Half time: Magpies 0 Latics 0
81 mins Substitute Sylvain Marveaux played a short pass to Hatem
Ben Arfa, who made his way across the edge of the Latics penalty area
towards the East Stand before a defenders' boot robbed him. The ball was
picked up by Cheick Tiote, who angled his pass out wide to Ryan Taylor and
without further ceremony, United's left back lofted a deep cross towards the
Picking out Marveaux, he controlled the ball on his chest and laid it back
to the edge of the box, to where Yohan Cabaye arrived to stylishly
crack home a rising right footed shot from the edge of the box that flicked Al Habsi's right glove - a memorable way to open his account for us and the
pick of the goals that we've scored so far this season.
The scorer made a beeline for the home bench and sought out masseur Mickey
Holland, who had apparently been teasing Cabaye about breaking his United
duck. And we may have imagined this, but did Steven Taylor really take
another whack on his bleeding hooter in the celebrations? 1-0
Full time: Magpies 1 Latics 0
Alan Pardew commented:
"I'm so pleased - this is probably
the biggest victory we've had this season mind you, 19 points after nine
games is a fantastic effort and we go to the next game unbeaten. I think
they see an honesty in the team and I think that's important for Newcastle
fans. This is a demanding public here, they want to see good football but
they want to see a win more importantly.
"We've played some champagne
football at times, but not today - more like flat bitter today - but one
class moment won the game they'll forgive everything here if you win.
"We love him (Cabaye) here
and in his first nine games he deserved a goal but what a cracking goal he
got today - it really was. That pull back to him, and to hit first time
takes great technique and it just showed with his celebrations how much it
meant to him and to us.
"We talked all week and
especially the last couple of days about our attitude and application
being the same as Spurs, but it’s very difficult to get that into the
player’s psyche once the game starts.
"Credit to Wigan in terms of
their approach to the game - they weren’t over physical with us, they
didn’t try to cause us a problem in other way than playing good football
- they were faster and crisper than us.
"But we must have something in
the team because we managed to get to the break at zero-zero without any
fluency to the team. It was just resilience, a fantastic save from the
goalie, some desperate defending – that kept us in the game.
"The second half I felt we’d be
better after a little chat and score. It was just a question of whether we
could keep a clean sheet because I didn’t feel like we’d get two or
"I’ve mentioned before that
Graham (Carr) is an important figure at this football club.
Sometimes a manager takes all the credit but the Chief Scout and the
scouting network is important. They have to be out there – they get
nasty flights, sometimes they don’t get picked up by the agent or there
aren’t any tickets left.
"I’ve been saying about him (Marveaux)
for a while he’s a good chance. We haven’t given him a chance yet
– the players haven’t given him a chance – but he got a small
opportunity and showed what a good player he is.”
Steven "blood donor" Taylor
"It just wouldn't stop bleeding.
The guy's hand came across my nose and it wouldn't stop bleeding for ages
so eventually they put these plug things in. I was coughing out blood
because it was difficult to breathe when you've got these things blocking
"It was a crazy one for me - I
haven't experienced that before - but would I have come off? No chance. It
was just a broken nose - it'd take more than that for me to come off.
"I was a bit frustrated that the
referee kept telling me to get off the pitch because of all the blood
coming out. I kept saying 'it's not on my shirt' but I can see my face was
covered with blood because it was constantly bleeding."
Roberto Martinez said:
"Everyone can see Newcastle are a big traditional club with a
massive support and they have a special environment in which to play their
football. It will only be a matter of time before they’re in the top six but
you’re talking about teams who have been playing in the Champions League for
six or seven years and have invested huge sums of money.
“Newcastle are in the process of
doing that, but potentially they’re as good as anybody in European
football. At the moment there are six clubs ahead of everyone else, and in
football terms it’s very difficult to build those bridges.
“The gap between fourth and 20th is
huge. The gap between 8th and 20th is very small. There are six football
clubs who work in a different dimension in terms of resources, pattern of
play, but between eight and 20th there are very small margins.
"We dictated the game - we were the better team. I'm very
disappointed but I'm very proud of the way we played. Wigan have been in
the Premier League for a long time because we've developed a pattern of
play, anyone can have a lucky win but you cannot have a lucky stay in the
"I feel that, unless we play very good football, we will not achieve
our aims. Although I think we can play a lot better, more performances
like today will, eventually, get us a lot of points. In many aspects, and
for long spells, we were perfect. The only thing missing was that we
couldn't hit the back of the net.
"We know we are not far away from
getting positive results, now we need to be even more stubborn about
staying with the things that we do. I know football is cruel but it surely
can't be that cruel to us? I'm sure our rewards are just round the corner.
We've got a young squad but my players have got great concepts about
football. The way they want to play, the way they want to get on the ball,
makes me look forward to every day at Wigan. Now I just hope football can
give them something back."
United named the same starting XI for the fifth
successive game and no less than eight of those players have started every game
this season - Krul, Simpson, R.Taylor, Colo, S.Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye and Jonas
(that's PL only).
Tim Krul & Co. recorded a fourth
clean sheet in nine league games this season - we managed just seven in
the whole of the 2008/09 campaign and nine last season.
Yohan Cabaye scored his first goal for
the club and in doing so, became the 99th Newcastle player to have found
the net for us in the Premier League era.
Latics in Toon -all time:
2011/12 Won 1-0 Cabaye
2010/11 Drew 2-2 Sh.Ameobi, Coloccini
2008/09 Drew 2-2 Owen, Martins
2007/08 Won 1-0 Owen
2006/07 Won 2-1 Parker, Sh.Ameobi
2005/06 Won 3-1 Shearer 2, Bramble
1953/54 Drew 2-2 Broadis, Milburn (FAC)
Full record against Wigan:
Choruses of "Alan Pardew's Black
and White Army" rang out from the Strawberry Corner for the first time
as Yohan Cabaye conjured up a late winner to capture another three
points and maintain United's increasingly memorable unbeaten run.
In the grand scale of things that's hardly an earth-shattering occurrence - and
a couple of "FCB" choruses had emanated from there earlier
in the game. As
evidence of increasing supporter contentment round these parts however, vocal
support of the manager worthy of
That section of the ground had seen some temporary evictions earlier in the
season as long-term "corner" occupants differed with newly-arrived
brethren, displaced from the defunct singing corner. Thankfully though, the
parties involved now seem to have moved on and peace has broken out.
Aside from the soundtrack, the attendance was also pleasing - an old-fashioned
Saturday 3pm kick-off, no Sky coverage and lower prices tempting out more fans
than for the previous week's visit of Spurs, even allowing for the fact the
Latics brought almost 2,500 less visiting supporters.
Our highest gate of the season so far for the visit of the lowest-ranked team
was also one in the eye for the many bars advertising live coverage of the game
within a short stroll of SJP.
Those fans returned in the expectation that Wigan would be hammered may not
have contributed to what was a flat atmosphere in the first half (when the
shouts of both benches and both 'keepers were clearly audible at times) but at
least refrained from voicing their discontentment when Wigan looked the more
likely to break the deadlock in a sterile first half - we weren't always as
patient in the days before our demotion and subsequent return.
As they had against Spurs, United struggled to muster a noteworthy effort on
goal and weren't able to boss the midfield as they had in previous games
against Wolves and Blackburn. With only a miscued effort from Leon Best to
their name, the Magpies were grateful both to some wayward shooting from the
Latics and another top-drawer stop from Tim Krul to keep the game scoreless.
There was little sign of Demba Ba being able to make it four scoring games on
the trot and aside from one headed effort in the second half that Al Habsi grabbed
just on his the goal line, his major contribution had been to appear after the
break clad in gloves and a short-sleeved shirt.
By then Best had been sacrificed (metaphorically) for Hatem Ben Arfa and the Latics defence looked more vulnerable to the pace and
close control of the midfielder who went close with a run and shot. That meant
that Gabriel Obertan remained on the field, but looked no more likely to pick a
way through the Wigan defence and his eventual replacement by Sylvain Marveaux
came amid an audible sigh of relief from the crowd.
More accurate crossing from Wigan could have had Krul & Co. in trouble with Steven Taylor nursing a bloody
nose but just as desperation began to set in, Cabaye broke the deadlock with a
memorable strike - good enough to win any game, whatever that means (great
goals don't count double...).
This being Newcastle there was of course the inevitable late scare and Mohamed Diame should have equalised in the
88th minute when unchallenged in the six yard area, only to skew his
header wide. That's been our witching hour/minute so far this season, with
Fulham's Dempsey and Wolves' Fletcher both finding the net at that point to
make the remaining moments a tad uncomfortable.
United survived that though and successfully ran down the clock, including four added
minutes, to again send the fans away happy after building up a head of steam
and again retrieving a situation that was partly due to their own
It all added to the positive vibes emitted by and directed towards Alan Pardew, just days after the manager had done
his own standing no harm at all with an engaging fan Q&A on local radio.
Having allowed himself the mention of silverware, he now directs his attention
towards Blackburn, where the natives are revolting and the Carling Cup
cannot lie high on Steve Kean's list of priorities.
Having refused to "reveal" his
line-up for that game in newspaper speak (although intimating that it'll be a
strong side), Pardew does though have some selection decisions to make. The
opportunity to start with Santon, Marveaux and Ben Arfa seems a good one,
Shola's latest absence theoretically giving Ba and Best 45 minutes each to get
some pitch time with our number 10 (assuming Ben Arfa can last 90 - and the tie
is settled in that time span, both more than open to question).
Presumably Peter Lovenkrands will return in some form ahead of "sixth
choice" Nile Ranger, although not involved today. The centre half position
however is a little trickier, as fielding Steven Taylor seems a significant
risk given that Mike Williamson is nowhere near ready to return and the
prospect of playing Perch in the Premier League fills us with
If Pardew was looking to mislead Rovers with his bench choices today though,
that may have explained the selection of the lesser-spotted Alan Smith ahead of
both Dan Gosling and Danny Guthrie. Once fans had realised that the
bleach-haired surf dude warming up wasn't an extra from Bay Watch, the absence
of the two Dans was duly discussed.
With Gosling there always has to be a fitness worry (and he wasn't involved in
the midweek Reserve game), while Guthrie is claimed to have made a speedy exit
from SJP pre-Spurs when discovering he wasn't in the matchday 18 and is now in
the naughty corner. Few tears will be shed if the latter fails to resurface,
but in Gosling there looks to be the promise of something solid - and certainly
of importance when international call-ups, injuries and suspensions see Cabaye
and Tiote miss games.
Like the potential banana skin at Stoke just over the horizon though (no win
and just one goal in three competitive visits to the Britannia), that's all for
the future. For now we can reflect on an unprecedented start, a decent sized
support going to Rovers and the outbreak of peace on Barrack Road, where the
meanest defence in the country resides. Heady days indeed.