Imagine this man bearing down on Rob Elliot. Now tell me you see that ending well even 1 time out of 100.
I have had an interesting past 10 minutes or so... I had run some errands and sat down to check through the Twitter to see if I had missed anything important. Ant and Dec have started up on the Twitter again and in one tweet suggested The Fall and Rise Of Newcastle United. (which you should watch if you somehow haven't) - Havnig already seen that particular video (ok... I watched it again.), I saw one called "Someone Like You", which I'm going to admit I clicked because I thought it would be "Someone Like You" from the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" completely forgetting the wildly popular song by Adele. I watched the one with the Adele song, and then on my suggested sidebar, I saw "Goodbye Andy Carroll "10-11 Goal with the Newcastle United FC"". I watched that one as well and realised that I have been wrong with my attitude regarding The Benign Ponytail (Don't get me wrong... he has accounted for what I consider a couple of my more brilliant moments here). This is story one that I would like to deal with in my Audit.I can't unfeel what I felt when Andy Carroll left. Whether it was the club or the player (frankly, probably both had a hand in creating a situation that was terrible for the supporters), the end result and impression was that he had sold out his boyhood team for £££. Not only that, but the most important shirt. Not only that, but the most important role. In the times during which the team has had it's best successes, the number 9 shirt is scoring for Newcastle United. In the times during which the team has had some of it's best feel, it's been a Geordie banging in the goals.
I hate the way it happened, but I have officially reconciled it, and if it comes that Andy Carroll comes back to St. James' Park, I will embrace him. I will still believe that he will never again deserve the No. 9 shirt, but perhaps with time, this too will change.
The Second Story
Newcastle played their third match of the preseason program today. This match saw a several players stake their flag towards the first team (Mehdi Abeid, I'm looking at you) and saw again Rob Elliot concede. He so very nearly could have kept a clean sheet, but with literally the last kick of the ball, he conceded his sixth goal as a Magpie. Fully half of those goals (including the one today) he really has got to do better with.
Why is this newsworthy? It was the reaction of some very very prominent NUFC Tweeters that really kind of got my goat. There are some out in the Twittersphere that I follow for entertainment. There are some that I follow because they know their shit. One of the people I follow for both reasons is @Iwantcurlyhair2 I respect everything that he has to say about the Toon and agree with most of it. Shortly after the match today, the #NUFC tag was filling up with some Rob Elliot disdain and several took exception to it, most notably curly:
Can people please leave the fuck of Robbie Elliot, he is clearly our back up goalie, let's just be happy he's happy to be cover
Here's the thing... Elliot should be doing better against the opposition he has conceded bad goals to. I don't think that there are many who argue that. On the precipice of a huge season, you cannot afford to have this player as your primary backup goalkeeper. Tim Krul proved remarkably durable in his first full season with the gloves for Newcastle United. What happens if he somehow (knock wood) gets injured this season. Can you imagine Rob Elliot facing the likes of an Ola Toivonen, Oba Martins or Jozy Altidore? Assume we manage to move on into the group stage... and then say PSG somehow crash out of the Champions League at the Group Stage - can you see him facing up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic? This is just thinking in terms of Europe... Can you see him having success against Wayne Rooney? Olivier Giroud? Mario Balotelli? Hell.. Grant Holt?
It's great if he's happy to be second string to Tim Krul. I know I would be. I also know that I would be far far out of my depth... just like Rob Elliot. If we are intending to not keep hold of Steve Harper (either loaning, terminating or selling), this is something that would shoot right up the charts in order of importance during the transfer window. I'm on board with bargain buys. I think they're great. I'm a big fan of Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye... Demba Ba. The problem is, if you buy a £100K goalkeeper and he plays like a £100K goalkeeper instead of a £1m goalkeeper, it's just not good enough. I am sure that Rob Elliot is a swell guy. I also think that we are potentially in big trouble if we continue to insist as a club that he is our primary backup to Tim Krul.