Visiting St James’ Park is a bit like a trip to theatre-land down south. Or so says Kevin Keegan, referring presumably to the quiet spectators, over priced tickets, and acting on display.
Were it not for the third coming, Newcastle v Bolton was surely the least interesting game of the season. It was dull throughout, the football was turgid, and the ending was inconsequential.
Bolton have dragged their form out of the doldrums and Newcastle probably can’t fall as far as 17th. So good luck to the great hairy one. Lets hope he returns some vague interest to this amateur dramatic production of ‘A Ferret Ate My Hat’.
Staying with entertainment and funny wigs, Coco-the-Bramble managed the best ‘slip on a banana while wearing silly boots’ moment of the weekend.
The comedy signing for soon-to-be relegated Wigan attempted a pass back under very little pressure, fumbled it into the path of Andy Johnson, and by the time the fans stopped laughing Liverpool’s big four club had secured the three points.
Liverpool’s second team meanwhile, waited two days before failing to make up ground on their more illustrious rivals.
Amid fan protests at the owners for not buying them the title, and fears that Mascherano will leave because he’s not valued at £17million, only a late gem by Peter Crouch denied Villa a well deserved three points.
That’s Aston Villa by the way, who along with impressive form, a talented bunch of young English players, and a nerdy looking manager, are supported from afar by Tom Hanks - because they have a silly sounding name.
Further up the table the title challenge took an unspectacular lack of twists.
Arsenal comfortably beat relegated Fulham three nil, suggesting that the African Cup of Nations can rob you of key players with little ill effect if you only have to play rubbish sides.
Chelsea slightly less comfortably beat lowly Birmingham City by a goal to nil, showing that the African Cup of Nations can rob you of key players with little ill effect if you only have to play rubbish sides.
And Manchester United uncomfortably beat an energetic Reading by two goals to nil, showing that the African Cup of Nations can’t rob you of Portuguese wingers.
In other games no one much worried about…
Pompey strolled to a 3-1 win over Derby County, who might as well not have come up this season, thanks to a Benjani hat trick.
Blackburn had the ineptitude of the Boro front line to thank for their one-all draw. Had the North East side had a striker better than last night’s Chicken korma then this would have been a rout.
And Manchester City scored a dodgy sixteenth minute equalizer against West Ham to effectively end the contest at Eastlands with over seventy minutes to go.
So as the final curtain comes down, take a bow Robbie Keane. In an age when any old mercenary can hop between clubs like Wolves, Leeds, Coventry and Inter, it takes praiseworthy loyalty to stay in one place long enough to score 100 goals for your side.
His goal in a two-nil win against Sunderland made him Spurs’ fifteenth century scorer. And I can’t help but wonder as I raise my can of wife beater to him, how Spurs get so lucky that the top clubs decide time and again that they don’t want what has become a near goal-a-game Irishman.