Strange looks from Steven Gerrard and co.
I felt strangely positive about yesterday’s Newcastle v Liverpool match.
I have tried to find as many positives as possible over the last few months, though still didn’t expect wins away v Spurs and Man City, but thought we could give Liverpool a good game and maybe sneak a win.
I cheekily had a go at Mario Balotelli before the game as the Liverpool players stretched and warmed up near the Leazes End. Making my wheelchair visible, I shouted; “Mario! Mario! I’ve got a better chance of scoring than you!” He didn’t flinch, but I got some strange looks from Steven Gerrard and co. Balotelli’s head looked down before the match even started, so I was confident I wouldn’t have to eat my words.
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I’m not going to talk too much about the match, other than to say that every player gave his all and it was a well deserved victory. A more positive looking, but still very fluid, formation of 4-4-1-1 was employed by Pardew, with Sissoko playing as the link man, able to make it 4-5-1 when desired and allowing awesome Abeid to drop back to form 4-1-4-1 when needed.
It worked well. Liverpool had more possession of the ball than us, in the same way that Man City had a few days earlier, but once again our defiant defenders, marauding midfielders, working back wingers and foraying forwards hounding from the front, prevented them from creating very much at all. They only managed six shots to our fourteen, three of which were on target, but only one that looked to really trouble Krul.
The celebrations after the goal and at the end of the match, by both fans and players, summed it up for me. A banner appeared in the East Stand saying ‘BackPardew.com’ soon after the initial cheers had started to settle.
Then as the final whistle was blown by referee Marriner, Krul jumped up and ran towards the rest of the team, who came together in a victorious group huddle, whilst at the same time a couple of fans in Halloween dress, paraded a banner saying ‘Pardew – Back From The Dead’ as the crowd dispersed in jubilation.
Three fantastic wins in seven days. Positivity prevails!
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