Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flat at home

Newcastle Utd 0 - 0 Fulham

So, another home game and more points dropped. For the second game in a row, a team arrived at St James' Park and successfully nullified our Plan A (lump in high for Rocky to head) and like the advert on the side of the M&S trucks, there was no Plan B.

This time it was old boy Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland (an alleged target of ours in the dark days of Fat Sam) who snuffed out all that was thrown at them.

Frustratingly, there were fleeting opportunities for us to break the deadlock, with Peter Lovenkrands sending a header at Mark Schwarzer and seeing a shot blocked on the line by the Australian after a fierce Rocky shot had rebounded off Kevin Nolan's backside.

At the other end, Moussa Dembele saw Fulham's best chance cannon back off the crossbar. However, a side who haven't won away since the start of last season didn't really create much to threaten our goal and with the two teams effectively cancelling each other out a point apiece was a fair, if frustrating, result.

After the match it was telling to hear Chris Hughton highlighting that his life would be easier if he could bring in a number two - which is about as outspoken as he's been since he took charge. Hopefully Jabba might finally listen and accede to his request, because on this showing we need a few more ideas on the training pitch.

Whilst Rocky's threat was nullified, the loss of ASBO's quality in midfield was keenly felt, with replacement Danny Guthrie unable to supply the consistent quality delivery which our recent surge up the table has been based upon.

For Rocky, the end of the game bought confirmation that he's been called up by Fabio Capello (and reports today suggest he will earn his first senior cap against France). With Cheik Tiote picking up his fifth booking of the season, ASBO suspended and Big Lad injured, the squad is starting to look a little thin. Hughton must be hoping then that Rocky survives his England call-up and returns refreshed and inspired.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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