IT is a vision of carnage which haunts me even a quarter of a century on.
Former Newcastle United full back Neil McDonald launches a hopeful ball over the Magpies’ back four after his erstwhile team-mates fritter possession away after kicking off.
The far from pacey Graeme Sharp outsprints centre-backs Andy Thorn and Peter Jackson before Dave Beasant parries his shot.
And in slips Tony Cottee to score the first of three Everton debut goals after only 34 seconds.
Newcastle never really recovered from their 4-0 thrashing at Goodison Park and were meekly relegated from the top flight in bottom place the following May.
How we hope history does not repeat itself after Monday night’s annual surrender at Manchester City.
At least the Class of 2013 had the decency to wait nearly six minutes before conceding.
Having said that, however, they had already ignored two earlier warnings with keeper Tim Krul twice delaying the inevitable.
Even Krul, who prevented City from doubling their eventual victory, nearly triggered United’s downfall in Cottee time.
After no doubt spending countless summer training sessions on the art of keeping possession, what do they do straight from the first whistle after kicking off?
Pass the buck, sorry ball, Sunday league-style back to Krul for him to dally and nearly get caught before predictably humping his clearance to a light blue shirt.
It was all downhill from there.
Manager Alan Pardew can whinge all he wants about the timing of Arsenal’s “disrespectful” £10m Sunday night bid for subsequently absent midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
But the French international’s presence would not have bridged the four-goal gap.
Just like it didn’t back in April when Newcastle United also lost 4-0 at Eastlands.
Nor am I convinced that Cabaye is the man to guarantee Arsenal’s first trophy in early a decade.
Don’t their irate fans already have enough 5ft 9inchish pretty-passing but one-paced central midfielders to berate?
Not that Cabaye is any concern of Arsenal’s.
Newcastle have reportedly rejected the Gunners’ bid so that should be the end of the matter.
– GAVIN LEDWITH