Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Saturday March 31 2007
Posted by: SteveToon4Lyf
I am sure like most of the Newcastle United fans around, I am getting increasingly tired of the hype about the lack of Silverware the club has won over the previous years. It is well publicised that Newcastle have not won a major trophy since the 1950's but its not all been dark days for the Toon in recent year's. We have had famous Champion League experiences such as the 3-2 victory over Barcelona in 1997 where a certain Faustino 'Tino' Asprilla scored a hat-rick that contributed to the early exit of Louis Van Gaal's team of 'world-beaters'.
There was also the more recent success of being the first team ever to lose all three of their first three games and then still qualify for the Second Phase of the Competition, but none of these help to dust away the cobwebs in the Trophy Cabinet. Some may say that we have had terribly bad luck over recent years with injuries, but we cannot continue to use this as an excuse for our lack of success, we are a big club and should be able to compensate for a player being injured, with a player of a decent quality or level of experience in every position. I am not questioning the job that the likes of Paul Huntington and David Edgar have done for us this season, but i cannot help but feel that they have been asked to play at level that they are not yet ready to stand up to.
We have also made some big-money signings over the previous years that have not worked out. We appreciate that foreign players can take a bit of time to get used to the pace of the Premiership, but i feel that this is used as an excuse for poor performances on a too regular basis.
Emre is a player that looked very promising at Inter Milan but in the Premiership has really struggled to make any sort of an impact. Emre will always be remembered on Tyneside for his spectacular freekick in the local derby against Sunderland, that proved to be the winner, but other than that, what else has he done for us?
Albert Luque is another player that has turned out to be a total failure at the club, Freddy Shepherd paid out over £9 Million to secure his services and i feel that we will now be lucky to get £3 million in return for him, Albert has been given the opportunity to show what he can do but appears to be too lazy, which the Toon are always going to disagree with, yet again a player that will only be remembered for a goal against Sunderland.
Looking at our teamsheet, you'd see a team that should be able to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, possibly even Arsenal, on a week-to-week basis, its just that we cannot get them all fit at the same time, or playing well together.
Scoot Parker is one of the most influential young midfielders in the country at the moment, and i can't help but feel that if the whole team showed the commitment and passion that he shows week in week out, that we would have got a lot further in both domestic and European cup competitions this year and would also be challenging for a Champions league spot again.
Damien Duff is a player that on his day is the one of the best left-wingers in the Premiership, but so far we are yet to see any of the magic he had produced at Chelsea or Blackburn Rovers.
Michael Owen is a player that unfortunately we have not had the pleasure of seeing in the black and white stripes frequently enough yet because he has been blighted by injury, but i am sure when he gets fit will be better that ever!
I honestly believe that next season, should we invest in some decent defenders, and keep the majority of the squad fit for most of the season, we will be a team that will be able to challenge for a Champions League position, and achieve a decent run in both domestic up competitions next year.
I feel that should we have a good finish to this season and put a run together that gets us into the UEFA Cup places; we will be able to go all the way to the Final next year, and go a step further than we have been able to in recent years.
Date:Saturday March 31 2007
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