block on Baines towards the left edge of the box gave the Latics a free
kick from which allowed Ryan Taylor to
rifle home a free kick reminiscent of the effort by Didier Drogba that
removed us from the Carling Cup last year.
marks remain over Given's position, while in
this age of on-field political correctness, it's perhaps surprising that
the behaviour of Filan towards Sibierski after the penalty award hasn't
been scrutinised further - there again this is Newcastle.
Half time: Wigan 1 Newcastle 0
Full time: Wigan 1 Newcastle 0
Glenn Roeder said
of the penalty miss:
"It was a big turning point. I always expect Nobby to score. He's
very upset because goals change games and had we scored first we'd have
gone on to win.
"It was a
nailed-on penalty and if we'd taken the lead then, we'd have gone on to win as
we were on top and Shay Given had little to do.
"But we just
didn't take the chances we created, or make the best of the good positions we
got into... it should have been all over by half-time.
On the display from Wiley:
"I like to see a referee apply
common sense, but I don't think he did in this game.
"He is a very
experienced referee but I thought he was very petty.
"I was close
to the situation when Nicky and Scott were booked, and neither of them have said
anything that warrants a booking.
"We're annoyed and upset. The game became too
direct and we don't like to play that."
Nol Solano added:
"We knew exactly how important winning was, and we had enough
chances to win it – even before the penalty.
"When you take a penalty you should never change your mind about
which way you're going to go.
"In the last few games I've sent the ball to one side – the right
– and scored, but I changed my mind and went to the left, and the
goalkeeper went early.
"I've always been told not to change my mind and I'm disappointed
that I did. Against Liverpool and West Ham I went to the goalkeeper's
right, but this time I didn't."
"I'm still confident to take penalties, and I'll step up against
Middlesbrough if I have to. Every game is different and we have to move
on, and that includes me taking penalties again."
Steven Taylor took his turn in giving the now traditional "we
let the fans down" address:
"We're devastated for ourselves, but most of all we're devastated
for our supporters.
"We let them down and we just couldn't seem to get going all
afternoon. All we can do now is to look to put things right against
Middlesbrough at St James's Park on Saturday."
"We worked hard enough, but the end product just wasn't there,
although I have to say that I thought Wigan defended well.
"Not only that, but their goal gave them a lift, and they were able
to raise their game in the second half.
"At the end of the day it was a scrappy game, as I suppose people
suspected it would be, but we've got to come to places like this and get a
"A few of our players were a bit disappointed with some of the
referee's decisions, but at least I avoided a booking.
"I did get a long lecture from the referee in the second half because
he didn't seem to like the way I was jumping for the ball, so I had to
make sure when I did I kept my hands down".
Grown-up Diddyman Paul Jewell opined:
"It was a terrific atmosphere, the Newcastle fans played their part.
"Although the pitch wasn't good and the performance was scrappy but it's
results that matter at this stage of the season.
"Ryan (Taylor) broke his leg in a reserve game at Newcastle
last year but he has worked ever so hard, and it's a big reward for his hard
"We can't do anything about other results, but if we win as many
games as the bottom three, we'll be fine. I don't think it's necessarily three
out of the current bottom four teams that will go down,"
"John (Filan) kept us in it with his penalty save, and two other
outstanding saves as well.
"Considering that was only his second game of the season, he looks
like he has never been away. His first was at Watford in midweek, which is a
difficult place to go for a keeper, but he was excellent.
"I think it was crazy that we had six players booked in a game
between two honest teams. To be fined £25,000 for that is a nonsense.
"It was a game that certainly did not warrant that many bookings. But
every foul at the moment seems to be drawing a booking, and that cannot be
right. We are not a dirty team."
His comment on the Sibierski penalty:
"I was sat in the Arsenal dugout and didn't see it!"
Toon @ Latics
1953/54 Won 3-2 (FA) Broadis, Keeble, White
2005/06 Lost 0-1
2005/06 Lost 0-1 (LC)
2006/07 Lost 0-1
The JJB Stadium remains the only one we've ever visited in the Premiership and
failed to score at.
Dyer's 16-match run of games came to an end - apparently due to his
being rested after feeling under the weather.
Scott Parker completed a half-century of Premiership appearances
for the club (49 starts +1 as sub, 4 goals).
After sub appearances this season in the FA and UEFA Cups, striker Andy
Carroll made his league debut, the 18 year-old becoming
the 129th player to represent us in the Premiership.
first blank return in front of goal in ten games.
The last our of seven Premiership games in the North West
this season and we dropped 17 of the 21 points on offer. Aside from our
Ewood Park victory, only a scoreless draw at Manchester City saw us come
home with anything:
Liverpool lost 0-2
Man United lost 0-2
Man City lost 0-3
Blackburn won 3-0
Bolton lost 0-2
Everton lost 0-1
Wigan lost 0-1
We're still one point better off though compares to the same
trips in season 2005/06:
Liverpool lost 0-2
Man United lost 0-2
Man City drew 0-0
Blackburn won 3-1
Bolton lost 0-2
Everton lost 0-3
Wigan lost 0-1
Aside from a Bramall Lane trip, our remaining away games are the
lengthiest of the season - Charlton, Portsmouth, Reading and Watford.
Just as they had
at Fulham in our last away game, another
tremendous travelling support turned out to cheer us on - and were still
there at the end to the give their favourites some applause that their
performance didn't warrant.After
waiting half a century to make our second visit to this town, we've now
trekked here on a trio of occasions in less than 18 months - with the inevitable
reaction to this third consecutive kick in the knackers being that we've
now entered a Dell-like bogey ground scenario.
United had arrived on the pitch to a magnificent ovation - complete with
twirling scarves and balloons - that would have been more in keeping with
a side playing in the League Cup Final later the same afternoon.
Unfortunately though the team reacted as they have done so often in the
past to the presence of such backing - by turning in a performance of
utter woodenness that would have seen them struggle to beat anything more
taxing than some demoralised part-time Europeans.
Despite a raft of changes to the side -
Given, Onyewu, Parker, Sibierski and substitute N'Zogbia all returning -
this was in many ways a continuation of the uninspiring dross witnessed on
And while it may seem insensitive to criticise a player for not playing in
a game just before burying a close relative, having rightly receiving
plaudits for opting to face Liverpool, Babayaro was absent today - and
While his omission on compassionate grounds would have been tolerated, for
the only left back at the club to miss out for the umpteenth time due to a
tweaked hamstring though is beyond a joke.
Either this bloke is a urine-extractor or our medics should be struck off.
A left back undoubtedly remains top of the close-season list, as it did of
course last month.....
In Babayaro's place the wrong-footed Huntington endured an uncomfortable
afternoon and was the principal offender in the aimless hoofed pass
stakes. Other older and more famous players were little better though.
mind the nonsense peddled by Roeder about the penalty miss being a turning
point - we've had enough spot kicks awarded in recent weeks to last other
clubs a season and in the case of the Liverpool win at least, it hid a
multitude of sins - and lack of "real" goalmouth action.
As at Craven Cottage, this was another blank return for the away
followers - albeit at less than half the price of a Thameside pew - as we
undid the good work of the Spurs victory with another tame display without
even less of a too little, too late finish.
Suspicions that sinister forces are at work are also underlined by the
fact that we've lost the two Premiership games here by a single goal
scored at the same end at at exactly the
same time - 40 minutes.
And we've played like plums - although that's hardly unique.
fallout from this game there has been some criticism of Roeder's tactics -
or lack of them - especially as we were once again treated to the
ludicrous sight of high balls being battered forward to a small striker,
giving some average defenders an easy afternoon.
However, with the middle of the pitch looking like a glider strip, we
rightly tried to work the ball down the flanks and employed no less than
four amigos at various times to do so.
That they all failed - and in the case of subs N'Zogbia and Milner spurned
great late chances to get the ball into the box by wildly blasting it over
- isn't really something that can be laid at the door of the
our corner routines once again unable to set up anything of note, only
the revealing of a mean long throw from Onyewu gave us any sort of
delivery into the box.
The return of Zog for Duff though should prove significant - with the
latter having done precious little lately to present the former with any
great obstacle to winning back a starting place.
So our predictably unpredictable season continues in typically incoherent
fashion, with unpleasant echoes of previous dips in form as we were too
easily knocked out of our stride by an unfashionable side. If only we were
half as good as we thought we were.
While UEFA Cup hopes remain alive and provide day dream material and daft
songs, we can be distracted with rah-rah reports on Shola's hip and
Michael's leg and the promise of jam tomorrow.
But when the road to Hampden hits a brick wall, our season faces the
prospect of petering out into yet another lost year. All a bit
predictable, all a bit depressing. Must try harder.