With all this wonderful news about all these “new” players we have and our hitherto unconsidered ability to now play that much neglected 1-8-1 formation, things appear to be moving forward-ish.
Surely there are only so many midfielders you can bring in?
But to put the icing on the cake we now hear that they have extended Shola’s contract for a couple of years. Perhaps this is considered something to try to calm the angry mob? We can sell Carroll, sell Nolan and even push Barton out the door for free, but no-one in his right mind would refuse to extend Shola’s contract. That would be like stabbing a baby with a pitchfork! The fans would be mortified.
Last night I was indulging in some gratuitous channel hopping when I stumbled across the Toon Vs the Brummies from the end of last season. What made me smile (and yes it does happen now and again) was the ease with which Steven Carr took Shola out of the game completely . This is the same Steven Carr that we shipped out a couple of seasons ago because he was too slow.
No surprises there. The beauty of Shola is you know exactly what you are going to get, and apparently we are going to get it for the next three years.
A bit like our defence. Is anyone else concerned about them, or is it just me?
We have brought in enough midfielders to keep us going for years, a couple of attacking midfielders and even an out and out striker, but we still have the same defence that legend is made of. And not talking heroic legend. I’m talking sore-sides legend.
I have referred on occasion to our defence being like either a box of clockwork penguins or like a swarm of ten year olds. Either way we very rarely seem to be in the right place at the right time.
It worries me that for the Centre Back berths we are currently limited to a choice of either Colo, Staylor or Williamson. That, to me, is a choice between MIA, giving away a penalty or , well, giving away a penalty.
I read a couple of days ago that someone claimed Colo was the best Centre Back in the Premier League. That was just before I read that Barton is now a goodwill ambassador for Manchester City Youth Team, and Andy Carroll wants to give up his 80 grand a week and come back to SJP as a ballboy.
I have to say that Colo is probably the best CB that WE have but not the best that everyone anyone else has. Or even anyone else?
As for Taylor, talk about not realizing your potential. There was talk a few years ago about him playing for England. At the moment the way he throws himself around the box I could see him possibly teaming up with Tom Daley off the high board, but not much else. Let’s face it, if you can’t get into the Toons back 4 you’re hardly going to have Capello banging down your door asking what you’re doing at the weekend. And despite wht Joey might think, what you think about your own ability isn’t what gets you into the England Squad. Apparently Capello does have a bit of a say.
I look forward to Tayl’s annual “give away a penalty and get sent off” moment where he handles on the line and throws himself to the ground clutching his gut as if shot in the stomach. That’s always good value for money.
I have never seen a defender throw himself around as much. Some people view it as heroism and dedication to the cause, I prefer to think of it as being symptomatic of always being in exactly the wrong place.
As for Williamson – well, the sooner he gets a slot on Strictly Come Dancing the better. There will come a time when referees start to clamp down on defenders hugging the opposition out of the game, and start giving penalties. When this happens it appears that Mike’s repertoire will be just about entirely spent!
Then if we move out towards the touchline, and back in again and back out, we have Enrique. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s just that he’s not as good as he thinks he is. I put him in the same category as Titus Bramble in that I see him as being only one small step away from a complete cock-up that will cost us a goal. He seems to have the required tools but rather than farting around quite so much at the back he really needs to learn the ancient Geodie art of the Welly. As Big Jack once said “nobody ever scored a goal from row Z!”
Danny Simpson, on the other hand, has potential. I think he could do well this season. Assuming we don’t receive a last minute bid from, well, anybody willing to pay cash.
Yes we all love to see goals goals goals but most of us prefer to see them “for” with not quite so many against. Our penchant for going gaga and losing the plot at the back is becoming a tad wearing. Yes , we were impressive 2 seasons ago but we were playing against teams who had all standing stadiums and turned up for away matches in a rented van.
One less dumb-arsed farting around goal conceded last game of the season and we’d have finished in 9th place, £2.4 million better off, but more importantly above the unwashed.
One more dumb-arsed farting around goal conceded last game of the season and we’d have finished in 14th place, £1.6 million worse off.
There’s always more than one way to peel a feline. If you cant bang ‘em in at one end, you could always try stopping them at the other.
Personally I’m optimistic that the squad is starting to shape up and I think that even as it stands we can improve on last season.
Living in the Middle East you certainly won’t see me at many games this season, but the satellite is paid up, the big fridge has been stocked and wheeled through from the kitchen and the new 55 inch LED TV is stuck to the wall.
It was expensive and is probably a luxury I could do without, but hell, what’s the point of having 2 kidneys if you don’t really need them both?