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Saturday, February 18, 2006

"I wouldn't trust Newcastle’s back five to protect my garden gnomes from squirrels."

Yes, it's three on the trot for Roeder. He took TDH's advice and played Dyer instead of Chopra, and he got the result. But, boy, was there a lot to worry about.

Top of the list, as usual, was the defense. Bozosong was at his most clownish, with Bramble and Given saving his considerable bacon on several occasions. Elliott had a couple of decent moments but really belonged on the Championship team, rather than the Premiership squad. Ramage put in his usual valiant effort, but N'Zogbia was arguably the Toon's best defender. Agh.

And Roeder showed his own bit of idiocy late on, when Southampton were forced to use substitute striker Dexter Blackstock in goal after their able starter, Bialkowski, was injured. In about the 84th minute, Emre managed to finagle a free kick in a good position outside the box. A direct kick almost anywhere probably would have scored, but instead the Magpies took three touches, allowing the Southampton players to rush forward for the block. Really, who's calling these plays? The Argentine commentators were practically pissing themselves as they witnessed our inability to score against nine men plus a goalkeeping muppet.

Still, TDH's heart was warmed by the sight of injured Uncle Alan, in a team overcoat and tie, celebrating on the bench with Roeder. Loyal readers, it was a glimpse of a happy future....


In other news, TDH was pleased to see that Sir will likely have to make do with the Carling Cup this year, if even that. Come on you Latics....


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

Roeder seems to have misplaced his chin, don't you think? Emre is clearly the classiest player in the toon team, but I have to say Souness knew what he was doing when he gave N'Zogbia a prominent role. He looked outstanding for the part of the game I caught.

Watched twenty minutes of Barca's 5-1 over Betis. I saw them score two lucky goals and present Betis with about 4 one-on-ones with their keeper. It looks again like Barca can score at will, but concede any time. Chelsea will have taken some heart.

10:41 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

tdh - I know you like looking at footballing data, so I thought I'd bring this to your attention:

on RAI's coverage of the serie, at the end of the game, they show a stats page with all of the normal stuff, shots, fouls, possession etc. but at the bottom of this screen they have another, fascinating stat: the total amount of time the ball spent in play. I saw Messina hold Juve to a 2-2, and then watched Milan squeak 1-0 past Cagliari, and in the first game, the ball was in play for only 53 minutes. Unsurprising, as it had been a niggardly game. On the other hand, Milan's game was generally played in good spirit, despite the presence of superpippo. Still, the ball was in play for only 54 minutes. Any idea whether this kind of data is collected for other leagues, and which league gives the most actual action for our viewing buck?

4:45 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

I've only seen that statistic in Serie A. It certainly would be interesting to see it for other leagues. I'm sure somebody keeps it, maybe Opta?

3:23 PM  

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