April 2011 Archives
For many Newcastle United fans the trip to Anfield has all the potential to be a living nightmare with Andy Carroll pulling on the red of Liverpool against the team that handed him his big break in football.
The former number 9 has kept a low profile so far in the build up to the game and is trying to shake off a knee injury picked up at Arsenal.
In an end of season game that could well have had little significance, this one now has more spice in it than a Bigg Market kebab drenched in chilli sauce.
When Michael Owen left Newcastle United many accused the striker of "not caring" about the future of the club that were then left seemingly marooned in the Championship.
Owen remember had been made a lucrative offer by the Magpies back in December 2008 but decided to "delay" a decision about his future, back then he said: "I hope this is seen as a positive, and not disloyal in any way."
His key concerns then were that he was concerned about which division United would be playing in and the harm that staying at St James' Park was causing his England chances.
It was a given that he was never going to even consider playing in the Championship and with the striker out of contract, but United were never going to bow down to his sky high demands.
In truth, he was a different player to the one that arrived in a blaze of glory in 2005 from Real Madrid by the team he left Newcastle and then rubbed salt into the wounds by signing for Man United.
Just like a trip to dentist, watching toothless Newcastle United try and fail to beat Aston Villa was a painful experience.
For all Shola Ameobi brings to the table at Newcastle (presence, muscle, the odd goal and half decent hold play), when the news filtered around the Villa Park Press room that he'd woken up with swelling on his knee after a knock in training, the fact his absence was regarded "a blow" shows how threadbare the Magpies really are this season.
At one stage this term Shola couldn't get into the Newcastle side because of the blistering form of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan who had formed one of the best partnerships in black and white in recent years.