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Season 2014-15
Oldham Athletic (a) Friendly

In association 


Tuesday 15th July 2014, 7.30pm.

 Boundary Park 
(aka Sports Park)

Conditions: tropical

Admission: £15 from NUFC in advance 
(with £1 booking fee) or £15 on the gate


Oldham Athletic

Newcastle United

2 - 1




13mins United winger Rolando Aarons picked some less-than-good vibrations from Brian Wilson, as the home defender illegally halted his run on the edge of the Oldham box. Siem De Jong propelled his free kick into the defensive wall, but made amends by crashing home the rebound. 

Netting in front of the away end, De Jong was surrounded by his colleagues and attracted a solitary pitch invader who was led away - rather less than the hundreds who followed suit at Darlington three years to the day back in 2011.

De Jong's initial free kick strikes the wall - the rebound didn't....

Half time: Latics 0 Magpies 1

ew signing Timothee Dieng was left alone at the back post to head fellow substitute David Mellor's corner home. 1-1

ellow Frenchman Willy Gros took advantage of some slipshod marking to advance on goal before seeing his shot trickle home through Alnwick. The chunky forward had faced Alnwick in a pre-season kickabout against United for his parent club Kilmarnock a year ago, but failed to get on the scoresheet in that game. 1-2

Full time: Latics 2 Magpies 1

We Said

Alan Pardew:

"A good workout and the pitch was excellent. 

"We were terrific first-half but not so good in the second, we made a few changes that didn’t work for us. Oldham are probably a couple of weeks ahead of us and that probably showed, especially when our second string came on. I was pleased with what I saw, all our senior boys played well.

On Siem De Jong:

"It was a nice bonus for us to see that quality on the pitch from one of our new players – it was a fantastic goal. Siem got a great goal and showed he is going to produce those moments.

"Siem offers intelligence, which we perhaps lacked after Yohan Cabaye left, on the pitch. He’s a player that can pick the right pass. He makes the right decisions, and is an unselfish player.

"He’s captained Ajax. He can play as a striker, or the Number ten role. He can be a link player. That’s something Cabaye did very well for us when I pushed him up there. He’ll be very important to us.

"I thought Jack (Colback) was terrific in midfield.

"We're going to have four or five key players away for a few weeks, so it was a chance for the youngsters.
We think most of our guys will come back for the tournament we have in Germany so that will be the first real indication of our first team.

''Up until then, it's up to our young players, particularly in New Zealand. I'm taking a young team. It's a chance for them to get themselves near the first team. We had a lot of our big boys missing."

They Said

Lee Johnson:

"There is so much food for thought. The team that played in the last 35 minutes had quite a few people who came to the fore and showed they can compete at that sort of level.

“I was really pleased with the fitness levels - in the first 20 minutes, we couldn’t get to grips with them. (Siem) de Jong kept getting into the gap and was causing us problems. After that we got into it more and had a few chances. We had corners and chances to get shots off. 

"Obviously, it was a fantastic goal from them and sometimes you have to hold your hands up. On the rebound he
(De Jong) had one touch and stuck it into the top corner, so fair play to him for that.

"When the substitutes came on they looked energetic, bright and played the ball at the right time. We scored two fantastic goals and it was good that our concentration levels stayed so high against their quality.

“Generally, I was delighted as we showed the group is fit and mobile and pacey for our level. It is early days, though. We were unbeaten in the last pre-season and then lost seven out of 10, but this was a good game as if our weaknesses were going to be exposed, it would have happened here,

“We have a few loan options and we have agreed in principle with a couple, but until they sign on the dotted line you can never be sure. The players we have on trial performed brilliantly, I would sign them all if I could.

“We found it hard to get a grip on the game in the first 20 minutes but I thought we played great in the second half. The substitutes that came on after the hour mark looked bright and energetic and it led to two fantastic goals. There are definitely a lot of positives to take from the game, that’s for sure.”

“They have all impressed since joining the club and we should know within the next week who is staying and who is leaving. We also have David Noble on trial with us but he picked up an injury earlier this week so he couldn’t play against Newcastle. 

"It was a great goal from Willy Gros but I still want to see more of his fitness before we decide if we will offer him a contract. We may choose to give him a month by month deal but we should have a final decision soon.”


No less than five players made their first senior appearances for United: recent signings Siem De Jong, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback joined by reserves Rolando Aarons and Lubo Satka.

Wearing number 15, De Jong played in an advanced midfield role, with Colback sitting deeper and clad in the number 14 shirt. Wearing 17, Perez appeared from the bench to lead the forward line, Aarons (in 35) played on the left wing and Satka (37) took over from Vurnon Anita at right back.

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

90: Alnwick, Abeid, Colback, Yanga-Mbiwa
70: Dummett
63: Aarons, De Jong, S.Taylor 
54: Anita, Armstrong 
45: Gouffran, Ameobi
36: Satka, Perez
27: Streete, Haidara, Vuckic
20: Bigirimana


Holiday: Cabella, (Debuchy), Elliot, Krul, Sissoko, Tiote 
Fitness: Cisse, Good, Mbabu, Santon, R.Taylor
Not selected: Coloccini, Kemen, Obertan, Williamson 
Not considered: Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Marveaux
Played for U21s: Campbell, Ferguson
Unused sub: Woodman

Boundary visits - OAFC v NUFC all-time:

lost 1-2 De Jong (FR)
won 2-1 Ameobi, OG (FR)
won 3-1 Cole 2, Beardsley (PL)
1990/91 drew 1-1 Quinn (D2)* 
1989/90 drew 1-1 McGhee (D2)*
1983/84 won 2-1 Keegan 2 (D2)
1982/83 drew 2-2 Varadi 2 (D2)
1981/82 lost 1-3 Davies (D2)
1980/81 drew 0-0 (D2)
1979/80 lost 0-1 (D2)
1978/79 won 3-1 Withe, Shoulder, Nattrass (D2)
1949/50 won 7-2 Milburn 3, Walker 2, Mitchell, OG (FA)
1934/35 lost 2-3 Wilson, Weaver (D2)
1922/23 drew 0-0 (D1)
1921/22 drew 0-0 (D1)
1920/21 drew 0-0 (D1)
1919/20 lost 0-1 (D1)
1914/15 lost 0-1 (D1)
1913/14 lost 0-3 (D1)
1912/13 lost 0-1 (D1)
1911/12 won 4-2 Hibbert 2, Hay, Low (D1)
1910/11 won 2-0 Shepherd 2 (D1)

* played on an artificial pitch



After a 65 day break our never-ending tour resumed, with much unchanged from where we left off. 

Trekking across the M62 to witness a grey-clad United turn a 1-0 interval lead into a 1-2 loss ran parallel to the Anfield experience, but a note of optimism could be detected among those present - not least because the name of Shola was finally absent from our teamsheet....  

That positivity was then given a boost when Siem De Jong gave his new side an early lead with an emphatically-struck shot. United's captain had come close to scoring after six minutes with a near post header from a corner- a routine he looks to have imported from his previous club, Ajax. 

For his goal, all-round play and presence, De Jong stood out, while Colback's contribution was more low-key. A first taste of English football for Perez will have been a wake-up call meanwhile, leaving Oldham with some souvenir bruises and grass stains on his backside. That's what these games are for of course, but seeing his slight frame confirmed that anything he contributes at first team level this season will be a bonus. Billing him as a replacement for Remy etc. will do him no favours.  

A game of relatively few goalmouth opportunities saw De Jong come close to grabbing a second from close range in the 22nd minute, after good work from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa led to Adam Armstrong crossing low from the right. Armstrong himself had one brief sight of goal, but opted to work a better angle rather than try to chip 'keeper Paul Rachubka and saw the chance disappear.

A reasonable opening half almost inevitably descended into a disjointed affair though as the second 45 saw a host of fringe players appear. Oldham came closing to equalising three minutes after restart when Anita mis-controlled a ball in his own box and allowed trialist Jonathan Forte the chance to shoot - only for Alnwick to hurry off his line and block at the expense of a corner. 

United's best chance of the second half came on 53 minutes, Aarons finding the unmarked Sammy Ameobi at the back post with a left wing cross - only for him to nod wide of the gaping goal.

Showing rather more potency and accuracy with a header from similar range quarter of an hour later was Oldham's Timothee Dieng. The Latics then completed their comeback 12 minutes from full time through trialist Willy Gros, aided by with some poor marking and forgettable goalkeeping. 

Departures, arrivals and post-World Cup vacations meant that only six of the fourteen players who appeared against Liverpool were present tonight, the eighteen players used including several that tested the observational skills of the away contingent (the PA system was totally inaudible). 

Returning after season-long loans were Mehdi Abeid and Haris Vuckic, while Sammy Ameobi, Remi Streete, Gael Bigirimana are all arguably further away from the first team than 12 months ago. 
They need to catch the manager's eye quickly before the big lads turn up, if their futures aren't to include playing regularly at venues like this.

The real pre-season action at the club continues to be off the pitch though, as the essential and overdue squad reinforcing is finally actioned. After the short-term boost of getting new faces over that mythical line though (and posing at the training ground with last season's home shirt), the pressure is squarely on the manager's shoulders to devise a winning side from his extra resources.  

And having previously failed to integrate an increasing number of players signed during his tenure, keeping in with those players outside of his starting XI promises to be is as much of an issue for Alan Pardew as his anger management. 

Unison may have plenty of strikers, but United certainly haven't. The influx of midfield talent is most welcome, but the priority remains to sign a proven goalscorer or two  - whatever the cost. 


Page last updated 03 July, 2015