Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Fulham – 31/08/13

ToonForum Logo Match preview by Marcel Desailly, click here to go the our match discussion thread

15:00 Kick-Off

The venue, St James’ Park

Eleventh place Fulham travel to St. James’ Park on Saturday after their somewhat uninspiring midweek fixture with League Two Burton in the Carling Cup, in which they needed penalties to progress, whilst the Magpies go in to this one off the back of a 2-0 win against Morecambe (also League Two) in the same competition.

With assurances from Pardew than Yohan Cabaye will play at least some part in this fixture, and positive news being reported on the fitness of Loïc Rémy, fortunes may just be on the rise for Newcastle in what has proved to be a disappointing and frankly, at times, embarrassing start to the season.

A 4-0 opening day loss away to big spending Man City and a goalless draw at home to West Ham in the following league fixture are results that before the start of the season no one could have said were out of the realms of possibility, but it’s the complete lack of quality and perhaps maybe even more worryingly, intent, shown by Newcastle in an attacking sense that have the fans worried.

The stadium that once housed a team once known as ‘The Entertainers’, a name which at the minute couldn’t be less apt, has seen the goals and the entertainment dry up, with 0 home goals and 10 against in its last four fixtures.

With just 1 shot on target in the Premier League this season – a typical 25 yard strike from Tioté which never really showed any sign of going in – Newcastle have the lowest tally in England. Our defence meanwhile, which has been almost at full strength, recovered well from the opening game to keep a very respectable, if at times shaky, clean sheet against West Ham.

Regardless, Newcastle fans will feel this is a game they could, and probably should, be winning. Personally, I will be happy to see some improvement from our team going forward and another steady showing at the back. Fulham will no doubt be looking to take advantage of our poor home form and secure another away win in the North East to go alongside their opening day 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light.

Team News:
Newcastle look to ‘welcome’ Yohan Cabaye back to the side after he reportedly refused to play in their opening two League fixtures after a transfer bid from Arsenal. Loic Remy (calf) could return for a place on the bench while Tiote (groin), Gutierrez (hamstring), Haidara (knee), R Taylor (knee) and Mike Williamson (knock) are all out injured. Steven Taylor serves the last of his three game ban after his red card at Man City for clothes-lining Aguero.

Newcastle’s starting line up has been fairly consistent of late and we may line up as follows:

<debuchy> <mym> <colo> <santon>
<anita> <cabaye> <sissoko>
<hba> <cisse> <gouff>

Meanwhile for Fulham, Amorebieta (knock) is definitely out, as is Richardson (hamstring). There are question marks over new signing Stekelenberg (shoulder) who looks likely to get a place on the bench at best.

Dimitar Berbatov is in line for a start having been rested for his team’s midweek game which saw Darren Bent make his first start for the club and new signings Parker and Taarabt could feature.

Manager Pre-Match Thoughts
Alan Pardew:

“We know we need a win. For our fans, but also because of some of the bad publicity in the transfer market and with Yohan Cabaye. It makes it an important game, we are very much focused on trying to get the win.

Morecambe was a big win for us. You could tell on Thursday morning we’d had a win because it lifts everybody. We go in against Fulham looking for a win now. I do think it will be a tight game, I watched them at Sunderland and I thought Sunderland did well without hurting them. That is the problem with Fulham – they are a good defensive unit. They’ve got a player of real class in Berbatov in particular that anybody would want to see.

Fulham have that danger element about them. But we should win.”

Martin Jol:

“If you see their qualities, if you see the players they’ve got, I think it’s a fantastic squad,” he said of Alan Pardew’s men. “I saw the first match against Manchester City – and City is different, they’ve got so many qualities – and they beat them 4-0.

“We had a good game against Newcastle last year, and they had a terrific team. The year before, they were in the top six so they’ve got very good qualities and we are aware of that. The only thing is we would like to get at least a point from that game.”

Recent Encounters

April 2013 – Newcastle 1-0 Fulham – (Cissé)

December 2012 – Fulham 2-1 Newcastle – (Sidwell, Rodallega), (Ben Arfa)

January 2012 – Fulham 5-2 Newcastle – (Murphy, Dempsey 3, Zamora), (Guthrie, Ben Arfa)


Fulham Fans on Tomorrow’s Match

ToonForum Logo Originally a forum post by you can call me yo, click to read/comment

So I went over to Cottage Corner to ask the ten questions we decided on which were:

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
2 – How was Fulham’s summer? Are you happy with the transfer deals done?
3 – What is your style of play going to be like this season?
4 – How much importance are you placing on this match?
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
6 – Which of our players are you most afraid of?
7 – What is your prediction for Fulham this season?
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
9 – Scoreline prediction?
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?

Here are some of the responses:


1 – Not even Martin could tell you that.
2 – Better than last year! I’m very excited about Darren Bent
3 – Against weaker teams at home we ought to play some fluid, attacking football. I doubt we’ll have any distinctive style
of play away from home other than poor.
4 – Not as much as I imagine Newcastle fans are.
5 – I think everyone knows the answer to this.
6 – Tim Krul is a goalkeeper I am impressed by.
7 – Mediocraty in the league and our first trophy in the shape of the league cup (please!)
8 – Pretty much the same as they did last year.
9 – 1-0
10 – A blackberry; we’re never quite sure what to expect.

Toby Ward-Smith:

1 – Similar to the side against Arsenal but with bent instead of duff
2 – I am happy but need some younger players and a cover right back
3 – Defensively until behind
4 – Pretty important as fans are going off Jol
5 – Bent and Taarabt
6 – Cabaye
7 – A trip to wembly in the league cup and a mid table finish
8 – It’s going to be tough for them they quite easily could go down, the way they have started has been very good
9 – Newcastle 0-2 Fulham for Jol
10 – Lemon, sour at times but sometimes goes well


1 – Stock
Riether – Hughes – Hangeland – Riise
Parker – Sidwell
Duff – Berbatov – Kassami
2 – We got some good bargains. Bent is just what we need because Berba needs someone to play behind and he’s a proven goalscorer. Jury’s out on Taarabt he may cost us as many points as he gets us. Parker looks a great signing even if a 3 year contract is a bit generous. Steklenburg is quality! Boateng’s a red card waiting to happen and Im reserving judgement on Amorebieta. Overall not bad but would still like to see a bit more money spent by the new owner.
3 – Barcaesque. Looks like we’re going to play it out from the back and pass it around a lot but unlike Barca we’ll usually lose it before playing an incisive pass.
4 – Not much. Away wins are a novelty, we’re not in any kind of desperate need yet. I’m looking forward to the knees up in Newcastle.
5 – Watch out for Kassami, been at the club for years and made no impression, Jol seems to fancy him this season and he’s done well so far. Berba and Bent the obvious threats.
6 – When Cisse’s on form he’s pretty special but Ben Arfa is also a real danger man
7 – I think we’ll go through the season without any concern about relegation but equally we wont even begin to threaten the European places. A solid 11th.
8 – Better than last season I would think but not too far away from us. Midtable bedfellows I reckon
9 – Newcastle 2 – 1 Fulham. Surely lightening cant strike twice in the North East.
10 – A tomato. We’re not your conventional Premier League club but we like it that way


Riether Hughes Hangerland (Riise :'()
Parker Sidwell
Dejagah Berbatov (Trabant :'()
2 – Apart from the wtf!! of Trabant we’ve bought sensibly and we needed a ‘Bent’ up top but i’m f***ing livid we’ve not addressed the other glaring deficiencies of last season, a proper go forward CM and a LB. Jol must have been hitting Amsterdam’s other finest over the Summer
3 – Turgid shit
4 – Anything against anyone will be a bonus
5 – The Jag and Riether combo
6 – Ben Arfa
7 – 17th or above
8 – F*** nose with Kinnear involved
9 – 0-0
10 – An empty Banana


1 – Defensively, with one up top.
2 – Decent. Relatively. Bent is a proven goal scorer and Taarabt can create something from nothing. Parker is also proven Prem quality.
3 – Attempting fancy football but realistically struggling to create chances to feed our front man.
4 – Not a lot, it’s early and it’s away from home. Pre-season I would have taken 3 points from our first 3 (Sunderland away, Arsenal home, Mags away)
5 – I can literally say this about any of our front men:
On his day, he will be unplayable (Berbatov, Ruiz, Taarabt)
6 – Ben Arfa.
7 – 10th
8 – 15th
9 – 0-0 written all over it.
10 – A banana – bent

Gandalf the White:

1 – Lottery at the moment but I hope we try Berbatov just behind Bent
2 – Are you happy with the transfer deals done? The average squad age has gone through the roof which ain’t great and once again a lot of short term deals have been put into place but I can’t deny despite that we haven’t brought in some quality and potentially have a better team than last year.
3 – We’ll probably just continue being a pre-school version of Arsenal
4 – I’d like to see a performance because after the first 3 another bad one would leave some massive question marks for the season.
5 – Parker or Bent, would have to be someone new as the old lot are about as threatening as Jolly in a salad bar.
6 – Cisse
7 – 12th
8 – Lot of internal problems, 13th.
9 – Heart prediction 0-1, Head prediction 1-1
10 – Mouldy apple: juicy and fresh in its day but now old and gone off.

TFI – Player Ratings vs West Ham Utd – 24 Aug 13

ToonForum Logo Click here to go to the discussion thread by Beatski

A bit late, but it got here eventually. To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, and average these out, their comments on the players’ performance are also combined into an overall opinion of the board. The top scoring player is man of the match, the lowest being mug of the match.

27 members cast their votes and shared their opinions. It was an uninspired match, where little happened and we lacked ideas going forwards, the scores and views reflect that. The defence and midfield were rated average-middling, with Anita being the pick of the bunch, earning himself a man of the match with a rating of 7.30, the forwards pretty much contributed nothing to the match and were rated accordingly, with Shola Ameobi being the worst of a poor bunch, earning himself an average rating of 2.93 and mug of the match.

(You can now click on player names to go to their pages)


Krul – 6.37 (Ratings ranged between 5 and 8)
Didn’t have a lot of saves to make, but the few he did he dealt with well, he also claimed crosses well. His distribution wasn’t terrible, but he was a bit slow to the ball out from the back, allowing the West Ham players to get back into position, losing us any slight advantage we would have had.

Debuchy – 6.17 (Ratings ranged between 5 and 8)
He was defensively sound and much improved from last week, good interceptions and good positioning although Jarvis did catch him out a couple of times and he needs to be more effective at showing his man up the line. Decent going forward and provided an all too often unused option for HBA, although his crossing left something to be desired.

Yanga-Mbiwa – 6.63 (Ratings ranged between 5 and 7.5)
Pretty similar to Colo, after all, they are a partnership, and one that looks promising from this early run out. He was generally solid at the back, made some good tackles and interceptions, although he lost his man too easily from set pieces, an area where we looked regularly threatened by West Ham, and also has a bit of a tendency to ball watch.

Coloccini – 6.93 (Ratings ranged between 6 and 8)
A very good display from Colo as usual, he channelled his aggression well, was composed on and off the ball, and didn’t give West Ham many chances. Though West Ham didn’t offer a lot going forward, so he only had to deal with what little they had to offer, he’ll definitely have tougher games.

Santon – 6.46 (Ratings ranged between 5 and 8)
Santon gave a good performance defensively, nothing got past him. Didn’t really get forward much though but when he did his crossing was generally poor. He had a good, solid game all round.

Ben Arfa – 5.61 (Ratings ranged between 4 and 8)
On the day Ben Arfa was greedy, overran the ball too often and wasted chances with overly ambitious long range shots, however he did seem to be our only attacking threat at times and was let down by a lack of movement and options in front of him.

Sissoko – 6.13 (Ratings ranged between 4.5 and 7)
Average performance, not awful but he didn’t really do a lot. Put himself about with his pace and power but his decision making isn’t the best, he needs to improve his passing at times and be a bit more composed and cultured on the ball. Defensively, he did manage to subdue Diame well though.

Anita – 7.30 (Ratings ranged between 5.5 and 8)
Our stand out player on the day, and deservedly man of the match. Displayed probably the most cultured passing of anyone in the side, displaying a good passing range and excellent vision, and was also good defensively, putting in some good tackles and interceptions, good off the ball movement and standing up well to the physicality of West Ham, especially considering he was in a two man midfield. Showing signs of a promising partnership with Sissoko, Ajax through and through.

Marveaux – 6.15 (Ratings ranged between 4 and 8)
Showed attacking threat but nothing special, some good passing and vision, and one of the few players on the pitch who can actually produce that killer ball, however there were also a few wayward crosses and poor decisions in his game. Another baffling Pardew substitution saw him off the field prematurely. Did well out of position and would have probably influenced the game more as the attacker in a midfield 3, shame he slipped when Shola passed it to him in the final third.

Cissé – 3.69 (Ratings ranged between 2 and 5)
Another woeful game from our first choice striker, he offered little to nothing going forwards. His lack of movement probably contributes to his lack of service from our chance-shy midfield. He dropped too deep to be effective, as it’s not his game, and as such failed to link up with anyone well.

Shola – 2.93 (Ratings ranged between 1 and 6)
Our worst performer on the day, earning the title of mug of the match, he offered pretty much nothing positive. He did however give away lots of free kicks every time the ball came near him (although sometimes due to a poor refereeing decision), something you don’t want when playing a Sam Allardyce team, as they looked threatening from every hoofed set piece in to the box. Also showed an awful first touch which led to the breakdown of various attacking moves. Inept and ineffective, how he continues to see any game time continues to baffle fans.

Sammy – 5.19 (Ratings ranged between 2 and 7)
Sammy put in an average performance which was something of a theme throughout the team, he made some decent runs down the left and showed some good pace and control, however his final ball is rubbish and let him down. Although ironically it’s so bad that it could have won us the match, with a massively mis-hit cross that hit the post in the dying seconds.

Gouffran – 4.27 (Ratings ranged between 2 and 6)
That this distinctly below par performance from Gouffran was also the best performance from one of our strikers tells you all you need to know about our attacking play this match. He looked lively and was an improvement on Cisse, but for all that endeavour he was mostly anonymous. The lack of chances can’t have helped his case, but the once clear cut chance he did get, he managed to fire over the bar from about 4 yards, it was at an awkward height but he should really still be scoring that.

Preview: Morecambe vs Newcastle United – 28/08/13

ToonForum Logo Match preview by you can call me yo, click here to go the our match discussion thread

19:45 Kick-Off

The venue, Globe Arena source

After a disappointing start to the season, we face potential further humiliation as we travel to Morecambe for a Capital One Cup second round match. In previous seasons, we have been beaten by lower league opposition too often as Brighton have knocked us out of the FA Cup twice, while we have also been beaten by a League Two side in the form of Stevenage. However we have won our last 12 second round ties in the League Cup, with our only loss at this stage coming against Middlesbrough in the 1990/91 season. The last time we played at this stage was during the 2011/12 season as we knocked out Scunthorpe in extra time thanks to a goal from Sammy Ameobi.

During our opening two Premier League matches we have failed to score while only hitting the target once, not that I’d count it as Tioté’s shot against City was going wide before Hart saved it. The team looks void of confidence, to be fair I’d probably be the same if I had Pardew as a boss. We really do need to a convincing win in the cup to inject some belief before the Fulham game. The team looks like it’s still recovering from such a bad campaign last time around so a few goals could really help us move on from the disaster of last season.

In last year’s Capital One Cup, we were knocked out by Manchester United at Old Trafford in a game that ended 2-1 after Papiss Cissé grabbed a consolation before nearly equalising with an overhead kick. Hopefully this season will finally see us follow sides like Wigan, Bradford and Swansea and have a major cup run.

A bit about Morecambe
The Lancashire club have been plying their trade in League Two since the 2007-8 season after being promoted in 2007. They are managed by Jim Bentley who has been in charge of the club since 2011. Their best finish to date was 4th during the 2009-10 but they lost their play-off semi final 7-2 on aggregate to Dagenham and Redbridge. Last season, they finished 16th in League Two. They are captained by Mark Hughes who is an Everton academy graduate who managed to play in the Premier League for Everton. They are 19th after picking up 4 points from 4 games. They won 2-0 at the weekend against Exeter. In the first round of the Capital One Cup, they knocked out Wolves.

Team News
We will still be without Yohan Cabaye (transferitis), Cheick Tioté (groin), Jonas Gutiérrez (hamstring), Massadio Haïdara (knee) and Loic Rémy (calf). With Fulham on Saturday, we may seek to play a few of our fringe players in a typical Pardew-in-the-cup style. I’d expect Paul Dummett to start at left back while Davide Santon could be tried in his more natural position on right back. I also hope we see Haris Vučkić and Gaël Bigirimana get their first starts of the season. I’d also be surprised if Rob Elliot doesn’t play. Shola is probably dead after 90 minutes against Fulham so Cissé should start. The big question about the team tomorrow is: will we find Romain Amalfitano? And maybe even give him a run out…

<santon> <mym> <colo> <dummett>
<ober> <anita> <bigi> <marv>

The referee is Mark Haywood who refereed us twice in the Championship year, with both matches ending in victory for us so hopefully we keep up that record against Morecambe to proceed to the next round.

The game is live on Sky Sports 1, and live radio commentary will be on BBC Radio 5live.

ToonForum Logo Match preview by you can call me yo, click here to go the our match discussion thread

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs West Ham Utd – 24/08/13

ToonForum Logo Match preview by Tirer le Ryan Oison Une, click here to go the our match discussion thread

15:00 Kick-Off

The venue, St James’ Park

Newcastle sit bottom of the league after an uninspiring defeat to last years runners up Manchester City, whilst West Ham are in 4th after they secured a solid home win against newly promoted Cardiff.

Newcastle vs West Ham fixture history

Previous 10 fixtures at St James’ Park

11 November 2012 Home Lost 0-1
05 January 2011 Home Won 5-0
10 January 2009 Home Drew 2-2
23 September 2007 Home Won 3-1
20 January 2007 Home Drew 2-2
20 August 2005 Home Drew 0-0
19 August 2002 Home Won 4-0
27 April 2002 Home Won 3-1
16 April 2001 Home Won 2-1
03 January 2000 Home Drew 2-2

W5 L1 D4

All Premier League fixtures

04 May 2013 Away Drew 0-0
11 November 2012 Home Lost 0-1
05 January 2011 Home Won 5-0
23 October 2010 Away Won 1-2
10 January 2009 Home Drew 2-2
20 September 2008 Away Lost 3-1
26 April 2008 Away Drew 2-2
23 September 2007 Home Won 3-1
20 January 2007 Home Drew 2-2
17 September 2006 Away Won 0-2
17 December 2005 Away Won 2-4
20 August 2005 Home Drew 0-0
11 January 2003 Away Drew 2-2
19 August 2002 Home Won 4-0
27 April 2002 Home Won 3-1
23 September 2001 Away Lost 3-0
16 April 2001 Home Won 2-1
28 October 2000 Away Lost 1-0
12 April 2000 Away Lost 2-1
03 January 2000 Home Drew 2-2
20 March 1999 Away Lost 2-0
31 October 1998 Home Lost 0-3
07 February 1998 Home Lost 0-1
20 September 1997 Away Won 0-1
06 May 1997 Away Drew 0-0
16 November 1996 Home Drew 1-1
18 March 1996 Home Won 3-0
21 February 1996 Away Lost 2-0
08 March 1995 Home Won 2-0
31 August 1994 Away Won 1-3
19 March 1994 Away Won 2-4
25 September 1993 Home Won 2-0

W14 L9 D9

Likely NUFC team:

<debuchy> <mym> <colo> <dummett>
<hba> <sissoko> <anita> <sammy>
<cisse> <gouff>

This fixture sees not only the return of two former Newcastle players in Carroll and Nolan, but also a visit of our current manager’s previous team for his 100th league game in charge at Newcastle. However Carroll is apparently injured and will not feature, so I guess that prevents him scoring against us. Alan Pardew spent 3 years with the Hammers, guiding them to promotion to the Premier League, and to a Europa League spot. Following a brief period of success he then managed to cock it up incredibly and sent them on a run that was their worst for 70 years and was promptly shown the door after a 4-0 loss. At Newcastle he appears to be repeating himself, after an initial successful first full season in charge where we flirted with CL for much of the season, Newcastle were then nearly relegated the season after. Fortunately for Pardew, he was given the confidence of the board, yet he must have been fearing for his job after another 4-0 loss last Monday.

Newcastle looked void of attacking threat and although started in a promising 4-3-3 formation, quickly reverted to 4-4-2 with Gutierrez back on the wing and Cissé isolated. Alan Pardew appeared to have told his players to play a passing game high up the pitch. Unfortunately that involved leaving one man back against the pace of Aguero, Silva and Navas, and City soon scored on their 3rd break of the match after 6 minutes. The manager will be quick to point, however, to the series of events which he had no control over which ultimately resulted in our heavy defeat. He was not helped by Arsenal’s untimely bid for central midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who was promptly sent home hours before the game. Cabaye would have surely been in the starting XI, disrupting any game plan and it remains to be seen whether or not he will feature this weekend. Another player who will definitely not feature will be Steven Taylor, who in the 3rd minute of added time at half time decided to try and hit Aguero round the head, leaving his side with 45 minutes to play 2-0 down with 10 men. Many Newcastle fans will be glad to see the back of him after this incident, as they will Jonas Gutiérrez who limped off after pulling up with a hamstring injury. Another doubt is Tioté who has apparently tweaked his groin and so may not feature.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as Mifune will insist. Newcastle have only lost once to West Ham at home in the last 10 fixtures, and despite selling our previous game winners in this fixture to the opposing team, it should be a more evenly contested match than both teams experienced last weekend.

Line up rumours:
Shola Ameobi starting (according to @NUFCfans)
Andy Carroll is still struggling with an ankle injury.
Razvan Rat and Stewart Downing may make their full debuts for the Hammers