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This Season 
 Match Report 2000-01 - Leicester (a)
 
Leicester City 1 Newcastle United 1 

Date: Saturday 11th November 2000 3pm.

Venue: Filbert Street. 

Conditions: Bit damp, but the rain stopped just before kickoff.

Crowd:  21,406. Not a sell-out - in the home sections that is.

Referee: Rob Styles. Moderately average, with a disturbing ability not to notice fouls committed by blonde haired players.

Teams:

LCFC (normal home): Flowers, Rowett, Davidson, Sinclair, Elliott, Taggart, Lennon, Savage, Izzet, Akinbiyi, Benjamin (Gunnlaugsson 56 mins).
Subs Not Used: Royce, Gilchrist, Guppy, Eadie.
Booked: Savage, persistent fouling.
Sent off: None.

NUFC (normal home): Given, Griffin, Goma, Hughes, Domi, Acuna, Dyer, Lee (Cordone 68 mins), Speed, Shearer, Bassedas 
Subs Not Used:
Harper, Kerr, Ameobi, S.Caldwell .
Booked:
Acuna, foul - slightly harsh decision for the second week running.
Sent off:
None.

Goals:

Half time: Leicester 0  Newcastle 0

63 mins. Quite simply a perfect free-kick from Gunnlaugsson who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes. Shay got close but it was right in the top corner. Bassedas had given the freekick away when fouling Savage, but subsequently claimed that no contact with the player had been made. As usual, the TV cameras declined to show the incident. 0-1

75 mins. A slick passing move saw Domi play the ball in to Kieron Dyer on the edge of the box and his ball in to Gary Speed was fantastic - perfect weight and reminiscent of Papavasiliou for Cole at Old Trafford many moons ago. Speed had to stretch slightly ahead of Flowers but it only needed a decent contact which Speed got and the ball flew in off the far post. Had the ball not crossed the line, both Cordone and Acuna were on hand to make sure. 1-1

Full time: Leicester 1 Newcastle 1

Match facts:

A quick comparison of this season with last season at the same point:

1999/2000 on our third Manager of the season, out of League Cup,
League position after 13 games = 17th, with 11 points (gd of -4.) 
Goals scored = 23, Goals conceded = 27, bookings = 26, sendings off = 3.

2000/2001 on our first Manager of the season, still in League Cup,
League position after 13 games = 7th, with 20 points (gd of +2.) 
Goals scored = 14, Goals conceded = 12, bookings = 10, sendings off = 1.

An improvement in our defensive capabilities, temperament, and as a consequence, league position over the 12 months. Discounting the 8 goal hammering of Sheffield Wednesday in 1999, number of goals scored still remains almost constant - one consistent area of concern, with only Bradford, Coventry and Leicester having scored fewer this season.

We said: 

Bobby, still appearing to be slightly miffed about the England job said:

"He's been given the job, it was a chance I probably would have welcomed but that's gone now."

About Kieron Dyer:

"He was very lively today in what was a strange position for him. He is quick on the ground and can skin people. You saw that today.

''I thought we would lose 1-0 again to be honest I didn't think Leicester would have the ingenuity to open us up, although to be fair their midfielders worked their socks off."

They said: 

Peter Taylor, with a voice very much like England predecessor Glen Hoddle, also talked about Dyer: 

''I didn't learn anything new about Kieron. He is a tremendous player, he can run at you and pass it.''

About his much maligned front two, Ade Akinbiyi and Trevor Benjamin: 

''I have seen enough signs that they could make a decent partnership, Ade's touch is getting better and I thought Trevor did well on his home debut. They are both learning about the Premiership.''

About Gunnlaugsson's goal: 

''It was a brilliant goal and he is a real talent. He gives you something different.'' 

About his own fans and the barracking they gave the team at the recent Worthington Cup humiliation by Crystal Palace: 

"They've a right to criticise but a lot of their comments made our situation worse."

Waffle: 

My initial reaction after this match was to be distinctly underwhelmed to be taking home just a point. However, on later reflection this attitude overlooks the contribution and effort made by a number of Newcastle players.

Both Managers and most serious pundits chose to highlight the contribution of Dyer, opinions seemingly formed before the match actually took place, with the England angle. While Dyer had a reasonable game, it was nothing more than the sort of performance that should be expected of a player of his talent and value - ladelling false praise on to players can be counter-productive, and at times this season Dyer seems to be have responded more to a boot up his derriere rather than fawning waffle and hyperbole.

Those toon fans who were at Filbert Street in the usual Victorian workhouse conditions of the away section were in no doubt who deserved the plaudits however, and the first recorded outbreak of an Alain Goma song filled the damp air during the latter stages. In a stats-fixated world, there must be some co-efficient that can be computed to prove he's our most improved player of the season. 

Had the wayward Marcelino popped his head round the door en route to his Lilleshall examination, he would have seen a perfect example of someone gaining in confidence having accepted the chance given to him to stake a claim on a first team shirt and putting the effort in to justify the large fee paid for him over a year ago. Robson seems to have done the trick twice now, with Goma and Pistone, but failed with big Dunc and seems to be admitting defeat on Marcelino. Still an admirable return though, given what he faced when he walked into St.James' last year.  

Goma simply looks like a different player now he's getting a run in the team and seems to have put his injury problems firmly behind him. Of course, this being Newcastle that isn't quite true, as a late tussle in this match saw him leave the field acknowledging the cheers of the away fans but also limping with a calf problem. The law of sod still operates.

Up next is the visit of the great unwashed from the down the road, when Bobby will hope to have more resource at his disposal to fashion a team capable of giving them an overdue beating. At Filbert Street, our tactics were partly dictated by the lack of creators like Solano, as well as taking into account the strength in the City midfield. As a result, a compact side gave a good enough account of themselves and in Bassedas seem to have found another South American capable of competing in our league.

A lack of width and support to Shearer was evident for most of the afternoon, but the team still had enough resolve and skill to come from behind for the second time in successive games, and fashion a goal in the most skilful move seen from either side all afternoon. We've been here plenty times before and come away with nothing.

It may be forced on him at present, but Robson seems to have making a decent fist of the much-maligned squad rotation system, and actually doing the one thing Kevin Keegan promised to do, but never did: pick a team for the next match and refine his tactics accordingly. I couldn't give a stuff who Bobby plays against Peytar's banana pickers, as long as they all perform and the three points are claimed.

Bet you Bobby's team talk will be a belter though....a certain Dutchman might not have appreciated what was at stake last season, but a black and whiter from Durham will surely have fire in his belly. If the 49,000 anti-mackems in the ground can replicate the level of support given at Filbert Street by the 2,500, we can christen the new St.James' in style.    

Biffa

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Page last updated 11 November, 2012