Mick Martin, who played for Newcastle from 1978 until 1984 and made 147 appearance with 5 goals for the Magpies, thinks the Newcastle midfield currently lacks pace.
Chris Hughton – is he looking for more speed in central midfield?
Mick talked to the Evening Chronicle today:
“I think it is vital you have pace in the middle of the park in the Premier League, otherwise you can end up with your backs to the wall in games.
“Playing against the Gerrards and Lampards of the world is a major step up." “If you have a player who is a driving force in there it can be a massive benefit."
“Then you have somebody pushing through and looking to pick out passes for your wide men and importantly the front two – whether it be Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll or whoever Chris Hughton decides.”
“If you do not have it then you have two midfielders in the middle pinned back because you are just hacking it clear and lumping it, ultimately inviting pressure.”
Chris will undoubtedly bring in a central midfielder in the summer, and one that has lots of creativity would be good, and it looks like if Chris gets his wish it could well be Arsenal’s young Jack Wilshere, who looked good at Bolton at the end of the season.
But we also have our own teenager starting to knock on the door and it will be interesting to see how 17 year-old Haris Vuckic does next season.
Certainly if he doesn’t show through before January, Hughton may well have to send him out on loan for the second half of the season, as the teenager will need first-team games one way or the other next season.
Mick Martin, like the rest of us, is really looking forward to next season but hopes we get an easy start to the season – like Blackpool at home, followed by Wigan away would be very nice.
“I am looking forward to the start of the season like the fans will be too, but I just hope the fixture list is kind to us.” “If we can make a good start with two home games in there, that would be great.”
“If it is Arsenal and Chelsea away early on it can sicken teams.” “It would be good to have a few wins under the belt and get the fans going.”
Of course the last time we started in the Premiership we had Manchester United away and that Newcastle gave them a good run for their money in a 1-1 draw, where Jonas Gutierrez was outstanding, and even Alex Ferguson admitted Newcastle had deserved the point.
We always thought Newcastle were on their way back under Kevin – but then the volcano erupted.
Oh well – at least we are back up in the Premiership now.