Monday, November 06, 2006

No longer united

Newcastle Utd 0 - 1 Sheffield Utd

As Jonathan perceptively noted, it's my turn to report on yet another dismal performance by Newcastle. Trouble is, that I'm lacking the energy to put in a proper performance, as unlike the players, I'm doing this for love not money and currently there isn't much love there.

Saturday's game was dismal. We created a flood of chances for a tall powerful centre forward. Unfortunately, we played with a diminutive striker who looks like he wants neat balls into feet, not whipped crosses at head height - our big men being either injured or in the 'Match Of The Day' studio having retired.

We were out-battled in midfield, shoddy at the back (their goal saw Craig Moore in a complete mess, after Emre stepped out and gave Nick Montgomery a chance to surge forward a whip in a cross for Danny Webber to head home) and toothless in attack.

The difference between our current team and one of a couple of years ago is that now we don't look like scoring a goal. Our expensively accumulated strike force are clogging up the treatment room, and the shallow nature of our squad is plain for all to see.

However, injuries are not an excuse - the reason we lost was that Sheffield United were the better side.

How we can go from the team who beat Palermo last Thursday to the shower of crap we served up on Saturday is beyond me, but that's what happened. Don't even get me started on the reason we were playing less than 48 hours after the Palermo game; suffice to say that Fat Fred really is a money grabbing tosser.

For those of you holding out much hope that we'll be better on Tuesday against Watford, I wouldn't get excited - I'm doing that report as well.

If we are going to improve, and I sincerely hope that we are - let's be fair, there isn't much lower for us to go - then we need to sort out a few things.

Firstly, Roeder needs to realise that if he is going to change things around, he needs to do it early enough for the player to have a chance of impacting on the game.

Secondly, our midfielders need to realise that sarcastically applauding fans isn't the way to garner their love and affection, but that putting in some hard graft is. Equally important is playing to the strengths of our striker - if that means head high crosses great, if it means threaded through balls then equally great, but make sure you play the right ones to the right strikers.

Thirdly, Fat Fred needs to go, and take his saggy face and pots of cash back to his scrap metal yard. I may not know much about the Belgravia group, but they've got to be better than the present incumbent. Sack the board.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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