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Season 2006-07
 Manchester City (a) Premiership


Saturday 11th November 2006, 12.45pm
Live on Sky

 City of Manchester Stadium

drab weather, drab game

Admission 27 (last season 27)
Programme 3 (last season 2.50)


Manchester City

Newcastle United

0 - 0



Half time: Manchester City 0 Newcastle 0

Full time: Manchester City 0 Newcastle 0

We Said

Glenn Roeder said:

"We started off slowly, but that was because we had played a tough game in midweek that went into extra time.

"They had the better opportunities, and they put us under a lot of pressure. We were hanging onto their coat tails for the first 45 minutes, and we were happy at half time to be 0-0.

"We had to be better in the second half, and we were. Some of the passing was great, we put them on the back foot, and finished the game like the Newcastle that I know and how I want us to play."

"Normally a point away from home is the target, but we were so close to getting all three near the end there.

"We didn't want the final whistle to come, because if there was going to be a winner at that stage it was going to be us."

They Said

Stuart Pearce said about the disallowed goal:

"It was a disappointing decision but the referee has given it and I support him in that.

"Overall, I thought Graham did well. He has been under a bit of a cloud this week. But, to be fair to him, he is not a shrinking violet.

"He makes decisions and if you ask a question of him he will come over and give you an honest answer, which you have to admire him for."

In his pre-game press call, Pearce had alluded to the recent Pardew/Wenger Green Street Shove-fest when commenting:

"Glenn is going to bring a couple of sumo costumes down so we might have a dust-up in the technical area, that should make good TV."

David Miller, writing in the Telegraph:

"The spending by Newcastle chairmen of 220 million on their hobby over the past 10 years borders on the private indulgence of self-appointed African dictators. The Tyneside population are, however, merely still starved of passion fulfilment, an ailment they have stoically if noisily endured for half a century.

"There was never the distant sign of a cure in this encounter with Manchester City that was goal-less and too frequently clueless. The lunchtime scheduling produced not so much a Sky as a sky-high event: the ball was often lost up among the floodlights.

"A Vesuvius of a club yearning in vain for eruption, Newcastle on this form are inexorably heading for relegation. This is hardly the fault of manager Glenn Roeder, who arrived to discover there were funds for nothing much beyond ordering the wreaths.

"In the face of this, the undaunted spirit of Tyneside followers is a tribute as much to Englishmen as to their home town: a refusal to acknowledge decline, to surrender to ill fortune, to lose both hope and humour. I feel proud that I speak the same tongue as they do."


City v United - Premiership Years:

COM Stadium:
2006/07 Drew 0-0
2005/06 Lost 0-3
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Shearer
2003/04 Lost 0-1

Maine Road:

2002/03 Lost 0-1
2000/01 Won 1-0 Shearer
1995/96 Drew 3-3 Albert 2, Asprilla
1994/95 Drew 0-0
1993/94 Drew 1-1 Jeffrey (League Cup)
1993/94 Lost 1-2 Sellars

Our risible away form in the Premiership continues, with this point making it just four from a possible eighteen. Our goalscoring record on the road is now one in every 270 minutes:

Villa lost 0-2
West Ham won 2-0
Liverpool lost 0-2
Man U lost 0-2
Smoggies lost 0-1
Man City drew 0-0



Coming after the three-game / eight-day mini marathon, this display and consequent result was perhaps inevitable - although no more palatable for that.

A Newcastle side lacking in strikers looked bereft of confidence or positive thought for 85 minutes of this tedious encounter, only to then throw caution and god-knows what else to the wind, charging forwards to fruitlessly batter City.

Even by our standards we must confess to being slightly bemused by this turn of events - aside from wondering whether Roeder tried to adopt the same strategy that Dowie and Warnock had relied on at SJP recently.

But we remain uncertain whether this really was an intentional tactical ploy or something caused by a freak alignment of the planets with Kieron Dyer.

Regardless of the whys or wherefores though, at the end of the game we were no further forward. Cup results aren't forming a basis for league progression and it remains a mystery what goes on in the minds of the players - and coach. 

Questions for the latter abound, with the unexpected absence of Rossi from the squad only being matched by the appearance of an obviously-crocked Ameobi. 

Our reading of the former has to be only that the club across town weren't happy about their boy playing here and being abused by the home fans  - there was certainly no suggestion of injury and Rossi was fit to travel and play for his country immediately afterwards. In short, a farce.

As for Shola - full credit to him for turning out but he was simply an embarrassment to us. In need of an operation, he was a waste of a pair of boots and we effectively played a man short for the first hour or thereabouts of this contest. 

Surely anyone would have been more effective than Shola?

Teenage reserve striker Andy Carroll made it on the field in Palermo - are they a worse team than Stuart Pearce's mob? More realistically perhaps, what was wrong with shoving Milner through the middle and putting Zog out wide, or even just sticking Butt into the midfield group?

That moves us nastily on to Luque, celebrated in song by the away fans today but languishing back in Newcastle or somewhere - but certainly not here.

Maybe the Spaniard does have a severe personal hygiene problem or nobody will share a room with him, but we're yet to find a footballing reason why he wasn't here today. Reputedly a bad trainer and unimpressive when sighted domestically, but still good enough to fill a shirt and score against Palermo.

If he's that unprofessional he cannot play and we have to resort to hoying immobile players in, then stop his wages and see him in court.

If not, get him out there and make him sweat. Expose him to opponents kicking and abusing him and give people the evidence of their own eyes that he's swinging the lead - they'll sharp respond and leave him in no doubt what the collective Tyneside opinion of him is.

In fairness though, not bringing Luque is no different to warming him up all game with no intention of bringing him on as a sub - something we moaned about this season at Old Trafford.

One man who did appear here was Sibierski, who unsurprisingly lacked support and had precious little in the way of set pieces or crosses to throw himself at (how many times do we have to write that our free kicks and corners are laughable - our players presumably being drilled to bounce the ball off the first defender when taking the latter).

While he may have paused to reflect that he's swapped one unremarkable club for another and his fellow former Frenchie Distin may yet choose to do the same, for Toon watchers today it really hit home just what a plight we're in.

Unwanted at City and given away, Sibierski returned to this ground as the main strike option for Newcastle. Tragic. Disgraceful, but not unlucky. Purely the product of short-sighted stupidity.  

Returning to the midfield, there seems to be a danger that this media line about Dyer being the saviour of our season is being swallowed by his team-mates.

On paper we have one of the most talented midfields in the country, so whose fault is it that they individually and collectively underachieve week after week?

We've moaned previously about Emre blowing hot and cold: today it was his decision to move up the field that inspired us to a frantic finale. By then though Duff had departed, having looked utterly uninterested, just five days on from his Vicarage Road badge-kissing histrionics. Hmmm.

Factor in the willing but seemingly blighted Milner and the still apparently sulking Zog and it's a bit of a mess frankly, with Parker trying to hold things together as well as play his own game. 

Surely we're entitled to expect more from such a group of players? Are they all waiting for Kieron to show them the way - focusing on the opposition penalty area with his one good eye before taking off and running in a vaguely straight line whilst keeping control of a football? 

If Glenn Roeder and Nigel Pearson are going to take the credit for passing on their craft to the back four then Terry Mac and Lee Clark must shoulder some of the blame for our shortcomings in the centre of the park?

Another game nearer the transfer window then and we're still in three cups. 

Those facts are being routinely trotted out as scraps from the table for anxious supporters, but it's hard to see the value of either when considering the so-called bigger picture (which we believe may be against the law in these parts).

The experience of this correspondent watching us in 20 seasons of cup games brings one shining fact to the surface - play a decent team who want to win the tie and we'll go no further.

While we sit and wait for the cup draw that sets that up, in the meantime there are more games in which to incur further injuries and suspensions and be the victim of more fixture scheduling.

And as for the transfer window, it's a moot point which players will become available in January who weren't up for grabs in August. 

The same ones I hear you say, but more expensive due to our evident desperation - and we of course have an unrivalled track record in picking up those New Year bargains.... eg  Boumsong, Babayaro, Faye.

Desperately searching for positives, our clean sheet and point here today ended a run of three away reverses. 

However the immediate post-match mood remained one of loss and disappointment, coupled with a nagging feeling of another more missed opportunity to steer away from the iceberg. 

On this remembrance weekend, it seems appropriate to end by mangling a line from "The Fallen" by Laurence Binyon:

At the going down of the Toon and in the Championship
We will remember them

Perhaps Nobby can play the Last Post...

Biffa - who wishes to apologise to anyone still awake for the extreme tardiness of posting this report. Unlike Newcastle United, real life intervened for a few days....


Page last updated 11 November, 2012