There was one man for Newcastle who looked absolutely awsome last night, and that was big Australian striker Mark Viduka, who must have had his best game for Newcastle, even though he was unlucky a few times not to score.
Mark Viduka – fantastic display leading the line last night
Alan Shearer this morning had just one word to describe the performance of the former Middlesbrough, Leeds and Celtic striker last night – awesome!
Mark seemed very fit for once, and lasted a full 87 minutes, before he was taken off to a standing ovation from the delighted and appreciative Newcastle crowd of over 51,000.
The Australian combined immense strength with sublime flashes of flair and skill, to lead the Newcastle attack in stellar style in such an important game for the Tyneside club. It’s also a good job Shearer came to the club, because Mark was in the injury room twiddling his thumbs it seems, with his troublesome Achilles injury not fully healed.
But just like he did for Kevin Keegan last year, Mark is a new man under Alan Shearer, and it’s obvious Alan knows all about the Australina’s sublime football skills.
When he came off the filed replaced by Andy Carroll, there were pats on the back all around for the Australian, who had put in an awsome display of leading the line for the Magpies.
Mark could well be Australia’s best football player ever.
Alan Shearer talked to Newcastle United Tv today:
“I thought Mark Viduka was awesome.” “Everything that went into him stuck.” “But we know he’s capable of that. It’s just a case of getting games and training under his belt.”
“A fit Mark Viduka playing like that is a handful for anyone.” “It’s been difficult trying to get him fit in a short space of time without pushing him too far so that he doesn’t get another injury.”
“But I thought he was brilliant. Everything we asked of him he did.” “We got the ball into his feet and the players ran off him and it worked well – it was a big performance from him.”
One thing that Alan did at the club in early April was give double duty sessions to those who were injured, and that was quite a few. It’sa notiuceablke the iunjury roon is failty empty right now, and we remember Bobby Robson did much the same thing when he took over in September of 1999.
And it seems to have worked miracles, as Iain Dowie has also put Mark through some individual fitness exercises, and it’s really starting to pay off for Newcastle.
We’ve complained a lot about Mark’s injury record but his brilliance was there for all to see last night, and we’ve never questioned the man’s skill, and nobody knows the striker’s qualities better than Alan Shearer himself.
Maybe Mark will need to put that retirement off for a while, but we wonder if Newcastle will just pay him for his performances, should they elect to extend his contract for one year in the summer.
We would hope that decision will be made by Alan Shearer, but we feel sure Mark would want to stay for another year at Newcastle, but we must have a fitness program for him, so we get a lot more games out of Viduka if he stays for next season.
Mark is still just 33, and turns 34 in October, but he’s got at least one top season left – especially under Alan Shearer – and with a special fitness regime instigated by Iain Dowie.