According to Jim White, Sky Sports News presenter, the talk of last night’s game against QPR was all about Joey Barton. Barton, who had been handed the captain’s armband would turn out to be the least of Newcastle’s worries as a total of six players made their debuts for QPR.
The London club put Newcastle on the back foot right from kick-off as Taraabt and Wright-Phillips were running the show. Time and time again Wright-Phillips ghosted past Ryan Taylor as if he wasn’t there. It’s clear for all Newcastle fans now (if it wasn’t earlier) that the purchase of Davide Santon is now looking like a master stroke. Integrating the Italian defender into the team will be Pardew’s main task.
QPR’s three centre midfielders ran Tiote and Cabaye ragged. Tiote looked off the pace at times and struggled to get himself involved in the game (although he did put in an ‘enthusiastic’ challenge on Joey Barton – to which Barton referenced on Twitter). Cabaye showed moments of class playing one or two great balls to the front two, but that was about it really. He was often watching the ball fly over his head as Newcastle resorted to playing direct (read long ball) to the front pairing of Best and Ameobi.
Best did have a chance after a great turn but keeper Paddy Kenny thrwarted his effort and pushed it wide. Jonas Gutierrez arguably had the best of Newcastle’s chances as he sent one over from just a few yards out. Newcastle’s attacking options were somewhat thwarted though as we were constantly having to deal with QPR pushing men forward.
With that being said, thanks has to go to Danny Simpson and Steven Taylor who both made goal-line clearances. Even though we did nothing going forward, the Newcastle backline were resolute. Yes, Ryan Taylor did have a bit of a mare, but with Santon ready to come in that’s an area which will be improved upon.
This was a Newcastle performance to forget as many of our players were under-par. However, to leave Loftus Road with a point, remain unbeaten in the Premier League, and sit in fourth place is something to be satisfied with – and we haven’t even played well yet!