Man City 0 Newcastle Utd 0
Saturday November 11th 2006
MANCHESTER CITY 0 NEWCASTLE UTD 0
MAN CITY: Weaver, Richards, Distin, Dunne, Thatcher, Trabelsi,Barton, Reyna (Corradi 60), Sinclair, Dickov (Samaras 60),Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Hart, Ireland, Onuoha.
NEWCASTLE UTD: Harper, Carr (Solano 76), Taylor, Moore, Ramage,Milner, Emre, Parker, Duff (N'Zogbia 56), Sibierski,Ameobi (Dyer 56).
Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Butt.
Judging from the goal-less scoreline you would imagine this to be a boring match played out between two sides with strikers who couldn't hit a 'cow's arse with a banjo'. Well ... to be honest ... it was worse!
If ever there was a match between two sets clubs desperate for inspiration and leadership, this was it. Because both City and the Magpies are heading towards 'white water' in their little rowing boats looking for devine intervention to save them from drowning.
Graham Poll is always the centre if attention when he referees a match. He's made that way. He's never scored a Premiership goal, nor ran to the crowd swinging his shirt above his head in celebration, but boy does he crave it. When the TV cameras are focused Poll is sure to give you a show. He found himself back in the headlines again this week for reasons not concerning our great club, but by disallowing a Georgios Samaras goal he saved us from defeat and had the blue half of Manchester baying for his blood.
The made who made the biggest referee's gaff in World Cup in history by booking a player three times, cut short City's celebrations when he spotted Bernardo Corradi tugging at Stephen Carr to rule out, what would have been, the only goal of the game.
It was a debatable call and seemed to provoke a touchline battle between the managers, but you cannot have Poll referee a game and expect him to hide in the shadows.
Despite City's problems on the road, they are still unbeaten at home and yet to concede a goal at Eastfields this term. So perhaps we do Glenn Roeder a injustice for coming away with a point. But Newcastle were never at the races, and produced another performance that ended up with fans asking more questions about a team that is not performing in the league.
They only came out of the blocks in the last few minutes when Kieron Dyer and Antoine Sibierski both went close. A fully fit Dyer would have found the legs to gain that extra yard needed to skin the City derfence, but he ran out of puff and lost the chance of a dramatic late winner.
Roeder's boys have now gone eight games without a win and the longer it goes on, the tougher it will get to recover lost ground. Thank God the likes of Watford, Sheffield United and Charlton are worse than us, but saying that, we've played all three in recent weeks and (take away a penalty shoot-out) have failed to beat all three!
The match started badly and hardly got out of first gear for the first 85 minutes. City were easily the better side, but fired blanks. Joey Barton was virtually the only player on the pitch capable of lifting himself above mediocre.
He snubbed out Scott Parker, which is not an easy thing to do, and I'd say Emre was our closest to him. As for the rest, not one other player looked Premiership quality.
This will be a match that had only one winner - Graham Poll as he ruled out Samaras' header. But I had a feeling right from the kick-off there wasn't a player on the field who was going to get anywhere near him in the ego stakes. And for once, we got the rewards.