Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Blues!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Blues!

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

Now we're ready to march upon Stamford Bridge, drums rolling and trumpets blaring, to deprive champions Chelsea of the double, aren't we?

Physically and mentally attuned to shock The Special One just as Barcelona did and thus reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the second successive season.

Oh, yeah, if a miracle can be conjured up, if the plague descends upon soccer's London fashion house and, just to make sure, if every Chelsea player is turned to stone. Then we might get a draw! No matter how positive dear old Glenn Roeder may be, the Newcastle faithful are preparing for nothing but a slapped backside on Wednesday night.

Maybe Chelsea have lost a little of their sheen but despite their shock one-goal defeat at Fulham yesterday the Premier League is effectively already won, the Cup and not the Champions League is their one alternative, and the tie is at Stamford Bridge for goodness sake where only Charlton of domestic opposition know how to feel triumphant while only drawing.

And the opposition, of course, is our own bunch of firing misfits. Let us not forget that. If Wayne Rooney and his Manchester United buddies embarrassed Newcastle then Liverpool's red army simply marched all over them yesterday on the Mags own playing field before 50,000 Geordies.

To be brutally honest, that was the case even before an apology for a centre-half Jean Alain Boumsong committed a double felony so basically embarrassing that a Sunday league player with pot belly and eye patch would never have lowered himself to commit earlier in the day.

A fresh air kick on a routine clearance ( a hoof into the stands ( and then a full body lock to wrestle Peter Crouch to the floor amid blind panic as though at Twickenham deserved both a penalty and a red card.

At pounds 8m Boumsong's transfer was daylight robbery ( Rangers ought to be ashamed at their barefaced cheek. At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask when depriving the foolish of their cash.

United had just got back into the game with a goal before half-time but Boumsong's double blunder finished any fanciful idea of a fightback.

The truth, however, was that United were streets behind Liverpool, Boumsong's contribution or not. They didn't belong in the same class, just as they hadn't at Man United.

Liverpool's movement was first rate and electrifying, especially on their second goal, whereas Newcastle were like bottles on the step waiting for the milkman to collect them. Static and unimaginative.

Within 10 minutes Liverpool were ahead ( despite the fact that when Jan Kromkamp pumped over a high ball to the back post there were three home players to one of the opposition.

However, Crouch first out-muscled Peter Ramage to bury deep into the box, a back-peddling Boumsong got under the ball which cleared his jumping body, and Crouch beat Shay Given with his close-in header. …

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