Alan Pardew went to see the Switzerland 3-1 win over Bulgaria in the European qualifying game earlier this week.
Leon Best – two great goals against Fulham
One long term target Pardew could have been after is 23 year-old Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok, who Newcastle have been watching since he was a 19 year-old at the last European Championships, in the summer of 2008.
But the player we think Alan went to make a personal check on, is 19-year-old Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored a hat-trick, and is apparently being tracked by some top clubs like Manchester United.
Of course there were scouts from many big clubs at the game on Tuesday evening, and Alan Pardew was just one of them.
Alan talked about the game:
“I took myself away from the club this week. I went to see a player who has great potential. That process continues.”
“We will continue putting players in front of the board and hoping that they will get across the line.” “Hopefully we will get one or two good players in.”
“In some ways it would have been superb if we’d got the No 9 jersey filled. I can’t say how disappointed I was.”
“But we’ve made a good start, got a good squad, the bench is certainly stronger, and we have some good pace in the team which we lacked last year.”
“I made that very, very clear to all and sundry.” “By the same token, I get my staff and players motivated to carry on what we have been doing – without the striker, which hasn’t been bad.”
“That’s what we are all focused on now.”
Newcastle missed out on a top striker, and we’ll have to move on from that very soon, and we have a sneaking suspicion that Leon Best can keep scoring the goals for Newcastle, much like he did earlier this year immediately after Andy Carroll left.
And Demba Ba also looked quite sharp when he came on against Fulham in the last game, and he had an excellent shot in added time that hit the post, so he could also come through for the Magpies.
Things may not be as bad as they look right now and after all the lads have won their last three games, and that’s not too bad.