UK time is: 08:29:39
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Newcastle vs. Middlesbrough

St James Park

Saturday 3rd March 2007


Smashing the Smogs

Going into the game it looks like we`re in the unenviable position of the Beasts being able to do the double over us in the Premiership for the first time. Having suffered a 1-0 reverse at the Riverside earlier in the season it`s imperative for the club to make a show of beating Boro if we`ve got any pretensions of even being a top half side.

Once again the local media are managing to make complete and utter tits of themselves by bigging the game up as some sort of derby and hyping the clash beyond belief. Listening to Metro on the radio I was unhappy with Steven Taylor for sinking to their level and describing it as one, even if he did say it wasn`t like the mackem games. I`ll happily reiterate the fact that getting beaten by Boro in the Autumn was a minor irritant, not the sort of depths of depression feeling that accompanies losing to the shower from the Wear. No matter how much they build it up it`ll never be a rivalry.

Last Autumn`s game was a turgid affair, being settled by a Yakubu header from a corner 5 minutes from time. His international teammate Oba rattled the bar with a great chip and Jimmy Milner missed a good chance but ultimately our lack of firepower was glaringly obvious even at that stage of the season. Fast forward a few months and our forward power has…dwindled. We no longer have Rossi on loan, seemingly replacing him with reserve team / youth team player Andy Carroll and Sibierski seems to be walking wounded. That leads Oba as our only threat. In opposition, Boro seem to have Viduka playing and scoring regularly, Malcolm Christie fit, Yakubu leading the line well and have replaced the haphazard Massimo Maccarone with Gook the Korean.

Last season Souness was saved by Clarkie popping up at the death and prolonging his stay of execution for a little while longer. This year anything but a positive performance and result will see the questions about Glenn being unable to manage his tactics and formations rear their head again.

Vital Quotes: Glenn Roeder

That is the motivator for lots of players nowadays, the thought if they do not play well, there is someone to take their place. For most of the season the players have gone out knowing if they did not play well, they'd play the next game. That is why I am pleased with the motivation they have shown.

Newcastle Team News:

For Newcastle the rest seems to have come at a good time. Having missed Dyer and Babayaro in our last outing at Wigan they all seem to be coming back from injury at the right time. Emre is still not fit for this one, being pencilled in for Alkmaar, but Zog will again be involved. The only absentees remain the long termers - Owen, Moorcelino and Shola. Really now GR has no excuses about the injury situation and needs to start getting his team selection right.

Player to watch: Obafemi Martins

So key to our season so far. His shootout with Yakubu will be the deciding factor in who gets the three points.

Middlesbrough Team News:

In a bizarre twist of fate just like last season Boro`s involvement in cup competitions could work in our favour. After beating them 2-1 last year at the Riverside a few days after a gruelling UEFA Cup tie, this time round there should be a lot of tired legs in the Boro side following their 120 minutes and penalties against West Brom in midweek. Abel Xavier (back), Fabio Rochemback (thigh) and Mark Schwarzer (back) were all missing from the side whilst George Boateng, Stuart Parnaby and Julio Arca seemed to come back from the Hawthorns crocked.

Player to watch: Jonathan Woodgate

The finest natural defender I`ve seen in a black and white shirt, can his hamstrings cope with Oba`s pace?

Match Facts & Stats

Boro have never done the double over us in the Premier League. FACT.

Viduka has scored 9 in his last 11.
Yakubu has scored 7 in his last 11.

Ref Watch:

Steve Bennett

Match Prediction:

2-1 to us.

Next Fixtures:

Alkmaar at home next Thursday.

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Ross Molyneux Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 2 2007

Time: 12:02PM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

From Fortress To F*ck This (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Sacking form? Pardew v Press (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Who Could We Get? Gimme A Name! (Monday April 14 2014)

Stoke v NUFC Line Ups (Saturday April 12 2014)

Stoke v NUFC Match Thread (Saturday April 12 2014)

NUFC's Real Policy (Friday April 11 2014)

Krul Intentions (Friday April 11 2014)

French Dictating The Play (Friday April 11 2014)

Lesser of Two Evils (Wednesday April 9 2014)

Archived Articles

List All TOTT Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Toon_NoMatterWot 233
2. officemonkey 218
3. Rexn 174
5. Platinii 124
6. nufc_carl88 108
7. OldLeazes 87
8. Bruce68 84
9. ukrocks0007 76
10. Chief_Brody 73

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
6. Spurs 34 18 6 10 0 60
7. Man Utd 33 17 6 10 18 57
8. Southampton 34 13 9 12 5 48
9. Newcastle 34 14 4 16 -14 46
10. Stoke 34 11 10 13 -10 43
11. West Ham 34 10 7 17 -9 37
12. Crystal Palace 33 11 4 18 -15 37

Breaking League News

It`s Good to Talk
» Fulham : 16/04/2014 07:43:00
Everton V Crystal Palace
» Everton : 16/04/2014 07:40:00
And Another Bites the Dust
» Man Utd : 16/04/2014 07:34:00
Sam Bemoans Defensive Mistakes
» West Ham : 16/04/2014 07:31:00
Costa Is The Man!
» Chelsea : 16/04/2014 07:30:00
Ref Watch: Webb to officiate Cardiff v Stoke
» Stoke : 15/04/2014 22:04:00
Begovic wins Chelsea man of the match poll
» Stoke : 15/04/2014 21:44:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Are we stronger than when we finished 5th?
Suggested By:  TNMW
Yes, there's absolutely no doubt we are 21%
Divvent be stupid man, what planet yee from? 79%