NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Newcastle player Fabricio Coloccini just heads wide of the post during the Barclays Premier league game between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St James' Park on December 17, 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Saturday had a promising start for Newcastle supporters, as news came down that both Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote would return from multi-game absences, and expectations immediately rose along the Toon Army front lines. Brendan Rogers and Swansea City seemed to agree that Newcastle were prohibitive favorites, as they played with 10 men behind the ball for 90 minutes. In the end, it turned into one of the most frustrating and disheartening draws in recent memory, as chance after Newcastle chance went begging. Newcastle had established their place in the table by turning losses into draws and draws into wins, but today 3 points were not in the cards and they had to settle for one.
The silver linings are there to be found, and it's encouraging to note that Tim Krul and the Magpie back line didn't have a lot of work to do. That's partially due to the Swans' negative approach to the game, but credit is also due to the midfield, anchored by Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, and Cheik Tiote. They outpossessed a usually patient team, not an insignificant accomplishment.
Of course, the story of the game will be the missed chances, and they were plenty. Demba Ba showed a fantastic work rate, often creating his own chances and even more often receiving them at the hands of the wing players, who mostly had their way. The entire affair underscored that even amidst injury crises and a lot of hand-wringing about lack of depth throughout the squad, a striker who can take control of a match such as this is still a requirement on Tyneside.
Who was the Man of the Match for Newcastle?
Davide Santon (9 votes)
Demba Ba (8 votes)
Yohan Cabaye (1 vote)
Cheik Tiote (1 vote)
Jonas Gutierrez (1 vote)
20 total votes