Half time: Manchester City 0 Newcastle 0
Full time: Manchester City 0 Newcastle 0
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."
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
David Miller, writing in the
"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
"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:
2006/07 Drew 0-0
2005/06 Lost 0-3
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Shearer
2003/04 Lost 0-1
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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....