Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Newcastle Utd 0 - 0 Charlton Athletic

Broadly speaking I'm an optimist, and despite years of evidence to the contrary, and countless heartbreaks along the way, my support for Newcastle tends to focus on the positives.

So for the purposes of this report, I shall not be mentioning the fact we are now 17th in the table, that we've scored a paltry seven goals so far this season, that our form is absolutely shocking, and despite dominating a Charlton side propping up the table, we still couldn't score the single goal which would have won this game.

Instead, I shall talk about how we dominated a game, creating several excellent chances (the majority of which fell to makeshift forward Damien Duff), hit the woodwork (courtesy of Giuseppe Rossi), and kept a clean sheet (despite the inevitable loss of concentration by Titus Bramble). It was heartening to see Nobby Solano enjoy a good game down the right, and for both Butt and Parker to look solid in midfield (in Parker's case despite an early knock).

As has been the story of our season so far, if we'd had a strike force on form, we'd have romped away with this game, and have had it all sown up before half time. However, we are currently struggling to even have a strike force (let alone one in form) and as a result we simply aren't scoring the goals to put teams away, which is why we find ourselves at the wrong end of the table. It says something for Albert Luque that Roeder prefers Duff up front, and refuses to bring the Spaniard on despite the Irishman's poor form in front of goal.

As it was, the Irishman managed to find his way into several decent positions, and also might have won a penalty, only to miss out due to a combination of poor finishing and some last ditch defending by a Charlton side who scrapped and scrabbled in defence.

With Rossi ineligible on Thursday, and with Martins joining Ameobi on the sidelines, it may be that the Spaniard gets a chance in the UEFA Cup, but even if he does get a game, I don't hold out much hope that he'll bust a gut to add to his meagre goals tally for the club. The problem is that unless someone finds some form in front of goal, things might start looking really bleak (even through my black and white tinted spectacles.)

Charlton fans' views: All Quiet In The East Stand, Addick's Premiership Diary

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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