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Newcastle United
October 31, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 10/31/2011

Well, it is not over yet.

I can't imagine that Stoke will be as poor in this half.

46 - Best catches Upson with his left arm and free kick Stoke. I only add that in in the interests of equality!

52 - Mix up between Cabaye and Krul leads to a Stoke corner. Huth heads over - one of their better chances but again, the lads did well to put Huth under a lot of pressure.

54 - Steve Taylor gives away a free kick. Kick swung in, Taylor heads behind for a Stoke corner that comes to nothing.

There is very little mobility in this Stoke side, the wide men apart. Lots of power, but little pace and agility. Even then the wide men are massively restricted by the ridiculously small pitch.

58 - Stoke come the closest to scoring that they have all night from (yawn) a Delap throw.

Stoke have been much more dangerous so far in the second half, which is natural. We look prepared to sit back and soak up the pressure which is a gamble. If they nick one the crowd will wake up and it's game on.

Trapattoni said that he doesn't pick Leon Best because he's lazy. Utter nonsense. Quite the opposite.

61 - Stoke corner, Simpson nips in ahead of Crouch to head behind for another corner. This one is aimed at Upson but he headers wide under pressure from Ba.

63 - Ryan Taylor floored again whilst bravely winning a header. This one thanks to Huth's elbow - he made no effort to play the ball at all.

64 - Walters tries to find Pennant out right, but again Jonas is in covering and clears. Outstanding. Jonas is single handedly inventing a new position on the football pitch - left back + 1 yard.

68 - Etherington off, Jones on for Stoke. Could be difficult for us. I have no idea why Pulis didn't start him given how he tore us apart at our place last season.

We are making great us of the Stoke City pitch side towels in this second half!

It looks like James Perch is coming on. Good luck to the lad, but this worries me.

73 - Colo headers off the line. Crouch dives in the aftermath after the slightest bit of contact from Ba. Penalty. Disgraceful call, he went down in instalments. Walters scores the penalty, 1 v 2 with 16 left.

77 - Cabaye off, James Perch on?!?!?!?! Strange one that. Perch is booked within a couple of seconds. I'm guessing Pardew really doesn't rate Gosling.

The Stoke fans are getting pretty wound up when we dry the ball with the towel and Pulis is having a word with the 4th official. Are they for real?

79 - Playing them at their own game, Raylor throws a long one in and Best is pushed at the back post. Unlike Crouch, he keeps his feet but it's still a pen......

81 - HATTRICKDEMBABA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 v 1

82 - Ba finds Obertan out wide - he shoots just wide of the keepers right hand post. Unlucky but he should have taken it earlier.

83 - "There's only one Alan Pardew" rings out from the away end.

86 - Leon Best off, Sam Ameobi on. Well played Leon, up there to lend Demba a hand all night long.

87 - Good burst from Walters, ball out to Jones and an excellent sliding tackle from Perch.

87 - It kicks off and Huth is in the middle of it - he took Krul out after the whistle. What a surprise.

89 - Ball played out to Pennant and he is brilliantly tracked by Coloccini. Another outstanding performance from a top class Captain.

91 - Guthrie off, Gosling on. Well played Danny lad - superb graft. Terrible barnet mind.

92 - Crouch slices one up in the air. He is absolutely terrible that bloke. The modern day Kevin Francis.

95 - Now it is Danny Simpson injured in his own penalty area by a hefty challenger from Walters.

Full time - Stoke City 1 v Demba Ba 3


Absolutely top class performance. If someone had told me that tonight would end 3 v 1, I'd have assumed we would be on the wrong end of it.

Our work rate was exceptional - we out-Stoked Stoke and added some attacking flair into the mix.

Coloccini, Jonas, Ryan Taylor, Demba Ba - they were superb and there were no weak links.

That result takes us up to 3rd after 10 games - and thoroughly deserved. Pundits - have we played anyone yet?.........

You can follow me on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

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Posted by Marc Duffy on 10/31/2011

Happy Halloween and mackem Slaughter Anniversary.

A very tough game in store for us tonight has been made even tougher by the pre-match news that Cheick Tiote misses out through injury and will be replaced by Danny Guthrie. In terms of playing styles, this is one of the worst fixtures that it could have happened for.

Both of the other injury doubts, Steve Taylor (broken nose) and Leon Best (tonsillitis) are good to go, so we line up:

Krul, Simpson, Raylor, Saylor, Colo (C), Guthrie, Cabaye, Jonas, Obertan, Ba, Best

Former Mag Jonathan Woodgate starts for Stoke.

A win would see us climb up into third, though Stoke are unbeaten at home so it wont be easy. Let's not forget how tough a fixture this was for us last season, but we have bettered most like-for-like fixtures this year so far vs last, so you never know.....

1 - CORNER: Obertan's pass is deflected behind by Pennant. You see them lining up in the 18 yard box and it quickly becomes obvious how big a side Stoke have. Headed out for another corner - Cabaye crosses into the box, cleared out and a decent effort from Ryan Taylor goes wide. The 250th game of his career.....

3 - A Delap long-hoy. It looks like Ba is picking up Shawcross - I don't fancy our odds on that one.

4 - Colo brushes skin-headed Walters head and Walters hits the deck like a small child, looks to the linesman, gets nothing so jumps up and waves a finger at Colo.

Roberto Mancini is in the crowd wearing one of the worst scarf's that I have ever seen in my life.

I know Obertan has yet to convince many Newcastle fans, me included, but this is the type of game that he could really prove his worth. His pace on the break could help to relieve the pressure

12 - GGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDemba Ba! Long ball from Krul, headed on by Best, superb ball in from the right delivered by Obertan and headed home by Ba. He cups his ear to the boo boys! 1 v 0.

16 - More boos for Demba. Booing him because the club wouldn't sign him so he went to West Ham instead! He responded in the perfect way a few minutes ago!

17 - A howler from Shawcross as he falls over under no pressure. Ba nicks the ball but Begovic comes out quickly and does well. Shawcross limps off like a 12 year old who has just made a silly error in the playground.

18 - It seems I have been a bit harsh on Shawcross - he's been subbed. Upson on. He has had some shockers vs us in the past so let's hope that continues.

Jonas doesn't look too keen to hang on to the ball so far. I wonder if he is worried about getting roughed up?!

22 - Rory Delap's fourth or fifth long throw from the right. I'm not even sure he has touched it with his feet yet.....

24 - Superb ball over the top from Cabaye looking for Ba. Begovic again does brilliantly coming off his line quickly - get those ones wrong and you are in big trouble.

28 - Another Delap throw from the right. Stoke are very effective at what they do, but it can be a tough watch.

29 - A cross from the right that Krul, under no pressure, should take easily but he drops it behind for a corner. If he had been more central it might well have been an OG. We are under quite a bit of pressure.

I do like that black strip. Might have to buy one.

33 - Only 2 shots in the entire game so far, both from us. 1 on target.

35 - Another long throw from Delap, cleared, long range shot from Etherington easily saved by Krul.

It looks like Wilson might be coming off for Huth. This used to happen to us regularly when we played in Europe every year - the number of sprains and strains that our players picked up was ridiculous.

38 - Cabaye has given away a free kick on the corner of our area. Etherington finds Pennant but he's well covered.

Further to my earlier comment on Jonas - he has yet again proved how helpful he is defensively.

39 - GOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOLGOL and it is wor Demba again. Left footed diagonal cross from Captain Colo, Besty brings it down well, miscues his shot but Demba slots home!

41 - Wilson off, Huth on. A second later Stoke swing in a great corner and a scramble ends with the ball in Krul's hands.

Nanananananana na na na, Demba Demba Ba, Demba Ba, Demba Demba Ba

44 - Ryan Taylor, who has played very well so far, is left flat out on the floor after a heavy challenge from Walters. It looks quite serious. He finally gets to his feet and will see out the half.

49 - Wilkinson gifts the ball to Best (they've done that a few times tonight), Best shoots wide from distance. Decent effort.

You can follow me on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

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October 18, 2011
Posted by Marc Duffy on 10/18/2011

What a start to the season. The boys are doing us proud.

A lot has been written about our superb start and many media pundits claimed before last weeks 2 v 2 draw with Tottenham that “Newcastle haven’t played anyone yet.” Utter nonsense. We have played 5 out of last seasons top 10 so far.

So how do we literally compare vs. Last season on (and off) the pitch?

Here are a couple of head-to-head result and attendance statistics comparing this season to last, further highlighting how much improvement looks to have been made on the pitch:

Alan Pardew
Marc Duffy Marc Duffy is a National Account Manager in the alcoholic drinks industry - a career in alcohol was obviously the natural step after following Newcastle United for all of his 32 years. Marc blames his father for his obsession with Newcastle United - since attending his first game at the age of 4 Marc has endured many ups and downs, and despite the lack of silverware remains positive that a trophy will be won at some point in his lifetime! (Wait, does the Intertoto cup not count?) Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSDuffy

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