A disastrous and dismal performance saw us deservedly beaten by a dominant Bournemouth side and staring relegation in the face. Unbelievably, McCLaren chose to bring Riviere in from the cold for a start up front, replacing Mitrovic from Wednesday night at Stoke and Perez came in for Gouffran. The completely scattergun approach of McCLaren’s team selection says everything about his utter lack of a clue and while I’m no fan of Mitrovic, what is the poor bugger supposed to do when he’s in one week, out the next – likewise Perez.
We started quite brightly without actually having a shot on target. Shelvey, who was the only United player that could come anywhere near holding his head up at the end of the match with any sort of pride after putting a shift in, dragged a shot just wide from the edge of the box and Riviere saw an effort deflected just wide of the post. The men in the minging fluorescent pink shirts were as much of a danger as us though and from early on, were clearly better drilled and sharper than us and had a couple of half chances themselves before they took the lead shortly before the half hour.
The goal stemmed from the 326nd misplaced pass in a dangerous area by the utterly hideous Jack Colback this season and the resulting ball found it’s way into the far corner via a deflection from the equally dreadful Steven Taylor for an own goal from Josh King’s shot. Any side starting Colback deserves to be relegated and for a moment my hopes were raised when Anita stripped to come on immediately after the goal but unfortunately it was Dummett that was subbed off. He was apparently injured but seemed fine when he went off and the crowd certainly weren’t pleased with the move.
We were deservedly booed off at half time and McLaren reacted by hooking Riviere for Mitrovic – what the fuck was he doing on in the first place though? The second half was even worse than the first though with no discernible reaction or effort to claw things back in evidence. Some of the body language was atrocious. Janmaat looked like he just wanted to be off the pitch, Sissoko didn’t try a ha’peth, WIjnaldum didn’t kick the ball after about the third minute of the game and Taylor spent almost the entire afternoon pointing at other people to mask his own failings, blowing out of his arse and looking finished.
It was little surprise therefore that they extended their lead with twenty minutes to go with embarrassing ease, King virtually walking past our back line before picking his spot in the roof of the net. The goal brought an outpouring of abuse against McClaren, with all four corners of the ground joining in with a chorus of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ as the stands started to empty. The manager did what he should have done six months ago and dragged Sissoko off, I hate that prick me, but the game was long gone.
We were given a glimmer of hope, well I say hope but even though it brought us back to 2-1 it never felt like any more than a consolation when Shelvey picked out Perez with a lovely ball to leave him free on goal and he duly finished but if we were to have got a point it would have been as big a misjustice as our win down there earlier in the season. They had a good chance to get their third, firing just past the far post before they did finally wrap things up in the last minute when Charlie Daniels found the bottom corner with minimal fuss or challenge to put a more realistic gloss on the scoreline to empty the stadium completely.
We are going down and we deserve to. Even in the extremely unlikely event that any competent manager could be persuaded to come in and take over from the hapless McClaren, even if for a short term stint, the team is too rotten and lacking in talent to keep us up. I realise that I conflict with a lot of fans and certainly with the Editor when I say that at best, I’m ambivalent to relegation and at the other end of the scale, I’d actively will us to go down because dodging another bullet for another season of this simply adds to the corrosion of our great club. If going down this season sends us into a tailspin then frankly I’d rather watch a club I was proud of scratch around in the fourth division with players giving their all than this fucking garbage.
I’m not even going to bother patronising you with a ‘Keep the Faith’. Mine’s long gone.
Newcastle United – Eliott 4, Janmaat 3, Lascelles 4, S Taylor 2, Dummett 5 (Anita 3), Colback 2, Sissoko 2 (Aarons 4), Wijnaldum 2, SHELVEY 7, Perez 4, Riviere 2 (Mitrovic 5)
Ref – Tierney – 6 – No real big calls to make
Our Fans – 4 – Finally turned en masse on McLaren followed by a defiant ‘Newcastle’ chant, otherwise numbed by it all
Their Fans – 7 – Good numbers, predictable song book.
GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892
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