A disappointing afternoon saw us take a point from whipping boys Villa and fail to capitalise on the positivity of the past couple of weeks. McLaren stuck with the same starting line up that was shite for the first half at White Hart Lane and the opening period was a slog as neither side took a hold of the game. We struggled to gain a foothold in the middle of the park whilst Villa just looked piss poor and you’d be hard pushed to see a more faceless team in the league.
We had to reshuffle when Cisse pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury with ten minutes of the first half still to go, with Mitrovic coming on and whilst there was no real attack of note, we were starting to get on top when we took the lead shortly before half time from an unlikely source and an unlikely scorer.
A deep corner made it’s way to Coloccini and he struck a weak looking volley that slipped underneath Guzan on an increasingly wet surface to put us ahead going into the break. The rain continued to pour down and it looked touch and go whether we’d see the game out when the sides came out after the interval but it subsided despite the pitch being covered in water.
We just didn’t get going at all in the second half though and Villa started get back into a game that really they shouldn’t have been given a sniff in. When a team is cut adrift at the bottom of the league and you’re on the back of two good wins you should be taking charge at one up but we couldn’t get hold of the ball and they had a great opportunity to level when the ball fell to Gueye but he screwed the shot wide.
We had an even better chance to kill the game off just before the hour when a great cross found de Jong at the back post, but he managed to head wide with an open goal gaping from only six yards out. De Jong was woeful again all afternoon and I just don’t buy this vain hope that there is a fit and talented player buried under the surface there – he’s bone idle and shite and he’s robbing our most talented player in Perez a place in the side and thankfully he was hooked for the Spaniard to a mystifying standing ovation after contributing fuck all.
match, Jordan Ayew who cut inside at the corner of the box and curled a fine effort past Eliott. We introduced Thauvin for Anita and the Dutchman could feel aggrieved as he is by no means the worst of our midfielders when compared against the desperate Colback. If ever there is a symbol of our current standing, it is that plodder in midfield – abject rubbish. Thauvin looked alright though, putting over a couple of decent balls to no avail and we surely can’t just bin him off after half a dozen games when the alternatives are equally as poor?
Colo basically shite himself when Gestede came on and he and Gueye both had chances, the former failing to connect to a cross by inches and the latter fluffing a chance after an Eliott save. Despite being second best for most of the half, we had two great chances to pinch a win late on, firstly Wijnaldum scuffing a shot from a pullback straight in front of goal and then Perez scooping a Sissoko pass over the bar when he looked odds on to score.
A point was definitely the right result though and taken over the last two weeks, seven points is a great return but given
the results today and the fact we were playing relegation certainties at home, it was a setback.
I’ve said this a billion times in reports, but the next two games are massive for United – if we fail to beat either WBA or Everton, I’d have us more likely to go down than not and we are painfully short of a player capable of creating anything in mediocre games like this. We’re not out of the woods yet..
Keep the Faith
Newcastle United – Eliott 7¸ JANMAAT 8, Coloccini 6, Mbemba 7, Dummett 4, Sissoko 6, Anita 6 (Thauvin 6), Colback 5, Wijnaldum 5, De Jong 3 (Perez 5), Cisse 4 (Mitrovic 6)
Ref – Atkinson – 7 – No complaints but not much to do
Our Fans – 6 – Alright on the whole but went from a standing ovation for de Jong to booing in ten minutes.
Their Fans – 4 – Heard them in the last twenty minutes. I hope their relegation is brutal.
McClaren post-match patter:
GARETH HARRISON – Follow Gareth on @truefaith1892
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