NUFC.com in association with
caution to the winds, Marco's
match prediction was for United to win
4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 on the night. Not quite...
22nd February 2007, 7.45pm
Live on Channel 5
1 - 0
(all blue away kit to follow)
Half time: Newcastle 0 Waregem
Duff's through ball to Obafemi Martins saw the striker dash down the left towards the Gallowgate End and neatly lift the ball over the
advancing 'keeper - not dissimilar to Tino Asprilla's UEFA Cup effort
against Metz into the same net just over a decade ago.
celebrated with his usual acrobatics, thankfully not replicating the
shirt-on-corner-flag antics of Tino that night, that earned him a
booking and a ban.
Newcastle 1 Waregem 0
Glenn Roeder said:
"The aim was to qualify for the last 16, so it is job done in
that respect. They came and did a good job defensively and made it
difficult for us.
"I was disappointed that we did not handle their formation
"There were a lot of senior players out there and it was
quite obvious from where I was standing that all the room was in the
wide areas, where we would have out-numbered them two to one.
"It was patchy. There were parts I was quite happy with and
parts I was not quite so happy with.
"It is all about us raising our game, it is about expecting
our standards to be higher because that is what I want to do.
"Hopefully, over the last dozen games - a few more than that if we
stay in the UEFA Cup - we can finish the season really well and play
good football and winning football.
"There are things at the club that need to be improved upon, and
from the football side, that is consistency.
"We need to play better more often and I expect the players to
handle the expectation of playing better more often.
"I have always said to be a Newcastle United player, you have to be
a brave player."
"I thought it was a
wonderful crowd. It shows you how much Newcastle supporters love their
football and we could have done better for them. We were too slow in the
On the coming meeting with AZ coach Louis van Gaal:
"There's a discussion he's arguably the best coach in the
world. He has had periods in his career where he has been to the very
"He has vast experience, so it is something I am really
looking forward to.
Waregem coach Francky Dury said:
"This is a complete team - a very, very strong
"They always play 4-4-2 with wingers like Duff and Milner. Parker didn't
play against us but he is the captain and a very good player, like Butt. Dyer
has good penetration and with a quick striker like Martins you can't give them
space on the counter-attack.
the supporters are behind the team they can maybe go further but beware of AZ.
They play technically much better football than us and while I'm a coach, van
Gaal is a master."
Twelve games games in Europe this season - nine
wins and three draws.
Our European record now reads:
Played:118 Won:68 Drawn:22 Lost:28 Goals
for:204 Goals against:115
We've only netted once in the first half of our six
home ties this season - Sibierski's opener against Vigo:
Lillestrom 1-1 (Luque 50)
Ventspils 0-0 (No scorer)
Tallinn 2-1 (Martins 47,50)
Fenerbahce 1-0 (Sibierski 79)
Celta Vigo 2-1 (Sibierski 37, Taylor 86)
Waregem 1-0 (Martins 68)
Our first clean sheet in 18
matches - the last having come in the UEFA Cup away to
Frankfurt in November 2006.
This fixture saw Nolberto
Solano reach the 300 game mark for United.
Premier: 199 starts, 19 as sub, 37 goals
FA Cup: 25 starts, 0 as sub, 2 goals
League Cup: 14 starts, 3 as sub, 2 goals
Europe: 35 starts, 5 as sub, 7 goals
Total: 273 starts, 27 as sub, 48 goals
maintained our 100% record in competitive games on Tyneside
against Belgian sides - (although we went out on the away goals
rule to the team from Brussels):
1969/70 Anderlecht won 3-1 (Fairs Cup)
1994/95 Antwerp won 5-2 (UEFA Cup)
2001/02 Lokeren won 1-0 (Intertoto Cup)
2006/07 Waregem won 1-0 (UEFA Cup)
Goal number 14 of the season for top scorer Obafemi
Martins - the same total as Alan Shearer registered in his
final season as Newcastle player.
The wearer may no longer be a
sheet metal worker's son from Gosforth, but Obafemi Martins has Alan Shearer's
knack of donning the number nine shirt and sending a European crowd
home with some tangible reward on a night that otherwise fell firmly into the
instantly forgettable category.
This isn't the first time in recent seasons that we've come up against the most
moderate and unadventurous of opponents when seeking to build on a first leg
lead at SJP - yet failed to record the expected resounding victory, seemingly
lowering our standards to match those of the visitors, who were more Yeading
As he had done against Levadia Tallinn though, Martins took what chances came his way
and put the tie to bed, allowing us the briefest of reflections before we move
on to what looks like a genuine test of our UEFA Cup credentials.
Glenn Roeder spoke after the game of an eagerness to pit his wits against AZ
coach van Gaal, as this competition finally slips into gear after eight months
and a mere dozen games.
However, the Magpies boss will be
mindful of the fact that the Tyneside leg comes first before we cross the North
Sea to face Alkmaar, who can broadly boast of having never lost a European tie
at either their old 8,000 or new 16,000 capacity stadia.
Quite simply, we need to take a lead of sorts to Holland - and with a miserly
seven goals in six home ties to date, that may prove to be something of
And although Roeder was otherwise engaged helping Chris Waddle struggle at
Burnley a decade ago, messrs Given and Srnicek can remind him of the night Van
Gaal came to Tyneside and lost, but then masterminded a vital 1-0 win for
Barcelona later in the same Champions League group.
Nobody would suggest that the Dutch side founded only 40 years ago are in the
same bracket as the Catalonian giants, but like Guus Hiddink's PSV three years
ago, AZ are obviously no mugs.
Van Gaal may no longer have the likes of Figo, Luis Enrique and Rivaldo at his
disposal, but has enough talent in his ranks to have seen Roeder present in the
stands when their season began back in August with a kickabout against
Back to tonight's game though and the appearance of Luque for the hamstrung
Sibierski dampened hopes of a goal glut, with memories of his lumbering 59
minute non-display in Frankfurt still fresh.
And despite playing on home soil against a weakened side of part-timers, our own
part-timer showed little inclination to get involved, appearing blind to the
presence of Martins.
And by the time the Spaniard was hauled off in this game, even his colleagues
seemed glad to see the back of him, with our goal following within minutes of
his saunter to the dressing room.
His teenage replacement Andy Carroll may be raw, but at least he shows some
desire and fight.....
In fairness Luque wasn't the sole offender, as our bright opening failed to
produce a goal - Taylor's early header off the line the closest we came.
After that though we quickly
settled into safe mode - Dyer and Duff in particular frustrating with their own
respective soft shoe shuffle routines and our game plan again consisting of the
aimless forward ball.
With Waregem packing their midfield it seemed obvious that our wide men would be
key, even if we only had height in the box for set pieces - something that
doesn't stop Martins from getting his head on crosses when they come anywhere
Although he saw a lot of the ball, Milner had an unproductive night, while Duff
seemed equally uninterested down either flank.
That changed after the break though, as the Irishman visibly upped his effort
levels and broke into something approaching a gallop - presumably after
some-well placed words in the dressing room.
It was Duff's pass that set up the goal and although Martins was irritatingly
offside on a number of occasions when we tried to repeat the feat, that proved
to be enough against a much-changed opposition lineup from the first
As in the first game though, Waregem showed some moments of invention and
Bramble was called upon to make couple of last-ditch face-saving tackles -
although giving him the man of the match for doing so was slightly OTT. There
again there weren't many candidates.........
The end result was all-important of course, but the watching Wigan boss will
have gone back to prepare for Sunday's game with renewed optimism, while the
report that the AZ scout compiles will hardly have the Dutch quaking in their
On a night when the promised presentation of the Intertoto Trophy failed to
materialise, we did enough to maintain our interest in the UEFA Cup this season.
If we're to get any closer to Hampden than Barrack Road though, we will need to
rise to the occasion when sterner examinations are forthcoming.
While the industry and intensity of the Liverpool home win was missing tonight,
we worryingly failed to do much more in front of goal than we had against the
Reds and looked less than convincing in defence.
The injury worries that blighted us earlier in the season may have abated, but
we still have to attempt to progress with significant gaps across the field.
Shola and Owen's absence and the ass we were consequently forced to utilise
tonight shows the importance of a fit Sibierski, while the lack of creativity in
midfield highlights the need for in-form options such as Zog and Emre, rather
than Pattison and O'Brien.
But in having strengthened our
defence domestically, we face the same issues with the back four as previously
when it comes to Europe. As we enter the stage of the tournament where stopping
goals is at least as important as scoring them, that could prove to be our