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Premiership Parade vol 2 (or Bellamy’s barnet topples Bobby)

September 1 2004

Bellamy celebrates with his famous chicken impression

Bellamy celebrates with his famous chicken impression

A wise man, possibly nursing a drink at the back of the Holmesdale, once said to me, "History repeats itself". For the sake of Palace’s Premiership survival we can only hope that the oracle of Selhurst was wrong and/or pissed, but events at Newcastle have proved him right… again, by Matt Amer.

If Sir Bobby Robson, football’s favourite doddery old granddad, had thought to consult the annals of Toon history he would have seen that five years ago, almost to the day, his predecessor and the world’s most famous dreadlocked exponent of sexy football had been sacked after leaving the Godfather of St James’ Park, Mr Alan Shearer – or Sir as he is known up north – out of the starting line up.

Half a decade on and after warming the bench for Sir Bobby, not unlike a particularly expensive hot water bottle, Don Shearer, riled by too much sitting playing havoc with his creaking knees, may have left a horses head in Freddy Shepherd’s bed, suggesting that the Newcastle Chairman should help Sir Bobby visit the home for aging football managers, or ITV as it is more commonly known.

The Toon Army’s results might also have had something to do with the board’s decision to let the septuagenarian legend go. To misuse their nickname in the most blatant of fashions, Newcastle have been less Tsunami, more a Premiership puddle that everyone has enjoyed splashing about in. Although Saturday’s game had more excitement in it than all three Godfather films, Newcastle still failed to win.

For me though, the blame should not lie with Sir Bobby; at his age he probably just forgot that Shearer was at the club, and confused party boy Kieron Dyer with Palace favourite Bruce.

I don’t even blame the results on Shearer throwing his slightly increasing weight around as if being the Premiership’s all time top scorer gives you the right to walk into a side ahead of a Dutch striker who last hit form in 2001.

I blame Craig Bellamy’s hairdresser. What was he thinking? How can anyone on the young Welshman’s team take him seriously when he is running around with a bob/top pony-tail combo?

They don’t know whether to pass to him or point and laugh. Apparently one of the reason’s Woodgate moved to Real Madrid was that having played with Bellamy he would have no problem working with David Beckham.

Brad Friedel doesn’t share Bellamy’s problem. The only Premiership goalkeeper to stop more shots than Julian Speroni at the weekend has long since waved goodbye to his hair. His faith in the fairness of football may soon follow.

Having put himself in the way of more balls than Jordan for 90 minutes to keep Blackburn leading against this year’s third place team Man Utd, the time added on was changed from three to four minutes seemingly after Sir Alex had a quiet word with the fourth official.

Three and a half minutes into added time – that’d be 30 seconds after the game should have finished, then! – and Louis Saha’s volleyball skills, which were sadly not need by the French Olympic squad, set up Alan Smith to crash home the equalizer. Rumour has it that if Utd’s transfers aren’t finished by midnight, the deadline could be extended by a couple of hours.

England’s seventh choice striker, and one man Southampton side, scored the fourth fastest goal in Premiership history against Mourinho’s Ditchwater Utd, before deciding that Chelsea just weren’t exciting enough and lending his support to their multi-million pound attacking force; having more success than them by scoring an own goal. Beattie’s generosity may not have been loved by the Southampton faithful, but any impartials certainly appreciated the highlighted-wonder livening up proceedings.

As far as own goals go, our own beloved captain was particularly unlucky to score with the deftest of flicks that would have made John Barnes weep with joy. The big Aussie, who always wears his heart on his sleeve, provided the guile, that for the most part Middlesbrough couldn’t, to beat an outstanding Julian Speroni between the Palace sticks. The good luck will come, but for all of us at Palace it can’t come soon enough.

As it is transfer deadline day, by the time you read this anyone could have moved anywhere. Rooney could be dressed in red and joining one of the scariest attacking lines in front on one of the most unconvincing midfields in the country, 2’4’’ Championship jester Robert Earnshaw could be wearing West Brom colours alongside the towering figure of Junichi Inamoto (watch out for the Baggies’ use of the long ball), and any number of big name, small name, or unpronounceable name signings could be winging their way to Selhurst Park. We’ll just have to wait and see…

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