Preview: Norwich City vs Newcastle Utd – 28/01/14

Match preview by Ramone, click here to go the our match discussion thread

With more than half the season behind us, Newcastle sit exactly where we were when I last wrote a match-day thread; 8th. 1 point behind soon-to-be former champions Manchester United but 5 points ahead of our nearest rivals Southampton. The dreams of a push for Champions League football are all but dead and even competing for the Europa League spots seems unlikely at this point.

Like almost everything else this season, the January transfer window seems to have completely passed us by. Fans and pundits alike were convinced that signings were going to be made in order to remain competitive but yet again Mike Ashley and his band of merry men have defied all expectations.

A solid move for French midfielder Rémy Cabella seems to have been pushed back until Summer and the best we can hope for in terms of a new striker arriving is the loan signing of the, as yet, unconvincing Luuk De Jong. In even more depressing news, PSG have made another bid for Yohan Cabaye, who has played out of his skin at times this season, and by all reports this time it has been accepted and he’ll be leaving the club this week.

Team News
Debuchy is back from suspension and will likely return to the starting line-up, forcing Pardew to decide whether Yanga-Mbiwa gets to play at centre-back or drops to the bench. Cissé, who has been linked with a transfer away this month, is out of contention owing to a back injury, leading to Adam Armstrong being included in the match-day squad. Local press report that Gouffran is a doubt.

Coloccini still has a couple of weeks before he’s expected to return, and Ryan Taylor is a long-term absentee. Bigirimana, who has been absent from the first team scene for most of the season anyway, is out until late February with an ankle injury. Cabaye will be concluding his transfer, so won’t be included. Continue reading

Norwich Fans’ Thoughts Ahead of the Match

Originally a forum post by Yacob, click to read/comment

I headed over to the Norwich Vital Football forum to ask the questions ahead of tomorrow’s match. They don’t seem to be huge fans of Gutierrez, they don’t deserve him. The questions are:

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
2 – How has Norwich’s season gone so far? Happy?
3 – Who has been the biggest surprise this season for Norwich? Who has disappointed?
4 – Most Newcastle fans thought Chris Hughton was unfairly dismissed in our first season back, what are your views on the job he’s done at Carrow Road?
5 – We love Jonas Gutierrez, he’s hard working, industrious and wins lots of free kicks! Are you pleased with his signing?
6 – As we are half way through the season, where do you think Norwich will finish now?
7 – Where do you think Newcastle will finish now?
8 – Who will finish in the top six? Who will go down?
9 – Scoreline prediction?
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?

Drayton Green

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
4 4 2 as CH is now looking at popular opinion rather than going with his own beliefs. However the 4 in midfield will all be defensive players so there will not be a link to the front 2.

2 – How has Norwich’s season gone so far? Happy?
Poorly. I am about as far from happy as I could be.

3 – Who has been the biggest surprise this season for Norwich? Who has disappointed?
The entire team has been a surprise but not a good one as generally they have played below their ability levels. RVW has not really had a chance due to injury / tactics and team selections but he has not lived up to our hopes.

4 – Most Newcastle fans thought Chris Hughton was unfairly dismissed in our first season back, what are your views on the job he’s done at Carrow Road?
He has done an appalling job, getting almost everything wrong that it is possible to. He should have been fired months ago.

5 – We love Jonas Gutierrez, he’s hard working, industrious and wins lots of free kicks! Are you pleased with his signing?
No. We did not need another winger and suspect Hopeless Hugh signed him because he is more defensive than our current wide players.

6 – As we are half way through the season, where do you think Norwich will finish now?
If Hopeless Hugh stays in bottom 3.

7 – Where do you think Newcastle will finish now?
Looks like the lowest you will finish is 8 th and that is probably where you will finish unless man ure completely mess up.

8 – Who will finish in the top six? Who will go down?
Top 6 as it is. Relegated : Norwich, Palace, Fulham.

9 – Scoreline prediction?
1 1

10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
Strawberry as we are best in the summer and the rest of the year we are disappointing.

Continue reading

TFI – Player Ratings vs West Ham – 18 Jan 14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Beatski

To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time 23 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

Newcastle visited the Boleyn Ground on the back of four straight losses and clearly were intent to set the record straight as they came out of the blocks firing and put in almost as good a first half a performance as you’re likely to see this side put on. The scoring was opened 16 minutes in by Cabaye after he beat a man and finished from the edge of the box, following a swift charge up-field led by Gouffran, to score the first Newcastle goal in nearly 5 hours of Premier League play. A few good chances followed without conversion until after the half hour mark when Rémy converted a Sissoko cross following some nice build-up play.

Unfortunately the half ended on a sour note as a comedy of errors resulted in a Williamson own goal from a Krul rebound after Carlton Cole was gifted the ball. The home side, as you’d expect, were buoyed by this and came back into the game in the second half, with poor finishing from both sides keeping it 1-2 until Cabaye sealed victory and topped off a magnificent performance with a well-taken free-kick.

As you might have guessed, Cabaye, in what looks likely to be his last game for the club, was the ToonForum man of the match having excelled in his free role at the 10 position, scoring two goals and pulling the strings throughout to earn an average rating of 8.61. The mug of the match for the third time in his last four games, and seventh for the whole season, was Shola Ameobi with a rating of 4.84. He was brought on with half an hour to go for the much lauded Anita and failed to make any real impact on the game, as the change gave West Ham a foothold in the midfield while we switched to a more direct style.

Changes such as the above combined with West Ham gaining momentum in the second half negatively impacted Pardew’s rating (4.70) as the fans were split into two camps; those who accepted that we were set-up well and got a good win away from home, rating his performance around 6, and those who thought the win was in spite of Pardew, rating him around 3-4. Continue reading

TFI – Player Ratings vs Man City – 12 Jan 14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Beatski

To come up with these figures we ask forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match. This time 21 members cast their votes and shared their opinions.

Newcastle came into this match on the back of three successive defeats, and with goals either end of the ninety minutes falling Man City’s way, our losing streak was extended. However, the scoreline hardly does the performance justice as Newcastle went toe-to-toe with possibly the strongest side in the division and held their own, indeed the game could have been very different if it was not for some outrageous incompetence from the match day officials ruling out a perfectly legitimate Tioté wonder strike.

The atrocious decision from the referee changed the complexion of the match, infuriating both our squad and manager, resulting in the referee losing control of the game. It did, however, spur our players on, and we were on top for the majority of the remainder, with Tioté running the show in midfield and collecting a man of the match award for his rating of 8.21. Unfortunately our good play in midfield could not be converted to goals further up the pitch, our forwards hoarding all the lower scores; Remy being the worst of our starting line up, only to be replaced by worse, Cissé collecting our mug of the match award once again with a rating of 4.85. Continue reading

Preview: West Ham Utd vs Newcastle Utd – 18/01/14

Match preview by KingoStarr, click here to go the our match discussion thread

Saturday 18th January 2014 sees Newcastle United travel to Upton Park to face West Ham United in a Barclays Premier League fixture. Newcastle will be aiming to achieve a first win of 2014 having so far played West Brom, Cardiff and Manchester City, losing to all of them.

The last time these two teams met in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park the scoreline was 0-0 with Yoan Gouffran squandering a late chance for Newcastle which surely would have guaranteed the win. However since then Gouffran has gone on to score 7 in all competitions this season cementing his place as a regular in the left wing position.

On paper Newcastle United should be expecting a comfortable win with West Ham’s squad currently featuring a lot of injured players as well as out of form players. That said West Ham secured a crucial win against fellow relegation candidates Cardiff last weekend surely giving the players, the manager and the fans a boost of confidence going into the match.

It is also a game that sees Alan Pardew return to his former club having taken West Ham to an FA Cup Final before being sacked a season later. As well as West Ham manager Sam Allardyce face off against his old club Newcastle United.

Andy Carroll will go up against his boyhood and former club, who sold him to Liverpool 3 years ago for £35m. After an unsuccessful spell on Merseyside he joined West Ham on loan where he earned himself a summer transfer. However he has had an injury ravaged season and this will only be his second game, should he feature. Former Newcastle captain Nolan, however, will not feature thanks to a second red in short succession resulting in a 4 game ban.

Overall this match should have plenty of goals in it. I suspect Andy Carroll will want to finally score against his old club, while Big Sam will be demanding a win. I feel that, in all honesty, Newcastle have too much for West Ham and my prediction is 3-1 to Newcastle. Continue reading