By Brad Dixon
Monday 01 Nov 2010 22:28:00
Browse all Brad Dixon articles

I lost my ‘Santa is a Geordie’ pin badge last year, a gift from a good friend, and with Christmas now on the horizon, I now need to start looking for a replacement.  Forget Santa, it will be a ‘Jesus is a Geordie’ badge after the 5-1 thumping of the mackems!  Can you believe that happened?  5 goals in a derby, a hat-trick, Bramble sent off, Bruce left humiliated standing on the touchline.  All we were missing was an alien spaceship landing in the centre circle and beaming up the evil Lee Cattermole and it really would have been the perfect day!

There are so many plus points to take from the game and reasons to rub their red and white noses in it, but War and Peace will have to wait for another day.  For me there was great satisfaction in seeing three players in particular prove that not only are they worthy of a place in our team but have finally rubber stamped their status as premiership players.

Kevin Nolan.  Hounded by some for his lack of pace, fat arse and no better than a Championship grafter,  How he stuck 3 fingers up at those critics with his goals on Sunday.  What price Nolan being our top goal scorer now?

Shola Ameobi.  Our much maligned centre forward showed his class with two world class strikes.  I had questioned his inclusion as one of our main strikers this season but when on his day he is unplayable.  Let’s hope there is more of that in the coming months.  Houghton seems to be getting the best out of him at last.

Finally Joey Barton.  Most would have kicked him out during and even before Shearer’s reign.  Thank god we didn’t.  I’ve always believed in Barton.  Such a cleaver footballer, all he needed was to clean up his act off the field and get a good full pre season under his belt.  He finally has done both and is now showing us all why he once won an England cap.  Milk it Joey and keep proving them wrong.

So what’s next?  Bloody Arsenal away that’s what!  If only we had a team outside the top four I’d be able to relax this week and not worry about what’s coming up at the weekend.  Bollocks to that!  We’ve just done the Mackems; I’m going to enjoy my week!                  



Another club statement was issued last week in the wake of the growing uncertainty surrounding Chris Hughton’s future.  I now grimace every time one of these statements comes out.  Not so much the actual content, but the pessimism that follows.  Public relations are not one of the board’s strongest assets, to put it mildly, but do we really need to jump on the Anti-Club Regime bandwagon every time one of these statements comes out?

Chris (Hughton) is our manager, and he'll remain our manager, and we will renegotiate his contract at the end of the year."


This time the focus was on one word - year’.  Some say it should have read ‘season’.  But should it?  What is actually wrong with the club statement?  They have stated he is our manager, he will remain our manager and that they will renegotiate his contract in the New Year.  Sounds good to me!  If they had have used the word ‘season’ instead, then what would we have had in the first months of 2011?  More speculation over his job of course.  Instead they are actually looking, sorry negotiating his contract 6 months earlier!  How about thinking positive on this for a change?  How about a scenario where come January the club decides things are running well enough  on the pitch, then they can look at the contract like they say they are and simply roll his contract on another year, until the end of the next season?  They don’t want to commit to say a 3 year deal in case we hit a bad patch and the fans will be out clamouring for the manager’s head and then compensation becomes bigger.  And they don’t want to let the contact run until the end of the season for risk of all the certain speculation that would follow.  It seems like they have given Chris until the January transfer window to see how he fairs this season and then make a decision.  Maybe the suits in charge of the England National team could have adopted a similar approach when it came to Capello’s contract. I’m not an Ashley/Llambias fan, but I’m struggling to follow the flock on this one.  I guess only time will tell.

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