As we said earlier today, Shearer’s biggest problem has to be to restore some confidence into the Newcastle playing staff, before next Saturday’s crucial game at Stoke City, which has a late 5:30 pm kick-off time.
Alan Shearer – restoring confidence is job one
Both Steven Taylor and Sebastien Bassong were declared unfit just before Saturday’s game, but both will be ready for next Saturday, and we think both will be in the Newcastle defense with Coloccini being dropped, and missing his very first minutes of play this season.
Coloccini was at fault for Chelsea’s first goal, and the Argentine didn’t do too well for the second either, and Alan cannot allow stupid goals to be given away right now. But he will also have to handle the situation carefully, so that Coloccini’s confidence doesn’t take a beating.
Alan told the Newcastle Journal this morning:
“I enjoyed the day but I didn’t enjoy coming away with nothing and then walking into the dressing-room afterwards. But that is a part of the job I was well aware of,”
“It was a tough start, but I have tried to drum the positives rather than the negatives into the players. The confidence is not high. You can see that in the way we conceded the first goal and we started giving them more chances after that.”
“I have no complaints about the effort and the work-rate. They came in at half time tired but they’d enjoyed it. To snuff a team out with the ability of Chelsea, everything had worked well for us. I said at half time, the game lasts 90 minutes, not 45.”
“I have told the players not to worry about making mistakes in the right areas. I will not criticize them for trying something in the right areas.”
“I will try a bit of everything to raise their confidence. I am sure they have had everything tried, with the tellings off and the arms around the shoulder, but a different voice and different personalities might just work in a different way,”
“When we have conceded goals this season, we have tended to go on and concede more and lose games. That mentality has to change. It is a great arena to play in with 52,000 demanding fans, but it is an arena which demands success.”
Newcastle are not only leaking too many goals at the back, but we’re not scoring too many either – apart from that things are great.
Newcastle have scored only three goals in the last six games from which we have a measly 2 points. And Michael Owen with Oba Martins just doesn’t look like a duo that will produce many goals, and we’d like to see a big striker up front.
“We asked Michael to do a role that takes a little bit away from his game, because we were playing Chelsea and because of the ability they have and their quality in possession,”
“It was very important we did that. We sacrificed Michael in little spells and he was not able to get into the areas we would like him to. If we are playing a different team with a different system, we will be looking to get Michael into scoring positions.”
The situation at Newcastle right now is surprisingly similar to when Kevin Keegan took over last January, with one significant difference. Alan and Iain don’t have the time to wait for Newcastle to get their first win and start to pick up points.
7 points from the last 13 league game is just terrible, let’s face it, and if this slump lasts too much longer we’ll find it very difficult to survive this season. This week is critical for Iain and Alan to work things out, and pump the lads full of confidence, before the Stoke game, which is looking like a watershed game for this season’s survival.