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Sunday, February 26, 2006

"I could use a cliché, but that's not me."

TDH will admit to knowing fairly little about Glenn Roeder before he took over at St. James's Park. Sure, he did some good things with the young'uns, but his time at West Ham wasn't memorable enough to stick in TDH's mind. Today, though, came a breath of fresh air. Even if the lads had lost, this kind of talk is more of what Tyneside needs:
"I told the players before the game, I've been a bit fed up with the negativity leading up to this game. Because we haven't got Alan playing, we haven't got Michael playing, we haven't got Kieron playing, the best we could hope for was probably a 0-0 draw. I said to them that was absolute rubbish - in fact, I said we wouldn't even settle for a draw before the game. I told them I didn't think they had been shown the respect they deserve by the suggestion this team was not good enough to beat Everton, and they went out and they were terrific."

The best part, of course, is that the chatter did the trick. Thirteen points from a possible 15 is nothing short of a dream. Of course, Souey also managed a nice streak when he took over. Perhaps the new manager always brings the ingredient that the previous gaffer was missing, so he always succeeds in the short term. But the long term is more of a test, when he has to supply everything by himself. (Then again, poor Harry can't seem to get the first part right, either....)

Given the games-in-hand, it will take some time for us to climb the table much farther beyond our current 11th. Still, what a turnaround. And well done to Roeder, too, for sticking up for Parker in England. The players must know he's behind them.

---

What cynicism at Zaragoza today, as Celades, standing just inside the right post, punched Edmilson's gorgeous curler away. The offending defender got the deserved red, of course, and L'il Ron duly converted the penalty. But the interesting part? The Argentine commentary on the handball was, "Well, he had no alternative." It's the same thing with the play-acting - they'll do anything to win, no matter how demeaning. By the way, the second goal, care of Larsson, showed the Swede back at his best, at least for the moment. A true thing of predatory beauty.

4 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

never mind the handball, what about that atrocious chanting. I only watched 20 minutes of the game, but the fans were disgusting. Eto'o was rightly furious, and was making the point that those chants could equally have been directed at Ewerthon. I was praying he'd score, but at least he set up Henrik. went to bed just before the end, so maybe he even managed to get on the scoresheet.

8:56 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

I didn't read about the chanting until this morning. I had the sound off on the television yesterday because I was having a barbecue at my place. The Spanish fans keep riding Eto'o, and not other players, because 1) they have no morals and 2) they think it gets to him. Madrid fans who shout racist abuse say that they're not racists, that they just want to disrupt Eto'o's play. But whether that's true or not - I doubt it really could be - don't they have any sense of decency?

3:46 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

mmmm... barbecue...

It makes me incredibly angry. These things should cause outrage amongst the Spanish media and public, but it just doesn't seem to cause much more than a raised eyebrow.

the other thing is that Eto'o has definitively shown that he plays better when he's pissed off. these people are making it harder for their teams.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find myself disappointed that there were players and officals who convinced him to play on. Eto'o should have walked and if he did, no one in their right mind could have been critical of him. It brings to mind the game in Serie A a few months a go where another young black player (can't remember the name) picked up the ball and was restrained from walking off by other players (the odious Materazzi reportedly said 'stop trying to make a name for yourself'). It's time that the referee began to take charge. Racist chanting? Take the teams off. Supporters will get the message pretty quickly. I doubt we'll ever see it though.

And what a goal by Nobby! Amongst the finest I have seen at St James's. Not just the finish but the great one-touch football in the build up. It's just like watching Brazil...

And, at the risk of retreading old ground, I would just like to take a moment to lament the apparent ending of Scotty Parker's World Cup hopes. Leaving him out of the Uruguay squad is yet another example of Eriksson's myopia and bad judgement. I don't see anyone in that squad who can play that defensive midfield role as effectively as Wor Scotty. A ridiculous oversight. Good riddance Sven, and may you never, ever darken the doors of St James Park with your presence.

10:55 AM  

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