It turns out that Joe Kinnear made a brief visit to London on Wednesday, to watch the Spurs Arsenal game at The Emirates Stadium.
Joe Kinnear – nobody guaranteed place in side
We saw that game on TV over here, and the number of points Arsenal throw away is getting to be ridiculous, and in this case the Gunners seemed to have Spurs dead and buried but then Tottenham scored twice in the last minute of the game.
Surprising what a new manager can do and Harry Redknap now has 4 points out of 6, but to say they were lucky here is a huge understatement.
Joe was on the 6.15 am National Express train out of King’s Cross for Newcastle this morning, and talked to the Evening Chronicle while on then train, about our injury status:
“I am expecting both Michael Owen and Nicky Butt to be back training with us later today, and the fact that our game with Villa is not until Monday night gives them both a chance of being back in the picture.”
“But Joey Barton came in for Nicky against West Brom on Tuesday night and he did very well.” “And in Michael’s absence, Shola Ameobi has taken his chance with both hands and Oba Martins was back among the goals again.”
“I am not going to be afraid to rotate players, and if we can get Nicky and Michael back for Villa it means that we will have a strong substitutes’ bench, something we have not always had since I came here.”
We have been surprised that Charles N’Zogbia, who seems to be maturing fast as a person not be involved too much in the last two games but Joe says he’s had some niggly little injuries.
Joe talked about the young outstanding Frenchman:
“Charles really hasn’t been 100% with a couple of niggly injuries,” “It has never been my policy to use players out of position, and I see N’Zogbia not as a full-back but as an attacking midfielder, which I know he himself prefers,”
“But at the moment he faces terrific competition to get into the left side of our midfield because of the form of Damien Duff and Spiderman (Jonas Gutierrez).”
“The same applies to Sebastien Bassong. He has played left-back for me and is happy to play anywhere, but I know he considers himself a central defender.”
Joe is very straight with his players, although we know for a fact that Charles will play anywhere to get in the side, and we suppose the same goes for Sebastien. But Joe has the right attitude, in that if you come in and play well, you will retain your place.
It also looks like he’s talked to Charles, and the youngster has said he likes playing on the wing. At least Joe seems to talk to the players all the time, which is very good.
In fact we liked the look of Guthrie and Barton on Monday night, particularly in the first half, and think Joe may well start with them again, and Nicky can come in later in the game.
Maybe it will be the same for Michael, but we need Michael in for at least 45 minutes on Monday night, as he’s been in good goal scoring form, and he must be motivated to do well to get back into the England squad.
What do you think the team will be on Monday night – let us know.
Comments always welcome.