…and Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson, Gary Neville, Louis Saha, Ji-Sung Park and Michael Carrick (for 65 minutes). You can imagine those names will be forgotten when the necessity for a striker is reported in tomorrows press, particularly in light of the result at Stamford Bridge.
We weren’t at the races today. As soon as Edwin Van der Sar made the decision to punch the ball rather than collect it, leading to the corner which Newcastle opened the scoring from, you knew we were going to struggle today.
“That’s why we’re Champions” sang the crowd when Darren Fletcher equalised shortly after, although even then, we weren’t entirely convinced. It already looked like it was going to be ‘one of those days’.
Rooney had his mad head on and will be sent off this season if he continues to behave like that. Always mythering the ref and going in with both feet when he was never going to win the ball. This mad head wins us games sometimes and we need him on the field, but whilst our squad is so shallow, Wayne needs to put his thinking cap on and work out that a three match ban for his psycho act is not going to go down well.
Today is a day when I’ll give Match of the Day a miss, even though I’d rather enjoy seeing the bluenoses get stuffed 4-2, because I cannot stand to see our chances that didn’t go in on a day when the rent boys won 4-0. This means though I’ll miss what appeared to be a stonewall penalty when a Newcastle man had his arm on the end of a goal-bound Ryan Giggs freekick. I’ll continue to feel hard done by because we were told when Carlos Tevez was rugby tackled in the box against Portsmouth and nothing was given that we always get the decisions.
This respect the referee business is frustrating, with Riley blocking Wayne Rooney’s ball forward and closing his eyes when the geordies handle in the box. How can we respect them when inconsistencies are already apparent after the first weekend of the season, with Chelsea being awarded a penalty for a Distin handball. I suppose it’s easier to award Chelsea a penalty that will result in their third goal of the game than it is to give one 3 minutes in at Old Trafford?
Essentially though, we weren’t good enough today. There wasn’t the urgency required from enough of our players today to get a result. Panic stations though? Well of course not. When we’ve got our squad back it’ll be Nani, Anderson, Park and Hargreaves coming off the bench to save us from embarrassment, not O’Shea, Possebon and Da Silva. Regardless, we had the players there to get three points today, but we just didn’t have the clinical finish required.
The lacklustre showing from plenty of the players can only be matched by the crowd, who were largely outsung by those barmy Newcastle fans. Seeing them bobbing up and down, waving their shirts around their heads, you understand why those down south call us lot up north ‘monkeys’. We started the day well, singing of our success last season, as well as reminding Kevin Keegan that he was a sad geordie bastard, but bar a chant or two for Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney, it was a poor showing from the home fans.
So, all in all, not entirely how I envisaged the day going. We’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves considering the tough fixtures we have in the next few months. We cannot afford to be dropping silly points on many more occasions this season. It happened on the opening day last season and that was before drawing with Portsmouth and losing to City. Didn’t stop us winning the league and European Cup. However, we should be finishing with more points this season and should win more games. Starting next Monday.