Newcastle 2 Swansea 3 Saturday 25 April 3pm
Goals: NUFC Perez 20 de Jong 87 SWANSEA Oliveira 45 Sigurddson 49 Cork 71
This is horrible this like.
I attended the match having boycotted the previous week, with a 34th minute stand-up protest a slightly more muted reminder to the board that they have problems that won’t go away.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of people that observed this, with noticeable standing and anti-Ashley chants. However, it seems there is still a large element that sit in silence through anything like this, without supplementing this abstinence with any sort of vocal support to the team at any time.
I appreciate everyone’s individual rights, but here’s a stone cold fact: you are not supporting the team just by plonking your arse on a seat for 90 minutes and silently expecting them to entertain.
Anyway, this protest was unexpectedly successful especially given the fact we were 1-0 up at the time and actually playing pretty well. The goal was slightly comical, with Rivière running strongly into the box before putting his cross over Perez, only for Swans defender Jordi Amat to obligingly touch it neatly back into young Ayoze’s path for a tap in.
Swansea, comfortable in upper mid-table, seemed to have their minds on the beach and this could have been a confidence boosting, relegation banishing win. However, bad Newcastle were about to show their face.
With one minute of first half injury time to negotiate, United need only defend a simple corner to take the lead into the break. Oliveira was given a free header on the penalty spot to equalise. John Carver later moaned that the crowd expected him to head it clear. No John, get the defenders to practise doing it. It’s called coaching.
The second half was a return to the usual half-arsed, lily-liveried garbage we all hate the club for. Our players stood and watched as Sigurdsson and Cork finished off moves that basically involved Swansea walking past disinterested opponents.
Rivière was booed off (by people who doubtless assume they were heartily ‘supporting the team’) as de Jong finally reappeared after an 8 month lay-off. Maybe he should have come on earlier, as he soon converted Colback’s fine cross to reduce the arrears.
He’d better have about 6 more where they came from though, as the final whistle revealed a horror show of a day. Leicester and Hull had scored unexpected away wins, Sunderland and QPR had drew. We were suddenly a mere 5 points ahead of trouble with 4 to play and frankly this team look totally incapable of turning out any sort of positive result.
One win will do it, hopefully the return of Cisse, our one matchwinner, will be enough to get the required, with surely one win from the four being adequate.
Carver’s behaviour was atrocious afterwards, as it emerged he had again been flinging abuse back at fans, again resorting to the unbelievable tactic of offering people ‘outside’ before reiterating his disdain for his fellow Tynesiders in post-match comments demanding more protection from undeserved abuse (bit of a 180 from “I’ll take you all” mind JC).
What Carver doesn’t seem to realise is that Alan Pardew will only ever visit Newcastle as an opposition manager from now on, and Mike Ashley lives a millionaire lifestyle a world apart from the day to day on Tyneside.
When his tenure here is ended, Carver will surely have to mix with his fellow fans again and face up to the growing disdain he is creating for himself.
No one expects him to be up to the job of a real manager, he’s clearly been hung out to dry, but to trumpet the True Geordie line then send out such a gutless shower of incoherence, completely bereft of self-belief, is not acceptable at all.
These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;
Possession was 48% Newcastle and 52% Swansea
Total shots was 12 for Newcastle and Swansea 11
Shots on target was Newcastle 4 and Swansea 6
While corners was Newcastle 9 and Swansea 6
(Player ratings totals below from fans so far, add yours and then press submit)
Team: Krul, Janmaat (Abeid 61), Williamson, Coloccini, Anita, Colback, Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor, Cabella (de Jong 74), Perez, Riviere (Armstrong 74)
Unused Subs: Woodman, Gouffran, Obertan, Ameobi
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Crowd: 46,884 (Number of tickets sold but at least a few thousand not bothering even if they had)
You can follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf