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Season 2015-16
Watford (a) FA Cup Third Round

In association 


Saturday 9th January 2016, 3.00pm.

 Vicarage Road

Conditions: repetitive

Admission: £18




Newcastle United

1 - 0




44 mins A Watford punt upfield was headed up in the air by Moussa Sissoko and Gini Wijnaldum challenged successfully for the loose ball. Facing his own goal he inexplicably side-footed the ball directly to Troy Deeney who strode into the box and evaded Elliot before slotting home. 0-1

Half time: Hornets 1 Magpies 0

Full time: Hornets 1 Magpies 0

We Said

Steve McClaren:

"I thought it (the booing) was very harsh.

"That’s my honest opinion and I said that to the players. We’ve all got stick together through this. It’s a lonely place in the dressing room when we lose and you’re getting a bit of stick. But we have just got to stick together.

"I can’t ask any more of those players – they have given everything they possibly could. We’re creating, we’re going forward, we’re attacking, we’re controlling the game, we had chances to win and we haven’t so we just move on.

"It’s a big game on Tuesday. These players haven’t got down at all and I don’t expect them to on Tuesday either. What we need is 50,000 supporters right behind us from the first whistle because it is going to be a tough game. 

"But you have seen the quality we have got and the way we play football. The effort and the attitude is there. We went for the win here and we have to go for it again against
(Manchester) United.

"I’ll leave any (transfer) movement to other people. I’ve got to get this team ready. We’ve got players injured, we’ve only one striker at the present moment and the other is an 18-year-old kid. We haven’t got the luxury of having two or three strikers to pick from. We just have to keep going.

"You have got to stick the ball in the back of the net and you have to defend the other side. Now we’ve been doing that but not scoring. We had a new formation, we controlled the game against a top team with a strong home record and we really only gave them one opportunity. We’re not far away but when you look at it we are.”

"We're all angry and frustrated. The players in there, believe you me, they're disappointed.

"We've performed today on a difficult pitch, in difficult circumstances, and I think we've dominated and controlled the game. We can't ask anymore.

"Players have to be big enough, bold enough and have courage. We have spoken about that, not having luck at one end. Everyone is frustrated. We are angry, the same as the fans. The players are disappointed.

"We came to Watford to win. We came with a strong team. We could do no more than we did, apart from put the ball in the net. We came with a game plan. We played three at the back, controlled the three strikers, we did everything – but score.

"I cannot fault the players, but that is four 1-0 defeats we have had, but everybody can see that the team is not far away from doing something." 

Yes Steve, going down.....

About Florian Thauvin:

"He's a young kid who's just coming in and he's got to adapt to this kind of thing and we're certainly behind the scenes supporting him."

They Said

Hertfordshire's leading Hugh Laurie lookie-likie Quique Sanchez Flores said:

For us it was the perfect scenario. Newcastle has an amazing team, in the first half they probably had the control of the match. They have amazing players, amazing strikers. They have power, velocity and players of high technical (quality).

"Newcastle have a good trainer and well-respected coach. But in football sometimes you have a squad of good quality and the results are not good and they are nervous and not completely confident.

"But we respect Newcastle and in two weeks we have to play this team and again it will be a very tough match.'

"We are very happy because we are in the next round and that was the target. We respect the Cup and we try to put out the best team that is possible. We try to be competitive in every competition so for us it is a very happy day."


A fourth successive FA Cup defeat extends our worst-ever run in the history of this competition.

There were FA Cup debuts for nine of the fourteen Newcastle players involved today: Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Aleksander Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez, Georginio Wijnaldum, Kevin Mbabu, Siem De Jong, Florian Thauvin and Jamaal Lascelles.

Fabricio Coloccini meanwhile featured in his first FA Cup tie since a 2-1 Third Round victory over Blackburn Rovers at SJP in January 2012.

Magpies @ Vicarage Road - all-time:

Lost 0-1
2009/10 Won 2-1 Coloccini, Carroll
2006/07 Drew 1-1 Dyer
2006/07 Drew 2-2 (won 5-4 pens) Sibierski, Parker (FLC)
1999/00 Drew 1-1 Dabizas
1992/93 Lost 0-1
1991/92 Drew 2-2 Kelly, Hunt
1990/91 Won 2-1 Anderson, Quinn
1989/90 Drew 0-0
1988/89 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
1988/89 Drew 2-2 Brock, Mirandinha (FAC)
1988/89 Lost 1-2 McDonald (FMC)
1987/88 Drew 1-1 Anderson
1986/87 Lost 0-1
1985/86 Lost 1-4 OG
1984/85 Drew 3-3 Beardsley, Wharton, McDonald
1981/82 Won 3-2 Varadi, Todd 2
1980/81 Drew 0-0
1979/80 Lost 0-2
1978/79 Lost 1-2 Pearson (FLC)
1923/24 Won 1-0 Seymour (FAC)

Full record v Watford:

  P W D L F A
SJP 15 9 3 3 24 14
VR 14 3 7 4 16 20
League 29 12 10 7 40 34
SJP(FA) 3 1 2 0 5 0
VR 4 1 1 2 3 4
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
VR 2 0 1 1 3 4
Cup 9 2 4 3 11 8
Tot 38 14 14 10 51 42

It's 12 games since we won away in the FA Cup:

2015/16 3rd Watford lost 0-1
2014/15 3rd Leicester City lost 0-1
2012/13 3rd Brighton and Hove Albion lost 0-2
2011/12 4th Brighton and Hove Albion lost 0-1
2010/11 3rd Stevenage lost 1-3
2009/10 3rd Plymouth Argyle drew 0-0
2009/10 4th West Bromwich Albion lost 2-4
2008/09 3rd Hull City drew 0-0
2007/08 3rd Stoke City drew 0-0
2007/08 4th Arsenal lost 0-3
2006/07 3rd Birmingham City drew 2-2
2005/06 6th Chelsea lost 0-1
2005/06 4th Cheltenham Town won 2-0

Newcastle - last 10 3rd round ties:

2015/16 Watford (a) lost 0-1
2014/15 Leicester City (a) lost 0-1
2013/14 Cardiff City (h) lost 1-2
2012/13 Brighton and Hove Albion (a) lost 0-2
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 2-1
2010/11 Stevenage (a) lost 1-3
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
2008/09 Hull City (a) drew 0-0 (lost replay)
2007/08 Stoke City (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
2006/07 Birmingham City (a) drew 2-2 (lost replay)




The inscription on the wall of the unfinished new stand here is from "Your Song" by local hero Elton John, but for Toon fans after this latest disaster, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" might be more apt. 

Four consecutive 0-1 defeats and no goals scored in the last 412 minutes gives those currently in charge of Newcastle United the clearest possible message; we need a striker. NOW!

Another limp exit from the FA Cup wasn't a massive shock but for Steve McClaren to field his strongest side at Vicarage Road and lose again to Premier League opposition says it all.  

Much like the performance, McClaren's post-match
comments were a rehash of the previous three - with talk of missed chances and unrewarded effort - but the problems are plain for anyone to see.

This team just isn't good enough and talk of bad luck is as tedious as it is inaccurate. A lack of penalties is due in no small part to not penetrating the opposition box often enough; our 25 crosses today without reward due to the clown entrusted with converting them and as for our shooting....

The outcome may have been the same as our FA Cup loss at Leicester City a year ago, but some effort was clearly evident from a team with just one change from the one beaten at Arsenal - no back passes to the goalkeeper in the closing stages as happened in 2015.

That change saw Jack Colback rested and Kevin Mbabu make only his third senior start, coming in at left back as Paul Dummett joined Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba in a central defensive trio.  

Mbabu looked keen to impress and pushed on at every opportunity as United sought to end their goalscoring drought - Daryl Janmaat seeing his eighth minute shot beaten away by Heurelho Gomes. 

With Rob Elliot idle at the other end, Ayoze Perez could only side foot wide after a 27th minute counter attack, Aleksandar Mitrovic sending his near post header over from a corner soon after before Mbabu warmed the palms of Gomes five minutes before half time. 

By half time though United were somehow behind, after gift-wrapping a goal for a Hornets side who seemed as disinterested in proceedings as the Foxes had been a year earlier in this competition.

Our latest self-imposed rick saw Gini Wijnaldum attempt a suicidal backpass that Troy Deeney intercepted, waltzing past Elliot before calmly tucking the ball in. That's a seventh goal scored in his last 12 games - not bad for a player scouted by Newcastle but rejected as not being good enough - or French enough.... 

Coloccini failed to reappear after the break, having allegedly asked to make what was his first appearance in this competition since 2011 - a request that was granted despite the fact we're in Premier League action on Tuesday.

Presumably his withdrawal was with that in mind, but even playing 45 minutes seemed illogical and risky - a managerial decision that looked designed to avoid both terrace and pundit mockery. Or maybe the head coach doesn't want any stigma attached to him when searching for his next job. 

There were chances to level after the break, Sissoko setting up Perez to swung a shot wide and Mitrovic unable to get anything on a ball across the box from Moussa that seemed certain to result in a goal.

Then with 20 minutes remaining Sissoko ran 50 yards into the box but then preferred to pass to the blatantly offside Thauvin rather than shoot - that seemingly the point that which parts of the away support began to abuse their own team.

Isolated shouts of "we want our money back" and other insults were followed by a more concerted chorus of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" in the closing stages - the latter directed at Thauvin after he left the field to receive treatment on what looked a dubious injury. 

Not trusted to be part of the starting XI (begging the question just what eventuality would see him picked), the Frenchman gave a typically nonchalant display featuring precisely nothing of use to a football team. Almost laughably bad, our post-mortem generated the names of worse players who have donned our shirt, but none who cost so much for so little return. 

No better than when he arrived, there may be something of value in there to come out of Thauvin, but waiting around on the off-chance is time we just don't have. 

Previous seasons saw us query the mindset of a club aiming to be eliminated from the competition despite being in better shape than we now find ourselves in, but even talk of a win kick-starting our revival seemed like nothing but flannel to this malcontent.

Given that we are embedded so deeply in the mire, the FA Cup is a luxury way out of our reach but in opting to field his strongest available team here McClaren succeeded in laying bare the inadequacies of his best XI beyond all doubt to anyone watching - including the owner.

Whether that was the act of a desperate manager whose pleas are being ignored is unclear, but something more solid than gossip of an early return for Papiss Cisse or claims that Emmanuel Riviere is flying in training is needed quickly to halt what is becoming a Championship charge.  

If today finally jolted the powers-that-be to the reality of our plight then it's been a good result. To pitch up here again in two weeks with the same discredited, failing side will expose our alleged financial prudence as wilful negligence.


Page last updated 09 January, 2020