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Tin hat time again

By Lee Ryder on Mar 30, 07 02:08 PM

We've had two weeks to stew about it but now it's back to work.

The defeats against AZ Alkmaar and Charlton have lingered longer in the memory than most because of the international break but now Newcastle United at least have a great chance of putting things right in the game with Manchester City,

Talk from the players is that a place in Europe can still be achieved.

However, it would me a massive ask from a squad that have never really put together a convincing run of form all season.

Perhaps the expectations of fans have even gone down a little.

But surely we can beat Man City!

City have actually been much worse than United at their worst this term and nothing short of a convincing home win will send the fans away happy.

All most fans ask in the final four home games of the season is a couple of wins and at least give it a proper go against Arsenal and Chelsea.

Certain members of the squad will be gone next season but while some of them are still in the going, going section - they can still rescue their career in Toon with a few quality performances.

But have some players got that left in them after such an up and down campaign?

As mentioned frequently by managers, fans and players - the injuries have played a big part but that's only because the wafer thin squad was always an injury crisis away from mid-table mediocrity or worse.

And now with Glenn Roeder's side in 11th place with eight games left, the proof will be in the pudding in the last few games, with everyone bar Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi back from injury.

Quite what emotion we'll be going through on Monday nobody knows!

3 Comments

Ian Teasdale said:

These are very worrying times ahead. We now go to home games against teams like Man City hoping we don't get beaten instead of expecting to win.
With only 8 games left i only hope Bramble does enough to get his new contract to stay at the club, and Goochy gets packed off home, because Goochy is not the saviour we all hoped for. Bramble needs to stay at the club and work with the 2 new full backs we should get at the end of the season.
I still think we'll win tomorrow and hope the confidence returns to the team and we get back to winning ways.

Alan Clark (no relation to sniffer) said:

The sign of a good manager can normally be seen after half time. It is their chance to make changes to tactics, to personnel, and to inspire the team to greater efforts. For example take the auld fella with the gong his team being 1-0 down to Blackburn, 2nd half they turn it round and end up winning 4-1. It makes me sick that with 50000 people in our magnificent stadium we dont see similar efforts made on our behalf. The simple fact is that Glen is a nice bloke but he along with several members of the current squad are not good enough, and unless they go the consequences will be catastrophic. If some of our players were in the disgusting red shirts of the mancs. they would be well aware of what was expected of them, and yet with nothing in our cabinet for decades 50000 people turn up and are treated to incompetence both on the field and apparently off it aswell. We are proud people up here and we demand effort and skill from those that represent us. Football is a simple game lets not be stupid here, we just need someone to come in and start talking simply giving instuctions that everyone can understand and we need to come together as a club like only we can. No players playing out of position, keep it simple, we can do this, please!!!!!

Bill Nelson said:

Bramble's let us down too often in the past, as have Carr, Babayaro and, until Saturday, Duff. What's wrong with giving Edgar a chance at left back? Did all right against Ronaldo and he's the best there is. Moore's the only centre back we have that can actually play - when he's not injured. Taylor's still learning but he makes too many mistakes - he's caught out of position and he does the old Andy O'Brien with his opponents' shirts. Not only is Milner the obvious choice to play wide right, it's also obvious that he plays better with Nobby at right back. Perhaps our biggest problem (apart from a centre forward who can't score - but we're used to that: look at Shola and, in his last season, even Shearer) is that we have a centre midfield who show little or no guile, who resort to "tough" tackling when skill and vision are required and who are all too often bypassed by Given and the defence. If Dyer's on form, then he should centre of midfield, inside from the winger (although if he's not on form, he shouldn't be playing. Simple as that). Who do you play with him? Charlie? Emre? Maybe, but he can get a little wayward. Parker? No chance. Too many people mistake going in too hard for genuine grit and I'm afraid he's been off his game for a while (the Liverpool match being the exception that proves the rule). Maybe it's down to Butt? Whatever, but surely Roeder can see what we all can: Parker and Butt should not be in the same 11.

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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.

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