Like probably loads of other Dads yesterday, I herded up the kids and got them on the train for the short hop through to the town. The bravado of thinking I could handle four of them at once soon disappeared as I realised they all have minds of their own and are prone to wandering off at random times – great crack though. The big thing for me though was it was the first time I have taken my boy Ted to the game – that’s right, he popped his Newcastle United cherry. It’s a proud moment for me especially after what has happened recently (long story) but having your boy there with you makes it all worthwhile. I got a message from the deputy editor of this very fanzine last night telling me how many fantastic times he’s had with his Dad following our just and righteous cause around the country and beyond. I hope I get the chance to look back in years to come with the same fond memories.
Anyway onto the game. I was a little disappointed with the team that played the first half as I’m not sure what else we can learn about Williamson and Taylor at centre half and how many more times Gouffran has to demonstrate how weak as piss he is before we peddle him. Anita and Colback looked ok in centre midfield but aren’t creative enough to challenge the top half of the table. Sissoko looks as though he wants a move and Cisse looks reasonably fit (so he should be with the amount of shagging he’s doing). Krul was captain and Haidara looked aggressive whilst Obertan delights and angers in equal measure. Janmatt is as steady as ever. Wijnaldum played in a central / withdrawn role but didn’t really create much and Williamson headed over the bar from a corner but entertainment was sparse.
The second half started well with Sissoko through on goal but hitting the bar (he should have scored) and us playing some decent stuff. A flurry of subs for both sides broke up momentum a bit with Mbemba coming on at right back (odd) and Aarons coming on for Obertan whilst Mitrovic replaced Cisse at centre forward (big unit and I liked his style and passion immediately). In the 66th minute Hazard (apparently the brother of Chelsea’s Eden) side footed them into the lead and then De Jong came on for Anita. We started to play a bit of football now and then the best bit of play near the end saw De Jong lay the ball back for Mitrovic who struck the Gallowgate end post (he should have scored). The final whistle seemed to be greeted by the odd boo which I found a little peculiar but never mind.
Overall some positives to take from the game and evidence that we still have some players who we desperately need to move on. I think our new signings will take us forward but if we think that’s enough, we are sadly mistaken. Still, the real deal starts next weekend so we’ll see how we go from there. I think if we can start the season with some momentum, it could be a decent year but our confidence looks in short supply (which is probably a hangover from last season’s shite) and some of our players are fragile at best. See you all next week!
In loving memory of Ann Edwards R.I.P.
Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat (Mbemba 62), Williamson, Taylor, Haidara, Anita (De Jong 75), Colback, Sissoko (Perez 81), Wijnaldum, Obertan (Aarons 62), Cisse (Mitrovic 62).
Subs Unused: Darlow, Ferguson, Lascelles, Bigirimana, Kemen, Abeid, Gouffran