NUFC v West Brom - Report
My first match this season (free one off ticket, so no money to the fat man), and a new seat in the Sir Jimmy Hill stand, up with the families. That was odd.
I might as well start by summing the whole things up and cut out the middle man huh?
I think many would say the game was fairly even overall. We were stronger in certain areas, but they definitely played much better as a unit. Moving around the pitch supporting each other, they had some decent inter passing at times, which was occasionally made to look supoib, by a complete lack of closing down from us, all over the pitch.
Ba was head and shoulders above everyone in our team, and whilst Colo had a bit of an off day, I don't think assuming Taylor is brilliant and Colo perhaps not so good as we thought, is true. A defensive first half display, whose disjointedness was cranked up a notch, once Raylor was bizarrely brought on for the Is-he-a-right-back-is-he-a-left-back 5 million dollar man Santon, had turned into a major ordeal for Colo.
Whilst he had the unnerving task of wandering what the Keystone Cop centre half next to him was going to do, that task was made doubly difficult by the introduction of the Scouse Scarlet Pimpernel at left back, who must've had to nip out to the car park to check whether Jonas had left his anti-lethargy tablets on the front seat... So often he was err... often nowhere to be seen, once those cheeky Brummies had the audacity to cross the half way line. I'm sure I saw a search and rescue helicopter looking for him at one point.
I heard someone behind me say midway through the second half that Perch was having a good game, and was our best player. I nearly choked on my Ashley pie. Luckily my Sports Direct Arena goody bag was handily available to barf my guts up into. Unless I've been the subject of some hi-tec reverse laser surgery on my baby blues, I'm fairly sure he wasn't watching the same game. Perch hid for the vast majority of the game, taking no responsibility whatsoever when Colo had to leave him on his own for even a few seconds. I lost count of the number of times that Perch just automatically passed to Colo, regardless of what was going on around him. Receive ball. Pass left. Receive ball. Pass left. Receive ball pass left. Anyone see Groundhog day last night?..... It may not have looked like he had that bad a game, but his poor positioning, lack of taking responsibility and the questions his presence places in the minds of the other defenders contributes to the whole sh'bang going tits up, whilst he kind of escapes from it all.
When the sexy Argie was away on yet another reconaissance mission to find out where Private Taylor had gotten to, the middle became like a jam sponge. You just knew any ball into the middle was going to result in chaos, and so it proved. Simpson was having to try and cut in to take Perch's balls (Not those - I think they went a long time ago), rather than the man himself stepping up to the plate.
This whole Colo trying to cover for Raylor, as well as he and Simpson covering for Perch, meant that we were all over the shop at the back. Nobody knew what the other was doing. Who's going out to close down? Who's marking him? "I dunno. I just keep passing to the curly haired guy, me like" The notion of Chaos Theory first arose when the great grandfather of Perch first started playing at centre back.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right... Stuck in the middle with you.
Not sure what to make of Vuckic, particularly in terms of position. I didn't think he did quite as well as some on here seem to, BUT, I don't think that was his fault. He seems to be crying out to be pushing further forward. Driving forward with the ball, or certainly using it much closer to their box seems to be his game. That shot that rattled the woodwork was a cracker, and I'm sure there's plenty more of them available. Too often though, he was having to drop too deep, occasionally tripping over Tiote's sun lounger, whilst trying to link the play up and keep some rigidity in the middle.
I felt sorry for him when Timotei wheeled a wardrobe of varying blue outfits onto the pitch, holding them up to his torso "You think I will suit blue Harris?" "Not now Cheik son, we're still 2-1 down"
Tiote's performance, or should I say lack of, epitomised that of a few tonight. Jonas must be away as well by the looks of it. He really looked like he couldn't be arsed, and kinda melted away into a performance of nothingness. His early season revival doesn't seem to have taken on the momentum of Take That's. He was more Robbie Williams tonight I thought. In his defence though, he's so often heavily marked.
If Perch's grand parents can invent Chaos Theory, surely somebody can get a pen and piece of A4 and work out that if he's got enough support around him, you can take a player or three of theirs out of the game? That's tactical ineptness surely?
Speaking of which. Apart from the utterly baffling Raylor in for Santon, we took off the utterly clueless Obertan, and brought on, in the right wing position...
Yes, you heard it right folks. From the sublime to the bleeding ridiculous. There's more chance of Suarez winning one of next years MOBO's than Shola doing anything effective down that side.
Is it just me, or does his lack of closing down have a certain style about it? He sees a man with the ball, and rather than go straight for him, he waits. Then he waits. Then he waits just a little longer, and just when you think he's fallen asleep upright, he lunges *coughs* making a run for his man, which is obviously all in vain as he arrives just too late, as if he'd just missed a bus he wasn't that bothered about catching anyway.
"Darn it" he says despairingly, clicking his fingers and swinging his hand in that classic display of disappointment.
His substitution had me adding to the ever growing list of clueless moves by our walk on water manager (I'm sure Ben Arfa was only brought on because the thought was bouncing around his silver haired noggin, after the crowd had begun to sing for his introduction).
We'll never know what he thinks. Who cares though really?
I have to say, having been watching from the Gallowgate stand for a while, and now suddenly being let loose and so able to look down on it, I couldn't help but notice just how much half the ground looks like a giant Sports Direct carrier bag. There's that heinous monstrosity on the roof, but the poor Newcastle United sign on the East stand seems to have shrunk, and now appears dwarfed by the garish SD sign either side of it.
Add in the mega premium advertising hoardings flashing out Mike's tatt and your eyes start to turn into a spiralling red, white and blue pattern, like the snake out of Jungle Book. 'Everything Must go' being one of my favourite ads that flashed out. Please Mike, make that one come true, eh?
Oh, and Ba? Is there anything he can't do. Bored of wellying in volleys to the top corner of the Leazes end net from the Strawberry, he's now taken to stroking in free kicks noncholantly,but somehow at the velocity of an Exocet missile. He's no doubt got a massive cock as well.
What we gonna do the end of Jan when he jets off on his African holidays?
Mike, it's time to get the cheque book out. We know you want this as much as we do.
Sorry about that, I was just toying with ya's.
We know the score don't we. 2-3 wasn't it?
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