How can you describe this game? Shambolic? Poor? One of those days? SteveFarrell

We should be doing far far better against a team who are as rank as West Brom. I’m not going to buy into the whole tiredness nonsense – we’ve played the same amount of games as everyone else and they’re still managing to win games. It was just a rank performance from front to back.

It was a stupid tackle from Debuchy, he should know better. Having said all that – if you go into a player one footed, miss the ball and get the player, generally speaking it’ll be a yellow. In this case, you go in two footed and GET the ball it’s a red. The rules are as clear as muck.

The absence of Colo for an extended period of time is a blow, however we have seen Mbiwa and Willo play together and do very well this season so I’m not massively concerned.

Bad day at the office. Time to move on and come up with an alternate system that can break teams down when Plan A isn’t working.




We got exactly what we deserved….absolutely jack shit. I don’t know if the players were up NeilGlate last night watching Jools Holland, sinking champagne and eating cheese like me but they looked tired, leggy and couldn’t string two passes together.

My favourite, Gouffran, was totally out of sorts and we seemed unwilling to actually put a foot in until Debuchy undid all of his recent good work with an absolute proposterous and unnecessary lunge. What on earth was he thinking? No danger and he jumps, two footed, studs up…absolutely ridiculous. He clearly wants a bit of time off.
The Baggies missed had already missed two absolute sitters when Krul decided to give them a pen. I thought he was lucky not to even get a booking to be fair and Mbiwa nearly gave a pen beforehand pulling Sessegnon’s shirt in the box.
Remy looked out of sorts and I think we are placing to much emphasis on him but I felt we may have had a chance when Ben Arfa came on. I was wrong, I thought he was pretty awful and his decision making skills in terms of when to pass and when to hold it need some serious coaching.
Bearing in mind I think Stoke would have turned us over with 11 men, we rarely threatened against Arsenal and we looked toothless today I hope the fat man is going to write a few cheques and get us a new creative midfielder / winger and striker. Colo looked crocked and Debuchy will be missing for a few, lets hope Haidara gets a run out and Mbiwa settles down as he can go from sublime to radge in the blink of an eye.
Happy 2014….here’s hoping the last few performances have been a temporary blip and we get some new competition for places. Can’t see it though.

Today’s game outlined a few half truths about Newcastle United. First was that other

Man wearing ski maskteams are beginning to figure us out. That isn’t to say we didn’t play well. Rejigging the team to the side that beat Spus, Pardew opted for Shola upfront alongside Remy at the expense of Anita.

We did everything right (which looks scarily natural these days), played to feet, tried to release our pacier players round the back with Shola and Remy battling hard to hold up the ball. West Brom, however, matched us in every area of the park. The first half was one of several chances for both teams but every one of them wasted by a poor final ball or a miss in front of goal. The second truth; we don’t have enough strength in depth to be able to change our game when this happens. As both midfields cancelled each other out, we were beginning to edge it…just… when Debuchy decided to brighten up what was becoming a bit of a stalemate and fly in to a challenge with both feet in the air. To be fair, he got the ball but you simply cannot do that in this day and age and he was duly red carded. This gave West Brom the advantage and with 10 men we were forced back into our own half. The third truth; we need a striker in January. Remy is looking increasingly isolated up there and Shola, whilst improved this season, just doesn’t have that cutting edge up front to help us to grind out a draw or even a win in games like this. West Brom won a clear penalty in the last ten and we never looked like coming back. Sissoko and Ben Arfa made a habit of losing the ball in the centre of midfield as as the time drew to an end, summing up that this just wasn’t our day. We are poised now, at the foot of being good or mid-table mediocre (which is what the owner wants). We all know what we need in this window. Lets hope something happens.

I’ve been one of Shola’s biggest critics in the last 10 years. He is one of the most frustrating SimonCampbellplayers we’ve ever had. That said, I was delighted to see him back in the line-up today and think we have played some of our best football with him in the side this season. Jonas Olsson is a huge threat in the air and Shola presumably was there to counter that.  Sadly he was not on his game today, though he wasn’t alone. Loic Remy was poor again and has not been much use since November (9 man Stoke aside). The need for another striking option is clear to see. Hopefully these last 2 results give Ashley/Kinnear a nudge in the right direction.

Ultimately, it was another hard to take 1-0 defeat against a team we could have beaten on another day. Unlike the Arsenal game though, we brought about our own downfall.  First half was a poor game of football, neither side looked particularly threatening and it was a painfully slow game. The weather conditions ensured that our final ball was way off; Remy and Sissoko just couldn’t do anything with the ball.

Second half we introduced Ben Arfa, a change I’d imagine a lot of us thought was necessary to give us some attacking flair. He was however completely anonymous before and after the red card. I just don’t see where we can use him when unless he scores a worldy, he is a liability.

Nonetheless, the red card ultimately changed the game. The ref didn’t get anything wrong today in my opinion. Debuchy knows the rules, that tackle was a red card all day, ball winning irrelevant. It did seem to take Pardew an awfully long time to get the team reorganised after the red but we held them off well and looked to be heading for a now acceptable draw. Cue another shite late goal. Williamson outpaced, Krul outwitted resulting in a soft penalty but again no real complaints.

It was a grim end to the Christmas period after the highs of early December and Boxing Day. Cardiff is a very important game now. We need to rebuild some momentum before some big winnable games in January. We’re comfortable in the league and there is no excuse not to give the FA Cup our full attention this season. Here’s hoping we can continue the good work of what has still been a great first half of the season into 2014. Happy New Year I guess!