In a weekend which saw as many goals scored since the weekend we drew 4-4 with Arsenal after the Caroll sale (still the best second half performance I’ve seen from United), we managed to nick a win at the death. I’ve personally missed 3 home games in the last year. All three have been decided by late, late Cisse winners (Fulham, Stoke and now Palace). The game by all accounts was turgid, crying out for a Remy or a Ben Arfa. Amongst all the excitement of a football weekend which saw the mackems once again fail to win a ‘6 pointer’ our game has understandably shunned by the written media.
The win is well received though. United face ‘direct rivals’ in the next three games in the form of Everton (h), Soton (a) and Man Utd (h). Lee Ryder continues to crack gags at the ‘race for 8th’ on twitter. Win these three games and we could be aiming higher than 8th, unlikely as it is. There’s plenty wrong at Newcastle United, the team’s performance on the whole this season, isn’t one of them.
Maybe some Ryder and some other mags would still rather be in Sunderland’s position. George Caulkin certainly would. It’s all about the cups, you know and Sunderland have found that magic (SAFC v Southampton FA cup 5th round att: 16,777) . You can’t beat two derby wins and a trip to Wembley can you? While you’re pondering that think of the crushing disappointment of picking up 1 point out of 6 from Palace (h) and Norwich (a) and the horrible dread you have about the next big home game against a relegation rival. Remember when we had Portsmouth, Boro and Fulham at home in 08? Three home games to stop up. Shit teams cannot spin three wins in 4 games together, when they’ve won 4 all season. The mackems will find themselves in a similarly horrible position come the end of the season when they face Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea at home in the last three games of the season. It’ll be enjoyable to watch.
The Guardian’s coverage
Match Report, Louise Taylor:
Not surprisingly Louise Taylor reckons United’s future is ‘Ben Arfa shaped’. Make of that what you will and what ‘shape’ that would be but there’s no denying United look 100 times more threatening with him in the side. Then again questions remain about his fitness to play 90 minutes worth of football. I know this a blog about media reaction and not my own best pal moments with Pardew, but I met him last year and spoke to him for a while after the late Stoke win. He was convinced our only chance of winning the Europa League and getting back into the top 4 the next season was getting a motivated, fit and happy Ben Arfa on the pitch and building the team around him.
When a manager speaks to a total stranger about a player in such glowing terms, it tells me HBA has well and truly fucked everything up this season off the pitch. A huge shame. Pardew is not a teacher or a nursery assistant. Players need to turn up for work fit and have a professional attitude. Everything coming out of the club tells me this isn’t the case at the moment. I suspect Louise Taylor knows this too.
10 talking points blog, Louise Taylor:
The United game gets in the 10 talking points blog, but weirdly it’s not about Papisse Cisse or United’s lack of creativity, but that the Palace fans were loud. I wasn’t at the game but by all accounts they were decent, nothing more. Certainly nothing to write home about, as Taylor has done.
The NCJ coverage
Lee Ryder’s reaction:
Ryder always does in depth coverage of each game and we’re no different here. He’s written a piece on an interview with Carver saying that ‘you can’t park the bus at St James’ Park.’ On first glance, that seems ridiculous as Palace very nearly did that, successfully. Then if you read the article Carver doesn’t actually say when you read the article.
Ryder’s verdict pariases the United fans, Cisse and HBA before criticising Pardew. No shock here.
In the wake of United’s win, the Journal’s sources reckon United will spend in the summer and bring in 6 or 7 new faces. Really?
The Palace Reaction:
When looking for an online report of our game, I stumbled upon the ‘Five Year Plan’. Palace have an excellent and well written online presence and this is the best site of a good bunch.
Their match report is excellent and written by a fan at the game, well worth a read to view things from the other side.
Not a lot to go on this week from a media perspective. The next three games are crucial to our season (yes there is plenty to play for) and I’m hoping for at least 4 points to keep things going in the right direction.
There’ll be more of this on Wednesday after the Everton game.