Saturday, 20 November 2010
"Its been an odd season so far" That's one of those understatements that is ludicrously simplistic. From the inevitable loss at Manure at the start of the season to the unbelievable high of 5under1and (as henceforth they shall be known) on Halloween its been one hell of a roller coaster of a season so far. I, like many others, would have been happy to see the Toon finish 17th this season, consolidate after the shock of the Championship and then start to rebuild. Of course, then came along Villa at home, and expectations were raised a little, then my personal favourite, the delight of the trip to Goodison and the ambitions grew a bit more. Finally, after the result at Highbury, errrrr.... Emirates, Newcastle United were dizzily in 5th place in the table.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not that delusional. I know that reality isn't so much going to bite, as take a chunk out of the collective backside of the club. Mid-table is as far as my ambitions for the team go to now. Usually, this would mean a season of relative mediocrity, a few scrappy wins and a greater number of draws than usual. Not so with NUFC - how can it be with a 6-0 and 5-1 wins at home, and even last weeks 0-0 against Fulham wasn't two teams settling for the draw at the outset... It was just one of those games when Newcastle couldn't manage to score.
At the outset of the season Newcastle were supposed to be in transition, I'd said that I thought this would be a big season for Andy Carroll (well, I got that right - and England call up and so far he's managed to stay out of jail), that Kevin Nolan was too slow to cut it in the Premiership (wrong - I still think he's too slow; but he is the heartbeat and brains of the team) that Sol Campbell was a mistake (wrong - he's hardly played, but when he did against Man City he was commanding) and that we'd need more bite and creativity in the midfield (right - but that was before Tiote was signed). So, if this is transition then I'm really enjoying it... Thanks lads
Today, brings Bolton Wanderers - I've been numerous times to the Reebok, and never yet seen a good game. The mists of time make most of these games roll into one, but I have memories of Dabizas getting sent off after about a minute, of Steven Taylor's debut and getting shoved out of the way for the only goal of the game; and most of all the annoying windowlicker that brings that bloody drum to each home game. Bolton have always been a team of stiflers (is that a word?) more intent on stopping other teams playing than being creative themselves. An effective tactic that has prevented relegation over the past ten years, but dull to watch. However, today might be different, Owen Coyle as a manager seems to have altered the ethos of the team - and they are starting to look a better side. By a happy coincidence of the fixture calendar, it's the Favourite Nephew's 17th birthday this weekend. I hope its a good one for him...
Howay the Lads
PS - I can predict sales of the above DVD topping 50,000 in Newcastle but maybe not quite as high on Wearside... I'll have to get a copy, for those rain-sodden Sunday's when there is just nothing on the telly and you really need cheering up...