Preston 0-1 Newcastle

Newcastle United produced yet another smash and grab away victory in a pretty dour win at Deepdale tonight, courtesy of Kevin Nolan.

 

Nolan narrowly leads to goal scoring competition between himself and Alan Smith this season

Just like Cardiff and Sheffield United, Newcastle defended well and produced very little, but somehow did just about enough to take away all three points. Fortunately, though, there was nothing like the Bramall Lane onslaught at the end of the game and it finished up quite comfortably.

Rather than waffle on, I’ll comment on each player tonight individually…

Harper – 7: Lots of those difficult little long range shots to contend with. You know the ones. The ones that bounce awkwardly and skid along the floor at pace. Harper dealt with each one supremely well. Very comfortable night. To suggest that he should be in the England squad is not all that ridiculous when you look at some of the other candidates.

Simpson – 7: Best player on the pitch in the first half along with Enrique. No idea why he went off in the 2nd half. Presumably injured, but didn’t look it. The more he plays the more I like him. Sign him up.

Taylor – 7: Best defender in the Championship by a mile. Switched to right back after Simpson’s exit. Had a pretty comfortable night ultimately. David Moyes was in the stands tonight. To see his old friend Irvine? Or to have a look at a few Newcastle players? Lets hope its not the latter, as Taylor will be getting scouted by plenty of Premier League teams in December. MOTM.

Coloccini – 7: Looks a different player to the liability we saw for the majority of last season, and much more like the defender who wowed us all at Old Trafford last August. Still had the odd moment of indecisive-ness. If this defence stays put all season, we’ll be guaranteed a finish near the top of the table, and Coloccini is a big part of that.

Enrique – 7: Another night of ease for Jose. The only worry is that he is going to switch off as a result of being so un-tested every week. Quicker, stronger and more talented than every player he has come up against in the Championship. Tonight was certainly no different.

Guthrie – 5: Not a winger. Jesus Christ, why does Hughton persist in selecting him there? He’s a good crosser but that does not mean he should be stuck out on the wing. Obviously, Ryan Taylor’s illness ‘forced’ him out there, but still. Why rush Pancrate’s signing through if you’re not going to put him in the team? Guthrie is a class player though and the sooner he’s in the middle the better. Preferably at the expense of this joker…

Smith – 4: The youngest captain in Newcastle United’s history. Assuming, that is, that he is 13 years old. Because that’s how he behaves. This isn’t playground football, where sliding around on your knees and getting holes in your trousers earns you your midfield stripes. We need a holding midfielder with intelligence. Someone who is going to read the game, win the ball and calmly play the ball out from the defence. Smith is none of those things. Another ridiculous booking before the 15 minute mark meant that he was on eggshells for the remainder of the match. Lucky to not receive a second yellow after a couple of ‘clumsy’ challenges. Still can’t pass for toffee. Had to be told to calm the fuck down by our manager – not what you want to see in a captain.

Nolan – 7: Had been quiet, but yet again, our saviour. Far, far too good for this division. You can’t help but think that, had Nolan been in this sort of form last season, we may not have gone down. Just one goal from him may have made all the difference. Oh well. He’s one of the few quality footballers that we have left in our side. Lets keep hold of him, yeah? We probably won’t get promoted without him.

Gutierrez – 3: Fuck sake man. What the hell? At one point, he absolutely skinned Billy Jones. Literally gained about 5 or 6 yards on him. He should be doing this every time. But his touch and his final ball is sometimes absolutely appalling. Piss poor. Worse than Conference standard. In the dying seconds, Lovenkrands laid on a chance for him – a golden chance. All it took was a calm side food into the far side of the net. But we all saw it coming. He ballooned it high into the stands. Pathetic. Get fucking rid. Someone will probably pay 4 or 5 million for him in January – take their hands off.

Carroll – 6: Poor game by his high standards. Should never have been taken off though…

Harewood – 5: I’d love to know what this bloke has on Chris Hughton, because he certainly isn’t earning his place in the side at the moment. Maybe its harsh to pin the blame on him (he was probably no worse than Carroll tonight) but Carroll at least has huge potential in abundance. Harewood is not going to improve any time soon. I won’t list his faults, we all know what they are. His presence in the side is a mystery. What I will say is that, unlike Heskey, he does not make up for his shortcomings with his work ethic.

Subs:

Ranger (Carroll 62) – 7: Its not a coincidence that we scored after Nile came on. Works his bloody arse off. Can we please, please give him and Carroll another go upfront together?

Kadar (Simpson 65) – 6: Looked very solid actually when he came on, as well as comfortable on the ball. Kadar continues to show huge promise.

Lovenkrands (Guthrie 90) – N/A: Not much time to make an impact, although he did lay on a golden chance for Jonas.

Manager watch:

A couple of baffling decisions, as always. Ryan Taylor threw a spanner into the works but surely Ranger would have been a better option upfront than Harewood? Or leave Nolan as the supporting striker and chuck Pancrate in on the right? Taking off Carroll was even more mystifying. But we won the game after that decision, to be fair to Hughton. His demeanour on the touch line is starting to look more manager-like every game, as exemplified by his word in the ear of Alan Smith to calm our ‘captain’ down.

Preston watch:

A woeful, woeful display. They had their chances but failed to trouble Harper. Mellor, the ‘new Steven Gerrard’, was probably their most threatening player. They were unlucky to lose Mawene at the break due to injury – he might have made the difference. Yet again this season, for the umpteenth time, I’ve not been impressed at all with the opposition. Preston had quite an intimidating record at Deepdale prior to tonight, but I saw absolutely no evidence as to why.

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One Response to “Preston 0-1 Newcastle”

  1. Mart Says:

    Where are you mate!?

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