One thing Newcastle players have had plenty of experience with, over these last 3 seasons, is fighting against the relegation threat.
Steve Harper – hoping to put good run together
That’s the unfortunate position the side has sunk to, since the great Bobby Robson was sacked at the club in late August, 2004, after having successive seasons of 4th, 3rd and 5th in the Premier league.
But in those days that was said not to be good enough – oh well – we’ll not get into that again, in this article.
Newcastle have 29 points from 29 league games, and last year with the same number of games played, we had one point fewer. But then, after the away defeat at Liverpool (3-0), we put in a good streak to get 4 wins and 3 draws (15 points) over our next 7 games, before losing our final two games of the season to Chelsea and Everton. That streak started away at Birmingham when Kevin used 4-3-3 for the first time.
We need to do a similar thing this season, if we are to avoid the drop and today against Arsenal would be as good a time to start that, as any.
Goalkeeper Steve Harper was in that side, and he played a key part in the revival, as he played his best football at Newcastle, and of course he’s now finally, after 16 years at the club, the number one goalkeeper.
Steve will again be in goal for Newcastle this afternoon, against the mighty Arsenal.
It was a Michael Owen equalizer, away to Birmingham City, on March 17th last year, that started that run of 7 games and 15 points, which ultimately saved the club from relegation.
However, since winning that vital game at WBA, when Joe Kinnear took ill, the team has 2 points from their last 4 games, and that’s just not good enough, and not too surpisingly, we are joint 3rd bottom.
Harper told the Shields Gazette:
“We were at the same stage last season when we played Birmingham, and we managed to put a good run of results together, and we’ll be trying to do the same,”
“We’re working hard on the training ground, and hope to get the results to back that up. Every day we’re building towards games.”
Harper was only in the side at St Andrew’s because of an injury to Shay Given, but this time the Easington-born player is the undisputed No 1 at St James’s Park after his long-time rival’s departure.
And despite the pressures that come with his new status, Harper – who is backed up by young duo Tim Krul and Fraser Forster – is relishing the challenge ahead of him.
“I’m enjoying the opportunity and working hard.” “There are a lot of things I’m working hard on with Paul Barron and the two young lads, Tim and Fraser, who are improving every day.”
“Of course it’s been a big change. I worked every day with Shay for 11 and a half years. He was a big pal.”
We are hoping for a win this afternoon, would be satisfied with a draw, but a defeat will leave Newcastle fans stewing for two weeks, before our next game – at home to ….. Chelsea.
That should be easy. 🙁
We really need at least one win in these two upcoming home games.