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Outfought, outplayed and out

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By Alan Oliver, The Evening Chronicle

 

 

Well, you would not want some of this lot in the trenches alongside you would you? When it comes to bottle, some of them must have been standing at the back of the queue when it was handed out.

 

Newcastle United, I am talking about.

 

How could players who were absolutely brilliant at St James' Park seven days earlier be so pathetic in the DSB Stadium last night as United said goodbye to Europe for another season?

 

In fact, on the evidence of what I saw in Alkmaar last night, make that seasons.

 

Glenn Roeder said before the match he needed every one of his players to produce on the night in what he expected to be a difficult game - and he was right.

 

Ironically, it was Roeder's two signings, Obafemi Martins and Damien Duff, who were the two passengers along with young Paul Huntington, who looked out of his depth at left-back.

 

As was the case at St James' Park, Martins missed a one-on-one with AZ goalkeeper Boy Waterman in the last 10 minutes - and when he is doing this and not scoring he may as well stay in the dressing room.

 

The only nifty footwork he showed at the DSB Stadium came when, after the game, he neatly side-stepped the waiting media who had the temerity to want to know why he was so ineffective.

 

Then there was Duff.

 

They tell me that, despite all his success, the Republic of Ireland international thrives on kind words and an arm around his shoulder.

 

Well he ain't going to get either after last night.

 

I said after the debacle at Wigan Athletic I hoped I never saw Huntington, or any of United's young central defenders, used at left-back again but, with Celestine Babayaro and Stephen Carr having their permanent berths in the treatment room and Olivier Bernard not coming up to scratch, that is what happened again in Holland.

 

I felt sorry for the kid who clearly does not want to play at full-back.

 

Roeder did not agree with me, but I felt United were always going to have to score in the DSB Stadium if they were going to go through because I could not see them stopping Louis van Gaal's men at the other end.

 

As it happens, since they were beaten in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup in Marseille three years ago, United have only failed to score away in Europe on one occasion in 14 trips - and that was in a game that did not really matter in Frankfurt last year.

 

When they needed a goal last night they could not muster one.

 

To be fair to Kieron Dyer, he was only inches away from one in the 54th minute after a superbly-worked free-kick with Nobby Solano.

 

Two minutes later, AZ grabbed their second goal and it was really all over.

 

The best that can be said of last night is the fact United were still in with a chance of going through to today's quarter-final draw right to the last kick.

 

One lucky bounce or one bad refereeing decision would have done it.

 

Unfortunately, the worst refereeing decision went against United when it was difficult to work out why Scott Parker's "goal" was disallowed in the closing stages.

 

Really, because AZ deserved to win so much, it is not worth making an issue over.

 

The difference between Roeder and van Gaal is the fact the controversial but talented Dutchman has sold a team and bought his own.

 

In contrast, Roeder is still mainly working with other people's players.

 

Clearly, some of them are not good enough.

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Guest alex

Showing his bias tbh, he's Roeder's mate. Blaming the players and practically exonerating the manager of any blame. Joke of a journalist.

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The difference between Roeder and van Gaal is the fact the controversial but talented Dutchman has sold a team and bought his own.

 

Aye because thats the only difference. <_< Still blaming Souness I see, nothing to do with the tactical naievity of Roeder then?

 

And why was Huntingdon even given a chance to be "out of his depth" at left back? Because Roeder failed to address that glaring weakness in our team in both the summer and January. Grow some balls Oliver and start directing some of the blame to where it is deserved.

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Showing his bias tbh, he's Roeder's mate. Blaming the players and practically exonerating the manager of any blame. Joke of a journalist.

 

He has to tow the official line, simple as that. When starts criticising the manager, Roeder bet get ready for his P45. Meanwhile, it's easy just to blame the players and talk cobblers. Most people will lap it up.

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Guest alex

Showing his bias tbh, he's Roeder's mate. Blaming the players and practically exonerating the manager of any blame. Joke of a journalist.

 

He has to tow the official line, simple as that. When starts criticising the manager, Roeder bet get ready for his P45. Meanwhile, it's easy just to blame the players and talk cobblers. Most people will lap it up.

Aye, but they are actually mates. I agree with you but howay man, look at some of the shit in that article. He says "Roeder is still mainly working with other people's players" after he's just had a pop at Duff.

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Renton, i won't put up with it.

 

This guys a fucking cretin. the manager AND the players are to blame.

 

He needs to sharpen up his crayons and start writing decent prose.

 

What are you going to do, seriously? Stop buying it? That's what I did but it's about all you can do.

 

If he criticises the manager without the permission of the chairman, he will lose access to the club, that's how petty that fat twat is. I didn't realise he was friend's with Roeder like Alex says but it doesn't really change things - even if they hated each other he couldn't be that negative on Shepherd's choice of manager - how many times did he stick up for Souness?

 

If anything, the club are to fault for the shit quality of the local journalism.

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We were shite last night without doubt but we still should have gone through - it should never have been 4-2 in the first leg, there's was never a pen so would have made it 4-3 on aggregate. The other thing being Parkers goal which should have stood last night seeing as it wasn't off side at all and could have made it 5-3, overall although we were pants last night we were stiffed by the ref in the first leg - same old shit every year.

 

Looking at the team it's obvious we need a new defence, it won't happen though...

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Guest alex

We were shite last night without doubt but we still should have gone through - it should never have been 4-2 in the first leg, there's was never a pen so would have made it 4-3 on aggregate. The other thing being Parkers goal which should have stood last night seeing as it wasn't off side at all and could have made it 5-3, overall although we were pants last night we were stiffed by the ref in the first leg - same old shit every year.

 

Looking at the team it's obvious we need a new defence, it won't happen though...

Aye, but Taylor should have gone for his elbow, Huntingdon conceded what should have been a penalty, they hit the bar, Given made one truly class save, we had two cleared off the line and they missed several other chances. They could argue they should have won about 5-0 last night.

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i don't get that paper, being based in weybridge, surrey.

 

but my point still stands, can't the editor find someone that writes sense rather than some craggy moron who sucks fat freds testes.... the guys an awful writer.

 

not that i'm volunteering or know anyone.

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We were shite last night without doubt but we still should have gone through - it should never have been 4-2 in the first leg, there's was never a pen so would have made it 4-3 on aggregate. The other thing being Parkers goal which should have stood last night seeing as it wasn't off side at all and could have made it 5-3, overall although we were pants last night we were stiffed by the ref in the first leg - same old shit every year.

 

Looking at the team it's obvious we need a new defence, it won't happen though...

Aye, but Taylor should have gone for his elbow, Huntingdon conceded what should have been a penalty, they hit the bar, Given made one truly class save, we had two cleared off the line and they missed several other chances. They could argue they should have won about 5-0 last night.

 

Exactly, up until the Parker decision it actually appeared the referee was wearing black and white tbh. They deserved to win and were the better team last night, and probably overall. We only have ourselves to blame (well, Roeder to blame).

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i don't get that paper, being based in weybridge, surrey.

 

but my point still stands, can't the editor find someone that writes sense rather than some craggy moron who sucks fat freds testes.... the guys an awful writer.

 

not that i'm volunteering or know anyone.

 

Not if he wants access to player interviews etc, no. Oliver will admit himself his arms are tied behind his back, in private. I don't rate him as a journalist either though, in terms of ability.

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Guest alex

To be honest, The Journal is a far better and far more objective paper when it comes to NUFC despite being based in the same offices. I think it's more a case of Oliver protecting his nice little relationship with the chairman for the perks, etc. than because his hands are tied. Although I have no doubt he would say different.

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I thought Taylor could have gone but I don't think he should have as I think it was dangerous but unintetional. I also thought Huntington fouled the player outside the box but it was definitely a foul.

As for them hitting the bar etc, Martins should have scored more in both legs, Dyer should have done better after rounding the keeper, Parker (I think it was him) should have pulled the ball back. Those things could easily be said to even themselves out.

IMO over the two legs we were on the wrong side of the two major decisions.

That said I don't think it should take anything awaying from the appalling management and play last night and I think AZ deserved to go through.

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