www.TalkOfTheTyne.net brought back memories, and how I'd love to know what was said in that Tyne/Wear derby:
It was a near miracle that Jean-Alain Boumsong contributed to a clean sheet at Cheltenham on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round tie, because the man was ran ragged by a player playing League Two football. Kayode Odejayi had Boumsong in his pocket, and the French international survived two penalty appeals by the Cheltenham striker, and gifted him a glorious late chance which somehow went begging.
Newcastle fans have seen horror shows from defenders over the years. David Barton (a name not known to many younger readers) was linked to many, especially one game at Chelsea back in 1980. He scored own-goals on piece, and was a bit of a joke character for a few years. But what made him a hero in my eyes and took him out of the "worst ever" spot was comments he made to Sunderland striker Stan Cummings during a Toon/Mackem derby. Obviously something I cannot print here, but comments that knocked Cummings well out of his stride for 90 minutes. PRICELESS!
Then we have Paul Sweeney against Millwall in 1990, Andy Griffin trying to catch up with Henry in the 5-0 thumping at Highbury in 2000, and I'm sure you have your own match you would rather forget.
But watching Boumsong on Saturday was different, simply because the humiliation was done by a player from the Second Division. Not a world class striker at the mighty Arsenal stadium, but an unknown at a ground that holds half what the Leazes End holds!
Having been nutmegged in only the fourth minute, Boumsong clumsy could have given away two penalties that were ignored by referee Mike Riley. Odejayi then again beat Boumsong to the byline before sending in a cross which David Bird narrowly failed to force home. And after Finnigan had robbed Scott Parker in midfield, Odejayi once more outstripped his man, only to shoot wide.
Graeme Souness says the Toon fans should "get off his back because the player is having family problems at home". As if we all don't know about family problems. And isn't THIS sort of management the reason why the majority of Newcastle fans are desperate to see the back of the manager?