Newcastle United no longer exists as a football club in the real sense of the phrase; a shell of an existence played out by zombie players too tired or too encumbered in sleep to be stirred, managed by a man whose Geordie rhetoric is a tired old cliché and an owner who long gave up the ghost of tangible investment and a sense of belonging. We cling to the Premier League table ever more perilously feeding from the crumbs that the big boys scatter on the carpet and survive in a never ending sequence of mediocrity being outfought and outthought in what seems to be our only two meaningful games of the season.
For the first time in years i wasn’t nervous about today. Mike Ashley has finally crushed what little spirit I had left. He’s not the only one. £52 away tickets, knackers singing about the dole, and Sky TV and its never ending grip on the game we grew up loving and admiring. A few beers beforehand always motivates you a bit more but even as the sun shone down on the better half of the North East a nagging sense that we would sleep walk through another defeat was eating away at me.
A very relaxed and easy trip to Chicken Town went down without any incident and despite the bar being deemed too full i saw plenty of pals old and new and had a bit crack on with them. The game started with them looking well more up for it than we ever were to be and Defoe was almost put through only for his touch to let him down and allow Janmaat to clear. The home side almost took the lead a little later when Whickham headed against a post when Subbuteo goalie Krul stood on his line.
They had forced a fair few corners but our abysmal performance was punished when a long punt downfield was headed into the path of Defoe to fire a stunning volley past our ‘keeper and pretty much seal victory, as we were never likely to score.
Half-time was almost immediately called and the home fans celebrated for the first 5 mins of it like the game was won; they were right.
The second half was another cowardly affair with the Mackems missing a few clear cut chances. Firstly, Fletcher tried an acrobatic finish when a control and shot would have surely seen him score, Larsson fired a free-kick just wide and then Williamson improbably blocked when it seemed certain he would double the lead. We managed a couple of efforts on goal with Cabella having a shot saved and Perez missing an open goal which would have given us a point we scarcely deserved.
We are carrying too many passengers, both on the pitch and on the touchline. I would keep Perez and Janmaat. The rest can all leave with a notable exception for Jonas, who sentiment aside, actually bothered his arse today unlike uber coward Sissoko and circus act Sammy, who in clubbing the ball out of play under no pressure encapsulated his day, his career and this football club.
Newcastle United: Krul, R.Taylor, Janmaat, Williamson, Colback, Sissoko, Gutierrez, Gouffran (Riviere 58), Ameobi, (Armstrong 87), Cabella, Perez.
Subs n/u: Elliot, Anita, Abeid, Kemen, Obertan
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