Monday, December 19, 2005

vs West Ham United, 17th December 2005

I was expecting the game to start as soon as i turned the telly on at 11pm but suprise, suprise.. it's the portsmouth game instead! Some talk about an accident delaying the kickoff means i'll have to wait till 1.30am to see the delayed telecast of the match. The waiting was worth the wait though. A 4-2 scoreline in favour of the magpies does mask the fact that west ham was in control most of the time but who cares! We won & Owen got a hatrick!!

The game was interesting to watch because a lot of goals were scored and the anticipation of when the magpies will self destruct kept me wide awake. Luckily for us, we scored 4 while ONLY pressing the self destruct button twice. OK so the own goal was a tad to harsh but Shola's handball was.. i just cant think up a suitable word for that, thankfully soccernet's The Insider gave a good account of that:

"..Game over it seemed, but putting on a black and white shirt seems to be a signal to commit crazy acts and that is just what Shola Ameobi did as he punched a cross to give Marlon Harewood the chance to bring West Ham back into the game. He converted with ease and you have to wonder what Newcastle's centre-forward was up to. If you read this report Shola, please reply at the bottom to explain your moment of madness. ."

Yeah shola, i would really2 love to hear your explanation too..

As a whole, the team was shaky but thank god it didnt crumble to pieces as the pressure builds up. 1 player who has gone back to his anonymous best is Faye. After watching him bossed the arsenal player's, he was MIA in the west ham game from start to finish (ok minus the last 5 seconds of the game where he sets up Owen for the last goal but THAT was it). 2 additional points i would like to highlight is why is luque, our 9M pound man sitting on the bench?! Ameobi is just not a left winger! And let's not forget he gives away a penalty too! And finally, Elliot is just not good enough, how many times does he need to be at fault for goals conceded until people realize he's not premiereship material? Harewood's hard low cross from the right wing was not that hard to cover! Once the transfer window open again in January, I reckon a pair of fullbacks for both our left and right flanks would certainly improve over what we have currently as backup to Carr and Baba who are out injured most of the time.

Player Ratings:

Shay Given : Very good performance, 8/10

Jean-Alain Boumsong : Did enough + huge amount of brownie points for playing while daughter and wife was terribly ill, 7/10

Titus Bramble : Cleared a ball towards a team mate who is only 2 feet away, resulting in an own goal, but otherwise did ok, 5/10

Robbie Elliott : Doesnt matter if you wear your heart on your sleave when you're just not good enough, keep lumping the balls upfield, 4/10

Peter Ramage : Blooding youngsters? Their mistakes cost's the team goals! Also favours lumping the balls upfield, 4.5/10

Amady Faye : Dissappointing, anonymous, unproductive, adequate brownie points for the last second assist, 4.5/10

Scott Parker : Did ok shielding the defence, went forward a couple of times, 7/10

Nolberto Solano : Good deliveries on a few set pieces, but can be awful sometimes, and ofcourse, the own goal, 5.5/10

Shola Ameobi : Not effective at all as a left winger, wastes possesion and gives away a penalty, it would be pathetic if he starts next game and luque is still on the bench! 4/10

Michael Owen : Hatrick Hero plus 1 assist for shearer's goal, 10/10

Alan Shearer : Good in leading the line, came up with a goal and an assist, 9.5/10

L Bowyer [for N Solano (79) ] : Didnt do much, 5/10



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