Stats: Newcastle v Wolves 2nd April 2011
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Newcastle 4 - Wolves 1

Premier League

St James' Park

2nd April 2011

Attendance: 49,939

Referee: Mike Dean

4 - 1
Nolan 22, Ameobi 45, Lovenkrands 50,Gutierrez 90
Ebanks-Blake 58
Venue: St James' Park
Attendance: 49,939
The Teams
Steve Harper
Wayne Hennessey
Danny Simpson
Kevin Foley
Fabricio Coloccini
Richard Stearman
Mike Williamson
Christophe Berra
Shane Ferguson
George Elokobi
Joey Barton
Adam Hammill
Danny Guthrie
Karl Henry
Kevin Nolan
Jamie O'Hara
Jonas Gutierrez
Nenad Milijas
Shola Ameobi
Matthew Jarvis
Peter Lovenkrands
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
Tim Krul
Marcus Hahnemann
Sol Campbell
Jody Craddock
James Perch
Michael Kightly
Steven Taylor
Steven Fletcher
Nile Ranger
Stephen Ward
James Tavernier
David Jones
Shefki Kuqi
Michael Mancienne
Game Statistics
Goal Attempts
On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

The Journalist

Writer: Akela Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 2 2011

Time: 5:07PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Now then. I have been saying the Doyle play will not work without Doyle. Should that not have been clear? It was not. Now I will say it still will not be clear.
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02/04/2011 18:03:00

Play Fletch and Blake up front and hope for the best!
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02/04/2011 20:41:00

Clear clear. I mean hear here. It's unclear. Glad Mick gave it a couple of minutes before hitting the panic button. You could have started with Messi up front today and it would not have meant zip. Comical across the field. The defending for the first goal was a complete joke- we had actually started the better team so instead of trying to get a foot on the ball and calm it down he has contadicted his faith in our ability to play the same formation thanks to the loss of one player and gone 4-4-2 which resulted in the inevitable disaster we witnessed. Aside from a ten minute purple patch after the goal they were the better side throughout and the final whistle actually came as a relief. O'Hara was screaming out for the ball from start to finish and some of his passing was tremendous, a touch too clever for some of our players today I am afraid, but Henry was too wrapped up in the occasion to get a job done, we lost the middle completely and as a result Jarvis and Hammill saw less of the ball than they get to see using what apparently is our negative 4-5-1 formation. We kicked off in 17th and would have maintained position avoiding defeat. When we throw your arms up in the air and toss your tactics on the floor after 25 minutes the white flag is waving. So, next week it is then.
New York City Wolf
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02/04/2011 21:52:00

I hear. Perhaps it is I who have not been clear, or my Engish that fails me; the keys on the board have, I now notice, I meant Doyle plan, not play. I did not mean, was that not clear, judging from the match; but, was it not clear to see before the match? It was not, for SEB was expected to replicate the role.It worked, when it did, with Doyle. But we will still be seeing some one in the Doyle role. Clear? 'Blake and Fletch from the start and hope for the best' - AND be near certain of better than this misdirection.
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03/04/2011 00:17:00

Nice to see a real debate brewing. I can see merits in both points of view. On the one hand, the outcome suggests that we need Doyle to operate the 4-5-1 system effectively. His absence, therefore, should make us rethink our formation, one based on the strengths of the players we do have at our disposal. Hence, a 4-4-2 system with SEB and Fletcher upfront. However, is this assumption correct? After all, one could argue that 4-5-1 failed us not because of the absence of Doyle, but rather because of the fragility of our defence in spite of the extra man. Even so, we looked more likely to score with SEB and Fletcher upfront. Conversely, we gave away three goals operating this system. In fact, the match turned on a couple of incidents: the foul on Hammill and Fletcher's miss. Had we scored on either of those occasions, we might have achieved a result. We would have won with a half-decent defence too: the lapses were shocking. And where was our much vaunted work ethic and commitment? As the results elsewhere went against us, we have to win the next two home matches: I shall be watching for any sign of a slide back into bad habits.
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03/04/2011 08:00:00

True, SB60, the defence was poor, but that affects the outcome of whichever of the systems is adopted. 'A bad day at the office' (MM) is perhaps the best account that can be offered of the game; these things happen, we had an off day, it is a game after all. And all that is true enough. Thing is, when things happen for the better, and we have an on day, then it no longer a game, then it is the the result of good tactics, of endeavour,and of the prowess of someone or other.
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03/04/2011 11:44:00

Had we played as well as we have been playing recently, we would have won yesterday, whatever the system adopted and in spite of the absence of Doyle. What really depressed me was the re-emergence of the Mr. Hyde team, the one that sleepwalks through games, losing concentration and making elementary errors. The defensive lapses were appalling but upfront Fletcher missed an absolute sitter. Instead of electing to go for the near post, he should have aimed at the yawning chasm to the left of Harper. On the other hand, the 4-4-2 system did throw up the chance and several other ones for SEB. On another day he would scored a hat-trick. I'll accept the loss as long as MM and the team recognise it as a kick up the backside. It seemed to me that they felt that they only had to show up to win, the same attitude that lost us the six pointers earlier in the season. There was no spark or sense of commitment. From the whistle I could see that we were going to struggle and we did!
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03/04/2011 14:13:00

I had this down as a loss on my 'games left' also have us down to lose to S'land away. Next two games are crucial,Everton and Fulham,I've got those down as home wins. Villa,Stoke,B'ham away I'd had for draws,so we can lose those next two as wev'e beaten Villa!but we all know it does'nt work like that!. I think whichever way you look at it,we are in trouble,at the end of the day if we win all our remaining 7 games and all the other teams do the same,we are down!. I am sticking to my prediction of 44 points total and surely that will be enough?but I'd rather be in Newcastle's position with points on the board!. We are now getting down to the 'nitty gritty',games are running out,no time to recover if you make a mistake. I hope it does'nt go down to the last home game,WBA beat Liverpool so the annoying thing is even if we beat them they can afford it! UTW.
Crete Wolf
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03/04/2011 17:48:00

If we had to lose against Newcastle, it's a pity we had to do so by three goals. We may have ended up above WHU. Good result at Fulham for us today though. Pity that Arsenal squandered so many chances against Blackburn yesterday. I am hoping that we can finish above Blackburn, Blackpool, WHU and Wigan, though I would settle for any three out of the four (WHU will probably escape). Clearly, the six pointers against WBA, Birmingham and Blackburn are going to be crucial. ,
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03/04/2011 17:56:00

Our defense was very VERY shaky. LB is a major problem for me. Elokobi gets run around.. He is simply not good enough . If we stay up we need a solid LB. I think craddock, mouyokolo and mancienne shud get a look in, in the defense, but is it to late for people to start forming new partnerships?
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03/04/2011 20:00:00

My tips for the drop are Blackburn, Wigan and Blackpool, with possibly Birmingham instead of any of the last two. Great in-depth evaluation of the game by SB60, particularly that having to do with the psychological aspect of it. Any idea why this happens? - without taking refuge in the 'off day' repertoire. For four games it was fighting spirit all around, few, if any, mistakes in defence.....then this.
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03/04/2011 20:19:00

I am not sure lovesW but possibly the effect of losing an inspirational doyle nd the fact that they are playing in front of 50000 people, but this is no reason to be making many mistakes, some very sloppy and costly
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03/04/2011 20:25:00

I also think that the flak that the players unfairly received after the home Newcastle game had a bearing on their approach to yesterday's match. They seemed rather tentative and, if we are talking psychological issues here, this might account for the result rather than cockiness. We shall see against Everton on Saturday.
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03/04/2011 21:08:00

I had not thought of that. One plausible explanation at last. As for superwwfc's comment, I would like to think those were contributing factors too - only, MM had been insisting that it was a matter of just who replaces Doyle, and, as for the size of the home crowd, playing in front of such at Old Trafford, Maine Road, the Emirates etc. never intimidated any Wolf.
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03/04/2011 21:37:00

.... Eastlands, I beg your pardon. So easy to go back to the days of Hibbitt, Wagstaffe, McCalliog, Dougan. Of the defence, only Parkin comes readily to mind. That is saying somthing.
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03/04/2011 21:44:00

... or Bert Williams, Jimmy Mullen, Johnny Hancocks, Ron Flowers, Billy Wright, Eddie Clamp, Bill Slater, Dennis Wilshaw, Peter Broadbent ...
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03/04/2011 22:36:00

Good points all round. I am glad we have hit psychology (my chosen field :) because if I leaned towards it, then I shall underline now that our players looked 'scared' at times and it gives me no pleasure saying that. I have seen all manner of things from our side this season but fear had never presented its ugly head. Berra (not picking on him because he was no worse than the rest) wore a face full of anxiety through the game and looked in a state of panic for the most part in contrast to the assured nature we usually see from our players in spite of our present position. This is as bad as I have seen us since shivering half to death at the Wigan game- my wife's introduction to English football- what a joy that was explaining that we are not really that bad- and I hope it proves a blip as we were on a roll- before anyone jumps on that! remember; first ten games 10 points. Second ten games 10 points. Third ten games 15 points. We were showing great returns but let's admit we got slapped silly. They wanted it more, won the tackles, passed better, took chances, you name it. We have been creating chance after chance using 'The Doyle System' but we gave up after 25 minutes and there, right there, was the moment we psychologically lost the game. We effed up, now I'm panicking, game over. Super- good point on the LB position- as much as Big George seems a great character and I like him at the club, the position has been our achilles heel for too long now and no matter which league we play in next season this area needs a fix. Someone go get the glue.
New York City Wolf
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04/04/2011 00:41:00

Those names are from the era before my time. I have a vague idea of Ron Flowers in the Chile '62 World Cup. I was 12 then. My following really started with Ronnie Allen's promoted team to Div One - I remember the first game, a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage. Then followed Bill McGarry - Wolves' best time that I recall, just below the top clubs. Had Hibbitt and Parkin played for any of these, or any London Div 1 club instead, they would have been full England internationals. Of course, no televised league matches in those days. Fortunately, the local national tv station showed Midlands ITV's match of the day on wednesdays for years on end - it must have been the most economical deal of those available! So it was either Villa, Derby,WBA,Forest or Wolves - and being the top club from the area, Wolves were almost always on.
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04/04/2011 08:26:00

4 - 1 ..... :( ...... Hm, maybe this slap in the face is a good thing ? As we know our Wolves in this season, after such bad loses they perform better in the next game :)
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04/04/2011 12:18:00

True, PanFiluta. They will certainly go for the Toffees, but with one solitary striker. MM has just 'explained' his tactics for last Saturday. As I have been saying all along, only circumstances on the field as they happen could force his hand in switching to 4-4-2 - meaning, by that time, the 25th minute, he had 'contradited his faith' (NYCW's comment, third from top). And this O'Hara, promising as he is, seems to me to have only glory for himself on his mind - on two occasions already he has gone for goal with colleagues better placed than himself nearby - his ground work for wages negotiations should Spurs let him go? Fortunately, so far, the team has not had to pay with points, but I see the day looming. Had his goal at the Hawthorns been the winning one, there would be no way of keeping him out. Another piece of advice for the gaffe-r, but SB's words ring ever in my ear: impervious to outside pressure.
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04/04/2011 12:54:00

I'm not sure on this one but wud ward be better at LB than george? Is it truly impossible to play someone else like mancienne or mouyokolo there? Surely they shud get a try. And what about CB, Craddock was key last year to our quite excellent defense but yet he is not playing? I think we needed sum1 like craddock to shout at the players and pump them up. Opinions on who should play in our defense please
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04/04/2011 21:50:00

There was a time when I was praying for Craddock to return to bolster our defence and to take control. However, Stearman and Berra started to improve and, as they did so, our results picked up. I was beginning to relax ... then we played Newcastle and the old problems surfaced. The question is: was it merely a blip or have they reverted to type? Getting the answer right will determine our future. The question relating to the choice of LB is of a different order. Neither Elokobi or Ward approach PL standard and are prone to make errors, ones which have cost us points. Even so, on a good day they play competently and forget to commit the obligatory mistake. We have to hope that whoever is selected will have another seven good days.
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05/04/2011 07:39:00

I agree, superwwfc. Your suggestion is a feature of the formation as I would have it: Craddock partnering Berra in the centre, with Stearman out wide. Mancienne is classy, at times, though somewhat frail; I prefer the grit of Adlene, but here we have moved to the midfield. Of Mouyokolo I know absolutely nothing. Does anyone? And no, not even whether he'd been seen on some building site out here.
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05/04/2011 07:42:00

.......Ward. He does not feature anywhere in 'my' team,Swwfc, so much so, his name does not even spring to mind, which is why I failed to make even a mention of him.
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05/04/2011 07:57:00

Ah! I forgot to include Mouyokolo and Mancienne in the LB equation. I recall Mouyokolo playing there in one match and he could do the job, as could Mancienne (in a less muscular way). But is this the time to experiment ... probably, if needs must.
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05/04/2011 08:00:00

Merely a blip, SB60. That is because I am convinced we are staying up, even if MM persists. A slip of paper with match forecasts for the then 9 remaining games (on 29 points, with Villa next up) is before me, target 42 points, shows 2 points from the Villa and Newcastle games. For the rest of it, the home points, in match sequence, read: 1,3,1,1 and the away ones 3,1,? (Sunderland). Still on course, one point to the better, in fact. I am with you regarding Elokobi and Ward. That is why I would have Stearman and Foley as FBs. Moreover, three and even four others fulfill a midfield role much better than the latter, with Adlene and Mancienne back again.
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05/04/2011 08:36:00

To be honest i wudnt play stearman in a full-back role unless entirely necessary. My formation wud read like this : LB-Mancienne CB- Craddock and Stearman RB- Foley and as for the rest of the formation Gueidioura nd o hara in the centre wit jarvis nd hammil out-wide and ebanks ad fletch upfrot
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05/04/2011 22:01:00

If we play 4-4-2 we will struggle - for some reason we have with it all season- the reason why? Karly Henry. I think he has improved as a player but if I was managing a Premiership club I would be asking for some transfer money in the summer. Two different players in a 4-4-2 maybe but Henry, whilst so often breaking down plays and the such, so often offers such little going forward and the balance is off. I saw him gearing up for a shot at Newcastle and honestly I turned away and stared at the wall because it has as much chance of scoring. Sip of beer, looked back and Newcastle were on the counter. Another player I have stuck up for and would find a place in a 5 man midfield but if you are playing 4 with two wingers and relying on that in the middle what can you expect- one goal this season in a cup match? We could argue one holds the middle giving the other midfielder the chance to get forward but this is not 1957 and I think Moyes will have a smirk on his face if we line up 4-4-2 Saturday. Stop those two on the wing, let him knock it side ways all day keep pressuring and we'll have ourselves a couple of goals. If he winds up for a shot all the better. He will find himsefl in unfamiliar surrounds and is too slow to get back. Another midfielder alongside O'Hara I would be more confident. O'Hara will run, Milijias will throw himself into a tackle, both can cut open a defence like a tin of beans and each look likely to score. Bad news is Mick has stated if Henry is fit he plays. I also want to say to Mick- I bet you a tenner you can't not play Stephen Ward. As the players filter back one by one Ward has less to offer than most but enough is enough sometimes because he is not offering the team anything when he comes on or starts the game. I thought Andy Keogh was better suited than he ever will be to the Championship but after seeing him sent out on loan, with it increasingly unlikely he will play for us again (unless we are relegated) there is hope Mick will say alright this player has not been doing it, it's someone elses turn. Grumbling fashion indeed but it is born of concern now. I think we need two wins from these next two games but we collapsed like a pack of cards at the weekend and we can only hope it is not a return to what we saw earlier in the season. I still think we shall stay up mind. :)
New York City Wolf
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06/04/2011 06:22:00

And Berra, superwwfc? Still, a formation very similar to mine, and identical in concept: Berra for Stearman, who moves to RB and Milijas for O'Hara, with Doyle, when back, in for Hammill. I share NYCW's 'evaluation' of Karl Henry. He is employed chiefly, if not exclusively, in the role of a destroyer. A generation or so ago it was the thing to have such a one in your team, almost obligatory. Gued, rather, whose is as much of a fighter, but fast, can move forward, can pass and has a decent shot. No place for O'Hara, I am afraid, for reasons I have aired already, and I sincerely hope events prove me wrong on this one.
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06/04/2011 07:43:00

LovesW: While I am in broad agreement with you and superwwfc - and I take your point about O'Hara- I think that he has galvanised the team and had a material effect on our results. Of course, if he is acting like a prima donna rather than as a team player, MM should have a quiet word with him. He should also play further up the field than was the case on Saturday. However, we can only give him licence to go so far forward, if we play 4-5-1. If so, who should occupy the spot currently occupied by Henry? I agree with your assessment of him and, like you, would prefer Guedioura, who is a fighter, is tigerish in defence and offers more going forward. I only worry about his impetuosity. Incidentally, while enjoying the extended run of this thread, I feel guilty that we have had to piggie-back the comments on the back of series of statistics rather than a report of the match. I should have written a report as the spur. Even so, I am in the process of sharpening my pencils (if not my knife) in readiness for the trip to Molineux on Saturday. You will be able to read all about it on this site on Sunday morning.
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06/04/2011 12:03:00

Your knife? Oh no, please! At any rate, MM seems to have anticipated that, judging by his latest 'options open' declaration; now I feel the urge to say that chances are he will go 4-4-2 on Saturday, much on the lines most on here have been suggesting. Or is it just a will-o'-the-wisp? Not having seen all that much of O'Hara myself, I will accept your assessment of him, so far as his introduction's effect on the team goes. You will no doubt appreciate, as you seem to have already, that all that will eventually be of no account, worse, if my concerns are given cause to prevail. Guedioura's passionateness is all-too-evident, true, bordering on recklessness at times. He is of French culture, let us not forget; still, I would go for him, at least until the sum of yellow cards or further misfortune preclude him.
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06/04/2011 19:19:00


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