Roeder Needs To Change His Team Talk

Last updated : 21 January 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor


NEWCASTLE: Given (Harper 67), Solano, Ramage (Edgar 30),Huntington, Carr, Milner, Butt, Parker, O'Brien, Dyer, Martins.
Subs Not Used: Luque, Pattison, Carroll.

WEST HAM: Carroll, Dailly, Ferdinand (Spector 86), Davenport,McCartney, Benayoun, Quashie, Reo-Coker, Boa Morte, Harewood,Cole (Etherington 73).
Subs Not Used: Green, Sheringham, Mullins.

Att: 52,095

I don't know what instructions Glenn Roeder gave to the players before they tackled Birmingham City in the FA Cup on Wednesday, or prior to this match against West Ham, but the players certainly didn't respond.
On both occasions they came out of the tunnel looking like rabbits caught in the headlights of a car. Rather than going for the juggular, they started on the back foot and took the first half to come to terms with whatever formation they were supposedly given to undertake.

West Ham, who hadn't won away all season, terrorised the Toon back-line from the first second and goals from Carlton Cole and Marlon Harewood inside 22 disastrous minutes was the very least they deserved.

First Cole was allowed to appear unmarked to fire home the opener on 18 minutes after the similarly unoccupied Calum Davenport had headed back Luis Boa Morte's corner.

But the Magpies did not learn their lesson and fell further behind four minutes later when Ramage allowed himself to be turned by Harewood with the minimum of fuss to collect George McCartney's pass and stab a shot past the helpless Given.

Peter Ramage limped off with a hamstring injury and David Edgar joined fellow 19-year-old Paul Huntington at the heart of a defence which looked sadly unusual, to say the least. Right winger Nobby Solano was at right-back; and right-back Stephen Carr was out on the left, with two kids trying to hold it all together.

But, after Nicky Butt had seen a goal-bound header turned away by Carroll, Newcastle grabbed an injury-time lifeline when James Milner's shot sped past the keeper and into the bottom corner ... through the legs of Scott Parker. It was obviously offside, but no Toon fan argued the case, but Carroll and Anton Ferdinand were both booked for their protests.

Whatever Roeder said prior to the match, he must have said the opposite at half-time as Newcastle took up the challenge and pegged the Hammers back.
And they were back on level terms within eight minutes when Boa Morte needlessly blocked Milner's free-kick with his arm and Solano, who waved away Martins offers, sent Carroll the wrong way.

Davenport saw a 65th-minute header ruled out for pushing, then Given's departure through injury gave Steve Harper a chance of first team glory.

Martins saw a 72nd-minute header come back off the post but Matthew Etherington passed up a glorious opportunity to win it on 76 minutes when Harper did well to take him out wide and snuff out the threat.

Both keepers were in action again in the dying seconds, Carroll turning away another Martins piledriver and Harper denying Harewood at point-blank range.