I had a moment this morning when I was out in the park with my bairns, it was sunny, we were having a lovely time and I checked my watch and realised that I had to go and get the Metro to the match. You know where this is going, but I dragged myself off thinking ‘Aah, I might be pleasantly surprised’ but mainly thinking ‘Fucking hell, howay man, you’ve got to go’. I wish I’d stayed an extra couple of hours in the park with them – my day went downhill the moment I left.
I’ll do my best to polish a turd and pad out a match review for you so in interests of statistical accuracy, we started with the same side that trounced possibly the worst team I’ve EVER seen at this level last weekend and thankfully Stoke left Crouch on the bench from the start. It was also cold.
The first half was, as so many games are at SJP these days, garbage. Two mediocre teams sounding each other out with neither really committing to attack and neither providing any real quality to unlock each others defences. Cabella was bright for us again and looked the most likely to create anything but with Perez again hideously isolated up front and feeding off scraps. Cabella of all people got a header in which Begovic saved without knowing too much about it and Ayoze managed a low shot, from a Cabella pass that went not far wide but they had probably the best chance of the half when an offside looking Moses headed to force a reaction save from Krul. As I said earlier though, that’s padding things out – in a ‘normal’ match, the chances probably wouldn’t even merit comment – the game was just so unbelievably dull, they provided the ‘highlights’ of the half.
The second was barely any better. Stoke had by far the better of the opening exchanges and possibly sensed there were three points there for the taking. They were getting on top in midfield – I thought Colback was awful before his goal and Anita – Jesus Christ man, I totally forgot he was on the field until he was subbed off on the hour for Cisse. For all of Stoke’s possession, they only really forced one meaningful save from Krul in the 20 minutes or so they were on top – again a header, this time from Diouf. There were murmurings of unrest when Cabella was withdrawn for Obertan and with the dreadful Sammy left on the pitch, it was an odd substitution.
Shortly after that, Colback miraculously stayed on the pitch after a wild tackle on Moses having already being booked and I was surprised that they didn’t appeal for his dismissal more than they did and it was to cost them just after as he put us ahead. A decent pullback from Obertan found Sissoko in the box and he did very well to regain his footing having slipped to tee up Colback to finish smartly off the post. We then had two great chances to kill the game off, with an Ireland goal disallowed for offside sandwiched in between. First, Sissoko burst forward and played what looked like a poor ball in to the onrushing Obertan. He still managed to bring it down and round the keeper but with the ground willing him to put the bloody ball in the back of the net, he rolled a terrible pass square to Sissoko which was easily cleared. Then, Ayoze wriggled inside about three of their defenders before blazing high into the Gallowgate with the goal at his mercy.
Inevitably, we succumbed to substitute Crouch and it was a shocker of a goal to concede, starting with Obertan in their corner playing a backwards ball that then went through a sequence of passes where it looked like we were attacking our own goal, a shite backpass from the shite Williamson, a shite clearance from Krul and a long ball to the back post exposing some shite marking from Janmaat, resulting in a looping header from beanpole Crouch, leaving Krul’s shite, flatfooted effort to save the ball redundant despite a last gasp effort to clear from Coloccini. Honestly, it was shite.
If you’d only seen the last quarter of an hour, you might have been conned into thinking this was an entertaining match. It really, really wasn’t. The fans aren’t conned by what they are being fed and the fact you could have heard a pin drop before we were booed off the pitch tells you all you need to know. Like the team, like the owner, I can’t really be bothered with the rest of the season. Can you?
Keep the Faith
Newcastle United – Krul 5, Janmaat 3, Coloccini 6, Williamson 5, Haidara 6, Sissoko 6, Anita 4 (Cisse 5), Colback 6, Sammy 3 (Abeid n/a), CABELLA 6 (Obertan 5), Perez 6
Ref – Friend – 5 – We were lucky to end up with eleven and arguably they were too.
Our Fans – 2 – As bad as I’ve seen SJP in many a year. The club don’t give a fuck about us and it is becoming reciprocal
Their Fans – 7 – Delilah is a shite song but they were better than they usually are