Manchester City (h) Premiership
18 mins: Lee Bowyer's pass released Michael Owen, who beat his England colleague David James with a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the Leazes end goal. 1-0
Half time: Newcastle 1 Man City 0
Graeme Souness commented:
"I'm not quite sure (of his best position) because he's a bit of an all-rounder.Ultimately, that's where he'll play and I think in the very near future, he will end up playing for England there because he's a player who would complement the Lampards and Gerrards."
On Michael Owen:
"I was very pleased with the first half. I thought we played some good football, passed it, kept it well and got our goal.
"I would have liked, obviously, to see Michael finish the second one, but we had three, maybe four, one-on-ones with the goalkeeper today which we have not had prior to Michael arriving.
"Give credit to Manchester City in the second half. We knew there would be a reaction from them because I felt we had dominated so much in the first half.
"They had a fair bit of the ball in the second half, but I cannot remember Shay having to make too many saves. You will talk about Michael getting his first home goal and how he finished it.
"But I would also like you to write about Shay's save from (Antoine) Sibierski early one when we were caught cold with a quickish free-kick and he got a good header in and Shay saved with his foot."
Stuart Pearce said:
"For the first 45 minutes, we gave Newcastle too much respect. We didn't get tight enough on the two forwards, we didn't win tackles, we didn't push up and it looked as thought we thought we just had to turn up to get a result.
"As I well know, in the Premiership that is not the case. If you are not at it for 90 minutes, you will get beaten. Our first 45 minutes cost us the game, basically.
"If we had played like we did from half-time onwards from the start, we would not have been beaten today and we might have won the game.
"I don't think Newcastle are firing on all cylinders at the moment and as I said to the players, 'they are probably a side waiting to give you a result, but at the moment, you are not playing well enough to go and take it from them.'
"Alan (Shearer) knows football and knows how to get the best out of himself. He is an intelligent player. Once he has lost his pace, like Teddy Sheringham, he is not prepared to just keep doing the things he has done.
"He has sat back and thought 'how can I impose the tools that I have got in my body now on the opposition?' He plays to the best of his ability in respect of that.
"With Michael, they have got somebody who can threaten in behind which might allow Alan to get a bit more space into feet. On paper it's an ideal partnership.
"Alan is the physical muscle up there with the kid that will go and get the headlines getting in behind. That's why you pay £15m for one and £16m for the other. It's a lot of money so they have got to deliver.
"A lot of our players will be disappointed with that, they know they are and they know my feelings in respect to that first half. I'll have to study that performance and say, 'this is why it went wrong, and next week this is why it won't go wrong.'
"I never for one moment doubt Nedum, he's strong mentally, he's an intelligent young man and in some ways I probably put too much faith in him than I should.
"I look beyond his 18 years and I lose track that he is only 18 years old to be honest with you! No matter what this kid comes across in professional football he will take it in his stride because he is a mature kid, and I think he has a great future in football."
"Once again we had a lot of Academy players out on that pitch, and they are out there because they deserve to be, and he's a point in case."
Toon old boy Stuart Pearce may have preferred to criticise his players for showing Newcastle too much respect in the first 45 minutes of this game, but for once I hope he's wide of the mark.
through varying degrees of grimness for vast tracts of 2005 though, any hint of
a United performance involving positive and intelligent play is one to be
cherished by SJP regulars, not downplayed because of some imprudence in the
also seemed not to notice that in the absence of Solano, we again lacked a
regular presence down the right.
He looked quick
enough to me, but the consensus seems to be that he's still getting match
fit. On that basis there's much to look forward to, as we await the return to fitness
of the four players that Souness has acquired to create the chances for the
At least Souness
now has something to work with, both in terms of being able to format on the
training pitch what will be a first choice side, not to mention being able to
draw breath without being on the verge of being sacked, at least according to
the ladies and gentlemen of the press.
report is dedicated to far-flung Toon