And just when all was going well.....
'Amazing' is the only superlative I can think of, perhaps 'astounding', 'unbelievable', or even 'bizarre'. 'Disgraceful' sounds more appropriate, 'humiliating' summarises the game for the home fans. I speak on Newcastle v Aston Villa. Already 0-1 down, the Magpies entered the second half slightly better yet still some way from overcoming Villa. They did show some glimpses of getting a goal back, until Steven Taylor's dismissal for inexplicably handballing. Or it may have been for the theatrical body movement showing a man in extreme pain, and then recovering fully to acknowledge the red card and walk off. Nicky Butt awfully gazed and then caught out by Vassell.
The decision to award a penalty for Steven Carr bouncing into Vassell was wrong, replays showed the contact happened outside the box but such decisions are given at the speed of play, though if there is doubt, it shouldn't be given. And if that was worthy of a penalty, then the contact on Taylor for a corner and the push on butt by Samuel in the Villa box should have both been given.
But the above superlatives apply to Bowyer and Dyer. Players on the same side may not agree with the decision of another, but professionally they must get on with the game for the benefit of the team, not persist in arguing. Here we need to apply the school of thought in such matters to these two, as Bowyer possibly disagreed with Dyer's decision to pass elsewhere not for the first time in the game, with Dyer retorting back. Souness poured the blame Bowyer's way, which was wrong for me. Dyer aimed a punch himself and missed, and he added to the incident by standing up to Bowyer instead of moving away and getting on with the game.
Watching Shearer speaking to Bowyer immediately after the incident gave me the impression he was Bowyer's side, he didn't speak to Dyer, and this is pure speculation on my part. but he seemed more concerned with Bowyer than Dyer. Is there a particular dislike towards Dyer from Shearer? Perhaps I should read no further into that. The main thing is these two behaved like thugs and they were equal to that, equal to dismissal and should therefore be equal to internal punishment as well as that from the F.A.
From recent improvement in the League, quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, Shearer signing for another year was a big boost for ticket sales and club morale, and then the back four went out of sync, Villa even had firm defender Mellberg coming off and still Newcastle couldn't thread out a goal. Decisions clearly didn't go their way in open play and finally two hot-heads, on and off the pitch in my opinion, decide to have fisticuffs during play. It took the gloss of an otherwise promising form for Newcastle.