Author Topic: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April  (Read 4429 times)

Offline trophy4toon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6199
  • Karma: +9/-2
    • View Profile
Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« on: April 12, 2008, 07:13:23 pm »
Not a great game for the neutral or for the Toon fan either but I think a 0-0 draw away to a team 6th in the table is lightyears ahead of where we were a few weeks ago.

It looks like teams are beginning to work out this new formation of ours now, Portsmouth sat quite deep in central midfield and we just lacked the quality offensive play in the middle to give any form of decent service to the front men. Owen showed to me the drawback in him playing deep in that he lasks the eye for the defence splitting pass, but I'll wait for Craig's in depth tactical analysis to be the judge of that.

Disappointing again the number of corners Geremi plays to the near post with no one ever getting onto it. I just wonder what exactly we are trying to do with this ploy, no doubt if we keep trying it for the last 4 matches we might find out.

Nicky Butt got the official man of the match, he played better but still included two completely embarrassing long passes forward from good positions which just went into acres of space without a Newcastle player in sight.

My man of the match would have been Steve Harper, he just looked immaculate today, absolutely faultless, composed and the fact that Newcastle have had 3 clean sheets in the last 4 matches says a lot for his performances.

Craig's comments on Steven Taylor certainly has me watching him now. I admired the composed. assured performances from Campbell and Distin for Portsmoth, never hurried, clean tackles, great positional play. Now Steven Taylor hmmm, his lack of awareness of what is going on around him is worrying, out of position frequently, distribution poor and yet again rather than be tight on his man he ends up 2 yards off him with his arms out trying to block the shot, he was lucky no penalty was given.

Another solid performance from Newcastle though and gives great hope for next season.

A draw certainly makes the title race in Trophy4toon predictions league a tight affair, Slam Dunc and Hooperman gaining 3 points on the leaders, it's anyone's race for the coveted award.  ;D  ;D  ;D
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 07:32:23 pm by trophy4toon »

Offline CraigDoyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Karma: +8/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2008, 07:42:59 pm »
I think I'll try something a little different this week with my match analysis. Previous weeks have seen me looking through the players and highlighting little strengths and weaknesses that were shown on the pitch. This week I'm going to look at what needs to change.

While I think 0-0 is a fantastic result I'm also a little disappointed we didn't come away with all three points, especially after dominating the play for long periods of the game.

Geremi is a good player to look at first. While he played relatively well and has been rather solid over the last 5 games, he looks to me as though he has little more to offer than what we are seeing now. Defensively he's rather sound and he can win the ball. I also admire his long range, sweeping freekick which drops in behind the backline. The Pompey rearguard struggled to deal with that on several occasions forcing David James into action in some tricky circumstances. However, we had 10+ corners today and Geremi managed to put at least half into the first defender and the remainder but one never made it by the front post. One has to bring into question the logic of Geremi taking corners if he can't deliver the right ball. When a team has the number of corners we had today, I would expect to see more chances being created and possibly goals from the set play. With these chances going to waste on a regular basis (ie almost every corner of every game at the moment) we are severely handicapping ourselves. Even more worrying is that I don't think anyone else in the first team or the squad (Emre maybe, but he's never fit) is any better at providing the quality of service we are after from corners. I really do think Keegan needs to look at bringing in a midfield man with the ability to take set plays. It could really make a huge difference to how we perform over the face of the next season.

Another question has to be raised on the subject of Mark Viduka. I really feel as though I'm sitting on the fence with my opinion and I can't decide on which side to fall. Viduka is almost key to making things work with the frontline. One thing was proven today and that is that kicking the ball to him in the air does not yield positive results. For a big guy he isn't great in the air and he'd rather let the centre half win the ball than compete for a header. On the ground he's magic. Touch, technique and the ability to bring other players into the game with his vision and holding skills. We didn't utilise any of that today and if we aren't going to play to his strengths then should he be on the pitch? In fact his lack of mobility is also a contributery factor to me thinking that he's struggling. Viduka is like Shearer in his fading years, but with the one key exception; he won't get involved in the play when we don't have the ball. While I really admire Viduka as a special talent and one that I'm convinced can't be found anywhere in anyone else, I just wonder if we need to look to someone new if we want to take ourselves to the next step. that being said, the Duke only has a year left on his contract and I'd like to see him here next term.

I see John has mentioned Nicky Butt and I'd like to make a point of my own about Nicky. Today he was brilliant. His work without the ball is extraordinary and his reading of the game helps him to win back possession not only through his own tackles but when a teammate makes a tackle and requires assistance. He seems to play on confidence though. When things are flowing his passing is tighter and more controlled. There were some fantastic looking passes that six weeks ago would never have found their man. However he still has that tendency to get carried away with himself and try things that are above his 'level'. The odd pass that is just a little too extreme or unlikely to come off can often put us under pressure by conceeding possession where our midfielders are struggling to get themselves back into position to prevent a counterattack. It's more worrying in a 4-3-3 when the central man loses the ball as it can often leave him needing to buy a ticket back into the game. I'm sure Nicky will be with us next season and I believe he'll be an important part of the setup, however I'd like to see someone else brought in as the passer in midfield. In that case when a pass goes a little awry, Butt will be able to step in from a covering position to tidy things up. On the whole though it was a good showing.

I feel obliged to comment on Owen's miss by saying that 99 times out of 100 he'd scored from that chance. James was having a good day in terms of luck getting away with several poor clearances and fair play to the guy as he's had more than his fair share of embarrassments over the years. I wasn't as impressed with Owen today and felt he could have contributed more by getting into the box more often. Setanta tried to highlight his other contributions at half time but I feel he is better off getting himself forward and making himself available as opposed to playing tidy little passes around our own penalty area. We can bring someone else in who is a more 'complete' midfielder to do those sorts of things and have Owen concentrate on scoring goals. There were moments today where he didn't get himself into the box and that left us with only Viduka to meet crosses against three massive Portsmouth defenders. I think the experiment with Owen's position is ongoing and we should continue it to the end of the season and evaluate when more evidence is available. At the moment it has produced pleasing results against lower table sides, but the stronger/more athletic Pompey did well enough to shut him out the game. Next week in the derby will be another interesting run out for this new role of his.

I'm not trying to be too negative as the result is one that really shows how far we have developed in the last month. On the other hand I want to highlight that we have to be aware that there are still a lot of weaknesses in the side, some I'm sure haven't been exploited yet. As we move into the summer we have to look towards not only adding numbers to our side but adding quality. Today was evidence that we have a 'decent' foundation to build upon but while we have plenty of workers we don't have a lot of quality to add to the mix.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 08:22:10 pm by CraigDoyle »

Offline Julia Taylor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 12:44:10 am »
not at the game but from what i saw on telly i have to say that i think we were a little found out on some occasions as apposed to past weeks. a point was a very good result down there and it shows progress still.  i think we lacked something throught ou the game attack wise, and in saying that i dont think pompey were brilliant! i would like to have seen us change to 4-4-2 in the second half to see a) if we could adapt throughout a game and b) see if it would have changed us in anyway!

i think butt was defensively sound, a couple of decent attack minded passses as well. enrique did ok, despite a couple of dodgy passes, although for most i could see what he was trying to do. as said, good foundations, but the 4-3-3 has faced it's first test. as said, i think we did ok but i feel pompey were there for the taking and i would have liked to see a little bit more considering we did seem to have them on the rails for a lot fo the game.

one major positive is i never feared they would score to be honest, even from their free kicks i thought we were set up well and did a good job.  roll on makems and 3 points!!!   ;D

Offline Crico

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 02:24:02 pm »
A point at Pompey should always be welcomed, particularly as its been such a sparse hunting ground for us in seasons past. But whilst four points from a possible six in the last two away fixtures will have the optimists drooling over their ‘projections for season 08/09’ pie charts, the cynics will note that Portsmouth fell short of providing the acid test many thought the new look Toon would face at Fratton Park. Perhaps it was cumulative fatigue, perhaps the luxury of having not one but two routes into Europe still open to them, but either way, the home side were unimpressive.
   
Defoe, in lethal form over the last seven games lacked sharpness. Kanu lost out in the physical battle with Steven Taylor (who had a lot of help from the referee) and couldn’t provide his team mates with the sort of link up play Viduka was managing  at the other end during the first half. Krancjar ran Geremi rugged for the best part of the first half with neat one twos but grew more subdued as the game wore one. Glen Johnsen looked their most likely, and cutting in on his left foot at that!
   
Newcastle weren’t a fizzing cauldron of imagination either. Both teams opted for fairly high defensive lines, Pompey doubtless looking to get on top of Owen sooner and expose him in uncomfortable territory. For our part, the strategy seemed to revolve around chipping the ball behind the Pompey back line for Martins to chase. Sometimes fruitful, sometimes fruitless, but ultimately one dimensional compared to some of the football we’ve seen since we turned our corner. An unfortunate side effect in this approach was Barton getting cut out as Jose Enrique, probably a contender for MOTM in all fairness, looked for the early ball to Oba eight times out of ten. Memories of school football games and cries of ‘line it!’ abound.
   
What should have been our best opportunity was squandered on the half hour mark when Viduka over hit a pass to Martins, who had thundered through the centre, beyond Distin and Campbell. Our No.9 will run the gullies all day long but still looks at his most dangerous when he has a clear sight of goal.

Geremi was a real mixed bag. Cumbersome on the ball, he certainly killed some of the impetus in our attacks. But, despite a series of poor corners, he might easily have claimed two assists on another day, with two telling deliveries from deep, and even managed to test James himself from the distance. I still feel the Cameroon lad is a little on the static side though, and we can only really afford one non-mover in our team next year. Also, we need a massive improvement in the corners department.

Still, to avoid a general air of inertia, it should be mentioned that Portsmouth were odds on to win this one, and if anything, we edged a boring encounter. The fact that the game was such a non event anyway is testimony to solid performances in both defences. A slightly improved performance from Steven Taylor must have been encouraging for Keegan, however, Faye’s sleepy moment to allow Defoe to drift outside of him and into a scoring position ensured that we all got our required quota of centre back-induced jitters for the day. Neither Faye or Taylor strike me as rubbish defenders, but its difficult to remember a match, in my mind since Stoke (a) where both have turned in top notch performances. Getting a centre-back partnership  that works next year is another necessity.

Just two quick mentions. Firstly, Steven Harper, who had another solid day in between the sticks and gave David James a lesson in how to come out and smother a ball away from an onrushing strikers feet. Finally he got a bit of praise from Keegan too.

Secondly, Alan Smith whose wry smile when he came on with ten minutes to spare again told its own story. Keegan doesn’t trust him enough to bring him on any sooner than the moment Mark Viduka literally collapses, and Smith wants first team (Championship?!) football. He’ll be gone in the summer, so why not give those minutes to Andy Carroll?

Overall then, a thoroughly deserved, if thoroughly unremarkable draw. Roll on the Mackems!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 02:30:37 pm by Crico »

Offline trophy4toon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6199
  • Karma: +9/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 03:08:10 pm »
All interesting points above. One of the criticisms of Keegan in his first managerial spell was that he lacked the tactical awareness to make match changing substitutions, something a Mourinho for example, is so good at.

As Julia says above, should we have gone 4-4-2 at half time. Our main ploy seemed to be to try and spring Martins with quick balls through, however lacked the quality ball to really achieve that.

He had Duff on the bench, maybe taking Viduka off earlier and pushing Owen and Martins up might have brought something.

Strongly agree with Crico, why are we bringing on Smith for 10 minutes of pointless play, we want to see Andy Carroll given a go. Another criticism of Keegan last time around, he does not go with up and coming younger players, which I believe is why we brought Dennis Wise in, but whats there to loose in giving Carroll a run out.

I was also hoping Chris Hughton might provide the tactical awareness Keegan sometimes does not show  ???

So general feeling for me on reflection I think is that 3 points were there to be had however great to get 1.

To beat Sunderland next week will make us mathematically safe from relegation, good incentive, as if we need one  :P  :P  :P     

Offline CraigDoyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Karma: +8/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 04:36:27 pm »
The Enrique to Martins but not via Barton thing is probably an early indicator of the lopsidedness of our current formation. Martins comes out wide on the left and the longer pass is often more attractive than the simpler one. Barton isn't really a winger and when he comes out towards the left he tends to look to play a ball back inside or a quick one two where he isn't going to end up hugging the touchline. It may not be noticeable yet but I've started to see him go missing for periods in the game as he ventures in field and seems to get lost in the game.

We don't have the same problems on the right as Geremi is so static he rarely deviates from the right hand side of the park. Owen doesn't really travel out there as he's tucking in behind Viduka, leaving Beye as the only man ever to get forward on the right hand side. While it works for now, there were times when the defense were able to double up on Beye and make life difficult for him. Passing the ball back to Geremi doesn't yield a cross into the box as Geremi quite simply doesn't have the outswinger from deep in his locker to provide the service. Instead he often just drops the ball back into Butt or whoever is supporting him from infield.

The overall problem is that formation can become either narrow or very one sided at times and it does help the opposition defend against us. I think Enrique playing the longer pass is a method of unlocking a backline with the help of Martins skill but it won't be long til everyone catches onto that trick. A case for wingers again perhaps?

philkmorrison

  • Guest
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 07:38:49 pm »
Hello boys

I thought 0-0 away to portsmouth was a cracking result, really really top result. Yeah, we coulda won but we also coulda lost because of concentration lapses. I think the main point to come from the game is way we defended away from home, usually its hard to contain the home side but i thought we did it really well, with teh midfeild and defence looking solid. I like what kevin keegan is doing, by keeping the same 11 every week. which means the team are getting used to each other.

Another point is that we have to remember that portsmuoth are a well organised side and were very hard to break down, and thats all down to harry redknapp, he will of studyed how we have played in that past few games and they did well to hold us. Martins looking a constant threat and looks happy in the role that he is playing in the team at the minute, with owen playing a deeper role it has given him alot more freedom to play off viduka.

I can see good times under the 2nd KK era, but we have to take it slow, even though it is very hard to get excited being a toon fan, we have to be realistic that it is still going to take time to break into the top half again.

My man of the match: Geremi

Offline James Hanson

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 08:01:16 pm »
Would just like to pick up on some points made by a few here. I think craig's point summs up my opinion on him, Nicky Butt,

"Today he was brilliant. His work without the ball is extraordinary and his reading of the game helps him to win back possession"

WITHOUT the ball, when he has it he all to often loses it, punts it or just runs into trouble and I think he can be important for us next season, but some one else needs to play the central holding role, some one who can pass, and in my opinion that means Butt has to play a bench role, its not good enough with the pace of the game to pass it to some one else to pass it forward all the time.

Geremi's corners are horrible but WHY? his crossing from free kicks was perfect so maybe some one else should take the corners, at east untill he can sort them out.

Viduka is just not fit enough, and I dont think he will be but is a good holder of the ball, and again could be an important bench player next season....Im going stop now as this post is a bit late and not sure many will read it lol!

Offline CraigDoyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Karma: +8/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 11:28:22 pm »
I just wonder if Geremi is incapable of taking corners because of the style of corner he takes. Taking a freekick from long range almost always results in a good ball going into a dangerous area. But that type of attacking ball requires a different foot shape on impacting the ball to get distance and swerve on the ball. It seems he just doesn't have the technique available for corner taking and it's rather unfortunate as very few players in the Premiership have the ability to take a long range freekick the way he does.

Offline Crico

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 10:15:52 am »
I thınk the Enrıque thıng ıs sımpler than that Craıg - he just lıkes hoyin it doon the line!

He did it ın a 4-4-2 when the paceless Duff was the only recıpıent.

İd like to see Barton brought ınto the game more - we all know what he;s capable of when he ıs. As for hıs lack of pace, not a problem ıf he can develop enough ımagınatıon to thrıve there a la joe cole.

But ıts perhaps tıme to try somethıng new, sınce we;re safe and no-one wıll blame Keegan for experımentıng (as they dıd Roeder).

For my mınd that means gıvıng Carroll a start and also seeıng whether Mılner can be ıncorporated ınto a more attackıng set up. I take all your poınts on Mılner, but he;s yet to be let loose ın a really attackıng sıde so far.

On the corners front, I;m not sure ıf we have someone who can take a decent corner. Even Emre and defınıtely Zog have been guılty of not beatıng the fırst man ın seasons past.

Offline Julia Taylor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2008, 06:24:49 pm »
enrique> i think the point about 'paceless duff' also kind of sums it up. with zogs, he knows he can play it down the line and he will chase it and prob 8 out of 10 times get it. with duff, this won't happen and to be fair, duff rarely offers a variation on movement. i like enrique, yeah he put 3 balls straight out on saturday but on the whole i think he did ok. when he lumps it up front there are times when you can see where he is trying to put it and what he is wanting to do. also, how many times have we seen him moving forward in decent space, arms a kimbo and beckoning movement or telling someone what he is going to do? i hope next season shows his true potential and that his teamates get to learn about him also. 

i am definitely keen on seeing carloo given a lot more pitch time. and i also agree with stopping geremi taking corners! maybe we should put that high on the transfer agenda....a specialist set piece man!




Offline CraigDoyle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Karma: +8/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Facebook Profile
Re: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 - Saturday 12th April
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 10:29:09 pm »

i am definitely keen on seeing carloo given a lot more pitch time. and i also agree with stopping geremi taking corners! maybe we should put that high on the transfer agenda....a specialist set piece man!


I've been saying exactly that since the start of the season. I don't think we planned to lose Nobby and we certainly didn't plan for Emre to sit in the treatment room all season. The tough part about getting a man that can take set pieces is that he usually plays on the wing. While clubs will have exceptions to that it is generally accepted that wingers put in decent crosses therefore put in the corners. Perhaps if we got hold of one of those creative midfielders we'd have what we are after?