The dark clouds swirling around SJP briefly lifted on a day full of optimism. The news broke early this afternoon that the Staveley takeover deal is close and it appears there may be light at the end of the Mike Ashley tunnel. I don’t know about everybody else but that news completely changed my outlook on tonight’s game – I was utterly resigned to defeat against Fat Sam until lunchtime but instead went into the evening full of hope.

A few pints in the Town Mouse (a must visit if you like your beer) and a saunter up in the cold discussing Rafa’s team selection and the conensus amongst the lads was that we were going to win. How wrong we were.

The game itself was almost exactly what I’d expected earlier in the week. Two poor sides with little attacking threat in a bizarre competition of who could be the most boring with few chances for either side of note. We hit the woodwork twice (don’t know how Richie didn’t score – and I had £5 on him to score first!) in an otherwise dreadful first half.

Darlow chucked one in his own net and that has basically cost us the game – Everton never really looked too threatening and likely wouldn’t have scored if we didn’t let them.

Tonight is where we need to begin being very concerned about how this season is going to pan out. Don’t let the boring nature of tonight’s game hide the quality of the performance NUFC put out – we were very very poor all over the pitch. Darlow was pathetic to concede that goal – you don’t win games in the Premier League giving people goals.

Our defensive performance seemed fairly solid but that was more down to Everton being toothless rather than anything positive from us. Midfield were utterly none existent to a man and Jonjo Shelvey is a complete idiot. We are now seeing why he was dropped and sold by Swansea – he goes missing in too many games and is a liability because of his temper. He’s not a young lad any more and it’s just not acceptable to be sent off like that. He should be docked wages (I’d be giving him a two week fine on football manager).

Going forward we look hopeless. Nobody in the side has any creativity and the lads just don’t work together as an effective attacking unit. Joselu finally dropped which has been a long time coming but what does Aarons have to do to get a shot – Richie has been very poor for weeks but keeps getting in the team. As soon as we conceded the goal yesterday we might as well have gone home – there was absolutely no chance we were getting back in to the game.

It’s all wrong at NUFC at the moment – bad result after bad result has dragged us back into the relegation mire and we are now looking like strong contenders to go down. Without significant spending in January (winger, striker, no 10, centre mid at a minimum) we will be relegated again, Rafa will go and we’ll almost certainly not get promoted at the first attempt again.

Putting all this aside, the thing that annoyed me the most was the reaction of our fans. It feels like around half of our crowd just go to the game to kick off at our players. How is it going to help young lads who are obviously struggling for confidence booing every misplaced pass or poor touch. Ironically cheering when players are subbed off. Screaming that players are shit. It is pathetic to scream abuse at our own team. If that’s all you can contribute then stop fucking coming – you’re not welcome. I lost my temper with two blokes in the strawberry corner about five minutes before the end and all they could do was threaten me and ask me to go outside. Get a fucking grip.

Loyalest football supporters the world has ever had?

Michael Carling

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