I'll be honest with you. I've had a long weekend, and Sundays are by far my busiest days at work. When my alarm clock went off this morning, I almost turned it off and rolled back over to go to sleep. It seems that I should have done just that. Newcastle looked just as uninspired as I did, perhaps more so. Surely my cereal eating wasn't quite as clumsy as Mike Williamson's play from center back. I had little hope for this match, but even so, this squad managed to disappoint me. So much for Alan Pardew's claim that they would fight and scratch for every single point.
Only a select few seemed willing to step up and contest the match, especially after Maxi Rodriguez scored on a deflection in the 10th minute. Jonás Gutierrez in particular made his case for inclusion in Pardew's summer plans, while Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, and Cheik Tiote all played adequately, though significant holes could be poked in each of their games as well.
The need for a striker is not breaking news to Newcastle fans (or anybody who pays a modicum of attention to English football, really), but to get absolutely no production up top while Andy Carroll sat on the other bench (and kicked around for 20 minutes) reinforced the point. At the outset of the season, the dominant question about this team concerned who would be doing the scoring. The question was answered, and now that answer wears red. It's a question we'll be asking again next August, but hopefully the stack of cash we robbed from today's opponents will bring us a new answer. Liverpool supporters will be smug today, and they have the right to be, but Newcastle still has a chance to get the last laugh out of this situation, and that's what's going to keep me going as I start my work day.