Match Report: Dismal draw ‘definitely a step forward’ for Alan Pardew

Norwich 0 Newcastle 0

Carrow Road

Newcastle’s decline this season has been so steep that Alan Pardew said that this dismal match was “definitely a step forward” for them.

This was not the type of game last year’s entertainers would have wanted to play in. It was barren of drama, chances or quality. But Newcastle had lost nine of their last 11 in the League, and will take any port in a storm.

“Coming here is a difficult place to come,” Pardew said afterwards. “We defended really well, a lot tighter as a team, it was definitely a step forward for us. It was a really solid performance. There was a lot of really tough play out there.”

Both sides were short in attack. Norwich City started with Grant Holt on the bench and spent the first hour wishing they had him up-front, so often did they launch aimless crosses for Newcastle to head away.

This was United’s first League game since Demba Ba joined Chelsea and it offered a worrying warning of just how much they will miss him. Papiss Cissé was restored to leading the line but he does not do much when he is not scoring goals, and was lonely and isolated all afternoon.

Keeping Fabricio Coloccini is the new priority. Pardew said afterwards that he will speak with his captain, who wants to return to Argentina, this week, hoping to “resolve the situation”, but would not be drawn any further.

Much of Newcastle’s decline this season is down to personnel. Ba is now at Chelsea, Yohan Cabaye came on in the second half yesterday after two months out with a groin injury and Hatem Ben Arfa has been missing recently too.

The replacements are just not at the same level. Gabriel Obertan on the right wing contributed just one shot straight at Mark Bunn in the 57 minutes before he was taken off. Sylvain Marveaux, an attacking midfielder, was quiet throughout. Jonas Gutierrez is a worker but not a wizard. Newcastle’s best first-half move ended with him controlling the ball with his hand. Mathieu Debuchy, an excellent player, was cautious on his debut.

Norwich were better, but only just. After four straight League losses, they lacked confidence and fluency as well as a target-man up front. Their best work was done on the break. In the first half Wes Hoolahan should have put them ahead but he took too long in front of goal and James Perch covered.

In the second half there were a few slim openings for Norwich but they lacked the movement and delivery to turn them into anything. Russell Martin hit the post from distance while Anthony  Pilkington headed over in the  closing seconds.

“I was pleased with some of our play,” Chris Hughton said afterwards, “but not our quality.”

Norwich (4-2-3-1): Bunn; Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; Johnson, Tettey; Snodgrass (Bennett, 77), Hoolahan, Pilkington; Jackson (Holt, 68).

Newcastle (4-1-4-1): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Perch; Obertan (Cabaye, 57), Anita (Bigirimana, 84), Marveaux, Gutierrez; Cissé.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.

Man of the match: Anita (Newcastle)

Match rating: 2/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London