brainer is Giroud if we could get him.


  41. A loss at Wolves might wake Fatty up to the fact we are not safe from relegation and get him to move before deadline day. Chelsea are inconsistent so they are not a definite loss if we can get some players back and a striker in.

    I am not trusting Carroll until he scores his first goal. Jesse Lingard scored a goal since Andy’s last which tell you a lot.


  42. We should have hired Nigel Pearson.

    Didn’t he supposedly fight off a pack of wolves in Ukraine or Canada or somewhere?


  43. Just looked it up. It was Transylvania where Pearson was surrounded by Wolves.

    I was in Yellowstone NP. There were signs when I went to see Grand Prismatic Spring to beware of bears. Didn’t see any but saw bear sh!t.


  44. They will rent you bear-off spray in Yellowstone! Probably like super concentrated pepper spray. I think it is like $3 a day and if you don’t use it you take it back and get your deposit.


  45. Eric Sykes:
    We are playing Wolves on the weekend if anybody didn’t get the Pearson connection.

    I did Eric, just not laughing much at the moment . Still suffering this virus and had to fork out £220 to the gas guy today for a 4 year old valiant boiler, not impressed and will be even less impressed if we don’t play better v Wolves.


  46. Never had these issues with my old baxi back boiler, them things go on for ever.
    Ah well, progress as they say. A concept alien to nufc as it stands.


  47. I watched the Toulon tournament and also the U21 WC. Those kids were pretty damn good. Abraham. Especially Foden. I think I did notice Lookman.


  48. Well that’s not good is it. Harry Kane out until April so a shiny new stadium, cheese cave and beer that fills from the bottom will have to do.


  49. Eric Sykes:
    Well that’s not good is it. Harry Kane out until April so a shiny new stadium, cheese cave and beer that fills from the bottom will have to do.



  50. I didn’t expect us to sign Giroud, mainly because he is exactly what we need in a Bruce current system and Charnley and Nickson seem hell bent on going back to the Pardew/Ashley – sign for future resale system.


  51. I don’t understand the obsession with getting players off payroll before signing what you really need. Ki is surplus to requirements and only has 6 months left on his contract. Just give him away. If not, NUFC will take about a 1 mil loss but that doesn’t matter either because premier league football is not like any other business. We need his replacement and that loss matters a lot less than losing 100 million a year due to relegation. Look at Sunderland. They went from being valued at about 170 million to Chancer Donald mortgaging the farm for 10 million.

    This is why Ki doesn’t matter, unless you have like 10 Kis. In any other business you would be pissed off at having to pay a non-productive employee 1 million pounds for 6 months work. But in PL football you can lose a guaranteed 100 million through relegation by not replacing him with someone better. And that is just in 1 year. You could be in The Championship for 3 or more years like Boro.

    Football economics doesn’t work like any other business economics so I don’t get why in our situation we are worrying about a contract that will expire in 6 months anyway. We should be worrying about staying up.


  52. That was the problem with the Fatman. He tried to apply his Tat Shop discount model to football. He might have changed his ways because ever since Schteve’s January spree for Townsend and Shelvey he seems to have let the club spend what it earns. The problem now is – are Nickson and Charnley the right purchasing managers? Nickson’s CV is about 3 lines long and Charnley might be a good accountant but he has no track record of selecting good football players.


  53. Giroud wanted to leave Chelsea coz he wasn’t getting enough game time – if you can’t get in ahead of Tammy Abraham, you aren’t shifting Romelu Lukaku like.

    I get why someone would choice Inter over NUFC – but not if their argument is for game time.


  54. The Mackems have recovered ever so slightly but play the league leaders on the weekend. We’ll see how they do. I think they have zero chance of automatic promotion but given their history and stature it would be a catastrophe if they do not reach the playoffs. My prediction is that they WILL NOT be promoted.

    I would be happy with that. I would like them to stay in League 1 (3rd Division) for another year just for that plane with the banner over SJP. I don’t want them to go bust though.

    When Whatmore and McGeady leave I will be stretched to name any Sunderland player. The only other ones I can remember from recent times were odious t0ssers – Clattermole, Adam Johnson and Rodwell.


  55. Have we reached peak nonsense from Lee Ryder? In the latest podcast he said the club “don’t need to Dive into anything too hasty”. Like we have all the time in the world…


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