Sunday, 1 March 2009

Bolton 1 Newcastle 0: Are those bells I hear tolling?

Earlier in this awful season Shola Ameobi narrowly missed his chance to play in the old Division 2, for, I think, Ipswich. But, again if I recall right, he failed the medical. No worries, though - Newcastle kept him and also rewarded him with a new contract, clearly keen that he continue to lope on, giving Toon fans a few more years of unfulfilled 'promise', the occasional goal, but very consistent displays of a temperament suggesting that he thinks himself a bit too good for the hectic heat of a contest, and boring stuff like tackling and tracking back.
Anyhow, the raveous maws of Division 2 are yawning wide for Shola once more, just as the bell tolls for NUFC, after today's latest dismal defeat in a season of dismal defeats. I hear the fans booed Mark Viduka's appearance as substitute for Martins, not just at seeing Oba disappear down the tunnel but also because Shola remained on the park. Shola may puzzle over all this, just as he might wonder why he's the only Toon player in living memory not to be newly idolised after scoring a seemingly crucial goal against Sunderland (the reason, I reckon, being that no-one really feels the point won by that equalising penalty at SJP is going to end up amounting to a hill of beans.)
So is this the promised end? 11 games remain. Nobody reckons we'll get any points home to Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal, or at Liverpool or Villa. That leaves the visits to SJP of Fulham, Boro and Pompey, and the trips to Stoke, Hull and Spurs. Six cup ties, eh? (Shame we were garbage in the cups this year too.) Probably at least 12 more points needed - maybe a couple less but you wouldn't count on it. It's bad. But then you have to say that if there aren't 3 or 4 wins left in this team from those fixtures, then Division 2 is indeed their rightful home.

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