Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index

Season 2014-15
mackems (a) Premier League

In association 

Sunday 5th April 2015, 4.00pm.
Live on Sky Sports

Stadium of plight







Newcastle United

1 - 0




45+1 mins Attacking down their left, Newcastle were deep in opposition territory when a frantic passage of play ended with Lee Clattermole arriving as Ayoze Perez let the ball run away from him. 

The Spaniard went to ground under impact from his opponent but the mackems were given a free kick - presumably for simulation - that was punted upfield by goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. 

Steven Fletcher out-jumped Mike Williamson to nod the ball infield to Jermain Defoe, who struck the cleanest of left-footed volleys from 22 yards. That flew over Tim Krul and into the corner of the net at the south end of the stadium. That was a simply unstoppable strike, but a beefed up stewarding presence managed to keep celebrating home fans off the pitch for once.

Defoe's strike was the seventh of his career against Newcastle, having previously bagged two in the colours of West Ham and four while at Spurs. His 20 appearances in opposition to us also included one for Portsmouth, but he failed to find the net that day.

PS: this was the incident that divided pundits and seemingly fans watching on TV - it obviously wasn't visible to those inside the ground.

Tim Krul paused briefly to acknowledge Jermain Defoe in the tunnel at half time, just moments after the goal. Not great really, but once again the all-seeing TV cameras managed to create "a talking point" that in reality was barely worthy of comment. There's enough wrong with 90 minutes of play to dissect, before moving on to forensic analysis of half time. 

Defoe had looked to be in tears when leaving the field post-goal - as a newcomer to these games, perhaps he'd misunderstood what the term "bubble match" meant.... 

Half time: mackems 1 Magpies 0

Full time: mackems 1 Magpies 0

We Said

Doing it for Bobby - Davro presumably



John Carver:

"We've only got 35 points. You need 40 points. We've got seven games left, ye knaa we're down to the bare bones. Where's the next point coming from? Let's be honest - and I'm an honest guy - I'm thinking that way.

"We should come to a stadium like this and do better than we did. It will define my spell in charge. It's not nice so I will suffer for a few weeks, months, possibly years.

"I remember winning five in a row against them. The guys in the dressing room, along with us, have to do something about this. 

"We have got 35 points and that might not be enough. There are seven games to go and we have to go and win some matches. Weíve got to start looking over our shoulders. You need to win these games.

"I thought in the first half we were dreadful. I said before the game that no side of mine would be criticised for not closing people down and not working and I think I was wrong. We were second best in every department.

"I thought the makeshift back four stuck to their guns along with the goalkeeper and actually kept us in the game because without those guys, we would have been in big trouble.

"I would have been doing somersaults if we had gone in at half-time 0-0. Thatís how poor we were.

"We did pick it up in the second half, but it still wasnít good enough. We only had one half decent shot for their keeper to save and thatís a concern.

"This has got nothing to do with people having flip-flops on or off. I think it is down to the fact we were second best. Pressure is a funny thing when you play in an environment like this. Some people can handle it, some canít.

"Weíve got a group of people that have played in several derbies and thereís a little bit of a pattern there.

ďI am absolutely embarrassed to be part of it, but I am a part of it and I have to deal with it.

"The way we performed in the first half... I thought we were abysmal.

"I always talk about any side of mine giving 100 per cent and I'm not saying we didn't give 100 per cent but we were poor.

"When you come to a stadium like this, on an occasion like this, and perform the way we did in the first half, then it's an uphill battle.

"It was a world-class strike on Jermain's weaker foot and if we had gone in at half-time on 0-0 then I would have been delighted because we were second-best in every department, but unfortunately we didn't.

"We came back in the second half, we huffed and puffed, but it still wasn't good enough.

"Itís a concern
(not creating scoring chances). Iím very disappointed. Iím absolutely embarrassed but Iím part of it and Iíve got to deal with it.

"Itís funny the pressure when you cross the white line - some people can handle playing in an environment like this. Others canít.

"Letís be honest, some players in our dressing room canít handle this but itís the manner that hurts me more than anything else. 

"If weíd had a right go and got balls into their box, I could at least say we had a proper go but I canít manufacture things.

"Jonas (Gutierrez) gave me 100% - he is devoid of any criticism.Ē

Tim Krul was seen patting Defoe on the back of the head at half-time but said later:

"What I actually thought, I probably can't repeat on television because it wasn't nice.

"It was a fantastic goal and everyone accepts that, what I actually thought was more in the region of 'what a lucky guy he is', but with a bit more venom behind it.

"Listen, I've been at this club for 10 years and I'm as hurt as anybody else, so whoever wants to put this negative light on me... it's not justified.

"I'm a Geordie. I've been here 10 years and I'm going home with a lot of pain in my heart. To see those travelling fans going back to Newcastle without a win again, it hurts me as much as them."

Daryl Janmaat:

"It was not good enough. The first half was really poor, we were too negative, so it was not good enough. The second half was much better, but it still wasn't good enough.

"I wouldn't say we didn't give everything. What I can say is we were not good enough and everybody saw that Sunderland were better, especially in the first half.

"If you are not good enough, then most of the time, you lose."

They Said


Dick Dastard - who followed messrs Di Canio and Poyet in gaining his first win as SAFC boss at the second attempt, against NUFC:

"I thought it was a brilliant goal, but besides that we had some good opportunities to score more goals. Overall, I think we really deserved it.

"I've said it before, if you can get them behind you straight from the beginning then it will give you an extra boost.

"I'm really, really happy for the players, and for the fans because they deserved it as well. They were a real 12th man and I'm really happy about that.

"If they can keep doing this then we can give every opponent a very difficult time here.

(Defoe) worked himself very hard; itís the first time Iíve seen Billy Jones play and I take my hat off to him after that performance today.

ďWe were just waiting for the goal because we were creating chance after chance and really putting Newcastle under pressure, and then with that little bit of luck came that shot from Defoe.

"To win five in a row is great but we need to think about the present, because what is important is the three points and now we have to build on this when we face Crystal Palace.Ē


Carver in charge: played 13, lost
8, drawn 3, won 2.
(Scored 11, conceded 22)

The 152nd competitive meeting of the sides now sees Newcastle having won 53, drawn 49 and lost 50. The mackems have scored two more goals (224 v 222).

The Magpies have gone seven derby matches without victory, equaling their worst-ever run of results in these games (between 1958 and 1963). The longest winless run remains nine games, "achieved" twice by the mackems.

The run of five successive defeats extends Newcastle's worst-ever run of derby losses, which was three before the current sequence started. It also means that we share the worst sequence of derby scorelines, having racked up five successive wins between 2001 and 2006. 

Those five defeats have come within two years - it took the mackems just less than 29 years to rack up their previous five victories.

United have failed to score in three successive derbies, something that they'd never done before. The mackems racked up four games without a goal in all competitions between 1901 and 1903.

After scoring at least once in our previous eleven visits, today was the first time that the mackems managed a clean sheet in a derby match at the stadium of plight.

Our last visit to wearside without finding the net was the 0-0 playoff game at Roker in May 1990, with our failure today breaking the sequence after fourteen games.

Derby "contributions":
Moussa Sissoko, played 5, lost 5 (5 starts)
Yoan gouffran, played 4 lost 4 (4 starts)
Sammy Ameobi played 4, lost 4 (3 starts)

Newcastle lost a fourth successive Premier League game - their worst run of form since they were beaten six times in a row in March and April 2014.

25 years to the day that Stan Cummins scored at Roker, the mackems recorded their first 1-0 home success since 1980.

Magpies @ monkwearmouth:

2014/15 lost 0-1
2013/14 lost 1-2 Debuchy
2012/13 drew 1-1 Cabaye
2011/12 won 1-0 R.Taylor
2010/11 drew 1-1 Nolan
2008/09 lost 1-2 Ameobi
2007/08 drew 1-1 Milner
2005/06 won 4-1 Chopra, Shearer(pen), N'Zogbia, Luque
2002/03 won 1-0 Solano
2001/02 won 1-0 Dabizas
2000/01 drew 1-1 A.O'Brien
1999/00 drew 2-2 Domi, Helder

All Time Tyne-wear stats:

  P W D L F A
SJP 70 31 18 21 118 105
SoS/JP 70 20 25 25 92 102
League 140 51 43 46 210 207
SJP(PO) 1 0 0 1 0 2
JP 1 0 1 0 0 0
SJP(FA) 5 1 2 2 5 9
NR/JP* 3 1 1 1 3 2
SJP(LC) 1 0 1 0 2 2
JP 1 0 1 0 2 2
Cup/PO 12 2 6 4 12 17
Tot 152 53 49 50 222 224




And the worst thing, the very worst thing? It didn't hurt.

Derby day used to bring a combination of fear and anticipation, as the hour of going off to do battle with the sworn enemy grew nearer. A quickening of the pulse, that tingling feeling not just caused by early beers and the chance to add new heroes to the roll call of McNamee, Dabizas and Shearer. 

Waking up today, there was a complete lack of positivity, save for a desire for this joyless charade to be over with. A squad on zero hours contracts never got called into work.  It's no longer about losing to our deadly rivals, we're beating ourselves on the field, beating fans into submission off it.

John Carver spoke about a change of approach to alter the mood - but presumably that meant only that the team bus came by a different route, because in every other respect we were as poor here as last season, despite just four players starting both games (Krul, Williamson, Sissoko, Gouffran).

Forget about pride, passion, local bragging rights or any other intangible factor, poorly executing a negative game plan was our primary failing and behind that lies a failure to recruit players with the talent and temperament to play in the Premier League. No manager, no captain, no striker.

A gutless and feckless attempt at stonewalling for a 0-0 draw predictably failed and in the absence of a credible plan A, there certainly wasn't any alternative strategy - terrace chants of "you don't know what you're doing" a clear response to that onfield mess. 

Billed as a cup final by the home side, we appropriately gave the sort of clueless display that means our Wembley reminiscences remain restricted to the fans rather than the football. The difference was that we weren't coming up against a side bidding for silverware, unless a wooden spoon now counts.Instead our opponents were woefully out of form and in as much of a plight as last time. 

Typically though, it took 78 minutes to force a save out a goalkeeper who conceded four in barely half an hour of the last home game, when thousands of fans streamed out at half time.

It's not just losing a fifth successive derby, it's the manner of those defeats plus the continued lack of goals and attacking integrity. Save for the manful efforts of Gutierrez, Janmaat and Taylor, none of our players cast a shadow. They so obviously didn't want to be here and didn't want the ball.

No other team - even QPR - has come to wearside this season with such a negative approach and handed the initiative over at the coin toss. When it comes to these games, our motto now appears to be can't play, won't play. 

That hollow, rotten, attitude was exemplified by Moussa Sissoko, donning the captain's armband here as he maintained his 100% derby record; five appearances and five defeats. It's not just the mackems though: he also lost six out of seven Garonne derbies against Bordeaux for Toulouse.

If anyone was scouting him today, then the report will have gone back with a big red cross through it - not to be trusted on the big occasion. Bottling this level of game will hardly aid Moussa's quest to play for a club recruiting for an assault on league titles or being successful in European ties.

Similarly, the agent attempting to extract a new deal for Ameobi junior will have a sizeable task on his hands if confronted with a show reel of his client's woefully misplaced passes and general lack of awareness today. At least he's a local duffer though, acquired without a fee and lacking the bulging wage packet of his continental colleagues.

The indiscipline and stupidity of Fabricio Coloccini and Papiss Cisse may have caused their absence, but this mythical injury list is no excuse. Save for Taylor, Haidara and Dummett, blaming unproven rookies like Rolando Aarons, the tool-downing Cheick Tiote and the latest De Jong hologram is lazy, arrogant and inaccurate. 

We're not quite desperate enough to rely on Vurnon Anita yet and that imminent debut for Facundo Ferreyra spoken about in January has been a long time coming. You've still got options, like Riviere and Gouffran - they're just all rotten.

It's also difficult to make a credible case for being short-handed or forced to shove square pegs into round holes when players are willfully discarded from the squad despite a lack of cover - and that extends to Haris Vuckic, not just messrs Santon and Yanga-Mbiwa. You can't sell your car, trouser the proceeds and then expect sympathy for moaning when the bus is late.

To see Ryan Taylor and Gutierrez trying to inject life into this corpse of a side is further proof of our alarming decline. Not deemed good enough for the first XI in previous times, the pair are now the nearest thing we have to men of action, leading by example. 

Gutierrez dug deep into his reservoirs of strength and character to give a professional performance today - a rare sight in any shirt with the Newcastle badge on it, never mind the sweat-saturated one he peeled off at full time. Spiderman? Superman. Sadly though, he's no longer the answer.

A fifth successive derby humiliation gives the clearest of indications that things are seriously wrong with the club at every level and with Alan Pardew no longer in the firing line, the club hierarchy need to bite the bullet for their lack of investment and flawed recruitment strategies.

Disastrous derby defeats have been the catalyst for change in the past and with Geordie duo John Carver and Steve Stone at the helm, leveling accusations that a lack of regional pride and understanding at the management just doesn't wash now.

Local lads were present on the pitch, with Ameobi, Jack Colback and Adam Armstrong all too aware of what was at stake today, but a team run by a Dutchman and featuring a solitary mackem showed a pride and passion for the shirt that was sadly absent from the silver-clad visitors.

Quality is lacking all over the pitch, in the dugout and in the boardroom and nothing can hide that as the relegation-threatened red and whites managed to secure six more points from us for another season - points that will ultimately save their skins yet again. 

The strike that won this sunny Sunday afternoon game was admittedly stunning but struck by a proven Premier League goalscorer who was paid handsomely to do a job. Now there's an idea....

The match stats show that the better side won. The mackems had more of everything: possession, corners, shots, goals. A higher tally of bookings was also symptomatic of a team with more fighting spirit and a greater desire to win. They even cheated more enthusiastically and competently.

The first half saw the home side start the brighter of the two and although Ayoze Perez had an optimistic penalty shout when Santiago Vergini caught him with his trailing leg, Tim Krul was the busier 'keeper - Gutierrez clearing over his own bar and Connor Wickham heading against a post.

Defoe should have done better when through on goal but his heavy touch allowed Colback to intercept. That warning went unheeded as half-time approached though and a mundane game was suddenly illuminated by a superlative strike.

Carver made no changes at the break but the pattern of the game continued in the second period with United creating next to nothing. Emmanuel Riviere replaced Gouffran just before the hour but Sebastian Larsson went closest to scoring when his long range free-kick almost doubled the lead.

A Taylor corner that curled behind the goal line summed up the non-performance and although Riviere teed up Remy Cabella to get a shot on target, Pantilimon saved comfortably as Carver dithered over whether to use Armstrong, who was stripped and ready well before his belated introduction.

Larsson seemed a certain scorer but Mike Williamson blocked and from the corner Krul reached a Vergini header. That kept a flicker of hope alive and the winning of a corner brought life and hope to the contingent, only for Perez to take a flick on and blaze over the top with the goal at his mercy.

It would have been an undeserved but welcome equaliser but with referee Mike Dean adding five minutes of stoppage time, even Krul's presence for a corner in the very final seconds of play couldn't force a dramatic late leveller.

All avoidable and totally self-inflicted, in pursuit of a favourable balance sheet. And as Palace shoot past us in the other direction, of course Alan Pardew looks a better manager - because we don't have one at all now. What came first in 2013/14 though, the downturn or the criticism?

Twelve months on from the discontent that tainted the end of last season, we're in exactly the same situation. Inevitably, the same calls for action and boycotts have emerged, as what many see as the battle for the soul of this football club continues. Our response to that remains the same: follow your heart, follow your head - you'll wait a long time for us to tell you what to think or do.  

The points we have and the log jam beneath us means that losing our status this season is virtually impossible. Unless there's a radical shift in policy over the summer though, the struggle to avoid relegation next season though looks like being a long and grim one - and it's tempting to say we deserve to go down to the Championship for cheating our own supporters and TV viewers alike. 

At least we'd avoid days like these. 


Page last updated 26 May, 2016