Soapbox: Newcastle’s get-out-jail card makes it nearly, not quite

Sixer by Jake

Pete Sixsmith descends from the insult to humanity that passes for the Sports Direct Arena/SJP away end, accepts safe passage through the gauntlet of hate and rues the late, late Ameobi show …


My head
is still banging as I sit in front of the trusty Toshiba, trying to assess the afternoon’s happenings. Was it a point won or two thrown away? Did we deserve to win or was a draw a fair result? How long will our unbeaten record at The Sports Direct Arena last – or will it be The Richard Branson Playpen Stadium when next we visit?

It was an old-fashioned, riproaring, high octane game which simmered throughout and almost boiled over at various stages. I felt some sympathy for Mike Dean, a man I always think should be looking at his stamp collection rather than trying (and failing) to control the likes of Lee Cattermole and Cheick Tiote. It is not an easy game to referee and might have been better handled by Hulk Hogan or Judge Jeffries – or even Judge Judy …

Like Baldrick’s war poem, it started off badly and got worse. Cattermole could have been sent off in the first minute as he decided to clatter into Tiote. It was not a pretty sight and I breathed a sigh of relief when the yellow appeared. It was, we hoped, a Richie Pitt moment, that one marker laid down that would stifle the opposition.

It deteriorated rapidly. Cabaye, Simpson, Ba and McClean all ended up in the book before Williamson joined them for trying to take Michael Turner’s shirt as a souvenir and giving us a penalty.

The text report on the BBC web site makes for interesting reading. After he was fouled by Cattermole – and, like M Salut, I don’t defend the tackle – Tiote committed four fouls that the text man noted and made a single positive contribution. None of those tackles was deemed a bookable offence. Why not?

For the 44 minutes after Cattermole’s booking, we ran the game and Newcastle looked as much like a top six side as I look like George Clooney. The goal that we scored was well deserved and Bendtner showed his quality by stroking it home and by having an all round good game – far, far better than either Ba or Cisse, who were both taken out of the game (legitimately this time) by O’Shea and Turner.

At half time, there was a feeling of content mixed with the worry that they could only improve in the second half. They did, as Ben Arfa at last gave them some control and quality that only one team had shown in the opening 45 minutes.



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The turning point came in the 57th minute, when we could have gone two up, but ended up one down.

A great break saw Krul save well from Seb Larsson and then brilliantly from McClean. A goal then would have wrapped it up, the crowd, which was quiet, would have grumbled and we could have stretched them all over the park.

Unfortunately, Sessegnon, our main outlet and the most (only) creative player on the field had a spat with Tiote that had rumbled on all game. Instead of ignoring him, he stuck out his elbow, Tiote rolled around as if he had swallowed poison, and Mike Dean had no option but to send him off. No arguments, no problems with it, but Tiote made a complete idiot of himself with his ridiculous reaction.

So, backs to the wall time it was and we seemed to be capable of holding an increasingly desperate Newcastle side whose only plan was to chuck it in the box and hope that Ba or Cisse got a fortunate bounce.

And then … they took off the wholly ineffectual Cisse and sent on Shola Ameobi. He came across really well in his post match interview. He sounds a nice guy, I bet he looks after his mum and dad and helps old ladies across the road, but I hate him for always bloody well scoring against us.

As he came on, Fraizer Campbell replaced a tiring, but so impressive Nicklas Bendtner, and Fraizer and Shola’s paths crossed again 10 minutes later, when our England man committed the cardinal sin of tackling like a forward in the box. Blind Pew on a bad day would have given the penalty. However, Mignolet made a fine save from Ba’s weak kick and hopes rose in Level 7. The ghosts of Tommy Sorenson, Niall Quinn and co floated around in the ether. The win was on.

Except, as we went into added time, Ameobi ghosted into the box and slid in the equaliser. Was Ba offside? Don’t Know. Should Bridge have picked him up? Maybe. Was I downhearted? Yes.

They even had a chance to snatch a completely undeserved win, but Williamson looked as uncomfortable at shooting as Fraizer did at tackling and the whistle went on a frantic, intense and, some would say, evil game of football.

Unfortunately, it did not end there. Cattermole displayed all the diplomatic skills of Idi Amin having a bad hair day when discussing the game and the key decisions with Mike Dean and was given a straight red card for his troubles. Stupid, foolish and once again, his excellent display in midfield is sullied by less praiseworthy antics.

The Newcastle manager, one Alan Pardew, decided that he would have his two pennorth by blaming Cattermole for the frantic game, the surfeit of bookings, global warming and the seven plagues visited on Egypt, in possibly the most mealy mouthed and ungracious interview I have heard since Tony Pulis four weeks ago. Pardew came out with no credit whatsoever and I can quite understand why Arsène Wenger dislikes him so much.

There is plenty to talk about. We can take a lot from our competitive display and some of the pain from last year’s “no show” has been eradicated. This Sunderland side took the game to the home team, outplayed them for 58 minutes and looked as if they were going to hang on. The progress that this group of players has made under Martin O’Neill and Steve Walford was never clearer than it was from Level 7.

Unfortunately, Sessegnon, Gardner and Cattermole will all miss games, but it gives Colback, Vaughan, Campbell, Meyler and a couple of others the chance to put down a marker for the cup tie at Everton.

Liverpool this week – after the diving rolling Tiote, we welcome the diving, rolling Suarez to the Stadium of Light. Looking forward to it …

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20 thoughts on “Soapbox: Newcastle’s get-out-jail card makes it nearly, not quite”

  1. I agree that Pardew did not cover himself in glory but O’Neil has not come out with much credit either. He’s still whinging now. It was a real old fashioned derby not much football but lots of commitment, guts and wild tackles from both sides. The tone WAS set by Clattermole in the 1st 45 seconds if he hadn’t made that wild tackle I think it would have been a different game. Yes we could have won (maybe should have seeing as it was a penalty we had saved) but it would have been unfair on the mackems, just as it would have been unfair if we had lost. It seems that winning a derby or finishing higher then us is more important than winning something or qualifying for Europe to the mackems, if I was you lot I’d move on. And I can’t see you lot getting in to Europe now or next season. HWTL

  2. It must be nearly time for another one of their “boycoutts” up there surely.

    I love these early kick offs when we play the Mags. Getting up early so we can hate them just that little bit more.

    Can’t M. Salut just delete this drivel above. It’s unfortunate that you end up with this kind of imbecile when cousins marry.

  3. @Pete sixsmith

    Do you not like to discuss football issues with the enemy?

    Harmless I think .

    Why have you got an ever increasing amount of pink seats on display on match days?

    I don’t believe it’s the pricing policy is it, as it’s my understanding the club give thousands of free tickets to schools and education establishments.

    Please enlighten me.

    • Troy writes “Do you not like to discuss football issues with the enemy?”

      Where are your discussion points Troy? A bit of bleating of the we are great and you are crap variety isn’t a discussion.

  4. Troy, go away. You are as embarrassing as Alan Pardew. Geordie Nation indeed.
    We love our club and that’s all that matters.

  5. A follower who has the misfortune of having Mike Ashley as their owner, who has tried systematically to make Newcastle United a laughing stock, should think before they write. Have fun at the ‘whatever it’s going to be called next’ Arena.

  6. @pete sixsmith

    If you don’t like hearing the truth, well keep your head in the sand.
    Don’t get me wrong, I despise your club too with a passion.
    What grates on me more than anything is the Mackem accent.

    I can’t believe other people from round the country say we sound the same. Totally different and the Mackem twang is an embarrassment.

    Despite what you say about others round the country having no interest in our local Derby, you may find that Newcastle have a big following from non Geordies.
    Unlike Sunderland, they were never anyone’s second favourite team.

    You must also be embarrassed by the ever increasing pink seats at your stadium. That is another embarrassment to North East football.

    You really are an unfashionable small club.

    😉

    • Christ, the one thing that grates on me more than anything about the mags is the non-geordie accent that their big following of non-geordies have.
      Clever comment about them never having been anybody’s second favourite team – I can understand why.

      If Pardew wants to get anywhere, he needs to do something about Gutierez(sp). Fine player if you’re winning 2-0 and need to kill time as he races itnto the left hand corner with no intention of ever using his left foot, but in pursuit of a goal he’s less than useless.

  7. Troy, it’s a site for Sunderland fans. Why on earth should any of us want to say anything remotely positive about a club that we dislike with great intensity.
    It was a reasonably fair result, a game of parochial intensity that nobody outside of our region gives a rat’s a*** about and it showed the Newcastle United manager up as the deeply unpleasant person I have always suspected he is.
    Enjoy the rest of your season.

  8. You didn’t play well in the first half, we played terrible. If you were happy with your first half performance then you must be getting served crap football at your place. Two poor teams first half.

    Second half showed why we are 6th.

    • Of course you dominated the second half Troy, of the 50 minutes we had ten men for 37 of them! We were also defending a lead, which means spells of soaking up pressure. If scraping a draw against a side ten points below you with ten men shows why you’re sixth makes me wonder if this league is all it’s made out to be; Enjoy your point, with no red card it would have been none.

  9. I love the way how no mentions Ba hitting the bar just before half time.

    We were crap first half but I’ve never seen such a one sided game in the second half.

    Despite the Toon playing crap first half, you certainly couldn’t claim you’s played well.

    Both were poor.

    And we missed a pen as well .

    5-1 will always play on your mind! Ha ha

    • you didn’t miss the pen, we saved it
      if Ba’s header had been any good, it would have been on target
      for all your possession in the second half, you managed five efforts on target and only one that caused the keeper any problems (that was the goal, in case you were wondering)
      we played well in the first half

  10. Can enjoy the game now that it’s over and make a few reasoned comments (unlike the Newcastle manager ) If we had kept 11 men on the pitch I feel sure we would have won,although if Ba had scored from the spot we would have probably lost.Overall the team played well and showed great spirit so it’s fair to conclude that WBA was a one-off.Other than not booking Tiote much sooner than he did I felt Mike Dean had a very good game refusing to be intimidated by the crowd,( take note Howard Webb ) Cattermole despite his early and late aberrations had a fine game and can surely be a major player for us if he can curb his temperament.Finally,Alan Pardew proved himself to be an embarrassment,lacking intelligence dignity and grace,a bit like his chairman really.

  11. Whilst there is no doubt about the Williamson foul on Turner, we rarely see those things given as a spot kick these days. All too often corners and free kicks around the box resemble scenes from the the Alamo. The ref deserves credit for giving it, but having done so he will undoubtedly have felt the pressure of that decision weighing down on him. Within hardly any time at all, Williamson, Simpson and Cabaye (IIRC) were all in the book, and treading a thin line for most of the game.

    It was astonishing that Tiote didn’t get a card, but it was probably because he had handed out so many yellows to his team mates early on, and had given what some would see as a controversial penalty. That is just the way it is in a derby match away from home. A lot of people are saying tht Krul should have got a yellow for the spat with McClean. He had both hands on McClean, not once but twice and got of scot free. Tiote had a couple of swipes a Sess when Sess got the red, but the referee was close enough to have seen how much he was provoked. At the end of the day these officials don’t want to incur the wrath of any group of fans and perform in such a way that this desire gets in the way of good refereeing overall, and particularly so when they have given correct even if unpopular decisions against the home side early on.

  12. For most of the first half we were back to our best after last week’s blip and played some really good football, until the occasion took over. Despite their league position we looked a better team than Newcastle, and I’m already looking forward to next season. Hope we can hold onto Sess, and with MON in charge from the start, things are looking good.

  13. Sixers wrote ‘Pardew came out with no credit whatsoever and I can quite understand why Arsène Wenger dislikes him so much’,

    To be fair to Pardew, Wenger is not exactly the most gracious manager either, more like two peas in a pod Pardew and wenger……….the thought of which has just put me of peas for the rest of my life.

  14. sess out for 3, catts out for 4. This month was already looking like the toughest under MON, now i’m quite nervous.

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