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West Brom 1 – Newcastle United 1

Newcastle’s first game back, and the entire nation were waiting for them to slip up against promotion favourites West Bromwich Albion. The prelude to the game saw Alan Shearer go on record to say that he would “dearly love” to be manager of Newcastle United.

Rumours of a bust-up within Newcastle’s camp saw Joey Barton (surprise surprise) demoted to the subs bench. The first half was pretty even with both sides having chances to take the lead. It wasn’t until Martis put West Brom ahead a few minutes before the break – Ameobi managing to take a kick at his own keeper in an attempted clearance and making sure Harper didn’t return for the second half.

All credit to the Toon though, they came out after the break looking determined to get back in the game and the equaliser came with Damien Duff being put through by Ameobi. The Newcastle squad looked absolutely knackered though and mid-way through the second-half Chris Hughton made an odd change bringing Joey Barton on for Andy Carroll. Tim Krul kept Newcastle in it with a fine display of three or four top notch saves and stand in captain Alan Smith put in a gritty and determined display at the centre of Newcastle’s midfield.

This was a decent display against the promotion favourites. However, if Newcastle don’t get in any additional players, then they’ll be in deep trouble. Coloccini looks way out of his depth even at this level, and Jonas’ final ball was very, very average. The starting eleven today had no pace whatsoever, and whoever the next Toon boss is, finding players with pace should be a top priority.

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