|Season 2006-07 Result|
|Newcastle United||0-1||Manchester City|
|C.Moore.|| Mpenza 80.
|Date: 31/03/2007 Venue: St.James' Park Competition: Premiership|
|Match Report||Submitted on 07/04/2007 by Greavsie|
|The continuing story of how Newcastle United spoilt my life - part 467.
This was a sh!te game by anyone's standards. Both teams were dire. Man City didn't look like they wanted to play, and we looked like we didn't know how. Out of all cups, and without any real chance of finishing in a Uefa Cup spot before the game, there was no atmosphere whatsoever inside the ground. Still 52,000 turned up, but there are ever louder grumblings and If this continues much longer, numbers will dwindle next season.
Before kick-off, Man City were still being talked of as potential relegation oustiders, and Stuart Pearce was next in-line for the elbow. After the game, Man City are one point behind us with a game in hand. I'm not going to go through what happened on a blow by blow basis - we lost and thats it.
With the most options at his disposal all season, and boasting in the press about being able to make the tough decisions, Roeder blew it big style with his selection. Dyer up front has only ever worked sporadically, and Roeder seems determined to accommodate him regardless of how well he plays. Don't get me wrong, when Dyer plays well he can be a match winner, but it just doesn't happen enough, especially for someone on £80K per week (allegedly).
Some of the selections are simply bizarre. Parker and Butt paired together - more suited to tough away games, not for a home game where you need creativity to break down a well organised stubborn defensive team. What was wrong with Emre or N'Zogbia ????
With a full choice of defenders to pick from, he opted for Moore & Taylor at centre-half - no real argument, Babayaro at left-back - the only specialist left-back we have in the squad, so I suppose that can be justified to a degree, even though he is sh!te, and Stephen Carr at right-back - obviously has some dodgy photos of Glenn doing a horizontal version of his shuffle somewhere, as whenever Carr is fit he gets picked. Solano has been the best right-back we've had for ages. Milner must be rapidly re-thinking whether to sign a new contract.
On paper, and if you were a supporter of other clubs looking from the outside in, the team doesn't look that bad on the team sheet. However, we know better. The trouble is, put them all together on the pitch and they fail - time after time after time. They are gutless, under-acheiving lazy b@stards who don't have to bust a gut to get picked week in week out. After the games at Alkmaar and Charlton, you'd have thought the penny would have dropped with Roeder, but obviously not. The main sacrifices from those games seem to be Bramble, after a couple of lapses in Holland, and Onyewu There were more than Bramble at fault against Alkmaar . Away from home we give the ball away too easily, and that applies to the whole team from front to back. Inviting pressure onto your back four will only expose their weaknesses, which we do in no uncertain terms. Its unprofessional.
The rest may get an hour's ear-bashing but still get picked. The senior pros must be laughing into their pay packets each week. Bottom line - there is no respect for the manager, who quite simply doesn't seem to warrant any. Everytime he has a choice to make he gets it wrong - there's no coincidence that many of our best results this season have come when he's been forced into picking a team, and throwing some of the youngsters in. Roeder is totally out of his depth. His comments on TV and in the press are cringingly embarrassing, and I can't stand watching him.
As for summer transfers, who on earth are we going to attract, apart some more mercenaries, or players others don't want. Its probably just as well, as I can't see where the money is going to come from. A £6.9m loss for six months is hardly good news when we need to spend upwards of £20m, and I can't see much being generated by sales - Luque, Carr, Babayaro, Bernard, Onyewu, Bramble, Moore are touted as the favourites to go - but most are out of contract or not even ours, so less than £3m I would guess from that lot.
Anyway, the best part of the day by far, was the trip back - plenty of beer and plenty of song - sod the football.
Another grand day out spoilt by the match.