I know I’ve been rather quiet this week concerning the match that we are facing at the weekend because, quite frankly, I am worried. I know I’ve shown myself willing to boisterously state that we will get hammered, or we will win, or we will be our usual bland selves, but the fact of the matter is Liverpool are coming to St James’ Park. Historically, games between Newcastle United and Liverpool have been close affairs between two teams going at it hammer and tong, and one side (usually us) narrowly missing out on victory. Yes we have claimed a few scalps in our time, and the “Jose Enrique, we’re in the top 6” was a particularly poignant point given the two club’s respective positions in the league last season as well as this season. However, Davide Santon has no such trepidations and is bullish mood this morning speaking to the Shields Gazette, this is what he had to say,
“Last season I remember we lost 6-0. It stays inside of you for a long time.
“It was a difficult period for us. We were in a difficult position in the league, and we needed win.
“But we lost 6-0 at home. It was really difficult, especially for our mentality.
“It’s finished now. We have to think about this season.
“We can compete with every team. We’re not scared about anything.
“If we can compete like we did (against Cardiff), we have a chance. We have to make sure we give 100 per cent.
“Every game is a tough game. Liverpool have been good. But we’ll see what happens. In the Premier League, you never know.
Well at least Santon’s memory isn’t playing tricks on him, but I’m pretty sure every Newcastle United fan remembers the absolute footballing lesson that was handed out to us in that 6-0 defeat last season. If the Italian could somehow manage to remember how to defend we may well be in business.
To tell you the truth, I would rather our players said nothing to the media and just got on with it. I know it’s part of their job to come out with these PR sound bites, and they are really only answering questions being put to them by journalists, but if I read “we have to give 100%” one more time, I think I’m going to scream. Not one single player in our squad can honestly say that they have given 100% in any of our matches since the season we finished 5th.
Yes, we know you should give 100%, but tell us why you all have been so poor for so long? Why have you not been giving 100% Stop telling us what we know you should do, and simply go out and do it. I’m not just aiming this at Santon (although I do have a penchant for slating him) this goes to all of our players who have let us down. They all should remember the embarrassment felt by the club, the fans, and the entire region after our humiliation at the hands of Liverpool last season, and they should be going all out to put that mistake right.
Only time will tell whether these players really care or not. Given the talent in Liverpool’s squad, I don’t think it is beyond the pale to expect defeat. What I don’t want is a capitulation like last season. Therefore, a full-blooded performance where they leave it all out there on the pitch to repay the loyalty of our fans is the very least that is required. If they give us that, then I forgive a poor result. If they give us that, we may even be in with a chance of nicking something. Just don’t roll over lads.
What do you think? Can a player who was part of a defence that leaked 6 goals against Liverpool last season really not fear a repeat? Are we in line for another drubbing or will things be different? I’d love to hear your views.