The first game, the first defeat and if you listen to some; the first of many. Under our last manager who I developed a seething contempt for, I was accused of everything from not supporting the team to starting the King’s Cross fire. Now I’m genuinely finding positives it’s being suggested I be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Tactically we were superior. Individually we were lacking. The Bar Codes played as if they were the away team for much of the game. The only real giveaway were the referee and his assistants cowed by a very noisy Geordie audience. If Bale is to play more centrally then he has to show some wit and know when to move out wide. Their right back took a yellow and ought to have been pressed. He wasn’t. Instead we too frequently found ourselves involved in some class of medieval battle reenactment.
Newcastle won their first corner on the 45th minute. Newcastle shot twice and scored twice. These two statements give an immediate and interesting reflection upon how the game went.
Brad He’s a damn good goalkeeper but yesterday he looked past his sell by date both in terms of agility and mindset. We need a keeper who can get off his line and sweep. We need a modern thinking man who understands that hoofing the damn thing blindly up field turns possession into a 50/50 ball.
Kyle has improved his offensive game enormously. The Forest Gump runs seem to be a thing of the past and he is winning corners and throw ins. Defensively I still get the feeling he’s going through the motions; he doesn’t think of himself primarily a defender.
Gallas No I don’t know what the deal with Vertonghen was, but Gallas for the main part looked the business. He also looked about 53.
Kaboul went about his business as he always does when he has a decent game. He was understated and effective.
Benny needs a kick up the bottom. We’ve enough on our plate without him drifting off into some LOL’d out daydream. Mr Sloppy lives next door Benny. You won’t get away with the ‘dizzy’ stuff under Villas-Boas. Or me…
Jake worries me. I like his bravery and I warm to his no nonsense style. But if he was your evening meal, he’d be a TV dinner. He needs to distinguish himself before he wakes up one day and discovers he’s become the next J****. He could be really useful, but as yet, he actually isn’t.
Sandro had what at best could be called a ‘so what’ type performance. Not nice to say, but accurate. Olympics? An unfamiliar gum shield? Who knows or cares? What is essential is that with Scotty out for another month or whatever, he gets back into the groove as soon as.
Azza’s attitude seems to have improved. I don’t know what it is but he seems to have a bit more pep about him. Early early doors, but it would be great if he had a memorable season at long last. That said he didn’t exactly tear Toon in two, but certainly heading in the right direction. More please.
Gylfi took some quality corners and if we can get use to the ball actually being fired in like this then we really ought to see some goals from these. Otherwise he didn’t quite see enough of the ball. He really didn’t. Was he wasteful? Same old same old, isn’t it? If they go in you’re carried off at shoulder height and go home with the Prom Queen. They don’t and nobody remembers your name.
Bale didn’t really get it on and he seriously needs to watch that the Ronaldo impressions don’t solely focus on writhing in agony, checking for non existent blood etc. As above, he needs to get a handle upon when the part or the pitch he’s in becomes too busy for him to operate effectively and he needs to move.
Defoe, despite all his inherent limitations gave us a good game. He doesn’t do much other than turn and shoot but I swear I caught him tracking back on at least two occasions. Took his goal and the cruelty of only being level for a couple of minutes was unbearable.
Van der Vaart he was a breath of fresh air when he came on. Hungry for the ball, tenacious and intelligent. When he gave the penalty away it was like watching the back end of pantomime horse fall over whilst soiling itself.
Villas-Boas. You could hear him imploring from the technical area, ‘go, go, go!’ He’s really suffering from a depleted squad and the resultant depleted options. Yes we need a striker, but more importantly we need a better plan in the middle than Jake. I’m not using him as a whipping boy here, rather highlighting he’s a supporting actor, not a leading man. We missed Modric
and Modric would have arguably allowed Gylfi and Bale to fly a little further than they did.