United never got going and the match indicated a return to normal service. As ever, I enjoyed the day out but found the match itself a real chore.
I missed out on the early morning drinks at The Dolphin (aka the Geordie theme bar) but I was told of a massive police presence around King’s Cross with anyone and everyone being filmed by cameras on tripods. Some likely lads making the trip by all accounts. The Police obviously caught wind of something going on as I’ve not seen so much law enforcement for a match (outside of the derby) for a long time. Our tube was regularly held up at various points on our way to Upton Park tube, so much that we got off at Plaistow and flagged a cab. Further reports of carry on at Mile End also.
The Blind Beggar in Whitechapel is a funny old place. It looks from outside an old fashioned East end boozer but has all the beer garden trappings etc. which means it’s a relaxing place to drink. Loads of Dutch lads were there who seemed like they were on a football trip, obviously to sample Ye old cockney boozers.
I’ll try and keep the details of the match to a minimum because it was shitty fare from start to finish. Gouffran reappeared in the line-up, again only Pardew can explain that and neither he nor a frustrating Ameobi provided any cutting edge out wide. The first half was flat as fuck though Perez missed United’s best chance of the match slicing a shot wide of the right hand post and hitting the side netting with a back flick. Somehow Carroll was awarded Man of the Match but quite why I don’t know as I thought Dummett and Williamson marshalled him pretty well.
Downstairs at half time there was a right carry on at the bar (alcohol free yesterday) with the shutter half closed. I’m not sure why they were there but the heavy police presence in an already crowded area just antagonised people and there was an edgy atmosphere about the whole day.
Second half saw West Ham start to get something like a grip on the match and they took the lead with a goal to match the standard of play. From a distance, Cheikou Kouyate’s mis-hit shot travelled harmlessly towards the Newcastle goal only for Adrian Cresswell to continue his run from full back and connect with the attempt to slot past Elliot. Cabella and Cisse came on for Gouffran and Tiote as we attempted to up the ante but we never looked like dragging it back.
The result was sealed after a moment of stupidity, well two moments from Sissoko, the captain. Firstly he was booked after kicking away the ball following a foul and then again a late challenge on Carroll 40 seconds later for a second booking. Reminds me a Barton’s headless sending off against Liverpool in 2009. I don’t think the description “thick” quite covers it.
He now misses the Burnley match on Tuesday as does Colback. That game now looms ominously for us and we’ll certainly miss a rejuvenated Sissoko against Chelsea and Arsenal.
Elliot then made a very handy save towards the end from but that was it bar a late flurry of attacks which came to nothing. The biggest cheer for Mags all match was seeing a replica-shirted 50-something lass (ours) being escorted away from her seat right in front of the away support. That’s not a 17 year old pissed up at Wigan, no, that’s a grown woman being dragged away by the Polis for too many iced Bulmer’s. Well, it happens to the best of us!
Although I was optimistic about the LC at Spurs, I’ve got a nasty feeling this is the end of our little run. Without Coloccini possibly, but definitely Sissoko, Colback and others, I just don’t fancy us at Burnley and expect nowt from Chelsea and Arsenal. That doesn’t put us in the best shape for the League Cup and if truth be told I think we all knew we might be pushing our luck. Also, if Perez is to play up front he needs Cabella not Gouffran behind him. Despite his hunger and good touches yesterday, he looked a bit forlorn. He needs help up there. We’ll see but I think the next month will find us back in the lower-mid table position which is more accurately where this team realistically sits.
Newcastle United: Elliot 6; Hiadara 6, DUMMETT 7, Williamson 6, Janmaat 6 (Taylor 6); Gouffran 4 (Cabella 5), Colback 5, Tiote 6 (Cisse 5), Sissoko 3, Ameobi 4; Perez 6.
Subs not Used: Alnwick, Anita, Armstrong, Riviere
Ours: 8 – A lively turnout. Lots of barracking of Carroll and of the Chicken run.
Theirs: 6 – When they’re loud, they’re loud. Some right twats giving it the “big un” on the Chicken Run (Nugget corner). Still one of the best aways to do. Last year is the final game for us there, assuming we both stay up!
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