Newcastle. What do you think of when hearing that name?
I have a mental image of SuperMac, Keegan arriving by helicopter, Dirty Shearer with one arm raised, Dire Straits, Bryan Ferry, that TV series with Jimmy Nail and the bloke who became Inspector Morse’s assistant, unintelligible accents, dreadful beer, Gazza, Sir Bobby Robson, Ugly Beardsley, Fat Football fans and much more (add a few if you have the inclination!)
And in recent years a total road wreck of a football club. Managers sacked, dreadful players bought and sold, fan unrest, an owner who is hated by the fans and a top quality, traditional institution which could attract the very best becoming a selling club.
Newcastle have spent 5 times as much money as AFC in this window (so far)! IMO this is a dreadful state of affairs and questions must be asked. I do not accept that players are not available – if they chose other clubs one must question the negotiating skills of our buying team. It is claimed that Thauvin chose Newcastle having been approached by AFC, if this is true our boys really do a crap job.
McClaren is a good manager and will bring discipline into a difficult club who were lucky to escape relegation, he has bought young, pacy players who he hopes can change the atmosphere in both the changing room and the stands. Their start is worse than ours which brings some degree of hope.
Her Maj in Her Home Kit
But we need points and we need them NOW.
How do we get them?
The usual …… hard work, team play, concentration, fast attacks, clinical finishing. A little bit of intricate passing and a sprinkling of magic.
Could Chambers play worse than his first half on Monday? It would be difficult. There is a fair chance he will start alongside Paul Easter and if he does then AW has to instruct his midfield to give better protection.
Theo to start? Would be good but who gets dropped? Giroud is the obvious choice though he is our only goal scorer this season (how rubbish is that?)
Dare AW drop Cazorla and play the Ox thereby adding some pace and width down the right? Or Ramsey? Or both and play Theo and Ox.
I don’t know and I am not paid millions to make such a decision. What I do know is that at present things are not as they should be. There is imbalance in the team both vertically and laterally. We need more cohesion in front of goal, better understanding between the defence and the midfield, and less reliance upon left-sided attack. It has to be said (and it was by LB!) that if you have Ozil and Sanchez on the left then we are likely to use them. I really fancy Ozil to score today and will bet a fish that he will.
The season start has shown that we have no idea how the team will perform today – who knows today could be the launch pad for a run of wins or it could signify the start of a difficult season.
I will be watching from behind the sofa.
I am 54% confident