Given the paucity of coverage this weekend for our match you`d struggle to think we even had a game. Amidst the hype of Sky`s shittily titled ‘Grand Slam Sunday` (2 games, 2 goals), where Richard Keys and Andy Gray frapped themselves into a frenzy about Rooney, Fabregas et al, there were some fantastic adverts for the rest of the league.
Unfortunately whilst Citeh-Bolton and Wigan-Blackburn probably fell into this category, our game against Fulham wasn`t exactly blockbuster material. However we got the result we wanted to leave the likes of Custis and his poison pen gang at The Sun and Wheez Keyz Louise Taylor frothing at the lack of Geordie antics to bitch about.
I can`t honestly give you a ‘highlights` package of the game as there simply weren`t any. We were ragged, scrappy, yet honestly committed. Fulham were devoid of anything approaching Premier League class. Some hacks gave our players 2s and 3s in the papers which just about sums up how bored they were.
The winner came via a man who has taken some stick recently for his ‘vicious` comments he made about the crowd. Barton grabbed the ball off Milner to stroke home the penalty after Fulham`s Omozusi had chopped away Smith`s legs. Probably harsh on the Cottagers (snigger) but after our miserable bad luck at Blackburn we deserved at least some good fortune.
The win leaves us in a no-mans land in the middle of the table. However with Wigan and Derby, bottom three teams, coming up, there is a real chance of closing the gap on Liverpool and the usual UEFA Cup suspects like Everton and Pompey.
Christmas is perennially our nightmare period. Derby is a Sunday kick-off against a team we have provided with half their points following our shambles at Pride Park back in September. As much as I`d like to see sunderland retain their 15 points record for the all-time lowest PL points total, I`ve got a sneaking feeling Derby could even top that. Lets not be the ones to help them amend that.
Following on we`ve also got a tough Xmas calendar. Boxing Day sees a trip to the JJB against Wigan, where they`ll be egged on by Dave Whelan to put one over ‘Mike Ashley`s lot`. Heskey is ruled out, but Marcus Bent bagged at hat-trick for Pancake Face Bruce`s side against Rovers at the weekend.
Third up is the small matter of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Given our shocking record against them since 1987 no-one expects anything other than a firm shafting by Grant`s Gang. Anything other than ritual humiliation would be a bonus.
Finally the season is rounded off by a visit from Sven Adult Books and his Citeh Slickers. Overall then a fairly tricky test over the holidays and one we`d do marvellously well to come out of with 8 points or more.
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