Thursday, 6 December 2007

One Game To Save A Season...

I must be getting old because I feel like saying, "In my day the manager would be given more time"

Big Sam was under pressure, from the fans and media. The Newcastle fans never wanted him in the first place and the media love a good kicking. The rumours of his demise probably contain fact but I can't help feeling the matter was exacerbated. Newcastle are 11th in the table, level on points with West Ham, a team who have spent an awful lot of money on crap players since last January. Newcastle have been underperforming, and Allardyce is to blame for most of it - strange team selection (Alan Smith seems to be the new John O'Shea or Phil Jagielka, I expect a centre back berth soon), changing formations, leaving your top scorer (Martins) out and frantic defensive rotations.

Naturally the players aren't happy. But when are Newcastle players happy? The day they sign their £60,000 a week contract. After that, they look around and see more mercenaries like themselves, which I will now list.

Shay Given - a man who could have walked into any Premiership team a few years ago keeps signing contract extensions, even when Arsenal and Man Utd were looking for keepers.

Stephen Carr - not a bad bloke, a great right back for Spurs but has been rubbish since 2002

Emre (Not a Racist) - left Inter, a team that challenges for honours, for a big fat contract

Martins - see Emre, add in a release clause

Duff - one of the best wingers in the league, got the hump at Chelsea for no reason, will never win a medal again

Alan Smith - once described as having the best skills at Leeds, he's a hard worker, but no team has much need for a non-goalscoring striker or poor midfielder.

Mark Viduka - the man who inspired today's piece, plays well for 6 games a year to get the fans off his back and 'earn' a new contract.

Geremi - one of the best midfielders while at Boro, happy to sit on the bench for years at Chelsea, the rich man's Bogarte

Nicky Butt - has a large collection of medals despite his performances. In semi retirement

Celestine Babayaro - the only good thing he's done at Newcastle is slap Dirk Kuyt in the face. Was shipped out of Chelsea with Wayne Bridge keeping him out of the team - a deep insult.

What a collection of losers - a collection of never will be's and has beens that Big Sam (or his replacement) needs to ship out of St James Park before we can judge with accuracy the manager's effect.

Now, Alan Curbishley, my bet for the next media witch hunt, but in this case it will be 100% deserved. He's the big money flashing, mediocre transferrer, over payer who has done an average job so far. Check out his West Ham League record P 27, W 11, L 12 D 4.
He genius idea of saving them from relegation was to drop Mascherano.



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JJ said...

Accurate on all counts boss. Beye, Rozenhal and Barton may yet come good for fat sam but they need a huge overhaul. Their very odd chairman needs to start spending big, sell Michael Owen and give Fats until the end of the season.

Never thought I'd be defending fat sam but frankly Newcastle fans are just as beer-gutted, ugly and self important as the manager they ended up with. They all deserve each other.

ODF said...

i knew the fa cup draw was a fix!

JJ said...

Yeah saw that, poor old bristol city. Not only are they rhyming slang for boobs but they're missed out on a tie with man u.

Donal said...

So, Newcastle should get rid of Shay Given - who has consistently been one of the best keeps in the league for the last few years - because he keeps signing contract extensions. Care to elaborate?

Donal said...

Very harsh judgement of Curbishley. Sure he's spent a lot of money, but no matter how much he spent, keeping them up last year was still a great achievement. Although West Ham did buy a lot during the close season, they also sold a lot - Mascherano, Tevez, Benayoun, Reo Coker, Harewood, etc.

While his win/loss/draw record isn't particularly impressive for a top club, it's pretty good when you consider West Ham have spent most of the last few years in the championship or at the foot of the premiership

Reidar said...

Huh... I always thought Newcastle had a half-decent team, and that the problem was the manager but your break-down here is pretty good. If Big Sam can't make them good perhaps the problem is the players.

Mark said...

donal - i take your point about given, he is still good, but it's a strange lack of ambition from him, isn't it?

re curbishley - i don't rate him, but it's ok so far this season - I was just wondering who would be next on the hitlist for media and fans. certainly their average start and his poor purchases could put him in the firing line

JJ said...

I think the point about Given is that he's been happy to sit on decent wages at a poor club for a long time. That can't be healthy for a player's form.

He has attained an aloof position in the dressing room too just like his old mate shearer. A lack of ambition tends to affect form eventually and I think that's why fat sam hasn't been afraid to use Harper this year. Given should have left a long time ago and would still benefit from a move. Frankly that club needs to clear out all the old guard asap.

I don't rate curbs and I doubt many of his players do either. Whether fair or not I'd be surprised if he were to stay manager for more than a couple more average seasons.

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