So derby week has come and gone, spoils shared and once again Lee Cattermole has not managed to come to Newcastle without getting himself in trouble of one sort or another. Whether it's in the form of smashing in cars or lobbing red card worthy insults at refs, poor Lee just can't get out of Newcastle clean. I'm going to skirt the issues of scum fan behavior following the match as there's not much to be gained there, but suffice it to say, they are viewed they way they are viewed for a reason.
I would like to address this one little bit from our neighbors across SBN before I jump into the links:
Newcastle may have snatched a draw at the death in their cup final today, we'll win ours in May.
Congratulations on your inflated sense of self-importance. Derby matches are huge matches across the world for the teams involved, however let me assure you that we are looking to fry bigger fish than your little club down there. While you hope for enough positive results to scratch out of the bottom half of the table, we'll go ahead and continue our push for European football.
He won a penalty and scored the late goal, enough to justify the faith of his manager. Ameobi said: "When you come on as a striker of course you want to get on the score sheet. I have started a lot of these games so coming off the bench was a new experience for me. "We were a goal down and the manager said to me ‘go and get the goal.’ I duly obliged and it was just fantastic. "Unfortunately, we did not get the winner – we had a lot of chances but we are delighted to get that."
Shola. If he could play every match like he was playing the makems, I think we'd be onto something.
Many fans wondered why Shola did not step up to take the penalty with his side 1-0 down. However, he explained: "It is a tough one. Demba has been on fire this season and he has scored a few penalties. "I am the penalty-taker, but I had just come off the bench and I was a little bit out of breath at the time. "Demba stepped up and seemed confident. "In hindsight I should have taken the ball as I am the penalty-taker.
I'm going to admit, I wondered the same thing at the time. Not knowing that Shola had been suffering flu and all, I thought he would be the logical choice to take the penalty seeing as how he has now scored somewhere around 12,231,732 goals against the makems. I mean, Demba's a great option and I would take him against 19 other clubs, but there are universal laws at play here.
Ben Arfa had been on only 14 seconds when he beat Kieran Richardson and won a corner to start a period of prolonged pressure on Sunderland’s goal. The Black Cats had just had their only real moment of the second half – a brilliant Tim Krul double save – when Sessegnon lost his head. As Cheick Tiote snapped at his heels, he swung his right arm, then his left, a fist making contact. It was unquestionably a red card offence, though disappointing to see Newcastle’s "warrior" tumble to the turf so easily.
Hatem came into a situation tailored to his strengths yet again... it seems perhaps that Alan Pardew is creating his own monster in this way lately. For the rest of my opinions, check out this thread if you haven't.
"Hatem (Ben Arfa) came on at half-time and changed the game. He kept running at them, and you could see they were scared of that. "It got the crowd going, and at home to Sunderland you need that to be that extra man for us. "It certainly told for us in the end.
See above for Hatem Ben Arfa reaction.
"Maybe my bench and their bench could have handled their frustrations a little better and we could have been a bit more grown up about it, but this is a game that gets to you. If one or two of us stepped over the line then I apologise, but it happens. It happened in our playing careers as well, but you shake hands after the game and it is all forgotten – or at least it will be in my case."
Much is being made of Alan Pardew's reaction to the penalty. As I said yesterday, I want my manager emotionally involved and reactive on the sideline. There is a missing piece to this whole equation with regard to this story, however, and that is: What was said from the Sunderland bench that caused Alan to move that direction? I'd give a dollar to a donut that something was said, but we will never know what. AP is putting it in the past, MON will never admit, so it's kind of a dead issue... but one wonders.
TOI: You're up there with the best on the goal-scoring charts. Did you give yourself a chance on that list before the season?
DB: I always back myself to do well. Robin van Persie is ahead of the rest of us at the moment, but it is a nice feeling for me to be up there too. As I said before, I can't score goals without the help of teammates and I have to keep emphasising that.
Demba comes across so humble, which is a big part of his charm. This is from an "exclusive" interview with the TImes of India.
"I always wanted to play in England but to live in Spain first was the way to go, to make that first step away. The difference between here and Argentina is too great to cope with. "The weather, the language is all a shock. For Carlos, his family hasn't been around; he has children back in Argentina. "That is the problem for him. I text him now and then. He's a fantastic player. I can understand why he has had problems though. "At times it has been hard here for me like when we got relegated. But if you go down you have to stay and bring them back up. "My family love it here anyway. I can't speak Geordie though. It's impossible."
In my life, I would like one time to hear Jonas try to speak Geordie. Please someone let this happen. Also, I have always been impressed with how thoughtful he is in interview answers. Very impressed.