NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Newcastle supporters carry out a mock funeral for St James' Park before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Sports Direct Arena on February 25, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
In terms of tangible returns, Newcastle United didn't make their supporters wait long to get the memory of the Spurs match out of their system. Despite Wolves creating the first chance of the match on 45 seconds following Kevin Doyle's easy prance around Mike Williamson and Wolves keeping somewhat the better of play early on, Newcastle were ahead within 6 minutes through Papiss Cisse on a play that I described in the live thread this way:
Cabaye pressures Berra and takes the ball, crosses in to Demba Ba who tries just an absolutely CHEEKY backheel shot that Hennessey did amazingly well to get to… ball plays out and back in for Cisse to put in well
It was 12 minutes later when Jonas put the Toon on top 2-0 with an absolute rocket from about 22 yards out. The play-by-play guy said late in the first half that "You still feel that Newcastle are in third gear here," and it really did. Even though the Toon were up 2-0 through most of the first half and seemed well in control of the match, it didn't really feel that they were exerting their class on Wolves as well as they might have.
The second half would find Newcastle paying for not exerting themselves on the match. It was 2-1 within 5 minutes of the restart on a deflected goal from Matt Jarvis (I know. Another deflected goal.). One would have hoped that this would have been a bit of an alarm clock for the Magpies, maybe a reminder that we do have to try even against Wolves. It didn't really happen that way as we continued to let Wolves have the best of the play for long stretches, and we would be made to pay following a double substitution by Alan Pardew. Hatem Ben Arfa and Danny Guthrie came on prior to a Wolves free kick which was ultimately not cleared by Mike Williamson and we gave up yet another garbage goal. 2-2.
Newcastle at least looked a little bit interested following that goal, but there was very little class in the movement and ball control (or lack thereof) and it really looked like 2 points dropped. There were 20 minutes for Hatem Ben Arfa and Danny Guthrie to make their mark on the match, and make their mark they would. For Danny Guthrie this is not a good statement. Instead of decent Danny Guthrie that we had seen in the absence of Tiote and Cabaye, we got Danny Guthrie who misplaced nearly every ball that he touched.
Hatem Ben Arfa did come very close to making the positive impact we'd have hoped for, curling a shot just past the far post, and he did bring a bit of work to the right wing... but it was mostly for naught as the rest of the squad just seemed to have checked out. Again on 95 minutes, HBA would put a shot just wide of the near post
A free-flowing 5 minutes of added time may have been interesting to look at, but would not provide a change to a disappointing, disgusting 2-2 result. All of the heart and guts that the early season run of form had been built on were absent in this performance. That's it. i'm done.
Man of the Match?
Papiss Cisse (2 votes)
Jonas Gutierrez (3 votes)
Hatem Ben Arfa (7 votes)
Davide Santon (3 votes)
other (specify below) (0 votes)
15 total votes