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Barney

.com's Comment on the week that was

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Comment:

Comings & goings

 

A chance to draw breath then and give our two Euro's worth on transfer events at SJP:

 

Firstly, there seems to be some sort of inverse rule at work here where "be careful what you wish for" has become "be careful who you abuse".

 

Looking back over previous seasons we've slagged off the likes of Ian Rush and Lee Bowyer, only to see them both end up in a black and white shirt.

 

Viduka came into that category - and while Joey Barton didn't register on our radar highly when he faced us (we were too busy worrying about our own team) then his antics certainly summoned up thoughts of the "thank **** we don't have to put up with that" variety.

 

In view of this, perhaps we should be grateful that Viduka has signed and someone else will get to massage the ego of Hasselbaink - while we can finally breathe a sigh of relief with news that David Speedie has retired from Sunday pub football...

 

Our low opinion of Viduka was based on seeing what we believed to be similar traits in him to those exhibited by a number of Toon players: namely arriving with a decent reputation and doing just enough to get fans onside before succumbing to frequent niggly injuries - wages intact.

 

Be it Ferguson or Kitson (or in the current crew Babayaro), Viduka looked to be cut from the same cloth - and lacking in ambition by moving from Elland Road to the Riverside treatment room.

 

But in retrospect the events of 31st August 2006 were pivotal to the fortunes of both ourselves and the Smoggies.

 

We failed to acquire the services of Viduka leaving us with a goalscoring problem and no short-term need to grab cash from Aston Villa by selling James Milner.

 

The former went on to have an outstanding season in a rotten team, while the latter arguably saved us from even more of a relegation fight.

 

At the time we pointed to the folly of letting Milner go to one of our realistic rivals and replacing him with someone a decade older, a dubious attitude, no resale value and a national side on the other side of the planet.

 

Twelve months on though and the prospect of seeing a fit and seemingly re-motivated Viduka adding weight to our diminutive front line and Milner still in Toon to supply the bullets is a damn sight more palatable.

 

Regarding other potential signings, we can't claim to have any great knowledge of Ben Haim but like Viduka, signing an overseas player who played in the Premiership regularly

 

Which brings us to Barton.

 

We don't often agree with that old fool who writes for the Chronicle but for once Olly was bang on when he spoke about us being soft touches away from home.

 

Fruitless trips to the likes of Fulham, Charlton and Pompey last season to witness lamentable non-performances certainly showed the need for more aggression and commitment.

 

Certainly if Allardyce was looking for a scalp to endorse his credentials to his new employers and supporters, then they don't come much bigger than the scouse Dennis Wise.

 

If he pulls this one off, then £5.5m will be money very well spent.

 

However the manager cannot be with the player 24/7 and there are plenty of folks in this area who will be only too glad to test out Barton and his scally mates.

 

If Michael Owen really is desperate enough to play in front of the Kop again to take a pay cut, then maybe we should seize the ball by the horns and take Bellamy backand sign that Scottish boxer who keeps getting in bother with the law to bolster the defence....

 

Moving on to the most recent departures, Sibierski belongs to a former age of mediocrity (hopefully) and provided we step it up deserves to be applauded for his previous efforts but no more - eg David Kelly post-Toon.

 

Keeping Sib with the return to fitness of Amoeobi and Owen plus Viduka's arrival would only impede the progress of Carroll in our eyes.

 

Parker is a different matter, but putting aside differences of personal opinion over his level of contribution on the field and best position, he quite simply didn't want to be here anymore.

 

The public arguments with sections of the crowd were a factor - something that Parker mentioned at his West Ham unveiling - but family considerations also made a move back to the South East inevitable.

 

To be truthful not much changed about Parker's game in the time he was in toon - the pirouettes that vexed many latterly were once praised as an example of the Robert Lee type qualities.

 

For us though, the granting of the armband seemed to have a negative effect on the player and intimidate Roeder when decisions about playing Parker needed to be made for the good of the side.

 

Part of the feel-bad factor that enveloped us post AZ was due to the succession of drab home games in which we proved unwilling or unable to attack with conviction - due to the square pegs, round holes policy that wasn't totally down to selections forced by injuries.

 

PS - we've deliberately not mentioned the Shepherd/Ashley situation here as that's still in a state of flux.

 

What's beyond question though is that a winning team will divert the attention of many away from the financial pages and who is sitting where in the directors box.

 

There weren't many protests outside Old Milburn reception following resounding home wins - there again there weren't many of those.....

 

 

Whether you like them or not, the stuff they write is generally a good read.

Edited by Barney

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Nice read that as recently they've turned into complete and utter pessimistic bores. If Niall and Biffa are positive then something must be going right.

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Guest Patrokles

Nice read that as recently they've turned into complete and utter pessimistic bores. If Niall and Biffa are positive then something must be going right.

 

And what was everyone else, yourself included, this past season?

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Nice read that as recently they've turned into complete and utter pessimistic bores. If Niall and Biffa are positive then something must be going right.

 

And what was everyone else, yourself included, this past season?

 

Where have you been hiding Pafuckles?aint seen you around much ;)

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Nice read that as recently they've turned into complete and utter pessimistic bores. If Niall and Biffa are positive then something must be going right.

 

And what was everyone else, yourself included, this past season?

 

Fascinating pessimists, dahling.

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Nice read that as recently they've turned into complete and utter pessimistic bores. If Niall and Biffa are positive then something must be going right.

 

And what was everyone else, yourself included, this past season?

 

I was pessimistic but even the smallest chinks of light were turned on there heads by .COM

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