Thanks again Sibi!

By Lee Ryder on Nov 27, 06 09:00 AM

Antoine SibierskiWhen Alan Shearer hobbled off at the Stadium of Light with his side 2-1 up, courtesy of his final ever and 206th Newcastle United goal, it started to sink in for the Geordie public that they may never see the like again in a black and white shirt.

But the fact is, Shearer's departure from the United first team scene and inevitable retirement had only just started to sink in.

We had an emotional night at Gallowgate in which a patched up Shearer limped back on to the field to fire home a farewell penalty against Celtic.

At that point it still hadn't sunk in.

But as the summer moved on and Michael Owen saw his knee shattered, the questions began to intensify.

Just who on earth was going to score the goals for Newcastle in the 2006/07 season?

How many people thought it would eventually be a shaven headed Frenchman that couldn't get a game for Manchester City?

By July it was becoming an obsession for some Toon fans with no number 9 ready to fill Shearer's boots.

By August Oba Martins had filled it - but how many Geordies were convinced he was the one?

And just a few Premiership games in it was obvious.

Alan Shearer hadn't been replaced, United were struggling badly for goals and many felt were struggling for inspiration without the skipper's presence.

Yet step forward Sibierski.

He's certainly no Shearer is he?

But nobody could have predicted United supporters would be so thankful to the no frills Frenchman.

He's admitted nobody expected anything from him but five goals later, Newcastle find themselves in the last eight of the Carling Cup, the last 32 of the UEFA Cup and three vital points better off because of his contributions.

Not bad for nowt!

It might not have been as historic as Shearer's goal against Pompey that took him past Jackie Milburn in Glenn Roeder's first game in charge, but Sibierski's effort against the south coast side and his big pal David James may turn out to be just as important.

In fact Sibierski's presence at the moment is crucial - United cannot do without him in fact.

Martins is struggling to get a grip of the goalscoring side of things and with Shola and Owen out for what seems like an eternity - it's pretty much over to you Sibi!

True, Seppe Rossi is also still in the background but at the moment it looks like he is on the way back to Old Trafford on January 1.


oxboy said:

Never one to hide my light ..... I stood up for Sib from the off cos I'd atched him many times at Man City. An out and out striker he is not but he will do a job for us in midfiled or up front but better still between the two GLEN!
He always gives his best and in true toon fashion has th odd comedy moment but hey ho, that's entertainment.
He clearly has a better football brain than Martins and Shola put together and I wish him well cos if he does well the so do we. Lets see Dyer bring him into the game .
Just shows Glen real players can come cheap as chips!

Jim said:

I reckon as soon as Obafemi Martins gets one more then loads will follow.

He's not the worst weve seen at SJP down the years

Honorary Geordie said:

It's funny, you know. But there I was, in the West Wing at Geordie Towers. Lunch had been a triumph. With a budgie stuffed inside a pousin, stuffed inside a woodcock, stuffed inside a pheasant, stuffed inside a swan. And I was walking round the billiard room, drinking a fine port and smoking a rather fine cigar, when I sat down to read this august organ, known as Blog on the Tyne. Suddenly, it struck me. Perhaps it was the late hour or, more likely, my pickled state, but I had an incredible sense of deja-vu that I'd heard this story somewhere before. "Skin-head frenchman, out-of-the-blue move, into instant fan favourite."
Few of today's slack-jawed, scratchcard stealing, shell-suit wearing 'yoof' will remember the day when a tempestuous skin-headed Frenchman made the switch over the Pennines from Leeds to Manchester. No-one who was around in the mid-nineties, however, will ever forget the impact that Monsieur Cantona had - not just on Man Utd, but on setting new standards and trends in Premiership. Collars were suddenly turned up in Sunday league games, flicks and tricks - once lambasted by dads on Sunday league touchlines in favour of 'get-it-in-the-box-man, davey' - became the norm. And who could ever forget the Trawler and the Seagulls speach - the ultimate in a stylish up yours to the FA.
I'm not for one instant suggesting Sibierski will lead us to the promised land of Premiership glory, but we can dream, can't we? However, his goals and performances could lift us to the right end of the Premiership and perhaps, who knows, a successful cup campaign.
I wasn't there to witness Bobby Moncs lift the Fairs Cup in '69. I was lunching on my father's yacht which was berthed off Monaco at the time. However, this could be the year when our skinhead Frenchman helps us to heal those years of hurt.
And I, for one, will make sure my personal cinema screen, state-of-the-art surround sound system, and sound-proofed TV room, are tuned in for when they do.

Adam said:

I was one of the first to question the signing of Sibierski - but mainly for the lack of ambition it showed. We ARE a big club and we should not be picking up unwanted freebies from teams we usually look down on.

However, whatever anyone may say about the signing, Sibierski has been fantastic - you simply cannot fault him. I would start him every week, and I can see him linking up very well indeed with pacey players like Martins and Dyer. He will never replace Shearer, but he can certainly help to fill the void until we (hopefully) splash out on a real replacement.

Martins is improving but is still far from the finished article - his (lack of) movement and decision making can be infuriating at times, but he is still only 22 and certainly has the potential to be a cracking player for us. Let's just hope GR was right to spend £10m on a player for the future when the rest of our strikers are either permanently crocked or permanently out of favour!

Gerry Hagon said:

Agree with everything you say about Sibierski. He has been a shrewd aquisition by Glen and in the absence of Michael and Ameobi invaluable to our team.
I think also that the recent signing up of Nigel Pearson to coach our defence is showing rewards on the pitch. You were right there again, Lee. When it was first announced I simply could not summon up any enthusiasm at all but Pearson has obviously done something to our defence that no one else has done. Their record now is looking good and has made us all look at our forwards and midfield to supply the goals that will give us that impetus to climb up to the top where we belong.
Even the free issue of scarves has cheered me up. What a sight, by the way.

Anonymous said:

Btw it was Keegan who bought him to Man city in the first place..


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links