Straight after the League Cup 3rd Round tie with Leeds United at St James’ Park the true faith TIFOSI will assemble to dissemble their thoughts upon what we have witnessed on Barrack Road.
Always absolutely honest and forthright our gang of Neil, Sam, Matt, Steve and Chris will call it as they have seen it and you have the opportunity to shout “Hear, Hear!” or point out the error of their ways in the dignified, intelligent and constructive manner we encourage (cough) on these pages.
Hopefully, we’ll be looking forward to the next round rather than grinding our teeth and cursing the football gods.
This was an enjoyable cup tie – and a much improved all round performance from Saturday. Granted, we were playing a Leeds team that was a million miles away from the team that challenged the top end of the Premiership a decade ago – but it was still nice to see us pick up a deserved victory. I was delighted to see Cisse get on the score sheet. A lot has been made of his goalless run which stretches back to Fulham last season I believe. All strikers have barren patches, and with much luck this will see the pressure lifted off his shoulders. In fairness, I think a lot of the problem has been a sever lack of service to him other than a punt up to him where he has to hold the ball and drop it off. Trouble is, he very rarely got it back. Sammy put in an exceptional performance, with a couple of assists to his name. Gouffran’s goal was a fine finish. It could have been a lot more had Obertan been wearing his finishing boots. I really feel sorry for him. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you can see that there’s a lot of talent hidden in that big dome of his, he just can’t apply it. When Taggert brought him to Man Utd, they were calling him the next big thing to come out of France. Sadly, he’s never really lived up to that tag. So, we’ve got another home tie. A nice easy one against the blue side of Manchester. I’m not expecting a great deal out of that one, even if they do play their reserves which includes the likes of Dzeko. But if…..IF…we were to get through that. Anything can happen. Keep dreaming of Wembley boys and girls. This is our year…
Another case of job done, but we seemed to play better than we did in the previous round at Morecambe. Thought we knocked the ball around well enough, especially in midfield. Obviously it’s important to remember who we were playing against, and not to go overboard but it was a good performance. Dummett and Sammy linked up very well down the left flank, both having good individual performances, the latter in particular. Pardew could have gone too far with his changes this time out, but he didn’t, he still seemed to keep a good solid quality base to the side, Colo playing was a huge help, and Tioté and Anita just had too much quality for the Leeds midfield. As for the goals, I thought Sammy’s cross for Cissé’s header was a bastard peach. Cissé seemed to be trying TOO hard to score (I’m thinking when he lashed it into the side netting when squaring it was the better option), but he took his header well from a magnificent cross, and we can only hope he kicks on now. Gouffran’s goal was all about the goalscorer, lovely turn and finish. A Thunderbastard, if you will. Like I say, it’s hard to judge too much, as we played a team a level below us, but I was impressed by the professionalism of it all, and for once, things actually went to plan for us on the pitch. Crazy times indeed. Man City at SJP in the next round, no challenge there then.. 3 – Sammy (Set up both goals, looked good in possession. Found his level?) 2 – Dummett (Impressed in pre-season and didn’t do himself any harm here. Gets down left well) 1 – Tioté (Kept possession well and dictated the pace of the game. A glimpse of the old Cheick tonight. Need to see more of the same!)
In all fairness, I love Leeds as a city, I love a lot of it’s population…but I hate them when it is football related. I was mindful of Old Big Heads quote: “As far as I’m concerned you can throw all those medals you’ve won in the bin, because you won them all by cheating”. 6000+ fans on a Wednesday night is an awesome turn out, amazing and a lot of respect but there are two things I learned tonight…the Team we played was “Leeds”…which were told that on a repeated basis. “We are Leeds, we are Leeds” was the cry on repeat. The team we were playing…Leeds (see what I’ve done?) are from a place called Yaaaaawk Sheh. I added two and two together and assumed we were up against Leeds from the Yorkshire. Two songs lads…get the point I’m making? We had a shock early doors when a shot was cleverly flashed against the cross bar but the ‘alleged’ witch craft was broken with wor Dave (who looked like he’d be relieved if he farted a goal in) notched….at last. Class is permanent but my standpoint has been under threat recently. I honestly thought we would concede and I am praying that Debuchy is having an “adjust to the Premier League period” because he is fucking awful. If he doesnt improve, put Santon right and Dummet left…please. He had a consistent game, Dummet. Isnt that what you want out of a full back? Sammy showed flashes but why he doesnt ‘pull on to the line’ when we spring a break I dont know…and he made a tackle! Goufffffffazzzzzz was Goufffffazzzzz…I love him. Like an excited puppy. I really do. Their number 44 was a big lad and gives me hope that one day Ill play with my levis 501 size on my back. However, he played alreet and I think we are the ONLY team in any division who doesnt press the opposition. Obertoon came on and should have notched 4…Outlet through and through. He didnt score but looked alright and much beefier. All in all a good night made great because I got my photo taken with Vic Reeves in the wall. Cue the Hovis tune following all of the Leeds, Leeds, Leeds fans all the way home to their front door. I would also like to add, again, that I like having the young un’s at the match…I dont get the tin foil but we’d be shite at cup games if the little moody pop warriors werent there. I love em, just come up with some better songs!
A routine home win. Not often you can say that in the world of NUFC. Leeds came in their droves and, although it pains me to give any them credit, made a fair old racket. However, their side just weren’t quite up to it as our quality shone through. It could have been different if Ross McCormack’s early effort had been a couple of inches lower, but it wasn’t to be. At times it was laborious, but we held onto the ball reasonably well and did what we had to do. Our number 9 put us ahead with a bullet header after good work down the left by youngsters Dummett and Sameobi. Amazing what you can do when you inject a bit of urgency into an attack. Having fluffed his lines earlier Cisse’s the goal was that bit more important. Fingers crossed he regains his self-confidence. The second was a cracking effort by the energetic Gouffran who turned sharply and smashed his effort past the flailing Paddy Kenny to net for the first time at SJP. Mr T returned to the fray and didn’t look as prone to calamity as he has done in recent times, although I’m afraid the same can’t be said about Iron Mike at the back. Marv got 90 minutes under his belt and drifted in and out of the game. Occasional glimpse wont buy him league starts, but then again when he’s marooned out of position wide on the right he’s hardly helped. There was even a rare sighting of Gabriel Obertan and the Frenchman should have increased the victory margin on at least one occasion. Not his biggest fan, but do feel for the lad –most of the ground is on his back before he’s even had a chance to mess up.
First off, Leeds have mint support. I’d have them back in the premier league over nothing teams like Fulham or Stoke any day. This game, however, took me all the way back to those heady days of the fizzy pop league where we ground out results over mediore opposition. Nowt special, it wasn’t exactly the furious response Pardew had threatened but we did the job. We lined up with ‘iron’ Mike Williamson who, to be fair, had a fairly solid game with a minimum of mis communication and pointless hoofs forward. An anonymous Sylvain Marveux and a solid PaulDummet. It was, though an altogether Bland affair, save for an outstanding performance from Ameobi jnr who assisted for both goals, saving Cisse from another non-display as he broke hia drought with a fine header. The second was a great strike from the ever-improving Gouffran putting the game beyond a sorry looking leeds (that side doesn’t deserve those fans).
The event as a whole left me with a more pressing question…what exactly is the point of Gabriel Obertan and how did Pardew end up playing over 3 million pounds for him? It could have been four save flr two displays of pure ineptitude in front of goal. It’s good to know that at least a few of us are taking this competition seriously.