Last game of the season fell at St James Park, seeing West Brom being the visiting team. Already safe for the premier league next season. The game started as everyone would expect it, not really much happening and that last game of the season feel to it. Nothing to play for . . . well I think we should have played to get the highest league finish possible and bragging rights over our close rivals. At half time that looked very good, finishing in top half looked very much on being 2 up thanks to the third goal in three games from Steven Taylor and a Peter Lovenkrands goal from Scott Carson’s error.
So with the team comfortably 2-0 thanks to the first half goals, and Taylor stopping a couple of efforts from West Brom on the line. Everything got even better when West Brom decided to score a lovely own goal to make us 3 up!
Somen Tchoyi in the last half hour done something that not too many players can claim to do in their career and that’s to score a hat-trick at St James Park. The worst blow coming with the 90th minute equalizer. I am not going to deny how gutted I was when that goal went in. I have seemed to blame the substitutions which Alan Pardew made, they did not help us out at all. I just thought he could have either left everything as it was for a while longer or at least don’t take off the player who has been the most threatening going forward, that being Shane Ferguson.
But the three players who came on as subs have all had long spells out with injury recently, so surely that was bad judgment to bring them on last game of the season! Those three players being Kazenga LuaLua, Alan Smith and Leon Best. I just cannot understand why bringing them on the final game could ever be seen as a good idea and I do believe that it cost us the game, I’m not blaming the players though.
So in the end we could only manage a draw which made us finish in 12th position in the premier league. Still a fantastic achievement for a team which was favorites for relegation at the start of the season.
The usual end of season lap of honour took place after the game, but seemed to take a while to organise and when it was eventually done was not the best we have seen in recent years. Although it was much better than the farce that happened with Souness was in charge and we were applauded from the centre circle. Mind you I think if we managed to win today it would have been a different story!