Feeling the heat - 23/08/2004
We started the Spurs game like a house on fire, and with a little luck Newcastle could have been two or three up. But then the creativity seemed to dry up and Spurs started to get back into the game. When Atouba hit that great cross-shot, the home team just couldn't find a way past the Tottenham defence.
For me, I was bemused by the triple substitution. Bellamy had looked the best player on the pitch....at centre-forward, but with taking off two wide men and introducing another two centre-forwards, the most dangerous player on the pitch was taken out of the danger zone and put on the wing? Robert deserved to stay on, he's the one player who's capable of whipping over great crosses. With Kluivert and Shearer in the box, I was amazed to see the Frenchman substituted. It simply didn't work, Shola didn't get anywhere, no decent crosses were sent over and Al and Kluivert were eating up the same space. They both most have been very frustrated by the lack of chances that came their way. It then descended into schoolboy stuff...no one even seemed to know who was going to take the corners and free-kicks and you felt that they wouldn't score if the game continued all night.
The pressure is now on for Wednesday night and I'm praying Newcastle get an early goal. Norwich were impressive at Old Trafford and will no doubt play it a similar way on Wednesday. The longer we go without a goal, the greater the chance of the fans becoming frustrated. So if there's a mesage to give...it's to try and stay patient. The lads proved during the Boro game and during the first quarter of the Spurs game that they're capable of playing some good stuff, let's just hope things come right against Norwich!
As for Jon Woodgate...good luck to him. You can't blamd the lad and you can't blame Newcastle. I bet Bobby's sick...if he's only one year left at the club he'll be desperate to win something and selling one of the best defenders in the game isn't going to help. I don't know who'll replace Woody, but he's got some big boots to fill.
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