There are tiomes when Newcastle United will not have one of their strikers in a number 9 shirt.
Alan Shearer – while manager at Newcastle over two years ago
And one reason for that is that Newcastle will not always have a player good enough to have earned the privilege of wearing the famous Newcastle shirt.
After Oba Martins left, Newcastle went through the relegation year without a player wearing the number 9 shirt, but then Andy Carroll was rightly given it but then we all know what happened to Andy.
Carroll is not doing too great at Liverpool at the moment, and was told to get fitter by the England manager Fabio Capello only yesterday.
We don’t think Oba Martins was good enough to wear the number 9 shirt either.
Alan Shearer, Malcolm McDonald and Jackie Milburn are the three greatest strikers who have worn the shirt in my lifetime, and this is what Alan said about the number 9 shirt today, and about Wednesday’s weird goings on at Newcastle:
“It’s a fantastic shirt.” “I had 10 great years wearing it, and I’d love someone to have come in and taken it and scored some goals, but it wasn’t to be for whatever reason.”
“I saw it on TV like everybody else did. There were bids going in for other players with two or three hours to go.” “But if you looked at it logically, you realised that nobody was going to come in on deadline day that late in the day.”
“I’m a fan like 52,000 others – I was hoping for one. It’s a little bit sad no one’s in the No 9 shirt.” “There’s two ways of looking at it. You can look at it as a great privilege and honor, and be proud to wear it.”
“On the other side some people can be scared of it, not just because of the goals I scored, but the guys before me, like your Macdonalds and Milburns.”
Newcastle have had a surprisingly good start to the season, which has probably upset the doom and gloomers, but the thing that’s really good, is the way the lads have fought back from first 45 minutes, when they were just not in those games.
Winning three our of four games and drawing the other one is an excellent start to the season – that’s a fact.
And the lads must also have a decent enough chance to make it four wins in a row at QPR a week tonight, but of course they’ll need to keep having the luck on their side, which they’ve had in the first four games.
Alan agrees Newcastle have made a good start to the season and he also thinks Alan Pardew has done very good job:
“They’ve had a very good start to the season results-wise, and I think if you’d have said that to them before the start, they’d have snapped your hands off. They can build on that.”
“I don’t know whether Pardew is frustrated or not – you’d have to speak to Alan – but I think he’s done a very good job up to now under difficult circumstances.”
“I hope that continues, but we all know there’s millimetres between seventh and bottom place.” “They’re running the football club that way, and everyone has to respect that.”
“I think it might be a while before you see £15m players at Newcastle again. Whether you agree with that or not, that’s the fact.” “People were maybe looking for a marquee signing because of Andy leaving.”
“In fairness to the other guys, they’ve started well, and maybe the owner and the manager have looked at that and thought ‘that’s the way they’re going to go’.
“Only time will tell if that’s the right way or the wrong way.”
Newcastle have improved their squad in terms of skill this summer, but it’s been depleted in experience by the loss of Nolan, Enrique and Barton.
But we look to players like Coloccini, Cabaye, Tiote and others to come through and step up to the plate for Newcastle in the next several games.
The lads have done very well up till now, and we’re not in that desperate shape for strikers, given that Leon Best can hit his form, and Demba Ba starts to produce for Newcastle.
And if the lads can win at QPR, which has to be a good possibility, things will be looking up.