We are now 4 points from safety and the only way we’ll be able to avoid relegation this year is by winning our three remaining home games.
Alan Shearer – tough job for Alan
But when you think we have won one game in the last 17 matches, that will be a tall order for our vastly over-paid and under-performing players.
Alan talked about the game and how he was disappointed again about the way we played in the first half, when again we went in at the break one goal down:
“It was a familiar story. I asked them for a reaction at half time and they gave me that. I said to them after the game, ‘I’m very pleased with the second half, but give me an explanation why there’s no urgency like that from minute one.”
“We have our own ideas about that, but we’re going to keep them to ourselves. We have to start games from the first minute like we finish them in the 90th.” “At the minute, we’re looking to do that, but it hasn’t materialized. Effort-wise, I have no complaints.”
“You’ve seen the urgency and the spark in the second half, and you’ve seen the belief that they can pass it around. I want them to do that for 90 minutes, then we’ll have a chance of taking three points instead of one or none. I still believe that we have enough.”
“I know that everyone’s been looking to our home games for the last nine or ten games, and that’s no different now. We have to win those three home games.” “I think we have to win all three of them now – they are all must-win games.”
We don’t fully agree with Alan on the effort part, because we’ve lost points in the last two games because of our poor and lackadaisical performances in the first half, which seemed to lack effort and urgency, not to mention spirit and guts.
Bu this has got to be more than frustrating for Alan Shearer, who was brave in trying to get points yesterday by putting on both Oba and Viduka after 60 minutes, and they both made a difference and it looked like Oba was really trying to get the ball in the net.
He was probably trying to make up for last week, but the Newcastle fans saw his considerable spirit yesterday, even if it’s obvious he is still injured.
Newcastle’s performance improved dramatically once Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins came on but we know that both players are not fully fit, although a fit Viduka and Martins could save the side from relegation.
“I changed it around by putting Oba and Mark Viduka on and they helped change things. It would have been very difficult to have started with those two because of their fitness.” “But I thought they changed the game and gave us a bigger threat going forward. We didn’t really have that in the first half.” “It’s important that Oba and Mark have got some minutes under their belts.”
“We’re certainly a bigger threat with those two on the pitch than without them. That’s clear for everyone to see. It’s something we can work on. They didn’t suffer any problems during the game.” “So if we can keep them fit during the week and get a good week’s training into them, we should be in better shape.” “Everyone will be in contention to start next weekend.”
It’s good that Viduka and Martins looked good yesterday, but there are just too many question marks on some of our more experienced players like Owen and Butt.
Both again had unspectacular games, and we always think the great players play great when it matters – so if we have any great players at Newcastle, they should be playing well right now – but there’s very few players doing that this year.
That’s why we have one win in our last 17 games, and although it’s probably premature to do this – we put that responsibility for our plight squarely on the shoulders of our overpaid players. And while we probably over-reacted with our article immediately after the game, we still think it’s the players who have to bear this burden – they are letting this club down plain and simple.
It’s about time some of them woke up and started earning their considerable wages – because that’s something very few of our players have done this season.