Even though Newcastle United have enjoyed a month or so of mainly gushing headlines about the French revolution and the style of football in recent games, you just know it is only a question of time before the press will be sticking the knife in again.
Yesterday’s match at Swansea led to the aptly named ‘Harry Pratt’ writing the following comments in his ‘report’, appearing on both the Daily Star and Express websites;
‘If you can’t beat them, kick them. That was Newcastle United’s motto at Swansea yesterday.
Luckily for those who like the beautiful game, the below the belt dirty approach of Alan Pardew’s strugglers only worked for 86 minutes.
If you think it was harsh on the Geordies, it was not.
Booting your silky, skilful opponents at every opportunity, as they did throughout the first half, was unnecessary.
The 2nd half was a far more even contest and Papiss Cisse been anywhere near his best, Newcastle would have taken an unlikely lead.
With both sides ready to settle for the draw, Moore came off the bench to grab his first goal since late August’.
Whether Harry has previously been to Newcastle and got knocked back in the Bigg Market, or whether he is just going for a bit of attention seeking, the end result is the same.
(To feature like David, send in your letters/articles for the magazine/website to firstname.lastname@example.org – write about anything that is NUFC related – past, present or future )
While Alan Pardew clearly told his players to wake up in the first half and get tight on Swansea, it wasn’t exactly the carnage Pratt is describing. United picked up two bookings and one of those was for high feet by Tiote and he didn’t even make any contact.
Those bookings for Tiote and Cabaye in quick succession led to a series of dubious cheap free-kicks as an inexperienced ref allowed himself to be conned by a lightweight Swansea midfield. In fact the worst challenge of the match was by Nathan Dyer and he only got a talking to.
A foul count of Newcastle’s 17 to their 9 was distorted by the home side’s players easily going down but where Pratt does a total disservice is in not recognising Newcastle’s second half domination.
Newcastle were easily as dominant in the second period as Swansea had been in the first, with the bonus of putting at least half a dozen decent chances on top of controlling the ball.
A final shot count of 14 to Swansea’s 10 tells you the true picture.
One good thing though, when the press start having a go at us then you know that Newcastle United are on the way back!