Toon’s sunken ship steals point at Swansea City

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Cotterill - Scored a beauty today in what was a lucky point for the Toon

A precious point, one to bring us aloft the Coca Cola Championship again, and even Nottingham Forest lost, again aiding our promotion push. Sounds like the perfect day eh? Not for me. A lazy, disappointing and a beleaguered effort from a side who based on todays performance, do not deserve to win the title outright. We were poor throughout the 90 minutes at the Liberty Stadium today and as my previous article suggested, it was never going to be an easy affair away to the Welsh side. Needless to say we didn’t help ourselves, with our

only shot on target coming from the head of Andy Carroll which happened to be the valuable equaliser.

Fabricio Coloccini made a return to the side to partner Fitz Hall as we also saw Peter Lovenkrands and Andy Carroll start up front. The opening stages saw Swansea throw everything at us and were unlucky to go into the HT break on equal terms.

David Cotterill then just before the hour mark, cut inside a defender before curling the ball past a grounded Steve Harper. A brilliant goal, and a deserved opener for the hosts.

As you would normally expect, we’d come out and start to play our game, but no we stood back and let them pass the ball around in front of our noses without ever making a real attempt to dispossess them. Too many times we were dispossessed and too many times we gave stray passes into ‘nomansland.

It wasn’t good enough but in Chris Hughton’s defence, the substitution of Leon Best replacing Peter Lovenkrands made a big difference for me. The Irishman went for the ball at every opportunity in his small spell on the field and looked to bring others into play, something we didn’t do very well in general today.

It so happened that Leon Best was the provider for Andy Carroll’s equaliser and what a great ball it was. Lobbing it right onto the head of his strike-partner, Carroll managed to compose himself and keep his header down.

This, three minutes from FT angered Paolo Sousa who labeled it as a ‘cruel’ draw and very right he is, we didn’t deserve anything out of today’s game. That said, real champions get something out of games even when they don’t deserve to. Many a time we’ve seen Manchester United do that in the past.

Although we’re far from champions, we’ve got a fairly valuable point today and with Forest losing thanks to Billy Sharp and Doncaster Rovers, it means that any slip from West Brom which we’ll be eagerly anticipating, could prove pivotal.

Top of the table as we speak, is love in the air?

Comments welcome 🙂

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Neil: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Just another typically poor performance. When we had the ball, the Swansea players closed us down quickly, forcing us to make one or two sideways passes then lump it forward and concede possession. When they had the ball, we just sat back, giving them time and space and allowing them to play. No surprise then that we only had about 30% possession and only one attempt on goal. Is it just me that saw this? Did YOU (i.e. fellow NUFC fans) see this? How come Chris Hughton obviously DID NOT see this? We absolutely deserved to lose this game, but again a stroke of unexpected luck spared Hughton’s blushes, and yet another abysmally poor performance will be casually overlooked. I know that a lot of NUFC fans have been fooled into thinking Hughton is a half-decent manager – I urge all such fans to have a serious re-think. This match was yet another example of his complete lack of tactical knowledge and lack of ability to motivate the team. We must have resources that are 20 times that of some of the other clubs in this division. Can anyone tell me, for example, when was the last time the Championship saw a £10m Argentina international centre half on £80k per week? Or a winger who is the third name on the Argentina team sheet? £6m for Enrique, £5 for Smith, £5m for Nolan etc. - all have played at the highest level and earn enormous wage packets. Which other Championship team comes close to having these resources? This is an absolutely huge advantage over our competitors in this league, yet under Hughton, there is just one point in it. We really ought to be 10 or 15 points clear by now, if only we were able to play anywhere close to our potential. Overall, another dismal, toothless performance. No change there - I can only think of 3 games (Cardiff and Swansea at home, Ipswich away) all season that we have actually played well. I assure you all, as long as Hughton is in charge, things will not improve. We’re still relying on good luck to get promoted i.e. players that are individually better than their counterparts in this league, and other results going our way. As a team, we are absolutely dreadful. Promotion should be a certainty for a club like ours, but instead we can only hope for the best. And if we do get promoted, well, it is as clear as clear can be that we will get absolutely torn to shreds in the Premiership. A change of management is needed desperately.

Neil: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Just another typically poor performance. When we had the ball, the Swansea players closed us down quickly, forcing us to make one or two sideways passes then lump it forward and concede possession. When they had the ball, we just sat back, giving them time and space and allowing them to play. No surprise then that we only had about 30% possession and only one attempt on goal. Is it just me that saw this? Did YOU (i.e. fellow NUFC fans) see this? How come Chris Hughton obviously DID NOT see this? We absolutely deserved to lose this game, but again a stroke of unexpected luck spared Hughton’s blushes, and yet another abysmally poor performance will be casually overlooked. I know that a lot of NUFC fans have been fooled into thinking Hughton is a half-decent manager – I urge all such fans to have a serious re-think. This match was yet another example of his complete lack of tactical knowledge and lack of ability to motivate the team. We must have resources that are 20 times that of some of the other clubs in this division. Can anyone tell me, for example, when was the last time the Championship saw a £10m Argentina international centre half on £80k per week? Or a winger who is the third name on the Argentina team sheet? £6m for Enrique, £5 for Smith, £5m for Nolan etc. - all have played at the highest level and earn enormous wage packets. Which other Championship team comes close to having these resources? This is an absolutely huge advantage over our competitors in this league, yet under Hughton, there is just one point in it. We really ought to be 10 or 15 points clear by now, if only we were able to play anywhere close to our potential. Overall, another dismal, toothless performance. No change there - I can only think of 3 games (Cardiff and Swansea at home, Ipswich away) all season that we have actually played well. I assure you all, as long as Hughton is in charge, things will not improve. We’re still relying on good luck to get promoted i.e. players that are individually better than their counterparts in this league, and other results going our way. As a team, we are absolutely dreadful. Promotion should be a certainty for a club like ours, but instead we can only hope for the best. And if we do get promoted, well, it is as clear as clear can be that we will get absolutely torn to shreds in the Premiership. A change of management is needed desperately.

PAUL Q: ⏱ 14/02/2010

TOTALLY AGREE NEIL I COULDNT PUT IT BETTER!

PAUL Q: ⏱ 14/02/2010

TOTALLY AGREE NEIL I COULDNT PUT IT BETTER!

Marky Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Neil you are talking absolute rubbish. If these players your talking about are world and premiership class how come they got us relegated from the premiership. A very average side missing a lot of players Enrique, Taylor,Barton. Guthrie,Nolan and Smith were terrible again!! Guthrie looks more and more like Geremi, slow and wasteful but a dead ball specialist apparently!! We are top of the league and heading in the right direction with a squad of overpaid underachieving and in my opinion washed up bling boys. Hughton would not have been my first choice but remember it was always about balancing the books. We Could be in Portsmouth or Crystal Palace's situation if the finances had not been adressed by Mike Ashley make no mistake. So for all of you that chant Ashley out and continue to slate Hughton."We are the loyalist football supporters the world has ever had"????????????

Marky Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Neil you are talking absolute rubbish. If these players your talking about are world and premiership class how come they got us relegated from the premiership. A very average side missing a lot of players Enrique, Taylor,Barton. Guthrie,Nolan and Smith were terrible again!! Guthrie looks more and more like Geremi, slow and wasteful but a dead ball specialist apparently!! We are top of the league and heading in the right direction with a squad of overpaid underachieving and in my opinion washed up bling boys. Hughton would not have been my first choice but remember it was always about balancing the books. We Could be in Portsmouth or Crystal Palace's situation if the finances had not been adressed by Mike Ashley make no mistake. So for all of you that chant Ashley out and continue to slate Hughton."We are the loyalist football supporters the world has ever had"????????????

Kev: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Marky, your grouping the financial plight of the football club and Ashley's stewardship with the football tactics or lack of from Hughton, two different subjects, personally I dont have a problem with Ashley now, but Hughton? He's tactically naive, I cant name an instance where his tactics or a change of them during a game have given an advantage to Newcastle? He relies on Newcastle grinding out and nicking results in a poor league, we wont cut it with his philosophy in the premiership that's for sure.

Kev: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Marky, your grouping the financial plight of the football club and Ashley's stewardship with the football tactics or lack of from Hughton, two different subjects, personally I dont have a problem with Ashley now, but Hughton? He's tactically naive, I cant name an instance where his tactics or a change of them during a game have given an advantage to Newcastle? He relies on Newcastle grinding out and nicking results in a poor league, we wont cut it with his philosophy in the premiership that's for sure.

Lameduck: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Oh come one, FFS, we are top of the league we are in, we have played a damn sight more good games this season than we've played crap and yet "the best fans in the country" still moan & whinge. I've seen some crap at SJP over the years, been dissappointed away from home more times than I care to remember and had so many false dawns that I hate mornings - BUT with 16 games to go we are top of the league, we still have one of the strongest defences in the country (which I would NEVER have expected to say about NUFC) and we're trimming down the lagacy of 15 years of overspending I agree that Hughton is not 1st choice, but you've gotta hand it to the man, he's taken a poisoned chalice of newly relegated NUFC and managed to confound the critics into giving us a fantastic chance of returning at the first time of asking - and I am sure he is learning all the time - mistakes made in this league won't hurt as much and should give him valuable lessons for the Premiership I would love to see us wining every game we believe we should win - but that only happens on Championship Manager & FIFA10 - come end of May we will still be celebrating and when was the last time any of us can remember doing that ????

Lameduck: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Oh come one, FFS, we are top of the league we are in, we have played a damn sight more good games this season than we've played crap and yet "the best fans in the country" still moan & whinge. I've seen some crap at SJP over the years, been dissappointed away from home more times than I care to remember and had so many false dawns that I hate mornings - BUT with 16 games to go we are top of the league, we still have one of the strongest defences in the country (which I would NEVER have expected to say about NUFC) and we're trimming down the lagacy of 15 years of overspending I agree that Hughton is not 1st choice, but you've gotta hand it to the man, he's taken a poisoned chalice of newly relegated NUFC and managed to confound the critics into giving us a fantastic chance of returning at the first time of asking - and I am sure he is learning all the time - mistakes made in this league won't hurt as much and should give him valuable lessons for the Premiership I would love to see us wining every game we believe we should win - but that only happens on Championship Manager & FIFA10 - come end of May we will still be celebrating and when was the last time any of us can remember doing that ????

Neil: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Marky Mag: I would say that those players got us relegated last season because they were mis-managed. We had a squad last season that should have been more than capable of avoiding relegation (Given, Owen, Viduka, Martins, Duff, Beye etc. – lots of expensive, highly rated players, most with Champions League / international experience etc.). Our squad was, in my opinion, better than Hull, WBA, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Blackburn, Stoke, Wigan, and Bolton, and perhaps on a par with teams like Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Portsmouth. We should have avoided relegation easily! Now, if we’d had two or three players who were underachieving, then perhaps you can put that down to individual players’ attitudes / loss of form etc. But when your entire squad is underachieving, the responsibility has to lie with the management in my view. No doubt the several changes of manager (for which I think Ashley has to take the blame) contributed to the team being poorly managed, but Hughton must take his share of the blame also. We picked up only 1 point from the 7 games he was in charge (an average of 0.14 points per game), whereas Kinnear managed 23 points from 20 games (1.15 points per game). I appreciate that Hughton faced difficult circumstances, but he still failed spectacularly! I take the point about having to sort the finances out and cut the wage bill. That had to be done and I don’t think anyone would argue with that. I just don’t get why there is a section of the fans who seem to me to be satisfied with underachievement and mediocrity. I know there are some who will complain no matter what, and you may think I am one of those. But I accept that we’re not going to win every single game this season then qualify for the Champions League next year. I just want to see us doing about right for a club of our size and resources (which I think is a reasonable request), but the way we have been playing falls a long way short of that and anyone who saw yesterday’s game must surely agree.

Neil: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Marky Mag: I would say that those players got us relegated last season because they were mis-managed. We had a squad last season that should have been more than capable of avoiding relegation (Given, Owen, Viduka, Martins, Duff, Beye etc. – lots of expensive, highly rated players, most with Champions League / international experience etc.). Our squad was, in my opinion, better than Hull, WBA, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Blackburn, Stoke, Wigan, and Bolton, and perhaps on a par with teams like Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Portsmouth. We should have avoided relegation easily! Now, if we’d had two or three players who were underachieving, then perhaps you can put that down to individual players’ attitudes / loss of form etc. But when your entire squad is underachieving, the responsibility has to lie with the management in my view. No doubt the several changes of manager (for which I think Ashley has to take the blame) contributed to the team being poorly managed, but Hughton must take his share of the blame also. We picked up only 1 point from the 7 games he was in charge (an average of 0.14 points per game), whereas Kinnear managed 23 points from 20 games (1.15 points per game). I appreciate that Hughton faced difficult circumstances, but he still failed spectacularly! I take the point about having to sort the finances out and cut the wage bill. That had to be done and I don’t think anyone would argue with that. I just don’t get why there is a section of the fans who seem to me to be satisfied with underachievement and mediocrity. I know there are some who will complain no matter what, and you may think I am one of those. But I accept that we’re not going to win every single game this season then qualify for the Champions League next year. I just want to see us doing about right for a club of our size and resources (which I think is a reasonable request), but the way we have been playing falls a long way short of that and anyone who saw yesterday’s game must surely agree.

Reading Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Some of you are totally mad. Yes it has been a tough 5/ 6 games. But we are top, 5 points clear and a game in hand. We have 3 of best players out injured. We have actually bought 3 young decent players. I really hate Ashley, but football is a buisness and he could have realy fcuked us up. Now we have 3 home games in a row .....lets emjoy and get the champagne in the fridge for may

Reading Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

Some of you are totally mad. Yes it has been a tough 5/ 6 games. But we are top, 5 points clear and a game in hand. We have 3 of best players out injured. We have actually bought 3 young decent players. I really hate Ashley, but football is a buisness and he could have realy fcuked us up. Now we have 3 home games in a row .....lets emjoy and get the champagne in the fridge for may

Marky Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

How can you say we are underachieving when we are top of the league. I bet my house that if Alan Shearer were manager the headlines written would be very different.How can any of you call Hughton tactically naive when he has 40 years experience as a top coach and his team sit in top spot.I agree that yesterday was rubbish utter rubbish.However the players that were poor yesterday i.e Guthrie are not Hughtons buys. Once again the pen pushers and headline writers like you Neil are going to add un necessary pressure to the team therefore any underachieving is ultimately down to you and your kind!! We are no longer a big team and players are choosing Wigan before us, how very depressing. If your reading Mr Hughton keep up the good work and dont let the "best fans in football" bring you down. P.s Well done Titus Bramble my how your thriving outside of the couldron of hate!!

Marky Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

How can you say we are underachieving when we are top of the league. I bet my house that if Alan Shearer were manager the headlines written would be very different.How can any of you call Hughton tactically naive when he has 40 years experience as a top coach and his team sit in top spot.I agree that yesterday was rubbish utter rubbish.However the players that were poor yesterday i.e Guthrie are not Hughtons buys. Once again the pen pushers and headline writers like you Neil are going to add un necessary pressure to the team therefore any underachieving is ultimately down to you and your kind!! We are no longer a big team and players are choosing Wigan before us, how very depressing. If your reading Mr Hughton keep up the good work and dont let the "best fans in football" bring you down. P.s Well done Titus Bramble my how your thriving outside of the couldron of hate!!

Killy Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

i think the lads in the singing section need to start giving Ashley a break. Look at the clip of Portsmouth,Cardiff and even West Ham now. For all his mistakes, Newcastle are now spending and acheiving within their means. I don't like the bloke as much as the next toon fan but we have to face facts...without Mike Ashley, Newcastle would be forced into administration or worse. I personally feel Newcastle are in safer hands with Ashley then the likes of Hall, Shepherd or even Moat! Until someone as rich as Ashley comes along, we need to stick with it. I feel for the fans at Pompey, they are the innocent victims who face losing their club. Can you imagine if newcastle were facing a winding up order?? What a fucking nightmare that would be.

Killy Mag: ⏱ 14/02/2010

i think the lads in the singing section need to start giving Ashley a break. Look at the clip of Portsmouth,Cardiff and even West Ham now. For all his mistakes, Newcastle are now spending and acheiving within their means. I don't like the bloke as much as the next toon fan but we have to face facts...without Mike Ashley, Newcastle would be forced into administration or worse. I personally feel Newcastle are in safer hands with Ashley then the likes of Hall, Shepherd or even Moat! Until someone as rich as Ashley comes along, we need to stick with it. I feel for the fans at Pompey, they are the innocent victims who face losing their club. Can you imagine if newcastle were facing a winding up order?? What a fucking nightmare that would be.

Neil: ⏱ 15/02/2010

Marky: "Once again the pen pushers and headline writers like you Neil are going to add un necessary pressure to the team therefore any underachieving is ultimately down to you and your kind!!" Isn't it a little ridiculous to say that the cause of the team playing nowhere near their potential is down to people writing occasional comments on blogs? You don't think it is perhaps more likely to be something to do with, say, tactics or team selection or motivation or training technique? I thinks its fairly unlikely that Hughton and the players even read my occasional posts on TyneTime, nevermind take any notice! Although, I am flattered that you consider me a "headline writer"!

Neil: ⏱ 15/02/2010

Marky: "Once again the pen pushers and headline writers like you Neil are going to add un necessary pressure to the team therefore any underachieving is ultimately down to you and your kind!!" Isn't it a little ridiculous to say that the cause of the team playing nowhere near their potential is down to people writing occasional comments on blogs? You don't think it is perhaps more likely to be something to do with, say, tactics or team selection or motivation or training technique? I thinks its fairly unlikely that Hughton and the players even read my occasional posts on TyneTime, nevermind take any notice! Although, I am flattered that you consider me a "headline writer"!

GeordieFootSoldier: ⏱ 15/02/2010

We are playing ugly away from home, we all know that. The first half dozen games of the season, we were playing well within ourselves and looked streets ahead of the opposition. I think the small squad, ageing players and the sheer amount of games have begun to catch up with us. Add to this that every team we come up against is busting a gut to beat us and raising their game accordingly. All in all I just want us to get back up and address the style of play / player situation once we get there. Killy Mag - A very good point and much though I hate to admit it, Ashley has kept us solvent. I am under no illusion it is to protect his own interests too in that if he can spend as little as possible and get us back into the premiership, he can try to flog us again, but just beware of any new owners. Portsmouth is a timely reminder to all fans, and like you, my heart goes out to them. Lastly, despite the poor performances, surely as fans our only contribution is to get behind the team the best way we know how. I shall be there on Wed and Sat (as usual) HOWAY THE LADS.

GeordieFootSoldier: ⏱ 15/02/2010

We are playing ugly away from home, we all know that. The first half dozen games of the season, we were playing well within ourselves and looked streets ahead of the opposition. I think the small squad, ageing players and the sheer amount of games have begun to catch up with us. Add to this that every team we come up against is busting a gut to beat us and raising their game accordingly. All in all I just want us to get back up and address the style of play / player situation once we get there. Killy Mag - A very good point and much though I hate to admit it, Ashley has kept us solvent. I am under no illusion it is to protect his own interests too in that if he can spend as little as possible and get us back into the premiership, he can try to flog us again, but just beware of any new owners. Portsmouth is a timely reminder to all fans, and like you, my heart goes out to them. Lastly, despite the poor performances, surely as fans our only contribution is to get behind the team the best way we know how. I shall be there on Wed and Sat (as usual) HOWAY THE LADS.