Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strange Game, Strange Season

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strange Game, Strange Season

Article excerpt

Byline: By Michael Martin

Saturday's win over Spurs at St James' Park was a strange game, in a season which can only be described as, well, strange.

Beating Tottenham 4-0 is always going to be an enjoyable event for those of us who have yet to forgive and forget the White Hart Lane club for asset stripping us of Waddle and Gascoigne in the 80s.

The truth is that, overall, the game with Spurs was poor. The goals and performance from one Laurent Robert, however, were simply outstanding. Memorable.

On Saturday we all saw the goal of the season but no-one can be sure which Christmas cracker coming from Le Magic Wand a.k.a. Robert's left foot, will win the prize. But, still, not a great game.

Much the same can be said of the season we are having. Here we are, a mere point behind fourth place and a potential return to the Champions League action we all crave (yet significantly only two points ahead of Liverpool, a club with problems but with enough quality for us to write off at our peril) and with continued competition in the UEFA Cup to look forward to.

And yet, there is dissatisfaction with progress at Gallowgate this season. Our appalling exit from the Champions League (sorry for bringing it up Bobby, but it did happen) cast a long shadow over our campaign.

But, for we deluded fools who long to see a Newcastle United skipper (preferably Gosforth's finest) hoisting a bit of silverware aloft, the crushing Carling Cup defeat at home to West Brom (made all the worse by Man Utd and Liverpool going out as well as a double tough FAC draw away to Southampton) was gut-wrenching. Our best chance of silverware this season meekly surrendered through muddled thinking.

The question has to be asked then - are we becoming spoiled by the increased standards of the modern Newcastle United and unreasonable in the demands we place upon the club? …

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