Newcastle United 1 -
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 14
3pm Sunday 7 November 1999
St James Park, Newcastle
In a dreadful first half for Everton, it was total domination by Newcastle,
but some great saves by Gerrard, and some barely wide shots
especially from Duncan Ferguson kept the Everton goal intact.
But immediately after half-time when Tommy Johnson came on for Michael
Ball Gary Speed was brought down in the area by Paul Gerrard, and
Alan Shearer duly converted the penalty.
However, Everton were playing a lot better in the second half, and were
rewarded with an equalizer when Kevin Campbell scored a diving
header off a great cross from Nick Barmby.
Subs Not Used
Harper, Pistone, Dumas, Dabizas, Domi, Solano, Lee, Speed, Gallacher, Ferguson
(84' Maric), Shearer.
Karelse, Marcelino, Hughes, Glass.
Gerrard; Weir, Cleland, Unsworth, Ball (46' Johnson);
Dunne,Collins, Barmby, Pembridge, Hutchison; Campbell.
Unavailable: Jeffers, Gough, Gemmill, Xavier, Watson,
Myhre, Williamson, Parkinson (injured); Branch, Farrelly, O'Kane
(transfer-listed); Bilic (in limbo); Cadamarteri,
Grant, Phelan (on loan),
Simonsen, Clarke, Ward, Jevons.
Black & white shirts; black shorts; white
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.
Speed (72') Dumas (78')
Cleland (19'), Barmby (31'), Dunne (38'), Gerrard (46'),
Johnson (81'), Unsworth (87').
A point won; A spell
Mickey Blue Eyes
In the end.....good result, people, in yet even more piss pouring rain.
After a few beatific days of family, kids, good food, good wine... footy
was further from my mind than Betelgeuse. But when Sunday rolled around...well,
I felt as though I was about to get on board a tumbril, given recent setbacks.
Not that the day started that way... Something about an early Sunday morning
journey through the streets of me beloved city... depends on how you see
things: Either it's serenity where normally there's a sort of controlled
urban hysteria, or it's the populace partly sedated by hangover. I was in
a good mood and the weather was mild. Forget the tumbril thingy, just GET
No problems with the bus this time. Straight there and good weather all the
way. Until we got near to Newcastle. Clouds started to roll up, and get lower,
and then started to spit rain. Erk.
Tommy the driver took us to a small back-street local called The Globe, a
knock-out little pub, classic Geordie footy. All photos, flags and mementoes,
locals jabbering away in the corner, friendly service with a smile and good
ale. Not a single trace of mad chauvinism.
The only thing was... nobody could understand a single WORD of Geordie dialect.
And it is a dialect, not just accent and slang like most Scouse. I mean,
what the hell d'you make of something which sounded like, "Haway wor bonny
hinny stap dunchin wit ya heed in ya broon dog." At least I THINK that's
what was said.
Might as well have been talking Urdu!
Since we were there early, some of the bus crowd started to play pool. Got
dirty too. That Terry... what a hustler. Murdered everyone in sight before
we left. Then grinned.
Then we had one of those moments. A middle-aged Geordie came in with his
little lad sorry, bairn and came straight over to join us for
a chat. Great. His little fair-haired lad was at the age of absolutely no
inhibitions about talking to anyone about footy, all shining eyes, total
innocence and a brand new autograph book... he couldn't wait to get the match,
twisting his scarf in his hands impatiently while his dad swapped war stories
with us. And what his dad had to say about Newcastle's season ticket fiasco
almost burned the polish off the tables. You couldn't help comparing the
nipper's open-eyed wonder with the crap being visited on the game by the
Toon Suits. I know which I prefer...
The ground was only ten minutes walk uphill. It's the highest point so it
dominates the area. The domination's emphasised by the ground rebuilding
now under way.
Additional top tiers are being constructed on one side, on what i think used
to be the Gallowgate End. And of course the roof hasn't been added yet.
It's impossible to make any constructive criticism of the scheme without
seeing the drawings and the design intent. Suffice it to say the site is
one big MESS.
[Note to the
campaign: That's what would happen for a period of FOUR years if the phasing
plan in the feasibility study were to be followed. Not a pleasant prospect....]
The stadium tiers are pitched quite steeply and are somewhat similar in angle
to the Calderon in Madrid. The new tiers are about the same angle as the
Top Balcony in Everton's Main Stand on Goodison Road. Outside, the general
appearance will likely be much better than any of the other new grounds I
have seen, although it is likely prolonged weather exposure will leave a
lot of pattern-staining a la Beauborg/Georges Pompidou in Paris... which
really needs recoating every few years. Inside, the spectator banking will
probably be quite spectacular. The Geordie fans' support will do the rest
in creating an atmosphere. I wish them well. Lord knows they've waited long
After all the talk of Tommy Johnson's debut... he wasn't in the starting
line up. In the back four, Unsie went in the centre with Davey Weir, Cleland
(erk) was back on the right and Bally stayed left. I wish I knew what the
hell the rest of them, KC excluded, were supposed to be doing... because
they did next to bugger all in the first half... couldn't string two passes
We started brightly enough and got two corners almost immediately. Then that
was that. We just couldn't get going, not even a little bit. For long periods,
the game was played across the park just inside our half. It wasn't even
as though Toon had anything much to offer. You could see in a minute where
their problem is: A near total lack of confidence. Sure they had a few chances,
but they were never convincing. You just kept praying for the Blue Bellies
to show just a little of the concentration and teamwork of previous weeks.
Most of our lot were convinced that was all that was needed to win the game.
We had two bright spots. Richard Dunne had another terrific game without
being spectacular. He hangs off his man now and times his tackles almost
perfectly. Sometimes he gives away metres of space and you wait for him to
get skinned by someone anyone closing from the wing at pace.
But he never was. Nice one, Richard. Again.
The other spot was the central defensive combo between Unsie and Weir. Before
the match, most Blue Bellies me included thought Shearer and
the Big Yin (Duncan) would give us a very bad time. But Unsworth-Weir had
the better of the tussles overall. And what a relief THAT was! In the end,
The Big Yin went off, and not just because he isn't completely match fit.
I know it's early days but I can't see any real chemistry in the Shearer-Yin
thingy. They're a threat alright, couldn't be otherwise with two players
of their calibre. I reckon the problem, which may be insurmountable long
term, is their playing egos are too large for the kind of combo play the
Cheesehead (Ruud Gullit) might have envisaged when he bought the Yin. If
it does come off, it will be lethal. Right now, though, no sweat, they aren't
a patch on Jeffers-Campbell at their best.
And the rain came down. And it got worse by the minute. From being merely
cloying it began to sheet down. It was alright for me under me waterproof
jacket and hood but there were poor Blue Bellies out there in their shirt
sleeves for god's sake... Half time arrived not a minute to soon.
The first half had been more noteworthy for the fans' banter than any good
footy. When the Toon Army started up with, "Stand up if you love the truth!"
(sadly, a failed demo against the season tickets scam by the Suits) the Bellies
fans replaced the last four words with, "...if you're going down." The look
on the nearest Geordie fans' faces was priceless. Especially as they found
themselves standing up as the replacement words wafted around the ground.
So the second half started and the Toon went straight down the other
end and got a penalty. Which Shearer of course put away just as we were weighing
up the replacement of Bally with Tommy Johnson. It didn't surprise me at
all that Bally went off... he went walkabout too many times again and
doubtless Wally got pissed off with him.
Turned out both the goal and the substitution were the best thing to happen
to us. Because, all of a sudden, we started playing footy again. The game
turned completely. We could and should have had two penalties during this
phase. Instead, we had to make do with an absolute BEAUT from KC. Barmby
and Johnson were causing problems for Toon down their left flank and eventually
it paid off when Nicky swung over a perfect centre and KC split their two
central defenders, diving in to headed it down and just inside the right
hand post. Magnificent goal.
Well, that really messed with the Toonies and their fragile confidence almost
evaporated. We couldn't rest up though and they had a couple of potent
counter-attacks which nearly caught our defence napping. They hit a post
with one of these when Paul got down to a skidding ground shot cleaving the
grass from the left and touched it onto the woodwork. Relief all round.
Midway through the second half I was amazed to see a Newcastle bizzie reprimand
our driver Tommy for using bad language. As the bizzie went past I said to
him, "I don't BELIEVE you've just done that....what about THEM" and gestured
at the nearest 10,000 Geordies howling away. He grinned and said, "Aye...but
they're on my side!" Cheeky bastard. Has to be said, though, the Newcastle
bizzies were a zillion times better than the Smellies bizzies last week.
Later on, Tommy wouldn't let it rest. Every time the Toon Army let vent with
traditional organised profanity he turned to the bizzies and shouted, "Look!
LOOK! Have a word with THEM will yer!" And then he wondered why they just
stood there grinning. He was flamin' MAD.
So we got our point and broke the spell. Caution is required though, people.
The Geordies are no great shakes. They won't go down of course and they might
well do something in the FA Cup. But Robson has one helluva job on his hands.
It was nice to see Wally babe outwit him in the substitutes game. Nice one,
Next week, though, we'll see whether we can keep it up. Keep the Panadol
handy. We might need it.
4-4-2 please, Walter!
Coming to Newcastle on a Sunday, the heavens about to open, sitting in an
uncovered section, paying £25.50 by the way, the team run out to play
with one man up front, you think to yourself, "Here we go again..."
The past couple of times the visit to St James' Park has been (for the visiting
fan) poorly policed with Everton fans victimised for no reason than doing
what football fans do all over the 92 grounds. However, this visit I saw
only one fan shown the door, and after the first 45 mins he may have been
thankful to keep himself dry.
When you play with one man up front, you let Newcastle push up on you. Our
midfield was over run, the ball kept coming back at us. Gerrard was outstanding
(in the back of his mind, he knows that Tommy's back to full fitness and
was playing to keep his place as No 1).
With the half-time break upon us came the a chance to get out of the rain,
where the talk was that Walter must bring on a second striker, and how are
you getting to Kilmarnock on Thursday.
The second half started with a change, the one that had to be made. It was
only later that we found out that it was enforced, Ball received a knock
(which may rule him out of the England U-21 game) and was replaced with Johnson.
But, after just 45 seconds, they had a penalty: 1-0, and it looked an uphill
However, for the next 40 minutes the boys in the Royal Blue shirts where
the best side in fact we should have won the game from a penalty
"not given" and a few chances that in better conditions would have
been put away.
We do play better with a 4-4-2 formation. Please, Mr Smith, take note....
Do we know each other?
It's a while since I saw the team play and we seem to have lost some of the
earlier momentum that we had built up.
Despite being ably assisted by Mike Reed, Newcastle didn't really seem to
offer that much of a threat, but we sat back and allowed them to come to
us for most of the first half. Any possession that we won seemed to be given
straight back to the Magpies who fashioned a few shots at goal and we would
probably have been a few goals down to a more capable side.
Passes went astray and we had the look of a team that barely knew each other.
Much kicking and none of the neater play I last saw. The desire to win was
more evident in the men in black and white than anyone wearing the Royal
Their penalty at the start of the second half stirred our team briefly to
life and we had a relatively good spell which eventually saw Campbell equalise.
But, rather than continue the pressure, we again sat back and allowed Newcastle
much of the closing period in an attempt to snatch defeat from the draw that
This was probably a game that we could have won with some more effort, and
I'm at a loss to know why we didn't try to take the ball to them in the first
half. Five yellow cards today and again, if all we are doing is allowing
the opposition the opportunity to run at us, it seems inevitable that we
will eventually make mistakes and be punished by the most even-handed of
refs, let alone the rash of cards shown by Mike Reed.
Gerrard was probably Man of the Match again because he at least seemed to
be certain of what he was trying to do.
Pembridge was rather off the pace and did a woeful back-heel at one point
that led to a swift counter which they should have finished off.
Shearer still a step ahead of his No
by Simon Turnbull, The Independent
Golden boy Mary Poppins. Call him what you will. Alan Shearer is heading
for the Battle of Britain with a better goalscoring record than Andy Cole.
The penalty kick the England captain converted 90 seconds into the second-half
at St James' Park yesterday took his tally for the season to 12 in the
Premiership, one more than his Old Trafford critic, and 14 in all club
competitions again, one more than Cole.
It proved sufficient to lift Newcastle United out of the bottom three, though
not with the victory it promised at the time Shearer steered his right foot
shot past the diving Paul Gerrard. Having gained tangible reward for their
clear superiority, Bobby Robson's boys proceeded to lose the plot
and, with it, two points.
With the Magpies all in a flap at the back, Kevin Campbell stole in between
Nicos Dabizas and Alessandro Pistone to earn Everton a draw, meeting Nicky
Barmby's cross from the right with a goalscoring diving header.
It was a fair result, the Toffeemen having extricated themselves from the
sticky situation of a half-hearted first-half performance to dictate the
bulk of the second period.
Not that Robson was a happy manager. "We should have won," he said. "We had
a marvellous first-half I would say the best we've played since I
came here. But for a 20-minute period after we scored we were really flagging.
"I can understand why because this game should have been on Monday. We played
on Thursday night. That extra 24 hours would have been vital for us. It's
so little time to recover, the extra day is very important. It affected us
and we have suffered from that one day."
There were no signs of heavy-leggedness in the first-half, which belonged
to Newcastle and, to a great extent, to the player in their ranks
who sports an Everton tattoo on his left arm.
Duncan Ferguson may have been hamstrung for much of his 49 weeks at Newcastle
but the old Evertonian looked every penny an £8M man as he assumed the
bulk of the line-leading duties and dropped deep to keep moves in motion
with his precise distribution.
It was Shearer, though, who enjoyed the best chance before the break. Put
clear of the Everton defence by Nolberto Solano's superbly-measured through-ball,
he dispatched a stinging right-foot shot that would have beaten a lesser
goalkeeper than Gerrard, who blocked it with a first-class reflex save.
It was a different story in the second minute of the second-half, when the
Everton keeper gave Shearer his penalty chance by hauling down the hugely
influential Gary Speed. The tide, however, quickly turned in Everton's favour.
David Weir fired a snap-shot off Steve Harper's right-hand post and three
minutes after the equaliser the Everton bench were up in arms when Campbell
flicked the ball against Didier Domi's left arm. Mike Reed judged the handling
offence to have been unintentional but Walter Smith did not see it that way.
"It should have been a penalty," the Everton manager said.
Luck, however, finished on Smith's side, Kevin Gallacher's 84th minute drive
cannoning off Gerrard's right-hand post.
Robson nets little gain for impressive
by George Caulkin, The Times
THE temptation to claim first blood for the English should be tempered by
a result that promises little other than a winter of hard work for Alan Shearer,
Bobby Robson and company. For spells, against a team with a distinct tartan
fringe, Newcastle United produced what their manager termed "our best football
this season", and in those circumstances, a home draw represented a dubious
They are pedalling furiously up a steep hill. On Thursday night Newcastle
had trooped from St James' Park, after their exploits in Europe, and Robson
was unimpressed with the decision to bring forward this match 24 hours from
today to accommodate the fixture at Hampden Park.
After a rigorous, if patchy, first half, they tired visibly, enabling Everton
to get back into a game they barely graced with their presence. "It simply
wasn't long enough to recover," Robson said.
He is a patriot, however, and Shearer's penalty his fourteenth goal
at club level this season could be viewed as a positive omen for the
week ahead, a suggestion enhanced when Kevin Campbell conjured Everton's
equaliser. And if further evidence were required, David Weir and Kevin
Scottish to their boots, both hit the post. Shearer certainly took it that
way. "I always maintained that if England made it to these play-offs, then
I would fancy our chances over two legs against anybody," he said.
For Craig Brown, it is more a case of what might have been. If Duncan Ferguson
had not renounced his international career two years ago, Brown might never
have had cause to rue the name of David Johnson, of Ipswich Town. It has
been a long and lonely 12 months since Ferguson's £8 million transfer
from Goodison Park, but in his past two matches Ferguson has been a towering,
The weight of Newcastle's pressure grew and dissipated in tune with the rain
that fell intermittently on Tyneside, but Ferguson provided a bright and
constant target until he tired deep into the match. On three occasions, he
proved a nuisance to his former team-mates, testing Paul Gerrard with a
ballooning header, a shot dragged wide of the right post and an incisive
chip that dropped a moment too late.
For the most part, Shearer was content to provide the accompaniment rather
than conduct the orchestra, a formula that will serve Kevin Keegan well if
his captain again manages to score. He did, nevertheless, forge the best
chance of the early exchanges, timing his run ahead of Dunne and Unsworth
to meet Solano's pass, only for his brisk shot to thump Gerrard in the face.
When the confrontation was repeated in the 46th minute, after Gerrard was
disciplined harshly for tripping Gary Speed, the young goalkeeper anticipated
the direction of Shearer's penalty correctly but was unable to divert its
course. Precedent suggested it would ease Newcastle's path to a predictable
win, but Everton became enlivened.
Ten minutes later, Campbell was permitted to rise between Dabizas and Pistone,
meeting Barmby's deep cross with a thunderous header. "It was the only time
they damaged us," Robson said. "If they had got the three points, it would
have been a steal; Everton hardly got a kick." Shearer, at least, will leave
in good heart.
Times Newspapers Ltd
Shearer shrugs off Everton's Scottish
William Johnson, Electronic Telegraph
ALAN SHEARER stretched his hot streak to 13 goals in 11 matches, 18 in total
for the season, with a penalty which lifted Newcastle two places in the
Premiership relegation battle.
Shearer was up against three players who are likely to be trying to stifle
him during England's Euro 2000 showdowns against Scotland and his performance
will be comforting to Kevin Keegan as he begins preparations for the two
most important dates in his short tenure as England manager.
Keegan should be grateful to one of his predecessors, Bobby Robson, for sending
Shearer into the play-offs in such confident mood. Robson has not only
invigorated Shearer but has injected new belief into Newcastle to the point
where he could be rightly disappointed at their failure to take maximum points
from a much-improved Everton team, albeit a team who have not won in five
outings since their intoxicating Merseyside derby triumph at Anfield.
Robson blamed his former Football Association employers for costing his team
the extra two points. Re-opening a wound that was festering since the decision
to bring forward this game by 29 hours, he stormed: "The extra day would
have made a considerable difference.
"We were clearly jaded in the second half after producing some marvellous
football before the interval, probably the best we've played since I came
here. But we had nowhere near enough time to recover from our hard European
match on Thursday night."
Walter Smith, the Everton manager, agreed with Robson's assertion that Newcastle
were comfortably superior in the first 45 minutes when the Merseysiders were
denied even a fleeting sight of Steve Harper's goal, but maintained that
the Shearer penalty, awarded when goalkeeper Paul Gerrard up-ended Gary Speed,
had a galvanising effect on his own players.
The way Everton responded to that setback will stand them in good stead for
what might still turn into a worrying winter. Kevin Campbell, whose arrival
last spring from a miserable spell in Turkey has been the most telling factor
in their resurgence, was again their saviour.
The £3 million striker pounced for his fourth goal in three games, his
seventh this season, after 62 minutes, capitalising on an excellent cross
from the right by Nick Barmby to beat the previously unemployed Harper with
a precise glancing header.
It could have been worse for Newcastle as Everton, boosted by the second-half
introduction of Celtic's on-loan striker Tommy Johnson, sensed an unlikely
David Weir, their central defender, who will be alongside his clubmates John
Collins and Don Hutchison against England, struck the foot of an upright
with a low deflected shot which had the goalkeeper struggling, and Johnson
was denied the opportunity to shoot by a cynical foul on the edge of the
penalty area by Franck Dumas.
A first home defeat for Newcastle since the managerial change would have
been harsh, considering the way Newcastle began the match, Duncan Ferguson,
the former Everton striker being particularly prominent.
Looking as if he has made a full recovery from the latest in a string of
injury problems, Ferguson could have scored three times in the first 10 minutes,
heading straight at Gerrard, shooting narrowly wide and then having an effort
blocked by the combined efforts of Gerrard and Richard Dunne.