Blackburn 3 Toon 1
Interesting day in the wilds of Lancashire - yes we got beat, again; yes we are slipping down the league table, again; and yes some of the numpties have been booing the team, again. But, to paraphrase a political party - the green shoots of a recovery where evident.
The passion and pride in playing for the shirt where evident across most of the team. The game could have just as easily finished 2-2 rather than another loss. Playing Smith and Martins up front gave us a nip and zip that had been lacking in recent weeks and restoring Milner to the team gives a sense of purpose. The defence is still a shambles at times, but the sooner that Faye gets back to fitness (went off after about 20 mins - must have been brought back too soon) and Beye, Taylor, Rozenhal, Cacapa (give him a 2nd chance?) Enrique (still not sure about him) and Carr (jury isn't so much out on him as already having him sent down) are sorted out then things will start to improve.
The highlights of the day where Martins goal and the ensuing bedlam, Stevie Harper warming up and suggesting that some of the fans had been drinking as we chanted "England's number one" at him and the blokes outside the pub chanting "dodgy perm" at a couple of septuagenarians who wandered past.
A personal highlight was the winning of a small side bet. Despite the pre-match doom and gloom I had a feeling that it would be a good game. It was (despite what the papers say) and fulfilled my prediction of the 3 Fs - Fast, flowing football. Most of all it was entertaining. Ok, we lost (see first sentence) but at least I had my half time pie paid for as a result of the change in attitude from the players - thanks lads.
Wednesday, Arsenal - hummm we'll see.