A chastening evening at SJP saw us thoroughly taken apart by a hugely impressive Everton side. After bleating on in the run up to the game about needing to be ‘tighter’ than we were in Saturday’s tedious encounter, Pardew named the same starting line-up with HBA and any risk of creativity or excitement kept firmly on the bench.
To be fair, we actually started quite brightly and were the match for the visitors for the first quarter of an hour with Sissoko in particular looking bright going forward and providing a couple of crosses which the otherwise utterly anonymous Gouffran should have done better from but it was Everton that took the lead after 20 minutes with probably the best goal we’ve seen at SJP this season.
They should really have doubled their lead before the break when Lukaku burst onto Osman’s excellent through ball but Krul was out sharply to smother his effort.
The goal came from our corner but when Barkley picked the ball up well inside his own half and ran the full length of the pitch before ghosting inside our defenders and planting a fine effort into the roof of the net. A truly fantastic goal and one that perhaps would have elicited some applause had he not celebrated with that fucking irritating ‘Shhh’ celebration in front of the Gallowgate. Clearly he’s not been here this season, as our home support rarely need any encouragement to be deathly quiet.
We looked devoid of any sort of idea with Cisse again being starved on any service and De Jong looking absolutely powder puff.
The second half followed a similar pattern and they got their second just a few minutes after the restart. For the umpteenth time in the game, Deulofeu completely turned Dummett inside out before squaring for Lukaku to tap in. I know Dummett is an Academy product and all that and obviously I’d love to see him break through, but what the fuck must Haidara be thinking on the bench? Our best full back yet currently fifth choice in that position, including behind a centre-half who played on the other flank tonight seemingly with the attention span of a goldfish and the urgency of a sloth. I do actually like Mbiwa as a footballer aswell, but he’s not going to make it in this country. Not with us at any rate.
Ben Arfa was again brought on with the game already gone, as he has been previously at home this season with De Jong jogging off with the kitman counting the savings in Ariel. He drifted initially, with the formation a mystery but we did at least create a couple of half chances, with Gouffran firing an impressive volley narrowly over. Marveaux was introduced for Mbiwa and at that point, the formation of our side was anyones guess. 3-6-1? No direction or discernable clue Our one glimpse at a consolation which could have at least made the final minutes interesting was spurned awfully by Anita after Ben Arfa had somehow weaved through defenders in the box to pull the ball back only for the diminutive (and, in my opinion, average to crap) midfielder somehow screw wide with an open goal to aim at.
They put the tin hat on it near to the end with a complete aberration from Coloccini on the centre circle allowing them to break quickly again, with the ball eventually pulled back to Osman to fire high past Krul. Three nil didn’t flatter them in the slightest and all over the pitch they were better than us. Young, strong, impressive tactically and exciting to watch. I said on the metty on the way home to my mate that I wouldn’t have any of our starting line up other than Krul over there’s position for position and this is a team that is two places above us.
It’s another hiding at home and it’s almost a miracle that we are as high as we are. Try this – go through the team and ask yourself individually if the players have had a ‘good’ season. Other than Williamson, Tiote, Remy and possibly Gouffran (who I still don’t think is a great player but is generally greater than the sum of his parts) then players have ranged from piss poor or way below their level of capability.
Our mini-league (don’t laugh) for 7th (don’t laugh) to 9th will be sorted in the next couple of weeks but barring any surprises, I can’t see us scoring, never mind winning.
Keep the Faith
Newcastle United – Tim Krul 5, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 4 (Sylvain Marveaux 5), Mike Williamson 6, Fabricio Coloccini 5, Paul Dummett 4, Moussa Sissoko 6, CHIECK TIOTE 6, Vurnon Anita 3, Yoan Gouffran 4 (Shola Ameobi n/a), Luuk de Jong 3 (Hatem Ben Arfa 6), Papiss Cisse 5
Ref – Mason – 6 – Nothing of any incident
Our Fans – 6 – Thought they were better than the crap served up for them
Their Fans – 9 – Excellent – noisy, plentiful.
PS – Just seen Carver’s post match interview on SSN as I type this and he’s obviously got the same teacher as Pardew for talking utter shit. ‘At least we’re creating things’. Give owa man.