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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Old problem solved, new problem remains

It was 90 minutes of frustration, a few seconds of euphoria, 10 minutes of tension and then ultimately lasting satisfaction. Yes, that adds up to over 100 minutes of football, and if you don't like it, then you might want to take Steve Bennet's watch in for servicing.

Seeing Owen today was a bit like reading The Ugly Duckling. For almost an entire match, he flailed, he scrambled, he dallied and wavered... he looked like a midget from the Conference, except not as hard (you know those little coffin nails TDH is talking about), who had been dumped into the boiling cauldron of Premier League action. And then, as though hit by a bolt from the blue, all the noise in his head subsided; he raised his face skyward and thought, "Oh yeah! I remember how to do this - streak towards the box, dart between two defenders, pop in a little header and run towards the sideline like that nice Alan bloke I used to see around here." He's a swan! He's a swan!

We were close many times earlier on, of course, and it was a huge testament to Big Ham's bolstering of our defense that Wigan barely had a chance to trouble Harper. TDH is already a big Cacapa fan. He seems to be taking the alpha dog duties from Rozenhal, with Geremi sweeping ably. And Taylor didn't look too bad on the right, while Zog is turning into a Cashley Hole whom you wouldn't slug in the face on sight. Let's see if our young Spaniard can fit into this setup, too. With Beye on board (TDH thinks it's only a matter of time until little yellow tags with that motto appear on Tyneside), we should be a very stingy team this year.

But let's be honest here. No one except Milner had the faintest idea how to set up a play, and Milner got rather repetitive with his infinite-jukes-then-cross act on the left. We desperately need midfield creativity, something we had plenty of until very recently. TDH would have been playing with Nobby instead of Smith these past few matchdays (and wouldn't have sold Nobby, or bought Smith, for that matter). Smith isn't even winning balls in midfield. When Emre comes back, Smith needs to ride the pine. Likewise Barton for Butt. With all the striking power we have, all we need is a creator. Then we could actually be good.

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Well, after that squeaker, TDH could hardly begrudge Manure another largely underserved 1-0 win, right? Oh, yes TDH can. Rarely has TDH seen so many talented, expensive footballers playing such little football. Keano entered the Theater of Screams with the mien of an East End gangster - one of the successful ones - about to break the knees of a 20-stone grass who also happened to owe him money.

Unfortunately the fight wasn't between him and Sir. That would have been a sight to see, eh? We'd finally find out if Sir had gone soft while Keano had doubtlessly kept in shape, most likely by dunking young Mackem miscreants into garbage tips. TDH was waiting for him to strip off his trim-cut suit, pull on a jersey and give that little haircut Eagles a beating in midfield.

But hey, what is TDH saying? They're Scumderland. Let 'em roast.

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The day turned a bit sour later on when Independiente went down to a more energetic Gimnasia team in La Plata. The pitch looked very, very long as El Rojo struggled to get forward. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Best commentary goes to Alejandro Fabbri: "Adelantado. Mas adelantado que Pedro de Mendoza."*

* Adelantado means off-side, but literally "advanced" or "ahead of himself" - as Pedro de Mendoza was when he founded the initial, doomed settlement of Buenos Aires in 1536. (The second founding, which stuck, was in 1580.) Adelantado also happens to be the name of the office Pedro de Mendoza held as the first ruler of the Rio de la Plata region.

2 Comments:

Blogger gusma said...

It's sound and clear that a thing like this will happen when you get a guy like Troglio, which gets an earlier Gimnasia to be at second position and then rams the team down to an appalling last place and almost loss of category. Thought he was going to do best for Independiente?

He may as well have coached Racing, both of those teams know nothing about having warm blood in their veins.

6:24 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

gusma, which two teams are you talking about - Gimnasia and Racing, or Independiente and Racing? La sangre del Rojo siempre fluye calidamente! Ya lo convertio al Rolfi, ex-pechofrio, en un capitan con garra y corazon!

11:29 PM  

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