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Season 2004-05
 Manchester United (h) Premiership
 

 
 

Date: Sunday 14th November 2004, 4.05pm

Venue: SJP

Conditions: 
that area of high pressure remains over Tyneside.
 

 
 
  

Newcastle United

Manchester United

1 - 3

Teams

Goals

7 mins Wayne Rooney darted into the area, pointing to Heinze where he wanted the ball. Unfortunately Bramble couldn't read the signal, let alone the play, and failed to cover the run. Having said that, it was one heck of a finish to hit a genuine volley on the turn with enough pace to beat Given. 1-0

Half time:  Newcastle 0 Manchester 1

71 mins After squandering chances aplenty in the first half there seemed no way through for Newcastle's front line. However, when Shearer robbed Wes Brown, the Red seas parted in front of him as he cut across the edge of the box and tucked a left-footed shot past Carroll who got some sort of touch but not enough to keep the ball out. 1-1

74 mins Rooney chased O'Brien into the box and nudged the defender from behind. It was a clear foul but unfortunately O'Brien stayed on his feet until slipping over seconds later. This presented Rooney with the ball and as Given came out and retreated, Rooney attempted a chip. Given leapt and palmed the effort down but as Scholes readied himself to shoot Given lunged to retrieve the loose ball. His only contact was with Scholes, not the ball, and the referee gave the penalty. Ruud van Nistelrooy hit a powerful low shot to Shay's right with the 'keeper guessing incorrectly. 1-2

90 mins In the fourth and final minute of injury time Manchester poured forward and when a cross was only pushed out to van Nistelrooy he seemed certain to score. Bramble made a fantastic goalline clearance but only as far as Rooney who dispatched the ball from eight yards. 1-3

Full time: Newcastle 1 Manchester 3

We Said

Graeme Souness said:

"At this football club I've quickly learned that the glass is never half-full, it's always half-empty, and that's something we have to address. We have somehow to get the message across to supporters that we are all in this together.

"We can all be disappointed with results but I think, like against Chelsea, we played very well.

"Some players may be guilty of making poor defensive mistakes that have led to goals but that is something we will address in time. My message to any supporter is to stick together.

"We are a football club that is capable of being the best in the country and beyond, but if it is constantly undermined - and I believe it is in the short time I've been here - then you've got no chance. In nearly 40 years this club has won nothing and it's not just been about being unlucky or not having good players as there have been some great players here.

"I think there has to be something else as well. Without being critical of anyone - and maybe at another time I will go into it - I would ask for togetherness at this time as that's the only answer.

"Look at history. It tells you teams who have continuity are the teams who are successful.

"Yesterday was a game we should have got something from I didn't think it was a penalty. I'd like to think, if they're honest, Manchester United are going home thinking they've been a bit lucky.

"It's another blow, another check on our confidence. But we have to stick together. All the experts can say what they want but I believe we've played well again. We're a hairs breadth away from being a very good team."

They Said

Alex Ferguson said:

"It was a fantastic performance from Wayne, an unbelievable performance. Wayne worked his socks off and is getting fitter all the time. He missed pre-season, which is unfortunate, and didn't play for 96 days and when that happens it will take time to get a player to the point where he is able to do something like that.

"He was marvellous. We tried to get him on the left-hand side to blend him with Ruud and Scholesy, because they are three players with good football brains and that worked very well for us.

"The first goal was an excellent chip from Darren into Wayne's path and he has taken it very well."

"The second came at an important time because Shearer had lifted the whole stadium and you know what the fans are like here. They took the roof off. In the first half they had a couple of chances but we had one chance and scored from it. We defended better in the second half, but to lose a goal the way we did was a disappointment.

"The important thing was the reaction to that, as we were magnificent after that. We went up the park and got the penalty kick and from that point on I couldn't see us giving it away again."

"You can't look into the future but our desire is that this is the start of a run. In my time here Manchester United have always wanted to win. Wanting to win is the most important thing, even though you don't always win.

"You can't question our desire. The intent is there, the quality is there, and as we saw yesterday some of the football was fantastic. There were occasions we had to defend and our football in general was very good."

"Not getting three points at any time is unthinkable - even if we had won 20 games in a row. That is the nature of our club. But experience tells you it doesn't always happen that way, and that you sometimes have to go through periods of disappointment.

"That's when your experience comes into play - you don't panic, and you trust the players and let them get on with it. We need wins all the time but obviously we have had a disappointing time, not in terms of performance but in terms of scoring.

"Yesterday we scored three. We have been saying all week that the breaks even themselves out, and maybe it is our turn now.

"The referee was close enough to see and it looked a penalty for me, but it doesn't redress what happened last week because that was a clear penalty too. But Graham Poll never gives us a penalty. He didn't give us the one last week, the one at Highbury last season and one at Chelsea the year before that."

Stats

 
Fourth appearance at SJP for Van Nistelrooy and he's scored a goal in each of them.

Third home defeat in a week with just two goals scored and nine conceded.

Third consecutive Premiership defeat.

It was 21st August and 11 games ago that Newcastle last failed to score in a Premierhsip game - the 1-0 home defeat by Spurs.
 

Waffle

Just as it did a year ago, whatever 1/52nd of an annus horribilis is, precipitated a welter of soul-searching and navel-gazing on Tyneside and beyond. 

And with every two-bit texter, panellist, caller or scribe advancing their own particular chaos theory, our own random thoughts are offered here.

But as usual, our focus is slightly different (some would say blurred) - and we're as concerned about a draw and two home defeats as a trio of losses.

The NUFC.com three-day weekend consisted of watching:

Saturday: Newcastle U18s drawing with Barnsley  
Sunday: Newcastle First team losing to Manchester United 
Monday: Newcastle Reserves losing to Manchester United

And in a nutshell, this consisted four and a half hours of sub-standard confusion. 

In each case the opposition looked more enthusiastic, committed, lively and professional. By contrast we looked moribund, feckless and de-motivated.

Common factors included:

Midfield: mundane in the extreme. Jenas aside, the under-achieving first team midfielders have no fear of being usurped by those coming through, as we look unbelievably light in this area. 

While the occasional defender (Hughes, Caldwell) and striker (Ameobi) have graduated to the first team in recent years, the best we've done since Gazza has been Martin Brittain - who is doing nothing in the reserves to justify a recall. Don't bother mentioning Jamie McClen.... 

Even our discards such as Brian Kerr (now at Motherwell), Bradley Orr (Bristol City) Stuart Green (Hull), Andy Ferrell (Watford) and the Forest duo Ross Gardner and James Beaumont would tower above what we've currently got.  

Wide play: non-existent - reserve winger Alan O'Brien has returned from injury but talk in his native Ireland that he's set to displace Robert in January is fanciful nonsense. 

In the first team both Ambrose and Milner haven't been included since the Tbilisi game, but were fit enough to start for England U21s in Spain two days after the Manchester United game.  

Set pieces: Corners particularly average. Solano not replaced for first team, vacancies exist at all levels.  

Pace: severely lacking in all areas of the field.

Turning to the first team game, a bad decision by the match officials once again allowed us to collectively feel sorry for ourselves after we'd dragged ourselves back into the game courtesy of a solo goal (shades of Ambrose at Bolton - like that game we proved incapable of working out a move that involved the requisite amounts of passing, movement and shooting.)

However, the ill-fortune that dogged us for the second successive Sunday did make very evident the lack of belief in the stands that we were heading for anything other than a defeat. Last week we died at 0-2, this week 1-2 was enough to start the shuffle for the exits and silence those who remained. It's embarrassing, but there's a mass lack of faith verging on a disinterest with our current plight - people just seem to be glum rather than angry - death by apathy if you will.    

The lack of wide play merely added a new refrain to our familiar chorus, with a golden oldie - if you don't put crosses in then the strikers get no chances. Anyone who has read our waffle before is welcome to skip the next three paragraphs as we rehash old lines once again like Slade every December: 

Dyer? why the mania to play him? Monday = return from injury in reserves, looks rusty. Wednesday = on at half time, ends up playing to end of extra time, contributes nothing. Sunday = appears ten minutes into the second half, contributes nothing. 

Kluivert - taking the p***? The only way he'd have left this pitch battered, bruised or bloodied would have been if SJP had taken a direct hit from a meteorite. Or Peter Withe's dog had returned.

Bellamy wide = waste of a striker. Increasingly de-motivated, clearly unhappy - the inevitable explosion in the media expected any day now.

No point really waffling on about the defence, except to say that someone should be getting their derriere kicked about Carr's fitness: either the player told porkies, the medics were wrong or the fitness test wasn't taxing enough as he looked fettled from the first whistle and hung around for 18 minutes.

Saturday's trip to Palace becomes a test of nerve, faith and hope - with a little bit of charity thrown in from the referee hopefully. Given the similarities between Bolton and Palace, Souness could be forgiven for fielding a team designed to contain a side who have drawn with Arsenal and beaten Fulham on their own ground.

We need a win in any shape or form, but the lack of spirit on and off the field is a real concern.  

In the short term, the arrivals and departures during the first month of 2005 look more and more like being pivotal to our immediate future - and goals against column. The danger though is that we have to play 9 more league games before transfer business begins in earnest - during which we need to collect enough points to still be in contention for even a UEFA slot.

The long-term failings at the club have also to be addressed, as we watch the products of other club's successful youth policies prosper (and score) against us week after week and wonder why they aren't Geordies in black and white shirts.  
 
Biffa

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Page last updated 14 November, 2012