Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Sunday, 18 March 2007
  Newcastle home. What was the score? Won 2-0 I'm so pleased I could've drunk a belated Guinness. Despite the Irish pub I was in this morning's television not bursting into life until after 22 minutes (crappy Setanta's fault not the dreadfully hungover barman) I witnessed an aggressive and worthy victory for the Addicks.

The first half was dominated by the Geordies playing with the strong looking wind behind them but as the half wore on we gradually got back into it, although knowing that Darren Bent was not fully fit it was another blow to see Song go off with dreaded hamstring problems and Marcus Bent struggling.

The 2nd 45 started in the same vein as the first (apparently) as Newcastle got on top and I let out a sigh of relief as Martins put wide when he should have scored. However minutes later when I was expecting El Khak to find the North Stand upper with a centrally positioned free kick, Darren Bent stepped up and rattled the bar. With Given sat on his arse, Zheng Zhi was first to react and headed in the rebound.

In the substitute appearances that ZZ has made he had already endeared himself to Addicks fans and his aggressive and skilful play high up the field impressed me at Watford and he was hugely impressive today. He should have got a 2nd after Given superbly saved Bent's far-post header and then in the 88th minute a surge into the penalty area saw Solano bundle him over. Thomas settling everyone's nerves by coolly slotting away the penalty in the substituted Bent's absence.

In between the goals, I was a nervous wreck sipping at coffee, kicking everyball and talking to myself incessently. Fortunately most people in the pub were concentrating on the Liverpool game except for a lad from Berkshire (a Man U fan obviously) who asked me if I was okay at the end.

But looking back, Carson's injury time save from N'Zogbia aside, we were actually quite comfortable. The team chased down everything and didn't give Newcastle's players anytime on the ball. The back four was exceptionally disciplined and both Diawara and Young were excellent. As for Newcastle while Parker characteristically didn't give up, Emre and Milner were anonymous and with Solano and Duff surprisingly playing full backs we could have profited other times from the barcodes notorious porous defensive line. Both Rommedahl and Thomas played their part by attacking with flair and chasing back with vigour.

The results didn't go for us yesterday and we can't expect them all the lose every week, we just have to worry about ourselves and the good news is that Stuart Pearce gets to keep his job a bit longer.

Now there's another frustrating break, with players worrying off to the corners of the world to play internationals, but it does give players such as Bent (M), Song, Thatcher and Ambrose time to recover plus of course Darren Bent, who Pards has said will almost certainly be pulled out of the England squad.
Opinions of those who were at The Valley: BBC Sport; cafc.co.uk; All Quiet; Addicks Diary.
Super Al: "We're making everyone a bit nervous. Saturday's results were disappointing for us, but we can only do what we need to do. Whoever plays us is going to have a tough game - and hopefully we've given a few of the teams around us a horrible afternoon."
 
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After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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