Football: Wingless Magpies go from Dyer to worse
Newcastle United 1 Dyer 52 Charlton Athletic 1 Rommedahl 53 Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 51,114
Sunday 06 February 2005
Even as Kieron Dyer shot Newcastle into the lead at St James' Park yesterday, seven minutes into the second-half, he might have expected a defensive lapse to undermine his effort. Less than a minute later, a lack of alertness and basic control on the part of Andy O'Brien gave Dennis Rommedahl the opportunity to draw Charlton level from their first chance of the game.
It was the 43rd goal conceded in Newcastle's ever-faltering Premiership campaign. Graeme Souness's Magpies - painfully wingless up front and all in a flap at the back - were hanging on desperately for a point thereafter. At the final whistle, they were given the bird by the unimpressed inhabitants of their home roost.
"I can understand the crowd's frustration," Souness said later. "They want to see goals. When we did score, we gifted Charlton a goal inside a minute. If you look at the way we gave the ball away in that area, it was not what you would call top-class defending. It was disappointing."
Indeed, it was. And what compounded the frustration of the dejected Toon Army was a disappointing lack of top-class attacking support for Alan Shearer - and a stifling absence of wingers, or "wide-working players", as Souness prefers to call them.
It is four years now since Shola Ameobi broke into the Newcastle first- team, yet the young man who Bobby Robson described as "a lanky Bambi" continues to be the same beguiling enigma - blessed at times with the assured touch of a Dennis Bergkamp and at others with the more prickly control of a Titus Bramble. The latter was predominately in evidence yesterday, as Shearer shouldered the burden of striving for a breakthrough.
Newcastle's veteran captain very nearly caught Dean Kiely napping with a smart shot on the turn in the seventh minute, and also tested the Charlton goalkeeper with a header - two chances teed up from deep by Amdy Faye. With Faye dictating much of the first-half play, it was such one-way traffic that even O'Brien was encouraged to step forward. From fully 40 yards, his right-foot effort was heading for the target until Kiely diverted it, pushing the ball up and on to his crossbar.
By the interval, Newcastle were rapidly running out of steam, their lack of width increasingly evident. Charlton had yet to live up to their name: Athletic. It was a different in the second-half, although it took Dyer's goal and O'Brien's blunder to spark Alan Curbishley's men into life.
The breakthrough, after 52 minutes, stemmed from an up-field punt by Bramble - headed on by Shearer, via the flailing Chris Perry, for Dyer to chest down and beat Kiely with a crisply-executed half- volley. The Toon Army were still celebrating when O'Brien failed to control a ball on the right-edge of the Newcastle penalty area, shunting it to Rommedahl. The Dane curled a right-foot drive around Given and in off the far post.
Souness glared at his wrist-watch in exasperation. The lead had lasted less than a minute. It might have been worse for Newcastle thereafter, though, as they proceeded to live on borrowed time. The home guard went AWOL and Rommedahl roamed menacingly free.
He poked one glorious chance wide and had another saved by Given. Paul Konchesky, Matt Holland and Luke Young also let Newcastle off the hook.
The Magpies did mount a late attacking flurry, Laurent Robert and Patrick Kluivert having elatedly entered the fray. The jeers at the final whistle, though, were entirely predictable.
"Graeme Souness is getting the sack," the Charlton fans chanted from up in the Milburn Stand. Worryingly for the Newcastle manager, it was a theme applauded by potential mutineers in the Toon Army.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
First full-length look is finally here
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...
£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...
£25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...