HAPPY NEW YEAR
Sorry about yesterday. New Year’s was pretty big, but I’m back in the game today and heading over to my first game of 2016.
I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I travelled 3,461 miles to see this game today.
I’m looking forward to this game, Newcastle have been on the ropes most of this year. Partly because they sacked a very able manager in Alan Pardew and shipped in a manager who has never made it work at any level.
What were they thinking?
We already spoke about that hair, right?
Still, because Steve McClaren will no doubt be aware of my disdain for him, he’ll have a plan today. I’d suspect he might have taken solace from Southampton kicking us about and I suspect his grand plan for keeping Ozil quiet will be geared around some shin busting tactics.
I’m not sure you can kick Ozil around. He’s a bit too good at avoiding challenges and making space for himself. One of the biggest detractions people have about the German is his body language. People hate that you can’t feel him in a game until you look at his stats after it. I actually think that’s one of his massive strengths, if you can’t feel his presence as a fan, imagine you’re a player. He ghosts in and out of a game and people lose track of him.
Unlike, say a Sanchez. You don’t even need to have eyes on that crazy dog to know he’s tearing up behind you.
Talking of Ozil, Jamie Carragher is going for him again. Now he’s accepted that he kind of gets what he’s about (it was a painful journey getting there), he’s kicking him with the… ‘HE’S NOT AS GOOD AS BERGKAMP’ thing.
Great, I’m sure Mesut will be gutted to hear that. Technically, you have to be kind of honest with yourself, for what he does, he’s probably very close to Dennis, if not a bit better. In the fans eyes, can we honestly say that he’s bigger than Bergkamp? Of course not. He’ll never be. But talent wise, no messing around, this guy is spectacular.
He needs to win a title, sure Jamie, you’re right. But let’s not forget this is a player who has already won a World Cup in Brazil, he has a Bundesliga title medal and he’s won La Liga PLUS, two mighty FA Cups.
I mean, pretty special so far. Hopefully, about to get more special.
I don’t mean to be all, you know, ‘THE MEDIA HATE US !!!CONSPIRACY!!!’, but there are certain people who just want to jibe at us regardless of what’s going on. I mean, face up to it, at this point, the league is what the league is.
There’s nothing weird going on. The only slight anomaly is Cheslea, but you could see bad stuff was brewing there. United being shite is no longer an anomaly. Liverpool also being shite is no longer an anomaly.
We’re the most settled side.
We’re the most consistent side.
We deserve to be where we are.
Will we be there at the end of season? Who knows. What I do like is that we’re usually pretty good in the back-end of the season. I do like that Sanchez will be refreshed and ready to roll. I do like that we’ve managed ride the Coquelin absence wave (fingers crossed) and I like that we’ve so far not really felt the pain of not having a world-class striker.
I like that we’re bolstering the middle. I don’t know if this guy is going to be any good, but he looks promising and if they used the same scouting methodology to find him as they used for Gabriel, then we’re in a good place.
I think we should try and add another name. If Wenger could add a bit more to the front line, that’d be great. Someone with a bit more experience, who could add a bit to basically Theo and Giroud. I’m not sure that’ll happen.
Then we just have to brace ourselves for the year ahead.
Finally, we’re in good shape. Not the best. But good shape. We’ve weathered our annual injury massacre. There’s more heart in the team than we’ve seen in 10 years.
All it comes down to is focus now. If we can keep our mental strength at +8 for the rest of the season, maybe we’ll win the league.
A big ask, but hey, let’s enjoy the ride!
Right, have fun at the game today. Enjoy your breakfast beers if you’re in New York. Here’s to three points and an incredibly exciting year!