‘It’s faaaacking grim up norf’ Well it’s grim down south too where Newcastle United are involved at the minute. Fresh from an inexplicable show of cowardice last week, a marginally better performance here made no difference to the both the scoreline or the potentially irreparable damage done to the 2800 or so mental cases that made this journey. As ever pre-match was great crack and a reminder of why we all do this. Great people, having a drink, taking the piss and making the most of their Saturdays.
Once the slurps had been erm slurped the reality of why we were actually there came ringing in my head like a church bell when you have a hangover. Pre-match predictions weren’t of how many goals but on how many minutes we would be disillusioned with the latest piss-poor tactical performance and staggering lack of bravery and simply leave. A first time for me at Chelsea (i’d previously balked at their scandalous prices) and on the way around to the away end i was met with people in sunglasses, huge fur coats; basically the most removed people from ordinary match goers it was possible to see.
We started the game relatively brightly for a team containing uber cowards Davide Santon and Moussa Sissoko, we pushed Chelsea back a bit and Ben Arfa was buzzing around their back four and looking like he fancied it. Unfortunately the two efforts he had on goal were comfortably saved by Cech and we soon caved to one of their lavishly priced stars whilst tensions rose in the away end. Hazard was picked out by a comfortable pass into midfield and his Cruyff-turn and spin easily took him away from Santon and Anita allowing him to feed the ball wide to Ivanovic and his simple return cut-back saw Hazard sweep a right footed shot into the corner, effectively ending the game as a contest.
Yet, it shouldn’t have been when a cute slide rule pass from Santon put Sissoko through on goal after a marginal offside call went our way. I can honestly say i wasn’t excited in the least as true to his actual ability, not one of his 1 good games in 10, he took a horrible first touch and the chance was gone. He has the lot in terms of an athlete but it says more for the current state of what is wanted in football, that he can’t trap a ball, can’t pass it and has the heart of an utter coward. To compound that miss Chelsea went straight down the other end after triumvirate of poor touches and decision making allowed Luiz to intercept. His measured pass into Et’oo was taken on by Willian who found Hazard on the left hand side. Another one-two, this time with the Cameroon forward, and another sweep into the corner. Absolutely great goal but the lack of tracking and effort from some quarters was once again unacceptable.
We created some moments of pressure throughout the rest of the first half but as the half time whistle came the concourse and it’s overpriced shite lager had never seemed a more encouraging space. The 2nd half began with an almost calamitous error from Tim Krul when a long ball forward saw our Subbuteo goalie come out and just fall over, the ball drifting harmlessly wide despite Oscar following it in. A third goal was inevitable and when it came it was from an absolutely blatant penalty the like of which is NOT given every week. Yanga-Mbiwa manhandled Et’oo to the ground and after crouching below sea level to ensure it had happened England’s worst referee actually gave a decision. Hazard stroked the ball home and it was game well and truly over and us trying not to recreate England cricket team’s average first innings score in Australia.
Ultimately we got nothing and we hadn’t really expected anything anyway but if Ashley is going to prolong his torture on us could he at least spare us watching Alan Pardew drown under the weight of having to organise, motivate and set up a team? We need major investment in the summer and i would say Marveaux, Obertan, Taylor, Santon, can all leave as well as booking Sissoko in for that heart transplant. Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 (i’ll get back to you).
Newcastle United Krul, Debuchy (Yanga-Mbiwa 40), Williamson, S.Taylor, Dummett, Anita (Marveaux 84), Santon, Ben Arfa (Gosling 64), Sissoko, Sa.Ameobi, De Jong.
Unused Subs: Elliot, Haidara, Sh.Ameobi, Armstrong.