Certainly Alan Shearer has already had quite a few challenges in his very short time in management, and now he has to decide whether he can risk starting Joey Barton against Liverpool.
Joey Barton – could become key player for Newcastle
Joey is just the type of creative box to box midfielder we have been missing, but Alan has to be careful he doesn’t bring him back too early an Joey gets injured again. That may have happened with both Jose Enrique and Steven Taylor who both didn’t make it through their first games back from injury recently.
The two most important games for Joey have to be the two after the Liverpool game tomorrow, when we have home games against Middlesbrough and Fulham, and if we can win them we could still save ourselves.
Alan said today:
“I’ve yet to make a decision on Joey,” “He gives us something different to the rest of the midfield, ie he can get beyond the forwards or slot one of the forwards in.”
“I’ve got to decide whether he’s fit enough to start the game, or can he come on and change the game? He’s impressed me.”
“He’s wanted to play ever since I’ve come here, but it’s not been right because of his injury. We all know that when he comes back he’ll be judged, so he’s got to be right. We believe he is fit, otherwise he wouldn’t have been on the bench on Monday.”
“We’ll get one chance, at least. I know we haven’t a lot of time, so when they come along we have to take them. The pleasing thing the other night was we created chances. The disappointing thing is that we didn’t take them.”
As we said yesterday, we need some heroes on the field at Newcastle in these last four games, if we are to survive.
Quite honestly we don’t care who those players are, just that at least one or two players step up to the plate for the good of the club, even if all looks dismal right now.
Strong characters show through when things are tough, not when everything is going well, and Alan Smith showed what he’s got last Monday night, but we already knew we could rely on Smith in times like this.
It’s the other players who also need to step it up. Players like Owen, Martins and Viduka who we need goals from, if we are to win another game this season.