26th Jan 2008
So another year goes by and another layer of dust gathers on the space in the trophy cabinet where "it was supposed to be our year". Dumped out of the league cup by Arsenal`s reserves, this time round it was the turn of their full team to dispose of any notions of an open top bus parade round Tyneside`s streets. However it wasn`t all negatives, despite the humbling looking scoreline.
KK lined up his team with players in their proper positions. I can`t understand how Allardyce failed to spot, with all his Prozone tactics, digital readout machines and 25 different staff members analysing them, how Alan Smith couldn`t play in midfield. Instead Smith played up front and looked far more reasonable than any of his stints practically playing as part of the back four. Nicky Butt returned in midfield and the rest of the team remained the same as the Bolton game.
The first half was a massively improved performance by NUFC and it looked like we might actually give the Gunners a bit of a game. Owen`s lack of sharpness/pace ensured he failed to connect with a tasty looking centre from the right. Alan Smith then had a good effort headed off the line by Gael Clichy, with Jens 'Lemon` Lehmann beaten all ends up.
As the half wore on though they predictably came to life, unlike the zombies making up the Emirates crowd. Eduardo had a shot beaten away by Given and Shay saved well from a Diaby piledriver. Taylor then fluffed a sitter at the other end, heading over with Lehmann stranded. At half time it looked a respectable honours even game.
Fast forward 20 minutes and our first eleven were replaced by the various doubles from the film 'Goal!`. Eduardo rattled a shot against the post and Adebayor, who must have spent half time being flogged and fed raw meat, dummied three of our 'defenders` to lash into the corner from the rebound. He then made it two close to the end as he bullied his way through our meek backline to finish tidily. Two became three when a dangerous free kick on the left was glanced in by Nicky Butt for an og.
Disappointing overall but predictable nonetheless. A firm 'f*** off` must go to the News of the World and the former convict Rob Shepherd who used his detailed knowledge of NUFC to create an insider who poo-pooed Keegan`s teamtalk and tactics. The same insider who said Mike Ashley wouldn't be appearing in the away end anymore? Like Saturday? Stick to biting people in bars Rob - it`s more your level.
Song of the day - the one about Adebayor`s dad washing elephants and having no door - genius.