Middlesbrough and Newcastle Keep It Interesting At The Bottom

11 April 2009

It's the same recording year in, year out. It's always more interesting at the bottom than it is at the top. It's never been truer than this season.

Just when I was ready (in fact I'm sure on more than one occasion on Twitter I have) to condemn Middlesbrough to the Championship, they got life in taking on a lifeless dull Hull City side that has been more than exposed this season. The biggest smoke and mirror manager Phil Brown sure has work to do if he wants to keep Hull City up. If there was any game that the Tigers could use to keep one foot in the Premier League, this was it...

They bottled it faster than a chef in the middle of Kitchen Nightmares. Down in three minutes, trailing for good before the half hour. Middlesbrough given belief they can stay in the top flight. Added with Sunderland's lax defending in gifting Manchester United three points, the difference between survival and the drop is just two points. However there are still six teams within four points of each other.

I wonder what Marlon King was thinking after putting the third in for Middlesbrough? If he thinks anything like me, a good sense of justice served would be it.

Newcastle needed something to build on today against Stoke City, and for the better part of an hour they didn't look like getting it. Stoke City got a gritty first half goal and continued to boss Newcastle around the park. But Newcastle weren't going to roll over in the same manner they did against Chelsea knowing the circumstances.

Newcastle finally started getting forward and Stoke City forgot how to. By the time Newcastle equalized, I felt they were going to go on and get the winner. However Stoke City decided to wake up from their nap and by the time it was all said and done a draw was the fair result.

What this weekend proved if anything was that the relegation battle is surely far from over, more so than I thought. I was expecting by the end of today's play to have two teams down for good leaving one spot left. Now we have two spots that are very open.

Other Thoughts

  • I understand today was an emotional day at Anfield, but I expected Blackburn to at least turn up. Their play was more than shocking.
  • Peter Walton continues to show why he shouldn't be a Premier League referee any longer. That was never a penalty he gave at Stamford Bridge. Even more so, it now becomes the biggest point of debate because Bolton produced one hell of a fightback, even it it did come up short. Chelsea can consider themselves the luckiest Premier League team of the moment because that game should have ended 3-3.
  • Well it was nice of West Brom to actually take the lead at Fratton Park...for less than five minutes. I hope they have fun in the Championship next season.
  • I was shocked when Wigan took the lead against Arsenal. I was only a little surprised at the 1-4 full time result. That will be an excellent result for them heading into their midweek clash against Villareal.


LS April 14, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

Oh it's so overdue for Boro. I hope this can push the club to survival. This was the first game in ages that Boro came out and played with evident passion and energy. This is the side that started the season so brightly. Where they went for the past 4 months is beyond me. I just hope this incarnation sticks around until the end of the campaign

Hull are suffering from too much early success. I'm surprised Brown hasn't shaken things up more but he is working with a limited squad.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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