Everton (a) Premiership
Half time: Everton 0 Newcastle 0
59 mins Dyer's long run carried
him into the Everton area and Naysmith's tackle to halt him was adjudged to be
the illegal action of the last man back. He walked after clearly telling the
referee to go forth and multiply, Shearer hammered in goal 149 for the
82 mins Shearer again from the
spot, after Yobo had impeded the dribbling Bernard - a fairly soft decision.
Sir Bobby commented:
"Considering they were his first penalties since his miss in the shoot-out against Partizan Belgrade which cost us so much, underlines how good he is in such situations."
"We were rugged, showed spirit and everyone worked hard.
"It is the referee's prerogative to do what he did, but all those bookings gives a false image because it was not a violent match.
"I did not think their penalty should have been given. Jenas is very upset about it because he felt he did not touch Radzinski. But the Everton lad used the situation to get the penalty after the referee had already given two to us.
"As for Robert's red card, it was
nothing malicious, he jumped in and the lad turned his back. But the power
of the people in the stands made him give what he did.
"Everton threw on big Duncan and we had to deal with an aerial assault.
We were a bit short in the air compared with Everton. We really only really had three headers of the ball in our two central defenders and Gary Speed at set-pieces because Alan Shearer always marks space in those situations.
were always going to be a bit of a worry but we got away with it and I
thought we handled it quite well in the end."
"We ended up with 10 men against Everton and Wales had 10 men against Finland on Wednesday night so the energy levels were pretty low, but I felt okay because it was stop-start and you never got out of breath.
"Obviously, the referee had a massive influence on the game because it was stop-start.
"As a result, it was a scrappy game with not much good football played simply because there wasn't enough time to play it.
"But we should be used to it now and we know you have got to just bite your lip and get on with it.
"Football has just about become a non-contact sport now."
"We scrapped well with 10 men and got our shape together okay, and in the end we were disappointed not to take the full three points.
"But this is always a difficult place to come and a point away from home is not to be sniffed at."
"I am trying this season not to get into trouble for the things I say. All I would say is that maybe we should start questioning the people who appoint officials rather than the referees themselves."
"In the end I was happy with a
point. We did not do enough to win the game when they were down to 10 men
"Duncan's training in the last few days is the best it has been since I've been here. I hope it is the catalyst for him.
"I don't want us to be a direct side that plays the long ball because he is six foot five. I am trying to make us a good passing team.
"We have got to learn to play with him better, although when he came on against Newcastle we were chasing the game and hadn't found a way through for the smaller strikers so it was the right thing to do.
"It is always another option but he is a terrific football player. He has as much strength in his feet than he does in the air. In fact I would say he has more ability in his feet than in the air."
"Duncan has got himself in a condition to play and perform regularly.
"Now it is my decision as to whether he plays. He's trained every day this season which I think is his longest period for some time. We are all unsure because he hasn't played that much in the last few years so whether he's changed his style I don't know.
"Richard (Wright) passed the fitness test without any problems but then felt his knee again when he was kicking during the match. Rest might be the best option and he could be back training again on Monday. We don't think it is a problem but we may have to take a look inside if it continues."
"Alessandro Pistone failed a fitness test just before kick-off, and that's the only reason why Kevin Kilbane was in from the start.
"I didn't want to start with so many new players but we ended up with Kevin, Franny and Nigel on the pitch and we ended up looking like a team that wasn't quite sure of itself."
"There was not much good football because there was not much time to play any. It is frustrating and disappointing when you see fouls and bookings given for nothing."
Two well-struck spot kicks past Nigel Martyn completed 150 Newcastle goals in all competitions for Alan Shearer in his 277th game giving us the chance to shower you with some utterly useless stats:
All Time toon scorers list:
Well, we managed to stop the golden child of Goodison and our losing run, but Duncan the tattooed millionaire and the much-maligned referee Styles proved tougher nuts to crack.
On a brilliant sunny day in the North West, the travelling toon fans were in great voice throughout the game, interspersing their vocal support of the lads with favourites old and new aimed at the merseyside mackems.
And in amongst the now-familiar Rooney jibes, there was time to shout abuse at newly-acquired duck egg Kevin Kilbane, not to mention some ironic shouts of "dirty geordie b*st*d" directed towards Stevie Watson.
Certainly an air of optimism seemed to have settled over the away section by kickoff, in addition to that of general inebriation. What for some were quite literally pre-match high spirits had spilt over into some lunacy and for the first time in years here, there had been some pre-match grappling between the two sets of fans in a nearby pub.
On reaching the ground, toon fans were also leafleted by the home club in an attempt to try and reduce what is now termed "persistent standing" - the latest heinous crime perpetuated by away fans that threatens the very fabric of our society and must be ruthlessly crushed.
To a great extent this initiative was unsuccessful, but the leaflets did make nice paper aeroplanes - seriously though, this emotive issue has been firmly placed on the agenda this season, with ourselves and the League of Nations from Old Trafford seemingly targeted.
While there's no doubt a proportion of the
crowd wish to sit due to comfort and visibility factors, the deeply inbred
cynicism of the long-term away follower precludes one from believing that the
current attempts at a clampdown have
everything to do with control and nothing to do with helping supporters.
Home fans by and large have been neutered and rendered almost inaudible, save for special occasions (look no further than the Gallowgate library for that) and attention now turns to that crap corner of the ground where the visitors have been shoehorned into seats that home fans in most grounds would happily occupy.
Those nasty away fans, with the songs and
smells and noise - blatantly enjoying themselves without due care and attention
and requiring policing inside and outside the stadium. How much better if only a
selected bunch of nice well-heeled "customers" clad from head to toe
in club shop regalia were allowed in (having travelled on official transport),
to sit meekly and contribute to the atmosphere with an occasional "ra ra
newcastle" before taking their litter home with them. None of those nasty
songs about Liverpool slums or Rooney indulging in some unscheduled house
Enough sermonising and on to the on-field action:
I don't propose to dwell on the Robert dismissal other than to say he incurred two avoidable yellow cards and the team looked happier without him. Despite the big talk on his website, he looks more and more like a peripheral figure at this club and the chances of him being around to reprise his non-performance in the FA Cup this season seem to recede by the week.
At least there's still one Frenchman in the side who looks like he's still prepared to earn his money though and Bernard gave as convincing a display as anyone this season at claiming a regular spot in the defence - it would be nice to think the appearance of Speed at left back against Birmingham had inflamed some Gallic passions. Happy also to report that Bramble was in the thick of the action.
TV footage failed to confirm it, but people in the main stand seemed to believe that Rooney had set out to injure our left back in the clash that saw the saviour of English football limp off. It's true there's a combative streak in Bernard that only a wound-up Andy Griffin seems to have and which a muzzled Bowyer has left at home on every occasion so far.
On the evidence of his games so far, none of the factions in favour or against the latter's acquisition can be satisfied - he's seemingly assured of a place in the team at an unhelpful outside slot that does him no favours and he's shown absolutely none of the perceived on-field aggression. So, in other words he's not passing, shooting or kicking people.
In many ways the premature departure of Robert and the antics of referee Styles got Sir Bobby off the hook in this one - there was so much happening within those white lines that it was easy to forget how often this game descended into a glorified kick and rush contest. Make no mistake, I for one don't buy into this messiah Moyes carry-on - the jury remains out on anyone who willingly pays money for Kilbane.
There were elements of ill-fortune attached to
the late Everton leveller, with replays showing Jenas to be guilty of little
more than being in the vicinity of Radzinski. Having said that though, Bernard's
tumble for our second spot kick failed to get the mass appeal from the toon fans
at that end of the ground that the first award had. Personally, I was just
pleased someone had remembered it was permissible to attack the penalty area by
running into it with the ball.....
That Ferguson was on the field to bang home that second penalty must have come as something of a shock to the home fans, who like us had virtually given him up for dead. However, the prospect of rubbing our noses in it tore him away from his property speculation and the treatment table (although he's bound to suffer a relapse this week when he sees the highlights on Everton World). Frustratingly he also still had the presence of mind to merely lift up his shirt sleeve to reveal his Toffee's tattoo in celebration, rather than indulge in the full-blown shirt off routine that Styles would surely have punished with a second yellow.
Back to that right hand side, and the absence
of the recently-returned Solano from the squad once again allowed his stock to
rise. In a manner reminiscent of the canonisation of Scott Sellars a decade
before, each match Nobby misses sees him increasingly billed as the prime mover
at the club, the source of inspiration from which good football flows.
Dyer's behaviour in this game also deserves
some scrutiny - there was a definite sense of relief in the away section when he
tumbled in the box for the opening penalty, mostly because many of us expected
him to screw up the shooting chance. He was as busy as usual, but in what may be
an apparent bid to claim the captain's armband, he found time to berate most of
his team mates at various times and throw his arms up in mock horror on a couple
of occasions. We await news of whether he wishes to be known henceforth as
It's a measure though of our current low ebb that we're not laying into the team at this juncture - in the reduced circumstances we're operating this wasn't as bad as it could have been, although it's not long since we'd have been bleating and whining about our all-too obvious shortcomings. Shame also that we've forgotten how to do that clock-running down thing in the corner - I used to like that.
Looking at the positives, we remain unbeaten this season away from home, this was our third consecutive 2-2 draw away in the premiership and we left here with a point more than we did last time. Most of the players showed something approaching a stomach for a fight, but those stats don't lie - three shots on target, two penalties and a free kick, all from the number nine. There's some old guff about buying tickets for raffles that could easily be shoehorned into this report, but we'll not bother.
Like Duncan Ferguson's garden, there's at least something to build on....but a defeat to a stubborn Bolton would leave us back at square one, with sterner tests looming over the horizon.