The vast majority of the 33,986 crowd were optimistic Geordies who once again blindly descended upon St James’ Park, on Wednesday night, hoping that a League Cup tie against a lower division team would lift the ominous gloom shrouding our football club.
The reality was far from ideal, as Sheffield Wednesday out-played, out-hustled and generally made our team look like the relegation fodder they are!
Let me get one thing off my chest first…
As many of you may have witnessed, the away supporters hurled blue smoke flares, coins and bottles at the Geordie faithful just before kick-off. During half-time, I was actually struck by a 2p coin on the back. Not good.
Where I was sitting we were surrounded by kids and if the coin had hit one of them they could have easily ended up spending the night in A and E. I turned to heckle the culprits, only to be warned about my conduct by stewards and told I was at risk of being banned from SJP.
Hang on, I get hit by a by a coin and it’s me that can get banned!?!? Have a word with yourself Newcastle United Security Services…
The on-pitch performance was as woeful as that by the stewards off-field.
Poor passing, constant backing off and clueless wing play frustrated the crowd in the first half. Sissoko and Thauvin were particularly bad, misplacing pass after pass and running into each other on multiple occasions.
The second half brought little change and although the introduction of Perez lifted spirits temporarily, it was to no avail.
Chancel Mbemba is no left back – flapping when pressed and just whalloping the ball anywhere on many an occasion.
Wijnaldum was completely anonymous throughout the entire 90 minutes and Obertan was, well Obertan…
De Jong ran round like a headless chicken all night creating space and asking for the ball, but when it really counted he failed, firing wide and then over as the game drew to a dreary conclusion.
At the final whistle, the inevitable boos rang loud around St James Park and whilst exiting, the jeers and moans from fans were firmly pointed at one man – Steve McClaren.
The ‘Wally with the Brolly’ and his negative tactics were hot topic in the Trent and again on the number 12 bus home. People seem to have already had their fill of the overly defensive midfield and one up front favoured by the man deemed the best fit for the job by local chip wrapper, The Chronicle.
McClaren asked for ten games before being judged – well, eight games in, two to go before we can judge away… not that we aren’t in any case.
The man himself looks broken. Pacing back and forward in his technical area, holding his head and waving his arms at every decision against his charges, is nothing we didn’t see from Carver and Stone last year.
Removing Janmaat, the only player in our squad that can tackle, at half time didn’t endear him to the locals either.
His horrendous start as Newcastle United Manager has been further blighted by injuries and suspensions, but that excuse has been on repeat at the club since Fat Sam and doesn’t wash with me anymore.
McClaren has two games left in his self-imposed curfew to get results – with the small matter of Chelsea at St James Park and an away trip the Etihad to face the blue half of Manchester…
Good luck to the ‘Wally with the Brolly’… ya gonna need it mate!
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