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Just some immediate thoughts which no doubt some of you will probably have mentioned elsewhere.
Well first of all, some of you wanted Barton out – you got it. Some of you wanted Butt out – you got it. Some of you wanted Martins out – you got it. Some of you wanted Cacapa out – you got it. And some of you wanted Taylor, Faye, Emre & Duff in – you got it.
Most notably, a helluva lot of you wanted Milner to play on the right wing instead of the left – you got it. I wanted Viduka out – I never got it. So what could go wrong today then?
Big Sam gave the fans what they wanted, more creativity in midfield and a supposedly right winger moved from the left wing to his ‘natural' right side. Wrong!!!! The creativity was non-existent and Milner had his worst game I have ever seen him play in a Black & White shirt.
Big Sam is right on one thing for certain, Milner causes a lot more damage on the left by cutting inside the right full back and wrong footing him than he does trying to take on a left footed full back by staying wide and get his cross in. In 90 mins today, Milner managed to beat his man and get a decent cross in just ONCE!!!
We lined up today in a 4-5-1 formation with Beye, Taylor, Faye, and N'Zogbia at the back and Milner, Smith, Geremi, Emre & Duff in midfield, with Viduka up front on his own. From the moment the team was announced, I realised that the thread I started earlier on ‘Lardy Arse' Viduka wasn't purely my thoughts alone, as the toon fans sang out Oba Martins name from the very first minute until he was eventually introduced as a sub. (Ask anyone else who was there).
Viduka was static. Full stop. A total waste of a shirt. The formation we had decided to play was crying out for a fast forwrd like Martins to break through the Wigan defence to receive ‘through balls'. Hang on though, there were no ‘through balls' from our ‘creative' midfield cos there wasn't a fuckin hope in hell that Mark Viduka was going to shift his arse to run on for them, so they didn't play any!!!
The starting line up of a 4-5-1 with Duff & Milner on the flanks and Martins on the receiving end of balls from these two as well as Geremi & Emre MAY HAVE WORKED? We'll never know cos by the time Martins was introduced it was too late and anyway it was Geremi who made way instead of the obvious straight swap of Martins for Viduka.
The bright spots of the day were the return of Duff who looked sharp and fit (lost a bit of weight I thought) and another good performance from N'Zog who surely will always be destined to play at left back if we intend to play both him and Duff in the same team?
The nearly 6,000 Toon fans were in great spirits and in great voice. One wag however reminded me at the end of the game what I had said before kick-off which was “well we've turned up, lets hope the team does”. They didn't.
Chants included “we're shit and we're sick of it” and “Shearer, Shearer, Shearer” which made it all a little bit too uncomfortable for Mike Ashley sitting amongst the toon fans in our end. How long before he stops doing that then? I always have a fear that unless something changes for the better FAST, then one of our ‘scum' fans will turn on him with a spit directed at him or heaven forbid a punch thrown in his direction?
The Shepherd Out and Mike Ashley In party has I reckon, just wound up to an end today. Unless we get a point at Chelsea and 3 against Man City, I reckon Sam won't be given any January spending money and could well be out on his arse? Mike Ashley and Chris Mort are going to have to make their first big decision.
Rant over, I'm tired…