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Sunday, January 21, 2007

One call shy of an embarrassment

Well, it was a nice fightback by the lads today, but it's looking like an ugly pattern is developing: thanks to our shoddy defense, we start every match 0-2 down. Then it's just a question of scoring in time to turn the momentum and salvage some points.

All that said, it was crucial not to lose to a relegation favorite at home, and we can take something away from the match on the true grit front. And TDH has to add that whenever Oba, Dyer and Milner are on the pitch together, with Scottie P pushing in behind, you have to fancy us to score. Plus, they sound like one player; "Hey, put on that promising young tyke, Obadiah Milner!"

Still, there is a worrying fact in the background. On the BBC's list of January transfers, the word "Newcastle" appears not once. Rumors that we are in for Rio's little brother warm TDH's proverbial cockles, but TDH has heard rumors before....


Some hundreds of miles south, the introduction of one Clint "Deuce" Dempsey sent TDH into restrained hysterics of ecstasy. The signing of our best player from Germany 2006 for something in the range of $3 million is a huge triumph for MLS, and TDH is hoping to see much more of the same as the league grows.

Fulham now have three Americans on their books - and they're all actually good. Together with McBride, Bocanegra and Dempsey, we have Beasley and Reyna at City, Hahnemann and Convey at Reading, Friedel at Blackburn, Howard at Everton, Spector at West Ham, Gibbs at Charlton, DeMerit at Watford, and Smith at Bolton. And they're all actually getting minutes. Incredible. Almost as incredible as seeing Montella finally score a goal.


Denizens of the Kop, take it easy. You're not in the championship race. You're just making it tougher for the Billionaire Boys Club. And the way they're playing, they don't deserve to win anything. Essien should have been called for a penalty, by the way.


Anonymous jonathan said...

Welcome back TDH. I like the idea of morphing three of our first team squad together to produce a single midfielder-cum-forward-cum-winger with a name straight out of a Hovis advert. The downside, of course, would be that the feat would reduce our already depleted squad down to the level where Palms really would be getting a call-up for the starting XI.

Aye, and the 'true grit' element of yesterday's comeback really does seem to be just about all we can take out of this weekend's rollercoaster SJP ride. Although I think Alan Shearer enjoyed the spectacle for different reasons- it gave him, from the comfort of the MOTD panel, the chance to dish up a steely-eyed dose of revenge to Uriah Rennie for all those ridiculous sending-offs. Lineker had to step in to restore order when our ex-number-nine started suggesting the bulkily-built whistleblower might have swallowed his cards in the aftermath of Nobby's penalty (it turned out he had, only slightly less embarrassingly, lent them to one of the linesmen).

12:32 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

good thing you're happy with your attack. Further proof that Glenn Roeder hideously misused young Beppe Rossi:

"Italy Under-21 striker Giuseppe Rossi, who arrived at Parma earlier this week on loan from Manchester United, capped a lively Serie A debut in the 75th minute, when he dribbled past two defenders and fired a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of Torino's net."

11:12 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Ooooh, excuse me if I can't get excited about our prodigal midget beating the Torino defense. He was regularly shoved off the ball in the Premier League, and Torino is sitting in 14th in Serie A. That means they're 11 spots below Palermo, whom we beat in Italy, and their defense is probably worse even than ours.

Did anyone else catch the TH late show yesterday? It was funny, actually - in the last 15 minutes Manure looked like England to me. Tons of running, terrible first touches and misfiring passes. Just as this thought was germinating, up pops the man from Hampstead. That German keeper who always jumps with his knee up to injure approaching strikers did make some pretty great stops, too.

I also took in the exhibition version of the Boca-River clasico the other day. Boca definitely misses Insua and Gago. Schelotto gives his all but is getting on. El Burrito did warm up but wasn't a factor.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Palms said...

The first half was entirely predictable. Newcastle still had the look of a boxer being given a standing 8 count after a paticularly nasty knock down. I do think, ultimately, we should have won this game, but West Ham, as much as I'd like to see the cockney muppets relegated, aren't that bad a side. I'm astonished that Milner's goal stood, espsecially when you see Captain Scott clearly making a dummy as the ball goes past him. Oh and Edgar looked great when he came on. Give him a run alongside Tayls, says I.

The Shearer-Rennie hatefest is great. When Shearer was playing i couldn't think of a more blatant example of mutual dislike between player and ref. Rennie is an appalling official though, always has been. Only Mike Riley comes close to his bone-headed incompetence. It was nice to be on the right side of one of his cock ups though.

6:36 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Only Mike Riley? I'm prepared to see Graham Poll's three-yellow match in Germany as an aberration in a generally above-mediocre career, but surely Phil Dowd's multiple howlers last season must be tallied against him. And, out of curiosity, whom do you rate as the top refs in the Premier League?

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Palms said...

Before I reply here's my disclaimer: Referee's are all wankers. I am in no way arguing against that.

I would have said Paul Durkin was the top English ref before his retirement. Now if you held a gun to my head I'd plump for Howard Webb. He generally likes to keep the game flowing and is pretty consistent. Oh and while we're on the subject, Collina was massively overrated.

12:31 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Ah, great Toon minds think alike. I also would put Webby at or near the top of the list for pure innocuousness. I can remember us being on the wrong side of a couple of his bad calls, but generally he doesn't inspire a lack of confidence. In other words, he fails to make my heart sink. What I mean to say is, he falls short of ruining my enthusiasm for the game. Get my gist?

Collina was definitely a personality, and that enhanced his reputation. But for sheer boring consistency, I don't think you can fault Kim Milton Nielsen. Sure, he sent off Becks and El Roon, but in club football he was usually a model of inoffensiveness. And in retrospect, Becks and El Roon probably deserved it.

2:15 AM  

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