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Thursday, June 07, 2007

As usual, the mind reels

TDH is somewhat flustered at the moment. Befuddled, perhaps. At the very least, puzzled.

Could it be that the twine that held the tatters of the England squad together was not Sven, not Terry, not Gerrard, not Lampard but Golden Balls himself? Becks is back, and everything's going swimmingly. How can it be that the addition of a skilled crosser on the right changes the whole game? Incredible but true, it seems. Even Crouch can head these missiles in, which is saying something.

Of course, something also has to be said for the return of the Tall and Small show, which was so effective against, um, Argentina in that famous friendly a couple of years back. It's comforting to Magpie fans, except for the fact that Owen will inevitably be injured before he returns in the black and white. That is, if he's not sold first.

Which leads TDH to the second universe-tilting part of the story. Does Scottie P have a beef with Big Ham, or vice-versa? Did our captain really just want to go back to London? Come on now, TDH has to know what really happened here. We've lost the most diehard player in the squad, who played through head injury and likely concussion last season. Who's going to set that kind of example now?

Barton, you say? Well, he is a blood-in-the-eyes sort of player, but TDH worries about his maturity. Perhaps Big Sam can scare some sense into him. In other news, TDH wasn't sad to see Shitus go, naturally, but there was a bit of a twinge when Antoine said goodbye. The fact is, he was a useful guy to have around, whether to score goals in UEFA ties when everyone else was injured, or just to bull the defenders about a bit. TDH hopes someone else will fill that role, though with Viduka, Owen, Martins, and er, oh yes, Shola, the striking complement is pretty much full. Now, where's that new defender....


Anonymous palms said...

Capatin Scott had a great first half of the season. The only one aside from Given who looked like he gave a shit and was holding himself up to some sort of standard. In the second half, it seemed that Butt assumed the responsibilities that were Scotty's by right. He probably got worn out trying to carry the team on his own. That said I'd have been very sad to see him go if barton wasn't lined up to replace him. The last two seasons I've rated Mad Joey very highly. he's an odious c*** that's for sure but he can be a bigger influence on a game than Scotty could ever be. if Allardyce can sort his head out, we've got ourselves a fantastic signing. A geordie Stevie G even. As for Sibierski? meh. A good squad player sure, but Viduka is a better finisher and better at holding the ball up, which is something we missed all season. A thumbs up from me.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous palms said...

just a quick word about Shambles: I was always a bit of a Titus cheerleader. There were games when he looked international class. He seemed to be especially imperious in games against Chelsea. People seem to lump him in with Boumsong and that's not entirely fair. Boumsong was complete and utter horror show, and the worst central defender I have ever seen at the club. And that's saying something condidering I've seen Kevin Scott play. Shambles suffered from being given the job of defensive lynchpin, which he wasn't up to. he probably would have prospered if Woodgate wasn't made of glass. And he was actually a pretty good passer of the ball.

6:29 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Perhaps you're right that Shitus wouldn't have seemed like such a waste of space if he'd had a partner who could boss the back. But so would I.

When he was part of Sir Bobby's Golden Generation, he did indeed have that feeling of, "If he dropped a couple of stone, he'd be phenomenal." But that never happened, did it? He had his ups, sure, but plenty of downs as well. He didn't flail at the ball spectacularly like Swansong, but he did lose men and muff clearances.

I hope you're right about Barton. But Scottie had a maturity and commitment that we need to replace. Also, I wasn't suggesting Viduka as a straight swap for Sibierski. Antoine would sit at the end of any bench... but I think - gasp - that he's probably still got more goals in him than Amoeba.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Palms said...

I don't know. I know you weren't suggesting Viduka as a straight swap for Sibs, but don't you feel within a few weeks of Sam's appointment, our squad is already stronger than it was (I am of course assuming that both Viduka and Barton are done deals)? i would have liked us to have kept Scotty, but I'm also glad that we don't have to witness another Butt-Parker midfield axis.

7:48 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I've mentioned this to palms already, but Barton may be spending a part of his first seaon (or longer) in jail. Dabo is determined to press charges, I read, and Stuart Pearce has said he will give evidence if need be.

Barton is quality, he's got more to him that Scott Parker. but he is going to be death on that dressing room, and I would have imagined that what Newcastle need more than anything else is to get it's talented players fighting together with a common purpose.

10:58 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, Viduka's in the bag at least. He's good for a few goals, but he's 31 and already lazy to start with. Plus, who are your starting two? I'm not sure Owen is preferred to Oba. And we certainly don't want Oba to leave. Ditto Dyer, who has yet more reason to fancy himself as an inside striker rather than a winger after least season.

And another teaser for you - who's our captain? You'd have to think of Viduka or Owen for seniority, but Big Ham might want Tal on the basis of an earlier relationship (bless) or even some blancmange he can push around, like Butt. Ugh.

5:10 PM  

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