The temporary mackem superiority bubble was burst asunder yesterday afternoon in the most one-sided derby I personally have ever witnessed. As former Geordie, Steve Bruce himself said after the game “it was like men v boys at times”.
Joy of joys, the hapless mackems were thrashed by a far superior Toon team in a game that was run by Joey Barton in by far his best game for the club. He was simply superb today.
It took us a while to get going, but Nolan's 1st goal removed the shackles and we never looked back. Shola and particularly Carroll gave the mackem defence a torrid afternoon. With their central midfield falling back to support their defence, our midfield took a grip on the game and never gave it up.
TBH, the dark side disappointed me: I thought they'd give us a real test but they were never really in it. Their sole ploy was the straight lump down the middle, and they never got behind our full-backs.
They did try to kick their way back into the game after half-time, but weren't particularly good at that either with Bramble rightly sent off for scything down Carroll just outside the area. Actually, Turner did precisely the same thing in the first half without being punished.
Carroll's all round play was terrific, and he was ably supported by Shola. Top men for me were Tiote, Barton, Nolan and Carroll, but it simply has to be Barton for MOTM. His passing was superb, and he remained cool in the face of some provocation, preferring instead to take the wee-wee out of the barber's poles.
The vocal support for Chris Hughton in the afternoon was loud, heartwarming, thoroughly deserved and 100% clear. D'ya get it Mikey, pet? If not, check the PL Table!!!