NUFC 2 – 1 Spurs

The first Premier League game of the 2012/2013 saw Tottenham Hotspur make the journey up to St James Park (I refuse to call it by that other name, you know the official name) for a 5:30pm kick off. Yes we had to wait until 5:30pm on a Saturday tea time instead of the traditional and much-loved 3pm kick off. But never mind there was a massive buzz just on the metro on the way to Newcastle for the game, nearly everyone kitted out in the new shirt and feeling very optimistic for the new season starting. And why not eh? We had a cracking season last year and should look to maintain that level of performance and attitude this season too.

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Wolves 1 – 2 Newcastle

Our fantastic start to the season continued with a 2-1 win over Wolves. Although the scoreline makes it sound a lot closer than it actually was. Although at the end of the game Wolves did have the ball in the back of the net which would have made it 2-2. But before that we really did outclass them all over the pitch. They seemed to completely crumble after scoring our first goal. Which saw Demba Ba get his 4th goal in 2 games, with a good header from a Cabaye corner.

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Sunderland 0 – 1 Newcastle

Only the second game of the Premiership season saw the Wear/Tyne Derby taking place. With Sunderland bringing in 10 new players and more players leaving St James Park than we have brought in, it was always going to be a strange game to guess the result of. Pre-match all kind of facts and stats were flying around including that we had scored against the Mackem’s the previous 22 games, and let’s face it they don’t manage to beat us very often. They seem to just crumble under the pressure, therefore we have a very good record at the Stadium of Light.

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Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal

After last seasons thrilling 4-4 draw and the greatest comeback in Premier League history, this game was bound to be a disappointment. Chosen for ESPN TV coverage making our opening day of the season a 5:30pm kick off. Possibly a reason the edge was taken off the game? Well it is never the same when a game does not kick off at 3pm on a Saturday, just a totally different edge surrounding the game.

However, opening game of the season and I was excited and very optimistic. Until of course the first 20 minutes of the game when even in that early stage it looked like both teams were happy playing for a draw. Both clubs in slight turmoil with more players leaving than any hope of players coming back in. Nevertheless the fans turned up to support them, plenty of away support for Arsenal.

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Newcastle 4-1 Blackpool

The second last home game of the season saw Blackpool come to St James Park, with a lot of support in the bright orange shirts. Taking at least 3,000 tickets. With a chance of still making the play-offs we were half expecting this to be a slightly more difficult game but in the end that wasn’t meant to be. Again the pressure of playing at St James Park got to the away team who couldn’t really do much.

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Newcastle 6 – 1 Barnsley

Back to St James Park after a 2-1 away victory over Watford last weekend. So before the game I decided to put some daft bets on . . . or what seemed daft before the eventual score line. I went for 4-0 to the Toon. I even took Jose Enrique as the first goal scorer and he actually had a couple of chances before he went off, lets hope he’s not injured again and it was more cramp/strain instead of something going again.

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Newcastle 4 – 1 Coventry City

It was back to St James Park after a disappointing away performance against Swansea on Saturday (which some how we managed to get a point from). We wanted to see a reaction and in the first 30 minutes we did not get that reaction. We dominated the game but did not put the ball into the box enough to create any clear-cut chances. I had literally said something like “we’re going to do something stupid and they will score” well we didn’t pick anyone up in the box and Clinton Morrison managed to score while slipping?!?! and beat Steve Harper from about 8 yards out. This put the visitors 1 up, against the run of play. Now we definitely needed a reaction and we actually got one, Wayne Routledge hit an effort into the bottom corner of the goal a few minutes after Coventry took the lead to make it all square again. We had to even it out as quickly as possible. Half team we went in 1-1.

Just under 10 minutes into the second half Andy Carroll put us in front using his power to get the ball into the back of the net. Which was a big sigh of relief more than anything. We had come from 1 down to be 2-1 up, something that used to happen a lot in the Sir Bobby Robson era but not so much in recent times. I feel this shows good character from the team and determination. We kept attacking and creating chances, I must say that Jonas Gutierrez is starting to become one of the most frustrating players to watch. Yes he can beat a player which is brilliant but he doesn’t know what to do after he beats the player, so either puts in an awful cross or loses the ball. We had to wait until the 70th minute for a chance to add another goal to the tally when Wayne Routledge easily the best player on the pitch was dragged down for a penalty his pace proving too much for the Coventry defence. Which saw Leon Barnett pick up his second yellow card so it was early bath for him. With Leon Best pretty much ready to come for the Toon it was obvious that Lovenkrands would be the player to make way (he was not really in the game very much) but probably knowing this he confidently picked up the ball and placed it on the spot for the penalty and calmly put it in the back of the net to put us 3-1 up.

After scoring the penalty Lovenkrands was on the pitch for 2 minutes before Best came onto replace him. Again Best has done nothing to impress me, surely the fresh legs up front should be chasing everything down? Yes I know we were 3-1 up but surely Best wants to make a good impression? Well so far he hasn’t done anything for me. But the scoring wasn’t done yet, in the 92nd minute Ryan Taylor tried his best to miss an easy chance by hitting it into the Gallowgate end but luckily he managed to hit the back of the net. 4-1 and a lot of people missed the 4th!

After a poor first half display the quality improved in the second half and a very important 3 points on the road to try to win the Championship. Another game at St James Park this week when we entertain Preston North End on Saturday at 3pm. Eventually a 3pm home game, it’s about time! I am sure Andy Carroll will want to score a goal or two against the club he went on loan to but did not feature very much. I am looking forward to Saturday after last night, let’s have 3 more points boys!