So far as weekends go, there really could have been better ones. If the loss to Chelsea was not enough, we lost both center backs (the same center backs that are up for MotM every. single. game.), Steven Taylor for the long term and Coloccini at least for the Norwich match. Mike Williamson is still at least two weeks away (link later), so we've got the following situation defensively for the weekend:
1) Play James Perch as a CB
We did get some happy news, drawing a home match (!!) in the FA Cup, although we have drawn Blackburn Rovers-- the same Rovers that knocked us out of the Carling Cup and then "forfeited" the next round to Cardiff. Sure we've got to go out and do the business to make sure that kind of thing doesn't happen, but still. Really, Steve Kean? Looking back is of no use on any of the current situations with the club, however, so we look forward and figure out what to do with a squad that had exactly 0 backup centre-half players. Hey- take the jump and see some links. Also today, the CHN Digest: Some of the best and brightest from the last week here at Coming Home Newcastle just in case you missed them!
Let's Start With The FA Cup and Semi-Related Links
This pretty much says what we already know... just dressed up prettier than I did in the Live Thread yesterday.
Let's all laugh at 5under1and! New levels of fail reached in Sunday's match... there was some fun on the Twitters about that.. if you didn't check out Sunday's Twitter Tap™, you should. There's a chuckle or two in it.
Mike Dean. Enough Said.
"At half-time, his opinion was different, but his opinion would have been altered if his assistant referee had done his job. "When I saw the referee at half-time, I said, ‘Why did you not send him off?’. He said to me, ‘He didn’t have control of the ball’. Well, how can you have control of the ball when the guy is knocking you over? "There is no way the goalie is getting to the ball, but the bigger problem I have is with the linesman on this occasion, because I was looking at him. "He could see it but he didn’t flag, he didn’t go mad, he didn’t do anything, so Mike Dean is making that decision from 40 yards away. It would have altered the game, Chelsea down to 10 men, the pressure they were under. I wouldn’t have lost my centre-half to injury because we were forcing the game.
It has all been said and re-said... the decision was wrong, but it's a nice touch for AP to blame the decision for Saylor's injury.
Confusion reigns over the denial of an obvious opportunity to score a goal after this weekend saw one player sent off who should not have been and one left on who should have been dismissed. The law is clear and simple; a player must be sent off if he denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards goal, by an offence punishable by a free-kick or a penalty. There is no mention of ‘last man’ or a player’s ability.
We were not the only recipient of a dubious decision regarding the "DOCSG" rule... Everton had Gary Cahill sent off under another incorrect application of the rule. Graham Poll explains why both decisions were wrong.
Players We Currently Have
United’s other young defenders in James Tavernier and Jeff Henderson are currently on loan with Sheffield Wednesday and Gateshead respectively. Henderson’s loan expires after the Heed’s trip to Stockport tomorrow night, while Tavernier – now cup-tied after helping the Owls beat Aldershot 1-0 at the weekend – returns in January.
Hm. Tavernier cup-tied. That's sub-optimal.
The situation is far from conducive to landing a place in Europe, and Pardew admitted on live TV yesterday that he needed to keep Mike Ashley "motivated" when it comes to signing players after previous managers had dented his faith in buying big.
We have needs. There's money out there available (allegedly). Let's do business, Mr. Ashley.
"But at some point in the season you’re going to get into difficult situations and it looks like we’re in a difficult situation – but the spirit of the group will remain strong and we go to the next game." Pardew bristled at talk that the injuries were a "warning" to the board about the perils of not investing in January. "No, I think that’s unfair and I wouldn’t want to use that word," he said. "We’ve had a brilliant season so far, but injuries are going to come our way and you have to cope with it."
Never mind that this flaw in the squad should have been noticed and addressed over summer. I'll confess I was so wrapped up in a striker that I didn't notice... but there are people that get paid for this kind of thing.
"I think Tim probably feels absolutely brilliant, the way he’s played," Pardew told The Mirror. "But to have three goals conceded against his name, blimey, that must hurt, too. So part of him will be hurting and part of him should be very proud. He was our best player." Krul appears to have won the battle for the place as first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Steve Harper, who appeared in parts during last season but has yet to feature this term. Pardew has no regrets over this decision, adding: "He’s had to back up the judgement we made on him at the start of the season, but he’s done it. He’s been brilliant."
Hehehe. AP said blimey.
But once danger-man Abeid Mehdi got the marching orders(red) for a second yellow, the Nigerians bared their fangs and pounced on the hapless Algerians.
I finally found an English-language link regarding Mehdi Abeid's exploits with the Algeria U-23s. It's mostly not about him, sadly, but it sounds like he was one of Algeria's better players in the group stage. Sounds like he'll be home soon, though.
Players We Don't Have + Transfer Rumors
Here's the newest name linked with Newcastle United, just in case you're keeping a scorebook.
A loan deal between clubs to send Carroll back to Newcastle from January until the end of the season would suit all parties, and could just seal the deal for Tiote.
I won't lie. I have accepted what our identity is regarding the transfer market... but if this deal goes through, there will be a fury like SBN has never seen. Send Tiote to Liverpool and get that #9 back on a loan deal? If I could type in colors instead of words, this space would just be red.
The Coming Home Newcastle Digest
Here is where we recap some of the highlight posts from the last week here at CHN. If you missed them, you'll want to be sure to check these out for sure!
I went back to one of Robert's tremendous transfer rumor pieces from the summer and checked out production relative to transfer cost of all strikers that we were connected with at one point or another over the summer. Mr. Demba Ba stacks up pretty favorably.
If you haven't, vote for the November MotM. Do it.
Three Question Thursday is where I seek your input. This week it is included for the awesome graphic that now goes along with the post. Look for this feature on a Thursday near you!
If you missed this piece prior to the Chelsea match, you missed a great reasoning on why Shane Ferguson should have been given a shot on the left wing, courtesy of John.
You'll remember that @Joey7Barton opened his mouth again about NUFC this last week. John took exception and drafted an open letter to Mr. Barton. If you missed it, here is your chance to set things right.
I was getting a little agitated during the match. I let it breathe a little bit, and then reacted. Here was your quick reaction to the Chelsea match, as opposed to the Reasonable Reaction which will be coming soon.
A Twitter round-up is something I've been considering since I joined on staff here. A way to make this happen easily was pointed out to me-- and here is the first installment.