Newcastle United lost more than just three points when they went down to a ninth consecutive Premier League loss to Manchester City.
They lost the respect and empathy of Manchester City fans thanks to their foul-mouthed low life of a manager, the dirty play of their team and the scurrilous cat-calls of their fans, directed at a stricken Samir Nasri.
Admittedly the Barcode followers probably don’t give a flying ‘wotsit’, but it’s a sorry indictment on a famous old club who have been through hard times, not dissimilar to City.
The difference nowadays is that Sheikh Mansour invested in City, whereas Mike Ashley invested in Newcastle. Like most other supporters, Newcastle now have the green-eye when viewing the Sky Blues, with jealousy the all consuming emotion.
I used to have a soft spot for Newcastle United FC…I still have, except now it’s a colossal pit of quicksand, enough to swallow the bile and venom of this sadly, classless collection of swearing, fouling and taunting reprobates.
It would be wrong to tar all with the same brush, but ‘decent’ Toon supporters appeared to be in the minority in a hate-filled St James’s Park.
As events unfolded at the less than saintly St James’s /Sports Direct Arena/Wonga Wad Bleed You Dry Stadium – call it what you will – it became increasingly obvious that City once again, had the measure of United and its cockney sewer rat of a manager.
When your team is fortunate to have a manager with the stature, wisdom and grace of Manuel Pellegrini you know you’ve been blessed, even more so when contrasted with the malignant management ‘style’ of Alan Pardew.
With his team trailing to Edin Dzeko’s excellent eighth minute opener and, understandably upset at having what he deemed a bona fide goal disallowed, the ‘eloquent’ Pardew was caught on camera verbally abusing Pellegrini.
Where else in the workplace do you have a licence to stand two feet away from a highly regarded, hugely respected peer and call him a ‘…f*cking old c*nt’.
Pardew’s family must be so proud of him. Apparently ‘Pards’ likes a bit of playful banter with his fellow managers. He believes it’s ok to ‘tease’ other managers, if you say sorry afterwards and shake hands.
Poor old Pellegrini – having to come into contact with the vile Pardew’s doubtless clammy, insincere and weak handshake.
Just for a moment, let’s take a step back from a highly charged encounter and realise how extraordinarily lucky we are to have Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City manager.
What a superb ambassador, an astute tactician, a leader of men, a fine exponent of the game. What a gentleman!
The cool man from Chile didn’t rise to the bait or become ruffled in a powder keg St James’s, as Cheick Tiote’s hotly disputed offside screamer of a goal, plunged the game into controversy and acrimony.
Focus of the Toon’s wrath was referee Mike Jones, whose overall levels of profound incompetence show no signs of abating. Anyone and everyone who is pro-Newcastle United would feel a sense of injustice over the disallowed effort. Had the boot been on the other foot, City fans would undoubtedly have felt the same.
But the referee made the decision not Manchester City. There were people, via social media, agreeing it was a correct decision including qualified referees, but there were even more querying it.
Sadly, Mike Jones did exactly what was expected after making the call. He rapidly developed a worrying condition that somehow saw his vertebrae completely disintegrate in the second half.
It was almost as worrying as the knee ligament damage inflicted on City’s Samir Nasri by the malicious foul committed by Yanga-Mbiwa.
The foul was a straight red card all day, every day. But Jones, eager not to further antagonise the baying crowd, produced a card in keeping with his character, YELLOW…and spineless with it.
Thank goodness City won because ‘little twisted minds’ cannot dismiss the content of this article as simply sour grapes.
Yohan Cabaye should have been sent off long before Nasri was kicked to the floor. Having been booked for dissent in the wake of Tiote’s ‘goal-that-never-was’, the frustrated Frenchman went ‘straight through’ City substitute Jesus Navas with a callous foul.
Jones did nothing.
Perhaps the pundits and journalists who waffle on about ‘injustice’ and how Pardew and his underdogs – more like mongrels – were ‘victims’, should think about how United would have faired with nine men?
Mike Jones is a dreadfully inept official. Witnessed first-hand on numerous occasions, he cannot control a game and resorts to dishing out cards like a January sale at Clintons. His performances are synonymous with all that is wrong about supposedly top flight officials.
Had it not been for all of Newcastle’s venom, snide challenges and thuggish behaviour, this report could have been dominated by an enthralling and evenly balanced contest, one edged by City’s superior finishing.
Dzeko looking like a new player, continuing where he’d left off against West Ham, his work rate through the roof, oozing hunger and desire to succeed and play his part.
His goal was smooth and simple. Silva slid an inch perfect pass to the hugely improved Kolarov, who was barrelling down the left wing.
AK47 sent a first time cross into the Newcastle box and Dzeko, muscling in ahead of Steven Taylor, connected with a fast angled shot past Tim Krul.
It was goal number 93 for City – one more than the team scored throughout all of last season – a remarkable endorsement of Pellegrini’s approach with four months still to play.
Moments later Alvaro Negredo was an inch shy of contact and a certain second strike, when another low cross was whipped in hard, right in front of Krul’s posts.
The Beast eventually shut the Geordies up when he burst up the middle of the park in the 95th minute, latching onto a Milner pass, leaving a trio of United defenders in his wake.
His initial shot rebounded off Krul’s chest before the man from Sevilla made it 2-0, scoring his 19th of the campaign and City’s 94th.
Joe Hart kept his second clean sheet since being restored to City’s Premier League starting XI, with three super saves, twice from Cabaye, but the most telling one from Loic Remy.
Remy on loan from QPR, took advantage of a rare mix-up between Kompany and Zabaleta, setting him free with just Hart to beat. His powerful shot ricocheted off Joe’s left foot and the danger was gone.
It was magnificent team effort with City working tirelessly and pressing United, closing space down and limiting the home side’s options.
All three City substitutions were born of adversity, Dzeko and Yaya Toure appeared injured when bringing Navas and Javi Garcia into the fray.
Nasri was initially assaulted by Yanga-Mbiwa, before the Toon full back lashed out a second time, as Nasri was going to ground.
It was a particularly vicious foul and one that will put Nasri out for up to eight weeks.
Pellegrini was clearly concerned about what appears knee damage, possibly to the anterior cruciate ligament – ACL – one of the most feared injuries in the game. Scans and tests should reveal the full extent of the damage on Monday.
Statistically City edged the attempts on goal, those on target and the number of corners. Newcastle had 54% possession but City had a 200% better strike rate!
The biggest stat of the day was that Pellegrini had guided City back to the top of the Premier League with 47 points and a goal difference of +36. City may only be top for 24 hours or so,until Arsenal chalk up an expected win over Aston Villa in Birmingham tonight.
Nasri’s injury is a cause of great anxiety and may dictate whether City plunge into the transfer market. Jesus Navas,or even a fit Stevan Jovetic, could step in from the current squad.
More encouraging is news that Sergio Aguero could feature from the sub’s bench against Blackburn in the FA Cup 3rd round replay on Wednesday night.
One can only hope for a more sporting, but equally passionate affair, officiated by a referee who knows what he’s doing.
By David Walker