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Out-of-sorts, out-of-Toon

November 30 2015

Eagles attack the Holmesdale end in the second half against Newcastle United.

Eagles attack the Holmesdale end in the second half against Newcastle United.

Selhurst Park hosted Newcastle United, a club with a proud history going through a dodgy patch. A 5-1 defeat at the hands of CPFC hardly helped, reports Jamesey.

As I write this column, Great Britain have just won the Davis Cup.

So for a Palace supporter and a keen tennis enthusiast, this has certainly been a weekend to remember.

For my first trip to Selhurst in a month when we drew 0-0 with Manchester United, we were playing the troubled Newcastle United.

In between we went to Anfield (Nov 8) and did our bogeyman trick on Liverpool yet again, seeing off the Scousers 1-2.

I couldn't get to the last evening home game against Sunderland (Nov 23) but watched a frustrating 0-1 loss on TV.

The Mackems new boss, Sam Allardyce, declared that his game plan was to stifle our two danger men, Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha. This was done to some effect and a breakaway goal gave Sunderland three points which they badly needed.

So on a blustery Saturday afternoon (Nov 28) when Newcastle's Papiss Cisse leapt like the proverbial salmon to head in a 10th minute goal, many of us were starting to wonder whether the Tyne-Wear axis had grief in store for South London.

But our worries were unfounded when shortly after James McArthur banged in a deflected equaliser. Within three more minutes Yannick Bolasie added another one.

To add to our joy Wilf scored with a delightful looping kick. Arguably it was a scuffed shot that just hit lucky but it was lovely to watch and ensured that we ended the first half 3-1 to the good.

It was one of those days when everything seemed to be going right for the Red-and-blues.

The speed and trickery of Wilf and Yannick terrorised the Magpies' defence, Connor Wickham held up the ball superbly and laid on intelligent passes, Yohan Cabaye and McArthur did their usual sterling midfield work and the defenders were sure-footed and steady.

It was all hunky-dory and there was even better to come.

I know it's always been one of my bugbears but I was disappointed to see the Tynesiders wearing a quite unpleasantly garish blue and white strip.

There would have been no colour clash between red-and-blue and the traditional Newcastle black-and-white stripes.

Needless to say, it's filthy lucre that counts in the Pilesomoulah League and the more different strips, the more the fans pay to buy them and the more cash goes into the club coffers.

The Eagles were rampant in the second period and Bolasie doubled his tally soon after the break while McArthur also added another one with an extra time goal at an impossible angle.

In his post-match interview, Alan Pardew could have been forgiven for a little gloating after such a big 5-1 win (our biggest ever in the Heapsodosh, I understand) over a club and its supporters who treated him so disgracefully.

But Mr Pardew behaved with commendable dignity and had nothing but diplomatic words for the Tyneside outfit.

Perhaps the Magpies were unlucky to meet Palace on a day when everything clicked in no uncertain manner. However they did look very ordinary and as the goals went in they appeared to lose heart.

It's quite a while now since their manager Steve McLaren earned the nickname the "Wally with the Brolly" when he was managing the England squad.

judging by some of the Geordie chants and overheard comments from their fans on the train. he might end up with a far more unflattering title and his job must surely be on the line now.

Newcastle look like strong relegation candidates and it must really hurt to see their deadly rivals from just down the road, Sunderland, pulling away from the bottom.

Well, we know all about relegation worries at Selhurst.

Diversifying as I sometimes do, back to the Palace experience, I encountered two sides to the football scene, going and returning from the game.

The train from Clapham Junction was packed with very noisy and well-lubricated Geordies, many of whom were attired in the true north-east garb of joggers and T-shirts despite the chilly weather.

They were singing an anti-Pardew song - "Pardew is a w*****, he wears a w*****'s hat", etc, etc.

They seemed more interested in reviving past animosity than singing for their own side.

On the following Sunday morning, Palace were in 6th place under Alan Pardew while Newcastle had sunk to 19th. At the same time last year, the Tynesiders were in 8th place under Pardew while Palace were 18th. So who really are the w*****?

On the other side of the coin, on the return journey, the carriage was rammed uncomfortably full of very depressed Geordies and who could blame them?

A seat near me became vacant, and rather than the biggest and quickest body grabbing it, London-style, the other passengers kindly squeezed aside and ushered the mature geezer (namely me) to the seat, a gesture which was deeply appreciated.

Thanks for that, Newcastle gentlemen.

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