Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sweet Streford Sunshine

Manure 1 Toon 1

Some of the emotions from today - relief, exhilaration (for a full minute Newcastle had the lead), anticipation, and anxiety (for the last five minutes) I felt all of these, but most of all I felt pure pleasure. Pleasure that Newcastle didn't ship a shed load of goals, pleasure that we had a team playing to entertain and pleasure that some of the fun seemed to have come back to the team and the crowd.

After 36 years of not winning, today was important because it felt like Newcastle where on the same plane as Man Utd - for once.

Newcastle had three new signings on show - Guthrie, Gutierrez and Coloccini. All had good debuts - but I fell in love (just a little bit) with Gutierrez. He's the antithesis of the usual South American import - committed and robust combined with some other more traditional South American traits - passionate and slightly bonkers. He never stopped running and was a constant threat - a complete pain in the arse to the Manure midfield/defence and attack. At one stage he ran back the length of the pitch chasing after Rooney, won the ball off him by the corner flag and then charged back up the pitch. Cue adoration from 2,500 Geordie's.

As for the other two, Guthrie for me was probably man of the match - a calm and assured centre midfielder who kept Paul Scholes busy for most of the game. Coloccini is a thinking centre-half who did really well with the impotent Manure attack. A sure sign that the defence is having a good game is Rooney getting booked for dissent, instead of him putting the ball in the back of net.

Some of the highlights of the day, included the guy behind me screaming "Howay Superman, score" completely missing the point that Gutierrez's nickname is Spiderman. The 6 blokes dressed in full Spiderman costumes (who were apparently stopped from getting into Old Trafford as their costumes breached health and safety guidelines....) and finally on the police shouting "Get the bald bloke" as we obediently filed out of the stadium - about 7,000 follically challenged men shifted uncomfortably.

Off now to watch MOTD 2 - as I have no idea how Martins managed to score his goal. One of the joys of watching live sport - I completely missed it. No doubt distracted by the stupor that the Manure fans appeared to have for the whole of the game.

It was somehow fitting that a game that started off with dark black rain clouds overhead ended up bathed in sunshine. If the same team can beat Bolton next week then maybe, just maybe 2008/9 could be a good season.


Michael said...

A decent start, I suppose ;)
All of the new signings were impressive, though we still need a left-back (N'Zogbia's too ill-disciplined to play there) and a creative midfielder if we're going to break down the likes of Bolton. The big disappointment of the day was Damien Duff. His first instinct when getting the ball was always to look for the simple pass square or backwards. He didn't track back, run at players, try to create space or exert himself in any way. If Ashley's promised big signing comes off I only hope it's accompanied by one or two 'big' sales...

Chris Nee said...

Bit quiet at the Theatre of Dreamzzzz were they?

Not a bad result at all, and seemed like an encouraging performance given the shambles you had to tolerate last term.

Still not going to catch the Villa though! ;-)

Karen Toon said...

Michael - Too right about Duff, always took the easy option - short 5 yard passes with no invention, vision or pace. The mackems can have him.

Chris - Sadly (for me) you're right, Newcastle aren't going to catch Villa. Your team are so lucky to have found the one supportive foreign owner on the planet... Think you'll need to hang onto Barry though if you are going to make a dint on the top 4.