Sharp shooters need to step up to the plate for NUFC

By Lee Ryder on Feb 13, 11 03:20 PM

Newcastle United fans filed out of Ewood Park knowing they could be celebrating much more than just a single point and you could not forgive them for thinking if the Magpies had a natural born predator in front of goal then this game would have been won.

There is little point in harping on about Andy Carroll, he's gone and isn't coming back any time soon if ever again.

Even if he was still here, the player is injured and couldn't take part even if that is stating the obvious.

There are still goals in this team...

Peter Lovenkrands went for the spectacular and could have easily snatched the winner when he smacked the bar .

Fabricio Coloccini - our central defender - could also have been the hero when his well struck effort was parried away by Paul Robinson.

After that half chances came and went, and had Jose Enrique been a bit more ambitious his break in the second half could also have won the day.

The stats told a story too, six shots on target for the Mags compared to a big fat zero for long ball merchants Blackburn.

Newcastle looked superb going foward and some reports that this was a dull game may have raised an eyebrow or two amongst the United faithful.

Of course it was dull in comparison with the Arsenal game when United managed to find the net four times.

But in games like this - and Birmingham could be another one on Tuesday - where are the goals going to come from?

Lovenkrands is not going to score every week but will weigh in with his fair share of goals.

Leon Best works hard but sometimes for me lacks belief and the frustrating thing is that he has got the knack of finding the net.

The ball zipped right across the box in front of him in the second half with a shot on for him, but he fluffed the chance where a more assured strike would have at least worked the keeper a bit more.

Nile Ranger is still a young player and is only getting scraps here and there but just like Andy Carroll not too long ago (the first half of last season actually) the need to up his contributions in front of goal needs to be drummed into the player.

Does he want it enough?

We'll see.

If anybody didn't know what Shefki Kuqi's role is by now, here's another reminder, he's a back-up player but a back-up player who has popped up with his fair share of goals in his career.

However, I don't see Kuqi getting much of the chance with Alan Pardew - who admirably tried to win the game yesterday away from home - obviously keen to get much more out of Lovenkrands, Ranger and Best while Shola Ameobi is injured and the £35million burns a hole in his transfer kitty, or so we hope.

One player who does know where the net is though is Kevin Nolan.

He's chipped in with 10 so far and he does enjoy playing in the deep lying forward role.

By the time Hatem Ben Arfa comes back he may be pushed up anyway.

Time - as always - will tell but if Newcastle are to turn draws into wins, our remaining frontline troopers need to start showing a selfish streak.


steve phillips said:

For "fair share of goals" read ... minimal ammount!
any true sports writer with a club of the size and stature of Newcastle United FC on his beat would be turing out hard hitting articles commenting on the state of the squad, the lack of ambition, forward planning or interest in progressing the club shown by the "board" during any of the transfer windows they have precided over!
Even leaving Carrol out of the argument, the hot air spouted during the last window and the lack of any meaningfull bussiness through the in door was pathetic, Routlege wasn't replaced, Xisco wasn't resplaced and the "two players" in the squad needed before anyone left the club ended up being one injured central midfielder with no option to make the move perminant!
This club was sitting behind Sunerland and Liverpool, two teams we had out played even with a far smaller squad and far leass backing in the first half of the season, surely any owner with ambition or even interest in the club would have seen that propper investment at a reasonable level would have us pushing past these two and into European contention.
Why then does this local sportwriter see spinning non entities like Lovenkrands, Kuqui and Best as if they are of a level fitting a club this size as "job done" as far as a journalist from the local area is concerned?
Does keeping in Ashley's good books mean more than writing the truth and risking being barred from the ground?

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Ohhh Over-reaction alert! Over-reaction alert! The article is simply about the options that are available to the team at the moment.
I agree with you that Newcastle need one or two "big name" strikers this summer to replace the void left by Carroll.
But then again we need another left-back to cover for Enrique and one or two more quality wingers, which we have sadly lacked this season.
Then and only then can we start thinking about European contention.
For now, we are left to talk about what we have and that includes Kuqi, Best and Lovenkrands.
As local reporters, we can only report what is happening at the club.
We can't sign players or appoint managers.
And believe it or not if the team loses, we can't change that either!
As much as people internally and externally feel we can.

alex moore said:

Good article lee, argree with you on this. Shame some people live with there heads in the clouds.

DormAnt said:

The target for this season is, and always was survival, we are in my opinion still on target to survive this season.

We have to date over achieved this season with the limited squad numbers and members we have at our disposal. This has been aided by the fact some of the more established teams in the PL have underperformed in line with expectation.

This has caused us to raise our hopes and set our sights on a possible European place for next season. This is an unwarranted and unwanted distraction from our main goal of survival.

We must return to the real issue and prize at stake, and concentrate 100 percent on it in isolation, and that is survival in the PL this season.

The off-field shenanigans of Steptoe & Chum in the boardroom have only added fuel to the flames of unrest amongst NUFC supporters all around the world. This no doubt has been their intention from the outset.

One can only conclude that this is a deliberate ploy by Mutt and Jeff to deflect attention away from what is really going on behind the scenes at SJP. And as is always the case - the fans will be the last to know of their true intentions - good or evil.

If it all goes horribly (god forbid) wrong and the SS SJP strikes the rocks and sinks into championship oblivion. I will be the first to write an unauthorised autobiography of Mike ( Hannibal Lecter) Ashley in the Newcastle years.
I think a fitting title, and his epitaph, just may be....


DormAnt said:

Sorry - biography - I'm guilty ow writing without due care and attention.

Restless Native said:

Answer me this. What the hell is young Sturridge doing on a season long loan at Bolton instead of being with us? How hard would it have been to say to Liverpool "yes, you can have Carroll for the right price AND as long as you tell Chelsea they can have Torres IF they loan Sturridge to Newcastle"?

Doesn't take a flippin' genius to figure that out does it?

But oh no, not the Fat Man. While Sturridge is banging in the goals for Bolton we get an aged Swansea reject.

The incompetence with which our club is being managed is laughable.


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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