Magpies Zone - The Toon Army Voice http://www.magpieszone.com Newcastle United FC news, match reports, wallpapers, classic games, legendary players and more. Genuine Toon Army opinions Tue, 25 Feb 2014 18:34:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Newcastle United restored confidence with a win against Aston Villa http://www.magpieszone.com/newcastle-united-restored-confidence-with-a-win-against-aston-villa/ http://www.magpieszone.com/newcastle-united-restored-confidence-with-a-win-against-aston-villa/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 18:34:31 +0000 http://www.magpieszone.com/?p=2145 I thought we were poor first half; better in the 2nd. We lasted the game better than Villa and gradually got on top towards the end. Indeed, we battered them for the final 15 mins or so.

Loic Remy salutes the Toon supporters after scoring against Villa

However, for a long time it looked as though we could play for ever without putting the ball in the net – especially when Remy hit the post when he really should have scored near the end of …

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I thought we were poor first half; better in the 2nd. We lasted the game better than Villa and gradually got on top towards the end. Indeed, we battered them for the final 15 mins or so.

Loic Remy salutes the Toon supporters after scoring against Villa

However, for a long time it looked as though we could play for ever without putting the ball in the net – especially when Remy hit the post when he really should have scored near the end of normal time. His injury-time winner was very well taken and unleashed a tidal wave of relief around SJP.

We defended pretty well with Willo and Colo outstanding and largely keeping the dangerous Benteke quiet. One brilliant block tackle by Willo to stop Benteke getting a clear run on goal almost lifted the roof and got the crowd right into the game. I can’t actually recall Krul making a single save.

Paul Dummet made a few mistakes on the ball but used it pretty well going forward. He took several excellent swinging corners and almost scored with a fierce drive from distance that just dipped over the bar.

Remy showed what a top class act he is, and sadly showed us what we will miss when he inevitably moves on to a club with real ambition. As well as possessing skill, pace and nous the guy works his socks off for the team.

Loic Remy strikes the ball during the match

Cisse worked hard and showed some nice touches but I felt desperately sorry for him when he blazed over the bar from 8yds when presented a clear opening by Remy late in the 1st half – producing an amazing gasp from around the stadium. I have a feeling the ball bobbled as he struck it, but will have to check the video on that score.

Once again our problems lay in midfield. Sissoko was the usual mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. Gouffran took a heavy knock to either his thigh or knee in the 1st half and thereafter rather drifted out of the game. Anita is a very genuine player, if short of top class.

He made a series of errors and misplaced passes, and of course lacks physical strength in the heat of the central midfield battleground. However, I thought he was instrumental today in keeping the team going when things where refusing to go right for us. He put in a terrific shift and was driving us forward towards the end of the game when Tiote was running on empty.

AP persisted with 4-4-2, producing the inevitable problems in midfield. At HT he switched Remy up front on his own with Cisse largely working down the right and giving Sissoko more of a free role. It worked much better than 4-4-2 had earlier – surprise surprise.

A tough game and a stuttering performance. However, there was no lack of commitment today and it was that and the reappearance of three key players that made a difference. Hopefully, this will have restored a measure of confidence and let’s hope we can now keep it going and work to close the gap on ManU and Everton.

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Things to learn from the match against Arsenal http://www.magpieszone.com/things-to-learn-from-the-match-against-arsenal/ http://www.magpieszone.com/things-to-learn-from-the-match-against-arsenal/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 15:44:13 +0000 http://www.magpieszone.com/?p=2137 If you ask me about how I feel after watching the game, my answer is quite happy in terms of the way we play against the real contender for the champion of this season. A different result, i.e a draw, can be real satisfaction.

Cheick Tiote battle for the ball with Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere

The Lads were playing much better than we have seen against Stoke. We edged a very good side on Sunday and should have had at least a point if we have …

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If you ask me about how I feel after watching the game, my answer is quite happy in terms of the way we play against the real contender for the champion of this season. A different result, i.e a draw, can be real satisfaction.

Cheick Tiote battle for the ball with Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere

The Lads were playing much better than we have seen against Stoke. We edged a very good side on Sunday and should have had at least a point if we have at least one centre forward with physical ability to hold up the ball and score a few goals.

Remy is a fine  player but is not effective playing up front on his own imho, while Shola was worse than useless when he came on. What’s worse, despite having HBA and Haidara playing wide in second half, we immediately stopped playing football and started lumping it forward to the utterly ineffective Shola.

Hatem Ben Arfa beating of Flamini from Arsenal

For me the only real problem was the failure to get the ball to HBA and Haidara often enough during that last 15 minutes, and the preponderance of lumps up the field towards Shola – a tactic that failed totally.

HBA had the beating of Flamini, who had already been booked for a savage foul on him, and imho was our potential match winner. Numerous times he was wide open on the right, looking for the ball that rarely arrived.

Apart from all things to learn above, here’s some recognition from the Arsenal side, with Wenger commented on MOTD saying that they had played a good team.

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Some important notes regarding Newcastle’s big win against Stoke City http://www.magpieszone.com/some-important-notes-regarding-newcastles-big-win-against-stoke-city/ http://www.magpieszone.com/some-important-notes-regarding-newcastles-big-win-against-stoke-city/#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 08:48:00 +0000 http://www.magpieszone.com/?p=2132 A very curious game. The revised formation to accommodate the absence of Tiote simply was not working and Stoke were on top before the red cards – playing some excellent football actually.

Yoan Gouffran celebrate his goal with fellow Newcastle players

For me, this underlined just how important Tiote has been to our resurgence, and also how we have no one to adequately replace him: a real concern. Who knows what would have happened had Stoke not gone down to nine, but I have …

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A very curious game. The revised formation to accommodate the absence of Tiote simply was not working and Stoke were on top before the red cards – playing some excellent football actually.

Yoan Gouffran celebrate his goal with fellow Newcastle players

For me, this underlined just how important Tiote has been to our resurgence, and also how we have no one to adequately replace him: a real concern. Who knows what would have happened had Stoke not gone down to nine, but I have a feeling it would have been a real struggle.

As to the key decisions, I’m not really sure about the first yellow for Whelan as I’m still not entirely certain what happened. However, the 2nd yellow was correct and the other red was correct. I also thought the Ref got the handball decision against Willo correct in the lead up to our 1st goal – there was no intent whatsoever although I’ve seen plenty of these given.

I’m sure Mark Hughes’ bleating is more related to how well they had been playing than the correctness of the Ref’s decisions. Their defeat, and the manner of it, was purely down to their own indiscipline.

Papiss Cisse scores a penalty to give Newcastle’s fifth goal

On the other side of the coin, I thought we should have had another penalty and Stoke another red card for Shawcross’s wild and dangerous challenge on Haidara near the end – decisions that of course were never going to be taken in the circumstances.

We made hay against 9 men and it was all very enjoyable pantomime stuff, but AP was rightly more concerned about our performance before the red cards turned things firmly our way.

I thought Willo and Colo played well. Cabaye ran the game in the 2nd half during which HBA ran riot and could have had a hat trick. Sissoko was utterly lost in central midfield, and I thought Santon was awful, particularly defensively: his poor performance was further highlighted by the eventual stream of left wing crosses from Haidara, although by that stage he was admitedly playing exclusively as a left winger.

Fabricio Coloccini in action against Stoke City

A big win, an improvement to our goal difference, but one that raised a number of concerns regarding our 1st half performance.

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Keeping Cabaye key to Euro chances http://www.magpieszone.com/keeping-cabaye-key-to-euro-chances/ http://www.magpieszone.com/keeping-cabaye-key-to-euro-chances/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 07:19:32 +0000 http://www.magpieszone.com/?p=2125 Saturday’s momentous win against Manchester United proved once again that the Magpies are good enough to mix it with the big boys following the draw against Liverpool and the win over Chelsea.

Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring his goal against Manchester United

This time it was Yohan Cabaye who was the hero, stroking home, with a little help from Nemanja Vidic, a second half winner to seal our first win at Old Trafford since 1972.

The result put us firmly in the running for the …

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Saturday’s momentous win against Manchester United proved once again that the Magpies are good enough to mix it with the big boys following the draw against Liverpool and the win over Chelsea.

Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring his goal against Manchester United

This time it was Yohan Cabaye who was the hero, stroking home, with a little help from Nemanja Vidic, a second half winner to seal our first win at Old Trafford since 1972.

The result put us firmly in the running for the top five places and once again showed just how good Cabaye is. We’re now 8/1 with Paddy Power for a top six finish.

Despite winning the French league in 2011, in a Lille team that also boasted the likes of Eden Hazard, Gervinho and our very own Mathieu Debuchy, the little maestro came to us that summer as somewhat of an unknown quantity.

Since then he has become one of the best playmakers in the country, and left many of the United fans wondering why their club hadn’t tried to sign him in their quest sort out their midfield problems.

Mathieu Debuchy battle for the ball with Manchester United's Wilfried Zaha

With him in the side the Magpies often look brilliant, playing our traditional brand of attacking football and with the competitive nature of the season so far, we could end up being in with a shout of sneaking into the European places like we did two years ago.

However, a potential move away from St James’ could scupper that straightaway, especially with him recently hinting that he would consider a move back to his homeland with PSG, speculation that set the transfer betting on fire.

We all saw how distracted he was by the speculation linking him with Arsenal in August, effectively going on strike and you feel as if the same situation could arise on January, while the fact he hasn’t played in Europe this season will make him even more attractive to potential suitors.

We all know how important he is to our side and if Alan Pardew can keep him happy, he could well be the man who guides us back to a surprise European finish.

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Magpies 2 – 1 Canaries http://www.magpieszone.com/magpies-2-1-canaries/ http://www.magpieszone.com/magpies-2-1-canaries/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 18:15:44 +0000 http://www.magpieszone.com/?p=2121 Finally the Magpies can score from corner after 2 long years of waiting, but we also let them crawl one back from another corner situation where we supposed to burried them deeper in second half.

Loic Remy scores Newcastle's first goal of the game

At the start of the game, we were the brilliant side and took the lead in just 2 minutes of play with Remy converted the goal from Cabaye’s corner.

Since that quick goal, we keep the heavy pressure under the …

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Finally the Magpies can score from corner after 2 long years of waiting, but we also let them crawl one back from another corner situation where we supposed to burried them deeper in second half.

Loic Remy scores Newcastle's first goal of the game

At the start of the game, we were the brilliant side and took the lead in just 2 minutes of play with Remy converted the goal from Cabaye’s corner.

Since that quick goal, we keep the heavy pressure under the Canaries shoulders and push them to defend, although they also have a couple of situation where we’re a bit lack of concentration in the back, thanks to our extra defender in Shola to clear the ball out when Krul seems out of position to secure the bouncing ball.

In search for a third successive wins in a row this season, with the help of old Shola Ameobi who are once again proven as the better target man than Cisse, Newcastle doubled the lead in the first half through his neat flick-on ball to put Gouffran clears to tap the easy ball in.

With another half-chances going wasted through Sissoko and Remy, Newcastle hang on the lead until the end of first half.

In the second half, surprisingly we are sitting deeper, and let the visitors to come on to us. I don’t like it when we are playing on the counter attacking style against a team like Norwich City.

It’s just not seems right to defending a 2-0 lead at home by playing like that, I would prefer to see more attacking approach just like what we did in the first half.

That way, we give them four corners in a row that resulting one goal back for them, it’s just silly, then starting to attack them again really not a clever decision. The fans will demand more positive approach from the lads in our next home fixture against Brom, where we should have win that game too.

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