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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gripes and a small compensation

Okay, it's been over a month, but this week's action has given plenty for TDH to talk about.

Today's match at the Bridge was obviously decided by a bad call, the most freakish miss of an offside call that TDH has ever seen. But this is nothing new for Toon fans. Remember all the goal line calls that went against us last year? The football gods haven't been on our side for decades. Was it something Sir Bob said?

Yet TDH is angrier with Big Ham than with Mike Riley. Why did Big Ham decide to play Martins flanked by Duff up front? When Duff played as a striker some months ago, it was out of desperation - not because he was any good in the position. You're facing a Chelski squad without JT, and you don't let loose the bull also known as Viduka? TDH could not understand it.

There's something that gets TDH's goat even more, though: Alan Smith. WHAT IS BIG HAM'S OBSESSION WITH THIS PLAYER? He is a force of entropy in the midfield. He is useless as a striker. He is not the poor man's Paul Scholes, he is the poor man's Francis Jeffers. If that. We need two things in midfield, organization and creativity. Smith has neither.

Oh, how wistfully TDH watched Scottie P today against Manure. And with that match came the small compensation for the Toon's weekly debacle. There went the supposed golden boy, scorer of yet another wondergoal earlier in the week, preparing to strike a gimme penalty. As he stepped up to the spot, TDH couldn't help but ask how many times this player had found himself in that same situation, thanks to his own amateur theatricals inside the six-yard box. He missed. Manure lost. Justice.

Well, TDH can't complain too much, given the splendid supply of fast-paced, trigger-happy football that has come our way so far this week. There are quite a few entertaining teams in the Prem this season, and almost any match is worth a gander. By contrast, Spanish football seems to be played underwater. If only, once in a while, we could win - otherwise TDH will have to be contented with the odd Clint Dempsey goal in a losing cause, which is getting old....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these doubters should give Allardyce a fair crack of the whip... after all, a couple more months and he will have completed a transformation just like the one at Bolton.. that's right, we will be 12th in the Premiership and playing in front of 17000.

Calling Alan Smith a poor man's Francis Jeffers is a tad unfair... on Francis Jeffers. At least Wenger's one-time fox-in-the-box is still scoring goals (I thought he had retired until catching his name on teletext final score the other day, he'd notched the winner for Rotherham, or somebody equally distant from the Champions League

(this is a comment from Jonathan Crinklybee by the way... what the hell has happened to blogger comment boxes these days, the various security devices have me completely foxed here....

11:57 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Too right on Big Ham, Jonathan. We're finding out just how much "one of the best coaches in England" is worth - something that the FA has apparently figured out, too, given the advent of Il Duce, oops, I mean, Don Fabio.

I couldn't understand Big Ham's midfield against City. Milner, Zog and Duff together on the pitch? Butt and Faye playing as dual sweepers? Bizarre. Where was the central playmaker? We needed Emre in there, or, really, Nobby.... Geremi's absence has clearly hurt, too.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Big Ham would recognise a playmaker if he saw one. After all this is the man who was blessed with Okocha and Nolan as a central pairing but was happy for them to spend ninety minutes getting neckache watching a series of long balls from the back sail over their heads. Perhaps partly as a result Nolan's international career (unlike the ball at the Reebok) never got off the ground. Similar frustrations now seem to stand in the way of Emre, for one.

And 'Big Ham'. I like that. Will start using immediately.


9:10 PM  

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