All we want for Christmas is 12 points!

By Lee Ryder on Dec 22, 06 07:56 AM

Well it may well be Christmas but the clash with Chelsea has actually knocked the stuffing out of some of us already.

Blowing one of our big chances of finally getting some silverware in the cabinet to go alongside the Intertoto Cup, The Japan Cup and a dusty looking 1969 Fairs Cup has resulted in somewhat of a hangover before the festivities really begin - and it's a Carling one at that!

Even the larger than life Steven Taylor looked like he'd been beaten up (in the emotional sense that is) on Wednesday night which showed exactly what progress in the competition meant to Newcastle - he's assured us though in the style of Arnold Schwarzenegger....he'll be back.

And let's hope that's against Spurs tomorrow, along with his team-mates too.

Defeat against Chelsea was hard to take.

Only inches prevented Oba Martins blasting home a goal that would have set St James' Park on fire and scared the living daylights out of the Londoners.

But, oh no, not for Newcastle.

Fate decided it would hit the bar and bounce out to safety not that Scunthorpe linesman referee Dave Babski kept up with play anyway.

And then after when ref Chris Foy was conned into Chelsea's diving antics, yes Arjen Robben you, he failed to notice at the time the Chelsea boys nicking five yards on a free-kick before Didier Drogba smashed home.

Then just for good measure Foy decided that Antoine Sibierski wasn't pushed over at Gallowgate for a late penalty, well it would have meant a longer night for Foy and his chums so close to Christmas had the Toon belted in the spot kick wouldn't it?

And why didn't he book Sibi for diving? It's a foul or a dive. That's simulation these days Foy, do you not apply the rules?

But forget about it.

It's Tottenham now and with two away games in the Premiership before the visit of Man United on New Years Day it's an important one.

Spurs are actually about where Newcastle should at least be in the table but if United can pull off a festive special and win, they'd be just three points behind Martin Jol's men.

There will be no sign of Jermaine Jenas, out injured, and no Robbie Keane, also crocked, but in Dimitar Berbatov and Jermain Defoe in rich goalscoring form - 20 between them - 10 each - they will be no pushovers.

We know the festive period is vital in any season.

But it couldn't be more vital for United now after an indifferent start to the season.

Twelve points on offer over the holidays, Spurs first, Bolton away, Everton away and Man United at home.

Take half of those points and it puts United in decent shape going into 2007.

Take less than half, it could be a long hard winter and take more than half we could be looking at a different story, depending on who comes through the door in January.

The only problem with Newcastle United, though, is you can just never tell - can you?

Merry Christmas everyone, have fun.


oxboy said:

Lee, please you'll have me crying with your hard luck story. Truth is, against Chelsea, when the big boys came out to play we were swatted away like an annoying fly!
Martins may have been unlucky with his only shot of the game but was he on the filed in the second half? Shay hardly had a shot to save but his wall for the free kick was woefully undermanned.
Men against boys I'm afraid but it shows how even Chelsea rely on a few players and their reserves are not as effective as their regular first team players - maybe Duff and even Parker illustrate the point!
Saturday Spurs are beatable but we must start with Sib up front as he is the only player we have who can hold the ball up front and lay it off effectively.
I expect Dyer to be more involved than on Wednesday but please, please Glen dont play Emre as a second striker.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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