In my younger days when we used to take long car (or bus) trips, there was a little song that we used to sing to tick the miles away. Newcastle United's 2012-13 Premier League campaign is reminding me a bit of that song.
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall
Thus far in the Premier League, Newcastle have been chronically unable to turn in a complete performance. We'll look decent for an amount of time (less than a full half) and the rest of the time we just are without a clue. Today was no different. Coming out of the gates, Newcastle pressed offensively and were playing good, creative football. They were creating scoring chances if not finishing them, and there was enough to be positive about that you thought that this might be the match in which we saw a complete glimpse of the 2011-12 version of the Toon. Swansea, for their part, looked content to hold back and strike at Newcastle's defensive line on the counter attack.
Ninety-nine bottles of beer
0-0 at halftime, and it was hard to get a feel for which team might take control of the match. Honestly, you could have seen the possibility of either squad picking off the points - it was just a matter of which team would be able to find that moment of brilliance or inspiration... or make the crucial mistake. Alan Pardew's introduction of Shola Ameobi for Shane Ferguson and subsequent slide of Sammy Ameobi to the left looked like it just might have been the stroke that would provide that inspiration.
The mistake would come, however, and it would come from the boot of Tim Krul. The normally reliable 'keeper shanked a clearance (under no pressure) that went straight to a Swansea player that advanced it down the wing, crossed and saw Michu head powerfully by the Dutch shot stopper.
Take one down, pass it around
Not only did this mistake visibly shake Krul's confidence, it sent the club into a tailspin into the crap performance that has cushioned our spots of good play thus far this season. The control of the match swung firmly to Swansea City and Newcastle didn't really look like getting anything back until the Swansea second came. A shot across the goal was saved well from Krul but the rebound was stuffed home by Jonathan de Guzman from an extremely tight angle.
Going down 2-0 was the tonic Newcastle needed, and they began pressing again and ended up with a consolation goal from Demba Ba following an absolute rocket smash from late substitution Sylvain Marveaux came back off the crossbar, but once again it was a matter of too little too late for the Toon. Another shite performance. 3 more points dropped at home.
98 bottles of beer on the wall