Oh dear. Straight after the game, it’s hard to know where to start. A very disappointing result that judging from the conversations going on around me on the train on the way home has got the moaners getting comfortable and the blame culture club ready to start renewing subscriptions.
But with better finishing we’d have won this at a canter. Don’t get me wrong, our narrow and slow performance in the first half resembled some of the many frustrating days we experienced last season and under Redknapp, but it was very much one nil to the Trim Krül rather than to the Newcastle. If any one of a number of players had angled their shots away from the keeper rather than within an arm’s length then the chances are that the Geordies would be facing a long journey home cursing the inability of Sissoko and Cabaye to cope with the vibrancy of Sandro and Remy and Ameobi to deal with the power of Kaboul.
Except that these two dominant influences on the second half were exactly that, only there in the second half. Sandro’s energy and timing was crucial and faultless, Kaboul’s strength and decisiveness tellingly contradictory to Chiriches’s fannying about. In hindsight it’s easy to question why Sandro wasn’t there from the start, but AVB was after more creativity from the middle than he’d seen against Hull thus the Beast was sacrificed. More questionable is the introduction of Defoe instead of Lamela when Siggy’s mostly anonymous performance was brought to a close. Townsend on the left with the blossoming Argentine on the right maybe? Instead Eriksen took over on the left(ish) whilst the play got ever more suffocated through the middle. Defoe and Soldado scrabbled for time and space but found none.
We should’ve won, we deserved to win…but we didn’t. “I blame the manager, he only wants to win the Europa League”, “Paulinho, what’s the point”, “we should buy Carlo Scoragolo”. It wasn’t the best performance in the world, unless you’re talking about the opposition keeper, in which case it was. Personally I blame the chairman and the manager, but only for raising expectations.
Remembrance Sunday maybe, but a game to forget.
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