Why is it so hard to do things right at Newcastle United? Well, I know the majority of issues are down to the current owner but sometimes I think the club seem to be a vacuum for bad decisions, bad signings and mixed messages. It’s no wonder the fans are so fed up with the nonsense that seems to surround the club at the moment. Sometimes it seems there transfer policy seems to be based on “What’s that, you’ve an unstable midfielder with a penchant for apologising and then causing more trouble? Certainly, how much do you want?”
Monday nights home game against Portsmouth had been preceded by a call to arms from Alan Shearer to the Geordie nation as crowds had begun to fall, desperation is creeping in, even Newcastle’s fans are beginning to fear the worst. Shearer was everywhere, on Sky, On the BBC, local radio, national radio, everywhere urging the fans to come back to St James’ Park and get behind the team and shout them home. The club got leaflets printed for all the seats so the fans could show support and to whip up the fans beforehand, local opera singer Graeme Danby was booked to serenade the faithful with a rendition of the Blaydon Races.
Perfect you may think? Ah, but this is Newcastle United and it seemed that the occasion had got our local opera singer as after finishing the Geordie anthem, he then decided to give the travelling Portsmouth fans a bit of stick. Unfortunately he still had his microphone on, and decided to ask them ” Have you come in a F###### car?” swiftly followed by “You’re the Mackems of the South Coast”. Well there’s nothing wrong with the lads geography I have to say, though the comparison to Sunderland was probably better being aimed at Southampton, rather than Portsmouth. Ah well!
So, they then proceeded to miss the opportunity to gain some valuable points by stuttering to 0-0 draw and remained in the bottom three, though they rose above Middlesbrough into 18th. Shearer was trying to be positive after the game and so he should, Hull City and Sunderlands current form seem to offer all the bottom three a glimmer of hope that the impossible will be achieved as they stumble towards the final day. The way the Tigers and the Black Cats are going at the moment, they’d struggle to beat an egg.
Michael Owen however, wasn’t reading the same script. He thinks they have absolutely no chance on Sunday against Liverpool. “We go to Liverpool next and we finish the season at Aston Villa and if we can get something from those games, then of course we’ll grasp them. But being a realist it’s the home games that our major focus now” With no goals in 9 games, his confidence probably at his lowest since he started at the top level, Michael Owen may as well wear a sign around his neck saying Goodbye Newcastle.
I can’t believe the change in him as a player during his injury plagued stint at Newcastle, it’s been hell for him. He’s going to be off in the Summer whether Newcastle stay up or not I think, but who’s going to sign an injury prone striker who’s on a barren run. He’s 30 this year, is he really going to be able to have another big club come in for him now? Of course, he’s got Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City to fall back on, such is there eagerness to sign big name players on the way down.
Yes, it looks bleak for Newcastle, but they have two home games left, tough matches that they are, and for a side that has only won 4 home league games this season, they need to raise themselves to levels rarely seen this season but the games are not impossible to win. 6 points would be a major shot in the arm, but Middlesbrough need the win just as badly. A draw for both sides and Hull and Sunderland gaining anything at all will probably condemn them both next week but with the sides in 17th and 16th playing so dreadfully and having no luck at all, the light of survival still twinkles for the Geordies.