Geordie people are happy people, they smile all the time......
Well, once again the Nation loves us, and everyone from Alan Shearer to
uncle Bobby, David O'Leary and publicans everywhere allowed smiles to play
across their lips on Saturday teatime as the lads rolled back the years.
Reports flooded in to NUFC.com of joyous geordies partying from New Zealand
to Nevada as news spread via satellite, web, the noise of distant shouting
from local taverns and the sight of people in red shirts slinking off home
before the end. What a pity it wasn't the Cup Final....
Returning to reality for a few moments, despite all the media clamour and
adulation afforded our wrinkled supremo, the fact remains that the team he
presides over are thirteenth in the table at present.
Without turning into a
whinging mackem about it though, three points gained at the expense of Alex
Ferguson, mirth-inducing they may be, are the same three points that should
have been taken from Paul Jewell or Egil Olsen. In fact it could be argued that a victory at either Valley Parade or
Selhurst would have been of greater objective value, depriving our fellow
strugglers of precious points.
While a crushing defeat of the Old Trafford synchronised moaning XI is to be
savoured and replayed, again and again, this season we won't have any
interest whatsoever in the Championship race again until Mid-April when
Leeds come visiting.
I think the phrase I'm frantically searching for is
pyrrhic victory. Only when we can reach the level of consistency
demonstrated by Messrs Cole and Beckham etc. can we really abuse the
hangers-on and social deviants from a position of strength. We've won two
away this season, they've won six.
On a brighter note though, it's encouraging and timely that our once-feared
home reputation has been rebuilt week by week, as the ground is rebuilt
around us. The prospect of seeing goals at Gallowgate tends to tempt the
uncommitted, and those extra seats will need to be filled to keep the
debtors at a safe difference.
Right, commonsense bit ends here...back to the dancing party...
There are few better sights in football than seeing a good old-fashioned
Alex Ferguson bleat, and Saturday provided a golden moment for connoisseurs
of the paranoid. It's all a vendetta apparently. Yes Alex, and people are
watching you from down the plughole of your sink.
From my jaundiced position, it seemed to me quite simple: referee Lodge and
the Newcastle team seemed slightly in awe of them for the first twenty
minutes of this match, and things didn't look particularly promising for the
Then a moment of magic from our Fergie put opposition
players on the back foot and suddenly the snarling and grimacing returned
with a vengeance. The spell was broken and the toon lads learned from their
failure to capitalise on their lead in the corresponding game last season,
continuing to take the game to the opposition, right up the opposition in
fact (as wor Al later confirmed.)
It took a while longer for referee Lodge to sicken of the Red antics, but
sicken he did; a combination of seeing his officials abused, being
harangued after the end of the first half and having a three-line whip
berate his every whistle, led to the inevitable and correct decision when
the idiotic Keane lunged into Lee in a neutral midfield area.
While he at
least walked without murmur, his colleagues indulged in the same gobshite
panto witnessed at Old Trafford against 'Boro. Result? The referee now
became completely unsympathetic to whatever future claims Man U had,
justified or unjustified (including a goal). Which of course leads to
highly-paid professionals acting like street urchins, and their
old-enough-to-know-better manager squawking away like a demented parrot.
As early birthday presents for uncle Bobby and Kevin Keegan, this one was
hard to beat. Both managers must have taken strength from the goalscoring
resurgence of Shearer. For Bobby, the absence of Solano has been partially
compensated by the assists Domi has brought to the party, while Hughes ably
covered for the absent Alessandro Pistone.
The fettled Italian even appeared on the
pitch for a pre-match wave before heading back for some Italian-based
recuperation, and presumably had a few words of encouragement for his team
can't imagine that happening under the previous regime. Hopefully the
spirit engendered in the Newcastle camp at present between players, fans and
management may spill over into the administrative areas...but I doubt it.
PS: Got all the way through and never mentioned the 5-0. Are you impressed?