All posts by magonmersey

AKA "Colbacks's Orange Tufts" on ToonForum.

Preview – Fulham FC vs Newcastle Utd – 05/08/2016

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Colback’s Orange Tufts

Hello and welcome all to the first preview of the new season, and what a season it promises to be. After such a bad time in every aspect last year, the arrival of Rafa Benitez has brought unfamiliar optimism. Utilizing his reputation and strong character, not to forget Newcastle’s desperation, Rafa has pulled apart a failed business model of tight purse strings, low aspiration and speculative investments in unproven, young players. In its place a more singular, focused and inspiring pattern is emerging. Whilst it would be human nature may be tempting to look at our 09/10 total of 102 point and say we’ll beat it, if any club can fail from a position of such strength, it would be NUFC.

We kick the season off on Friday with a trip to Craven Cottage, the site of five consecutive losses in the league for Newcastle. Our last game in 2014 saw a struggling Fulham gain a vital 1-0 win for their ultimately fruitless survival bid, whilst Alan Pardew served the first of a three game ban for headbutting David Meyler. The last Newcastle win at the Cottage came in 2007, a poor quality match with a last minute Joey Barton penalty temporarily easing the pressure on Sam Allardyce.

The players are working very hard and they are ready. We know the Championship is very difficult but we have the hope and belief that we can do well. We have a lot of respect for Fulham. They beat Crystal Palace 3-1 and have a good manager. It will not be an easy game.
Rafa Benitez

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Tottenham Hotspur – 15/05/16

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cisse’s Overheating Torso

This Sunday sees Newcastle’s last game in the Premier League for at least a season, if not longer and an opportunity to make an updated version of this montage:

We face a Spurs side second in the table, needing a draw to all but seal second place and finishing above rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995. Spurs have had a great league season, improving from 5th last year and with the best defence. The club and the squad give the impression of everyone working together well, the polar opposite of the ongoing calamities at SJP.

Our home record against Spurs is not stellar, having won one and lost two of the last five. Seemingly, we do our best work at White Heart Lane, with our third win on the bounce only one of 2 away wins this season (why are we going down again?).

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Sheffield Wednesday – 23/09/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by magonmersey

The Capital One Cup Third Round rolls into Newcastle on Wednesday. The goal shy home team are visited by 12th placed Championship side Wednesday side with league form of 2 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. Wednesday have progressed with home wins against Mansfield (4-1) and Oxford Utd (1-0).

Finding positives and talking points is difficult from a Newcastle side avoiding the bottom of the table only via goal difference. Three league goals this season are a real concern, with the last league cup round providing as many. Newcastle desperately need a good performance, goals and a win for both the team and supporter enthusiasm. In the absence of much else positive to say, it only leaves cynicism and sarcasm for a preview.

“We’ve got to go out there and perform, and set ourselves up for Saturday. Tomorrow is a massive game.

“Massadio and Jack Colback have knocks. Papiss Cissé has had a problem with his back since West Ham.

“Three, four, five players have already come to me and said they don’t want to be rested tomorrow. That’s the character we need.

“Sheff Wed are a good team I know well from last season. They’ve got good players who can hurt us.

“We’ve got the experience, patience and calm to deal with the current situation. We need to build belief and confidence.”
– Steve McClaren

Breaking with my usual previews I’d like to offer some commentary here. Apparently we have experience, patience and calm. The club’s policy of buying under 25s or PL unproven players leaves us with the youngest PL squad and a deficit of experience. This manifests in when heads drop on conceding and an in ability to hold onto leads. The few senior players we have are not entirely committed (Cissé, Colo, Sissoko, Tioté). Continue reading

Preview: Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd – 22/08/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by magonmersey

This coming Saturday Newcastle travel to Old Trafford for a 12:45 kick-off, showing live on BT Sport 1 with the impartial, lively and insightful analysis of Michael Owen.

The corresponding fixture last season was a 3-1 win to the home side, goals from Rooney (2) and Van Persie easily won the game before a late consolation penalty. Losses at Old Trafford are frequent for the Magpies, with the Newcastle’s December 2013 the first (and last) since 1972. Later in last season, a late Ashley Young goal snuck a away victory in a poor game.

Our opponents come into this game on the back of a winning three game steak this season. Hard fought, aesthetically challenging wins versus Villa and Spurs sandwich a comfortable 3-1 win in the Champions League. Questions remain about their relative paucity in the striking position, no new centre back and this transfer window’s tedious Real Madrid signing story. Their new signings in midfield seems to have slotted in well though.

As for Newcastle, an encouraging start against Southampton was mediated by conceding two poor goals. This was followed by a poor day in South Wales, with defeat looking likely before Janmaat’s sending off.

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Preview: Everton vs Newcastle Utd – 15/03/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by magonmersey

Newcastle travel to Merseyside without the banned Papiss Cissé to face the Everton side he picked up his first long suspension of the season against. Going into the match we’re seven points ahead of the Blues, who should be safe from relegation with a win on Sunday. However, despite the lowly league position it is Everton who still have things to fight for this season, hoping to continue their strong run in the Europa League.

At St James’ Park in December the weaknesses of both sides was apparent in a 3-2 home win. Everton’s defence has been leaky this season, with their full backs mostly an attacking force the old Jagielka-Distin partnership has felt the strain. Whilst Newcastle can’t defend or hold leads well, but can rely on Pérez and Cissé for goals from nowhere.

Everton come into this game having fought back from behind to win 2-1 in the last 16 (first leg) of the Europa League on Thursday. Some have suggested this cup competition has contributed to their poor league form this season. However, what I hear on Merseyside is that their main striker is played out of position with low confidence and their defensive organisation is poor. Indeed Martinez is known to be inflexible with formations, forcing players to play out of their natural roles.

Your writer has been trying to think of something more interesting to write. However, if one is honest, Newcastle’s season is limping home now without much scope for drama. There’s nowt incisive to write. Continue reading