This might be difficult. Newcastle United were held to a rather uneventful 0-0 draw by ADO Den Haag at the Kyocera Stadium earlier today.
Over the 90 minutes, Gabriel Obertan forced Coutinho into a fine save, Papiss Cisse had a header cleared off the line and Shola Ameobi had a goal wrongly disallowed.
At the other end, Vicento’s late effort was the only time Tim Krul was called into action in his hometown.
The game was somewhat marred by alleged racist chanting from a section of Den Haag fans aimed at Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse.
After the game, a Newcastle United spokesperson told the media:
“In reference to alleged racist chants reported during Newcastle United’s friendly against Den Haag, the club will be raising the matter with officials at Den Haag and it will be dealt with privately.”
Newcastle were without Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux on their Dutch trip. The trio were left at home to train and get up to speed. Newcastle’s next match is away to Hartlepool on Tuesday.
Our fan reporter Matthew Hope described the game as a “drab affair” adding there were “a lack of clear cut chances for either side.“
Here’s our top FIVE things we learned, do disagree if you feel the need to – it is all about opinions after all.
ONE: Top class Tiote
Cheick Tiote looks hungry and ready for the new season. Despite constant speculation about his future on Tyneside, he looks focused and was on top form again today. We’ve already established that he doesn’t do friendly and during his 71 minutes on the pitch, there were some bone-crunching tackles on the pitch. Great to see.
TWO: Lack of pace
Newcastle started with a flat 4-4-2 formation, but there was a lack of pace in the team with Gabriel Obertan and Jonas Gutierrez on the wings. The absence of Marveaux after his impressive stint in Portugal was felt. The wingers didn’t really run at the Den Haag defence. Plenty of hard graft from Jonas and a different approach from Obertan.
THREE: Gabby shooting
It looks like Gabriel Obertan has been told to shoot if and when he can. He wasn’t shy of having a pop today. Sadly, he didn’t have his shooting boots on and a number of shots went over the bar. There was one straight at Coutinho too. Maybe next time Gabby.
Our ball retention was good and in a way you can say that Newcastle controlled the game. However, there was a lack of cutting edge and the creativity was missing especially in the final third. The starting line-up was strong:
Krul – RTaylor, STaylor, Coloccini, Santon – Obertan, Tiote, Vuckic, Gutierrez – Ba, Cisse.
But if you replace Obertan with Ben Arfa and Vuckic with Cabaye then maybe we would have seen more creativity? That’s probably the sort of side we’ll field against Spurs if the Frenchmen are ready.
FIVE: Cleansheet for Krul
Tim Krul got a clean sheet on his return to Den Haag. It’s a sweet story.