Thursday, September 30, 2004

Watching the lads and a wife beater

Tonight, will no doubt see us forced to endure John Barnes stilted deliver and horrendous mugging to camera in an effort to watch Newcastle play in Israel. Obviously, I'm grateful to Channel 5 for giving me the chance to watch the match, but surely they must be able to find a more relaxed, natural, presenter?

On the match front, I expect Bellamy's twisted ankle to keep him on the bench at best, and with Butt suspended I wouldn’t be surprised to see Robert start in a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation. Obviously this will leave us slightly vulnerable down our left (unless Souness has taught Laurent to track back and defend properly – which I doubt), but we should have enough going forward to score the away goal which will put the tie safe.

Sakhnin showed very little in attack at St James', and whilst the onus will be on them to push forward in front of their own fans, I don’t expect to see a great deal of difference in their tactics. So, expect more late tackles and sly digs in a bid to unsettle our lot. I only hope that with Butt missing two further games after this one that Bowyer manages to keep a lid on his temper.

Fingers crossed we'll get another early goal, and then catch them with on the counter when they are forced to attack. Hopefully, the ref will also clamp down on any early attempts by them to disrupt rhythm and break legs, and we'll all enjoy a pleasant evening in front of the TV. If we manage that, even John Barnes might be bearable.


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