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

Everton 0 - Newcastle Utd 1

Goodison Park

18/09/2010 3PM

Attendance: 38,019

Up and Hatem!

Well wasn't that fanbloodytastic? A performance, three points and apparently lots to look forward to. A new French-Geordie Prince has also staked his claim as the hero of the terraces, with Hatem Ben Arfa producing a wonder goal out of nothing to secure the win.

But with Hughton's decision to drop Alan Smith and Jonas Gutierrez for Ben Arfa and Cheik Tiote, Newcastle fans were also given a glimpse of the Ivorian's tenacity and ample ability. He too, is sure to become a big favourite at St James' Park.

With a predictably boisterous away following, the eleven on the park also stepped up their game after last week's disappointing defeat at home to Blackpool. The new pairing of Joey Barton and Tiote immediately put their stamp on the game, almost literally.

And it was Newcastle who bossed the first half encounter creating more of the early pressure with a number of corners in quick succession though in truth, neither side had any clear cut chances. Wayne Routledge headed over, while Jagielka went close for the Toffees. Joey Barton's free kick was a good height for Tim Howard to make the save and he was never really in trouble when Kevin Nolan's cross came off Heitinga and dropped just under his bar.

The only real blot on an otherwise almost impeccable trip, was an injury to Steve Harper. The greasy surface saw Jermaine Beckford's slide clatter into the oncoming keeper. It initially looked like a leg or an ankle injury with the impact on the replays but the early verdict is of a broken or dislocated collar bone.

With Tim Krul on in place of Harper, Newcastle's impetus dropped a little and it looked like the game would reach halftime at 0-0. But that reckoned without the French fancy footwork of Ben Arfa. Having already displayed some neat touches and a good turn of pace, nonetheless few in the ground could have predicted what came next. With the ball at his feet 25 yards out, the young Frenchmen first turned away from two opponents, rolled his foot on the ball before turning again to face the Everton goal, deftly sidestepping his opponent and with almost no back lift he smashed a shot into the top corner past a bewildered Tim Howard to the delight of the away fans.

The second half became much more of an even affair, but once again the Newcastle backline weathered an Everton storm admirably and the football was refreshingly slick and up-tempo.

At one end, Kevin Nolan was refused what was clearly a stonewall penalty which would have seen the young right back Coleman sent off. And at the other Everton hit the post, only to see the rebound fall invitingly into the hands of the grateful Tim Krul. Krul also made some timely interceptions and when it was probably easier to score, Fellaini missed the best chance to equalise (probably distracted by his earlier attempt to knock Williamson's front teeth out. Which saw him only booked)

So lots of positives to take from this. Tiote showed that he has natural athleticism and pace. Something we've cried out for in the middle but also comfortable on the ball. He's also more adventurous and willing to fill the gaps left when he's not tackling or breaking things up. Something that Smith, for all his professionalism and attitude, doesn't do. A defence that is only a right back short of being something that we've never had for decades. Solid, dependable but actually good footballers as well.

Ben Arfa stood out miles because it's something that we haven't had at St James' for a very long time. A natural flair and ability to take people on and get the crowd on their feet, and what a strike! But just going about his job reasonably quietly today in spells but always doing his bit, and at various key stages reminding people just what he can offer as a professional footballer, Joey Barton. Maybe the two new men made the real difference today but Joey Barton was on song again and so were Newcastle Utd. Coincidence? Maybe not, and either way, long may it continue.

Star Player

Joey Barton




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The Journalist

Writer: BowburnMag Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 18 2010

Time: 10:20PM

Your Comments

good assessment BBM. we deserved this today
Toon_NoMatterWot
Definately a really positive performance in spite of another poor referee. 5 games into the season and we've seen Wolves try to kill Joey B and no-one get sent off, today the ref watching Screech (Saved by the Bell) launch a flying elbow into Williamson's face and only deeming it worthy of a yellow. Not to mention K No getting sythed down in the box by the last man. Refereeing in the Prem worse so far than even Championship.
northathatoon
agree with northa, the ref was shocking today and premier officials in general are disappointing to put it kindly williamson and carroll had bad days today, but credit to the team that the sum of the parts outweighed anything everton had
rabit71
Ok, first off, congratulations, you were definetly the better team today, and deserved to win. But, Fellaini's "elbow" more lik an arm and more damage was done by his own team mate stepping on him. Williamson, was an absolute disgrace, he continually had a handful of Beckfords, then fellainis shirt, and I thought gave away a penalty when fellaini went up for a header and he just barged into fellaini without even looking at the ball. Not to mention erch, 5 yellows in 5 matches and I can see why. Anyway, well done, we were absolutely terrible in every aspect and ben arfa was superb, his dribbling is exceptional and his goal was world class. Also, i know Colemans tackle was a penalty, but in all honesty to the ref, from the angle he had it looked like a world class tackle, when i saw it live I thought it was a terrific tackel, but with the luxury of replays saw there was contact.
Rob-EFC
well done newcastle you showed man utd how to do it.keep up the good work.
johnney handsome
To be fair Rob, I don't disagree with some of your points, particularly Williamson being quite 'hands-on'. Although "absolute disgrace" is perhaps a 'tad harsh'. Perch's tackle was pretty awful and the kid really can't tackle for toffee, pardon the pun. He's definitely our weak link, although wasn't as poor yesterday as in previous games. I know what you're saying about the Coleman challenge but the assistant should definitely have seen it. Bad day at the office for your boys. I'm celebrating the Great North Run with a couple of Everton supporters who ran with us today. We watched the game together and they were as gracious as you lads. All the best.
bowburnmag
Fellaini should have been sent off, not only for that, but when he was protesting he shoved the Ref, and lets not mention the penalty that wasnt, better side definatley won, Everton surprised me to be honest, thought you would be up for it more than you were.
ken_nufc
Well you know, we only get up for the big games (I'm joking :) ) Ken, I said it was a penatly, so why are you bringing it up again? Your lot won, I dont see why you are still complaining, trust me if Gosling was playing we wouldve been well up for it
Rob-EFC
Confidence must be riding high after the weekend. Either way, we need Newcastle fans to join those across the rest of the country and participate in this................ A Challenge To ALL Vital Football Fans. We need fans from every club to participate in The Greatest Poll- Who Will Finish Where. Pretty simple really...the poll is being conducted by Vital Wolves. We will run the poll for a week, tabulate predictions and release the results of our collaborative predictions.
New York City Wolf
Rob, no offence, I was just adding my comments, it was a bit arse twitchy towards the end for us, but the penalty should have seen us home and dry. My major concern is that of the standard of officials this season, it seems they are dropping further rather than improving.
ken_nufc
 

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