A lot of criticism has flown the way of the team when it comes to mentality, backbone, balls – or lack of them. I know I certainly have doubted the character after watching performances like Man City, Everton and Hull. I am as equally surprised as I am delighted with what we got served yesterday – more please! You don’t always get that feeling after a home draw, but the fact that it was against a Liverpool team who embarrassed us last season, added to the fact that we were down to ten men for more than half the match, pride is the word. Not often we have been able to say that, hopefully it sets us up nicely for the trek down the road to the cultural utopia that is S*nderland.
I still think that when we go a goal down that we struggle to get a grip and heads go down, the proof will be in the pudding if we can turn a game round. But I digress.
People will always want to knit-pick, the pundits scrutinising, replaying and analysing every key moment, telling is all how it should and shouldn’t be done – with the beauty of hindsight and super slow motion. But it’s a game played on split second decisions that happen in real time and in the blink of an eye. Sure we probably could have done a little better for their second equaliser, but sometimes you just have to accept a decent goal.
Everybody played their part in the game, in which we hit the ground running from the first whistle. No doubt the memory of the last meeting spurred them on. No team talk would have been necessary prior to the game.
Did all the simple things right, defended as a team from the front and didn’t give Liverpool time on the ball. Great stuff man. Until Yanga Boumsong-Bramble Mbiwa blew his beans, Liverpool had not had a whiff. Had we gone in at half time one nil up with eleven on the pitch – who knows? However, you never really fancy that one goal for this Newcastle team is enough. And so it was proved.
When we took the lead through that worldy from Cabaye my head nearly burst with Friday night’s ale still sloshing around my skull! What a strike lad. He must have been 35-40 yards out, like all good tales the distance will probably get further each time it’s recalled!
It had given us something to fight for and protect. We did that proudly through some fierce and stubborn defending, until the clanger. Did anyone doubt that Gerrard would slot past Krul? I mean howay he always bloody scores against us! He is a bit of a mardy faced git, but what a player he has been. God I would love it if we had one of our own come through the ranks like him. One of those few special players who could in his day win games on his own.
I must admit that I feared the worst for the second half, it was going to be tough. But I was wrong again, spurred on by the brilliant Dummett’s sneaky-eye left foot volley, we had something to fight for again. Aye it was inevitable that as the game wore on, the legs would naturally tire and that the bin dippers would get chances – Gouffran seemed to be breathing out his backside at one point. But he had grafted his socks off. To be fair everybody did. We still looked dangerous on the break, Remy really offers a great out ball on that left side.
The equaliser came, but we held out for what in the end was a morale boosting point. So hey-ho it ended all square. Probably a fair result, in a game that had everything. Congratulations to the lads and indeed Pardew, we are quick to slate them when they are poor, let’s give them praise when its due. Pardew gambled with his team selection and it paid off. Fair play mate.
With the game played on the back of the Anti-Ashley protest, it just goes to show that it can be done and not be detrimental to the team performance. In fact if anything, it made them play better! Coincidence? Can a protest march be carried out before every match!?
Upwards and onwards to the badlands…