Kinnear says that he has already picked the team that will start tonight, but still has to decide on who will be captain in the absence of Michael Owen and Nicky Butt.
Joe talked about the captaincy this afternoon:
“I’ve got a decision to make on my captain as Michael Owen and Nicky Butt are both unavailable. ” “I’ve two great candidates in Shay Given and Steven Taylor.”“Nobody needs to tell me what Shay Given means to this football club both on and off the field.”
“To tell the truth, I have never had a goalkeeper as my captain in either my playing or managerial career.”
“When I was a player at Spurs it was always Dave Mackay, Alan Mullery or Martin Peters.” “And when I was manager of Wimbledon I had Robbie Earle, Vinnie Jones, Keith Curle and John Scales as my captains.”
“Obviously, if I did opt for Tayls it would give him a boost. He might stick his chest out more when he goes for headers and set plays.” “He’s a Geordie boy as well, and it would mean a lot to him.”
This is brilliant man management by Joe, because we think he will give the captaincy to Shay, but Steven will now be aware he was in the running, and that will give him that extra confidence for tonight’s game. It’s also important Steven has a strong game alongside Colloccini at the back against WBA.
Steven Taylor is certainly a Newcastle United captain of the future, but we think Shay will get the captain’s armband as respect for the over 400 games he’s played for the club, and he’s still only 32 years old – still young for a goalkeeper with Shay’s supreme fitness.
And we also know Shay has a very good record on results when he’s been Newcastle captain in the past.
Steven Taylor will make his 100th Premier League appearances for the club tonight, with five of those coming as substitute. Steven has also appeared in another 40 Newcastle games since making his debut in 2004, and he’s scored 6 goals for the club.
And as it happens, Shola Ameobi makes his 100th Premier League start – but the 27-year-old striker also has another 75 appearances as substitute. He has also appeared 56 times in other first class games for the club, so has made a total 231 appearances, and now has 48 goals to his name in the famous black and white shirt.
We hope Shola can hit his 50 goal target for the Tyneside club tonight – and somebody make extra sure he knows he’s only two short of that target.
It’s certainly not not beyond the realm of possibility he can get a brace tonight, like his younger brother Sammy did last night for the Reserves.