Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Batle of Grizzly Adams: Newcastle United is the Football Club For Me, Damn It


Big Fat Boring Sam Allardyce has disappeared down the tube like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Now we fans, the Oompa Loompas, will rage in discord on the blogs over whether it was good or bad and who the next manager should be.

But surely we can agree on a few things. Looking back at the FA Cup match against Stoke City, which could easily have been called "The Battle of Grizzly Adams," had bearded, hulking monstrosity Jon Parkin scored his couple of chances after coming on as a substitute in the 2nd half. Thankfully, his bear costume seemed to throw him off a bit.

But somehow the fates and our defense conspired to keep the ball out and we escaped with a draw. Filling in at right back was David Rozenhal who was an utter shambles. Jose Enrique at left back was not entirely convincing, but Taylor and Faye in the center were superb and Shay Given played well.

Our forwards had no service and were invisible again. Which brings us to the midfield. Let’s be honest about our midfield: Charles N’Zogbia is overrated. He, like Milner, does not pass. He twinkle-toes his way through half the opposition, only to give the ball away cheaply to a defender after beating two men. It didn’t work against Stoke City and it sure as feck won’t work against Man United or Arsenal. Pass the ball, Charles.

Duff is not blameless either. With these two superb wingers (and, yes, Duff is starting to look like himself again) there should more burning crosses than a Klan rally. Where are the quality crosses from our wingers? Eh?

However, it’s clear that our troubles sprung from the black hole of negativity in the central midfield. It is sucking the life out of the team. Yes, Nicky Butt and Alan Smith are hard working servants of the club, charging around and tackling hard. But, as we’ve all said, we need creativity.

And hopefully our new manager will keep this in mind because I think it’s fair to say that many inanimate objects, entities or abstract concepts would provide more creativity than either Nicky Butt or Alan Smith.

Any of these choices would be more creative than our current central midfield:

--A bottle of Jameson: I normally prefer Bushmills, to be honest, but whenever I drink with my friend Nate, he starts with the rounds of Jameson and the next thing I know, I’m swearing up a blue streak. It’s real ceative, I assure you, but the problem is that I can never actually remember anything I’ve said. At any rate, playing a bottle of Jameson (or any whiskey for that matter) in central midfiled is bound to be more creative than Allen Smith.

--Vegetable oil: Hey, you can make anything with it! Just substitute it for butter in any recipe or football team and voila! Low-fat killer passing in the final third of the field!

--Surrealism: I’m not a huge fan, but melting clocks hanging off trees and bullfighters fighting flies over a repeating tecnicolor background of roman statues? Pretty creative.

--A potato: So versatile, so nutritious! You can create bread, pancakes, French fries, tortillas soups. Aloo chana and any number of delicious dishes with this lowly tuber. That’s the kind of versatility and flexibility we need from our central midfield.

--A used tire: I’ve seen them used for tire swings, soles of Splaff sandals and shoes, decorative planters and… one or two other things. Surely more creative than Nicky Butt.

--Radiohead: The boys from Oxford are still cranking out interesting stuff, unlike the rumbling engine room of our side. If only they could Voltron into a soccer player.

--Gerhard Richter: This German doesn’t just do hyper realistic paintings for Sonic Youth album covers—he does expressionist work with a squeegee too! Now that’s innovative! Put him in the midfield.

--Martha Stewart: The mastermind of home decoration can create festive wreaths from empty tuna cans and macaroni or liven up room arrangements with rotting animal corpses from the Humane Society. What could she do with a football at her feet?

--Yessenia the girl at the nail salon on the corner: Damn! That girl does some cre-A-tive shit on fingernails! Portraits of movie stars, arabesques, tesselations, spider webs… Awesome! Put her in the midfield alongside Faye!

Who or what should we truly get for our midfield?

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