With Alan Shearer and Iain Dowie at the helm the game this afternoon against high flying Chelsea offers Newcastle some hope the lads can take something out of this game.
The appointment of Alan Shearer as manager, supposedly only for the final 8 games of the season, has galvanized and energized the City of Newcastle, not to mention the playing staff, and we can expect the Newcastle side to be full of inspiration and energy at the start of this game. If we are to get something out of the game, that will need to be maintained for the full 90 minutes and the team may also need some luck.
But Shearer has wisely attempted to take the microscope off himself and say this is about saving Newcastle United, and of course he’s right, and the club is in a perilous situation in the league.
Alan is nobody’s fool, and in his press conference on Thursday he came over as a die-hard Newcastle fan, who is extremely worried about the club’s plight, and has dropped everything in his personal life, to attempt to save the team, after being approached by Mike Ashley – that’s the measure of this man – and no wonder he is idolized on Tyneside, and in other parts of the world too, we may add.
A defeat today says Alan,m and we could be 5 points adrift of safety so the lads just have to get something out of this game, one of the hardest we have of the remaining 8 games.
The team selection will be more than interesting today, as we’ll see for the first time who Alan prefers in the line-up.
It seems that the fitness of Bassong and Taylor will be decided just before the game, and if Bassong is fit he will start, but Taylor may only make the bench with the experienced Habib Beye now returned from injury.
This is the side we think Alan will pick if both youngsters are fit:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Lovenkrands Butt Nolan Gutierrez
Owen (c) Martins
Subs: Forster S.Taylor Guthrie Geremi R.Taylor Carroll Smith
Shearer could well put Duff in place of Lovenkrands, but we have Peter is there because we need some goals this afternoon. There will be one or two good Newcastle players not even on the bench today, with players coming back from injury.
Alan couldn’t be facing much of a better side and coach than in Chelsea and Guus Hiddink, but as the Tyneside Idol said yesterday, Newcastle have nothing to fear against Chelsea.
And this is now all about points and results so we’d rather see the lads play terrible and get 3 points, than play great, like we did against Manchester United, and get absolutely nothing out of this game.
The news on Chelsea is they will be without star striker Didier Drogba, who suffered an ankle injury in training, and the Ivory Coast International will not be risked, and right-back Jose Bosingwa, who has been in good form this season for the Blues, injured his hamstring on international duty with Portugla and will miss this game. But Nicolas Anelka is fit and will play.
This will not weaken the London side too much of course because they have a big squad, unlike Newcastle. When Kevin returned in January there was a bit of a let down in his first game in charge when we could only draw 0-0 with Bolton at home, and indeed Kevin went 10 games before his first win.
Shearer doesn’t have the luxury of time right now, and the lads must start getting wins (draws are not good enough), if we are to survive in the Premier League and Newcastle fans’ hearts are not to be broken with relegation, which would be disastrous for our club, let’s make no mistake about that.
There will be 52,000 screaming Geordies at the game this afternoon, the best fans in the land by far, and if the players in black and white stripes cannot find inspiration today, they never will.
We must try to take something out of this very tough game and a draw would be decent enough – and a win would be fairy tale stuff.
But with Alan Shearer back at St. James’ Park – we know now that anything is possible.
Howay The Lads!!