Newcastle United 2 – 1 Doncaster Rovers

NUFC TEAM: Harper, R Taylor, Kadar, Khizanishvilli, Enrique, Guthrie, Butt, Nolan, Gutierrez (Tozer 87), Harewood (Ranger 60), Carroll

They say that winning whilst playing badly is the sign of a good team – well we must be fucking brilliant. Somehow – and I mean somehow – we scraped to a 2-1 victory over Doncaster on Saturday and Newcastle United must be the worst team to be leading their league in the whole of Europe at the moment… along with Rangers.

Does fuck all for 90 minutes and then that. Like a lesser Arshavin.

Does fuck all for 90 minutes and then that. Like a lesser Arshavin.

Just a quick note. Boro were one point behind us when they sacked Gareth Southgate. Yet at that same time we were on the verge of giving our manager the job permanently. Are expectations at the two clubs that far apart? Really? Boro were in a decent position – promotion was certainly still a possibility – but Steve Gibson is a fairly smart man and he recognises that Boro’s performances have not been good enough, and a swift managerial change could be all it takes to guarantee that they are in the Premier League again next season. Then look at our fat, dribbling moron of an owner. Hughton is cheap and will do what Ashley says. It’s a no-brainer. Ashley is so stupid, that he isn’t even contemplating not going up this year. If he had, he would see that he won’t even be able to give the club away next Summer if we don’t go up. Our promotion is far from secure, and that’s not even taking into consideration the likelihood that anyone that can be sold in January, will be sold by Ashley.

Anyway, back to the game. Yet more injuries to the defence (this time Simpson) meant that Kadar was given a first league start in the middle with Khizanishvilli, whilst Smith’s suspension gave a start to Nicky Butt. Simpson’s injury was arguably a blessing in disguise, as he is clearly not a centre back. However, I’m not sure whether he is better or worse in that position than Khizanishvilli. Either way, Kadar is probably a better option than the both of them, despite him being at fault for the Doncaster goal, scored by Shiels after 18 minutes. But how do you pick a preferred pairing out of Kadar, Simpson and Khizanishvilli? All three are appalling. To point out the obvious, we need Taylor and Coloccini back asap. Its not going too far to say that our promotion hinges on it.

One item of controversy from Saturday is the booing that accompanied Marlon Harewood when substituted in the 60th minute. It is generally accepted that booing your own players is low, right? What about players on loan? No, still unacceptable, so I’m not going to blindly defend the Newcastle fans. But, Harewood was pretty fucking atrocious by all accounts. But that on its own is not enough to boo a player. He certainly isn’t the first player to put in a disappointing performance this season. However, the problem with Harewood is what his loan signing represents. It represents the complete lack of investment on the part of our beloved owner. Harewood is a bit of a laughing stock. Its unfortunate for the bloke. He’s been tagged as a poor man’s Heskey – not helped by actually being Heskey’s un-used understudy at Villa. The sad truth is that he just isn’t a very good player. He had a couple of good years at Forest and West Ham – but that was a while ago now. He went on loan to Wolves last season in the Championship and was pitiful. Villa and Wolves fans can’t stand the bloke. But one thing that you would think you would always get from him is a strong work ethic – but apparently not based on the evidence of Saturday.

The majority of Newcastle fans are not stupid. We know that there is no money being made available to Chris Hughton, but was Harewood really the best he could do? He’s not good enough for Newcastle United, even in this division. What was so infuriating though about his performance on Saturday was that there was an infinitely better player on the bench (Ranger). Fortunately he came on after an hour and we subsequently scored 2 goals. It wasn’t a coincidence. So is it bad to boo a player in a Black and White shirt? Yes, of course. But if that booing has the desired effect on the management and Ranger is given a start alongside Carroll in the next game then so be it. The fans have been ignored for far too long at this club now and things are at breaking point. We have a despised owner who has yet again failed abysmally to sell the club (to the point that it seems obvious that he never had any intention of selling in the first place) and a lame duck is on the verge of being appointed permanent manager. I’m certainly not going to begrudge any Newcastle fan who lets their frustration boil over in the form of booing a player that clearly does not want to be at our club, especially when you consider that there are far more dedicated, hard working youngsters on the bench.

What about the good points? Well, Nolan scored again and Carroll scored a bloody brilliant goal. Yes, he missed a sitter on Saturday but his all round performance is ever-improving. Astonishingly, I have seen a couple of people on various messageboards voice their concerns about the ability of Carroll and more notably, Ranger. Mental. These players are just kids. The job we are asking of them is an unfair one. Young players should be brought through gradually in a stable environment. Carroll should not be asked to lead the line at his age, but he’s doing it happily and he’s doing it well. I fear that they’ll be a few teams sniffing around him in January.

Talking of strikers, what is going on with Lovenkrands? He is one of the few players we have left that are good enough to play in the Premier League, yet he’s being criminally wasted. Our treatment of him over the Summer was nothing short of a disgrace, and it gives me no pleasure to see that things aren’t any better for the bloke this year. I’ve said before that he’s a striker, not a winger. And I stand by that. But he’s a better winger than Gutierrez, of that I’m certain. I honestly think that I am sometimes living on another planet when I see Jonas Gutierrez starting for Argentina in a must-win World Cup qualifier alongside players like Messi and Higuain, with the likes of Tevez on the bench. Mental. He is fucking garbage. Drop him from the first team and then we’ll see just how desperate he is to get into that Argentina World Cup squad next summer. Because whilst Maradona might be happy to pick him so long as he’s starting every week in the Championsip, he sure as hell won’t pick him if he’s on our bench. Put him on the bench and he’ll be off like a shot in January – along with his extortionate wages. Along with Butt and Geremi, he is one of the three players that I wouldn’t mind clearing off. Our squad is threadbare and I still want rid of him. If we don’t have any wingers coming through the academy with a little bit of pace and the ability to cross a ball or shoot on target, then we might as well close the fucking place. Of course, we probably do have someone like that but what we do not have is a manager brave enough to select them.

Finally, will someone please tell Chris Hughton that Danny Guthrie is not a fucking winger. I am sick to death of seeing him out there. He is probably our most creative player and he should be first choice reserve central midfielder behind Smith and Nolan. Geremi and Butt have no business playing in the centre of our midfield – they are woeful.

MOTM: God. I doubted his existence but I have seen the light. There is no fucking way that we would have ever won that game without some form of divine intervention.

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