This report is brought to you by Ginsters
26th December 2002, 1.00pm
occasional rain showers.
5 mins Dyer appeared to be
looking for his lost dog not playing for us, dwelling on the ball and
allowing Gardner to seize on it and centre to where Jay-Jay Okacha
blasted it past a helpless Given. 0-1
8 mins Having now woken up, Dyer was well placed down the United
right to take on a Solano pass and turn it into the path of Shearer.
He drove the ball home under the keeper's body from just outside the six
yard box. 1-1
9 mins Questions asked about the placement of our defensive wall
as Ricardo Gardner beat Given at the far post with a swooping
high-octane effort. The free kick had been awarded for a Caldwell block on
45 mins A Ricketts header extended the lead, thanks in
part to a soft defensive header from Ameobi that cheaply lost possession
to Frandsen and put our defence under renewed pressure. 1-3
Half time: Bolton
3 Newcastle 1
63 mins Displaying all the
assurance of a striker suddenly back in the old routine, Ricketts
seized on a poor Speed pass to easily beat Given. 1-4
72 mins With LuaLua stripped and waiting to come on the field, Ameobi
danced into the box from the right before trying a low effort not
unlike his Barca goal. A timely deflection from Dyer's boot sent it
into the opposite side of the goal to the one
Jaaskelainen was diving to. 2-4
78 mins Robert touched a free kick to Shearer on the edge
of the Bolton area to the keepers' right, at the end where the toon fans
were gathered. He leathered it home from 20 yards in typical forthright
Full time: Bolton 4 Newcastle 3
"Shearer said to the referee
'before you take a card, go and have a word with (Bolton's Mike)
Whitlow'. I have to hold up my hands to Whitlow. He told the referee he
had fouled him, he had tripped Lualua.
"But he still gave him a yellow
card for diving. Shearer, speaking plainly, got a yellow card as well. Can
you explain that to me? Because I will be explaining it to the FA and the
"I will now lose Shearer for the
West Ham match after his fifth yellow card.
"Not only that we might have got
a point if we had got the free kick we had deserved.
"Instead we got two yellow cards
which I find is absolutely outrageous - but there is nothing we can do
"I can't understand fans making
obscene chants at Alan. He is a nice guy, a great professional and he has
captained his country.
"It is a great record and his
second goal you won't see a better one anywhere in the world. You can talk
about your Peles, your Maradonas, all your great hitters but that is a
Dyer spoke to the Chronicle:
"It was a terrible result, especially after the way other results
went. We keep saying it, but to come away from home and score three goals
and still not get anything is disappointing.
to Bolton, but we should be beating them. They will be delighted but the
goals were self-inflicted. Me and Nobby blundered for the first goal,
Speedo has held up his hands for the fourth, while Shola brought the ball
down for the third goal but headed it straight to Frandsen who put over a
"We've only got
ourselves to blame. People talk about the defence but it was individual
errors that cost us. The only plus is at 4-1 down our heads didn't drop
and we almost came away with a draw."
to take that goal. I don't think it was going in until it hit me and
deflected into the other corner."
"We have to get
six points from those two home games. We don't fear anyone on our own
patch and I firmly believe we can do it."
Big Sam said:
"It was a magnificent victory and
one that was long overdue at home. I always felt that once Michael got
back on target more goals would come and so it has proved.
"We showed we've learned our lesson and kept it tight. But that's
still 15 games without keeping a clean sheet. That's what we've got to aim
for now if we're to claw ourselves away from the bottom.
"When we had two games in a short period of time last year, we may
have won the first but always failed in the second. I kept them back for
two hours after the Newcastle game so we could warm down properly and
focus on the Everton game.
"If we can get a good result there, we could go into January with a
mass of points from a short period of time and it could change our season
for us. We have made a magnificent start to the holiday period."
Yet another milestone for Alan Shearer with his 350th
goal, but once again he was let down by his colleagues and walked off
the field a disconsolate man. At Ewood Park and Old Trafford he netted
with great efforts to reach personal landmarks, but was unable to savour them as
his side lost. Twice is careless, for it happen three times in six away
games is plain unacceptable.
After praising our defence for their clean sheet against Fulham last
Saturday, we now have to use statistics to beat the lads over the head
(all of them, not just the back four).
We have conceded six Premiership goals at home in nine games
this season - the best record in the League (shared with Chelsea and
Manchester United, both of whom have played a game more).
However, we have conceded no less than twenty two goals on our
travels in ten games - even worse than bottom of the table West Ham
(twenty) or even the damn mackems (fifteen).
Moving on to our form this season, while we've tightened up at Fortess
St.James' and come up with seismic European results like the Feyenoord
victory, compared to our away form last season we're in the doldrums.
2001/02: P19 W9 D5 L5 Goals F34 Goals A29
2002/03: P10 W2 D2 L6 Goals F14 Goals A22
So before we change the calendar we've already lost more away games than
in the whole of last season and need to do something radical to get near
the number of wins on the road we recorded last time out.
That Rotten Rennie Record:
2002/03 Bolton (a) lost 3-4
2002/03 Man City (a) lost 0-1
2001/02 Blackburn (a) drew 2-2
2001/02 Arsenal (a) lost 0-3
2000/01 None -demoted from Prem.
1999/00 Leicester (h) lost 0-2
1999/00 Birmingham (a) lost 0-2
1999/00 Villa (h) lost 0-1
1998/99 Leicester (a) lost 0-2
1998/99 Leeds (a) won 1-0
1998/99 Wimbledon (h) won 3-1
1998/99 Chelsea (a) drew 1-1
1997/98 Man Utd (a) drew 1-1
1997/98 West Ham (h) lost 0-1
Uriah Rennie is a nasty man and doesn't like us.
Had he not been in charge of this match, we'd now be joint third alongside
Manchester United and Bolton would be in the drop zone. Oh aye, and a
reindeer really did eat that carrot I left out, and Santy drank all the
sherry (then drove off in his sleigh, dressed as a Newcastle
While that referee is just a joke, the fact remains he didn't directly
contribute to any of the goals we conceded. He didn't blindfold Dyer and
called the free kick correctly. He didn't place our wall, shout boo! when
Ameobi was climbing to head the ball. He didn't flick mud in Speed's eye.
No, we were eminently capable of imploding all on our own.
On the basis that your correspondent and a few thousand others dragged
themselves up in the middle of the night to get here without any public
transport, and paid for a grandstand view of this mess, pausing en route
only to post applications for a midweek trek to Spurs, then there's no
attempt to make excuses for the players:
Ameobi may have scored (until that panel meet), but reverted to type and showed no understanding
with Shearer. There again, with the exception of Dyer for the first goal,
nobody else did (by the way, can anyone explain why Robert refused to go
into the final third of the field in the first half and why Dyer was often
marking Solano? I certainly cannot...)
Shearer scores when Shearer gets chances - apart from the penalty miss at
home to Fulham and the one over the bar at Southampton, he's putting in
what he gets given to him, or crashing in the free kicks. However, there's
a continuing lack of decent service to him from either flank.
Shearer aside, set pieces are a joke again - international footballers
taking corners and failing to beat the first man at the near post, who is
never a Newcastle player. And after trying not to get at Robert in recent
weeks, to continue to ignore his fitful contribution is to bury the
I actually think he was trying in the second half here, but just not
getting anywhere. He looked almost incapable of finding a man from more
than six yards away, and his confidence must be low, despite not being
barracked by the Newcastle fans. By barracking I mean crowds of people
shouting abuse at him, not individuals sitting in public houses with their
heads in their hands or muttering to themselves while stuck in traffic
Problem is that there's nobody else, and he knows that. Unless Bobby
overdoses on the blue smarties, in the absence of Bernard and Viana he's
not going to put in Quinn, Elliott or Kendrick. No,
Robert will continue down the left, living on a reputation earned last
season and failing to do damage to flaky, second rate defences like the
one Sam Allardyce fielded in this game.
If Robert does want a move, then any watching scouts will hardly be urging
their paymasters to open chequebooks on the strength of performances like
this. A pocketful of loose change would be more than enough....
That he remained on the field for the duration may have been due to some
fervent hope on the part of the manager that he'd belatedly contribute
something to proceedings as he did at Derby last season. Fat chance.
This could go on for pages and pages, round and round in circles
without ever coming to anything resembling a firm conclusion. While the
antics of Dabizas prompted the reverse at Blackburn when heads did go down
at Manchester United when they did what they often do, how can one
reconcile this scoreline?
We're not Manchester United - we're not going to squeal on phone ins if we
lose to a side below us. But if we have pretensions to do anything other
than tread water with the likes of Everton, Spurs and the Smoggies then we
just cannot hand out goals to sides like Bolton before we deign to start
playing. You just cannot rely on being comeback kings every week.
After having seen almost every variation on what this team can do to it's
fans, it's now the exception when the post-match misery lasts more than a
few minutes...or pints. However this one sticks in the throat even a day
after - still too annoyed to watch the goals on the telly, the papers
stayed on the news stands today as well. How did we not get a point
against this shower? Bolton might have talent up front, but defend like a
side preparing for trips to Rotherham and Palace.
We missed a golden chance to make up ground in the race for the upper
slots, on a day when nearly everyone else dropped points. True, results
could have been far, far worse but we now heap more pressure upon
ourselves to beat Spurs and Liverpool and of course that game in
hand against Bolton now looks slightly less of a gimme than it did before.
While we can trumpet with justifiable pride about our home record, with
trips to Anfield, Old Trafford, Highbury and Stamford Bridge behind us
does anyone now really have confidence in us taking points at those
allegedly "easier" grounds?
Before the obliging geordies came to Horwich, Bolton hadn't managed a home
win in eight attempts. Mighty sides like Bury, West Brom and the mackems
could keep out Big Sam's men, but not us.
We now take our travelling bandwagon on to West Ham, a side without a home
victory in 11 league attempts since May. Much as i'd love to say we'll go down
there and knock them halfway to the Thames Barrier, putting Roeder on the
dole in the process, i'd be lying if I did.
One step forward, two steps backwards. Typical bloody Magpies.
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