Once again a big thanks to the legend that is Will McGinnis for driving Perksy, Bobby Trafford, PBJ & yours truly to the game. Boy can Trafford moan and eat, and jeez he can take lot’s of (ahem) fresh air in as well!!
Wow what an impressive stadium St James’ Park is. The lights practically blind you as you walk in and I bet it’s an amazing atmosphere / cauldron of noise with 50 odd thousand Geordies roaring their team on!
The fact that there was only just over a thousand spectators made it somewhat eerie, but the Macc fans (around 80-100) really did make themselves heard throughout the game which appeared to be appreciated by both the players and Sol Campbell.
Because of the sparsity of the crowd you could really hear the voices of the players and Sol Campbell on a number of occasions throughout the game and it was pleasing to hear that the encouragement was predominantly supportive and positive!
I must admit that I was surprised by the team selection which did resemble almost the Macc second team when noting the number of fringe players within it. Clearly Sol wanted to take a good look at the whole of his squad which one can completely understand as he needs to get to know who and what he is working with!
The team on the night actually played pretty well and on the balance of play probably deserved to win it in normal time. Scott Wilson missed a clear 1:1 in the first half (he took his goal nicely though) and both Bliss and Koby Arthur could and should probably have done better but that’s football!
There appears to me to be a clear message that we play football on the floor (where it should be) and play it out purposefully from back to front so clearly Sol wants to see us play entertaining attractive football despite our current perilous position!
The players who stood out on the night were Callum Evans (PB’s Man of the Match), Keith Lowe and Callum Maycock. Those who read this article will know that Callum (Maycock) is not exactly on PB’s fave players list, but he genuinely had a decent game IMHO. The lad tackled well and was more purposeful and positive going forward with the ball than in any other game I have seen him in this season. Is it the Sol effect, we shall have to wait and see won’t we? However, a big well done on your performances at St James’ Park to both Callum’s in the squad!
Yes that record in penalty shootout’s was lost, but you have to give credit to the Newcastle youngsters who took five immaculate penalties that even the best of the German national sides would have been proud of. Poor Kieran O’Hara had no chance whatsoever, and our penalties were all pretty decent with even Ben Stephens a little unfortunate with his spot kick!
A new era now dawns under Sol Campbell and we have to get behind him and the rest of the team in the 20 odd league games / cup finals that are left. And finally whilst I sort of understand the hatred of Spurs fans towards Sol after his switch to their arch enemies Arsenal, it comes across as more than a tad harsh to want us relegated just because he is now our manager. What have we ever done to you Spurs and have a word with your peers eh Trevor Goody, Chris Wilcock & Dave Henshaw? I AM SILKMEN TILL I DIE!