Friday, October 27, 2006

Newcastle preview

Our record away at St.James's Park in the Premiership has been mixed, but far from hopeless. Overall, we have drawn three, lost three and won one. We drew there at the beginning of our first Premiership season despite having Richard Rufus sent off. I was there when we scored the winning goal some eight minutes into the fixture on our return to the Premiership, but even with the aid of binoculars it was difficult to discern which of the match like figures had scored until text messages established it was Graham Stuart.

We then took a trouncing 3-0 the following year and this was followed by two more years of losses. We have drawn there for the last two years. We really need a win tomorrow, although a draw would be acceptable. Newcastle are by no means invincible despite their fans' excessive expectations. We have kept a clean sheet in our last two matches and just need some extra bite in attack.

Hopefully, Diawara will be available to replace Fortune in defence, although I would almost favour Fortune over El K of long ball and reckless challenge fame. At least he is no longer taking the free kicks.

In midfield, Faye is a must, along with our hopefully available playmaker Reid. I would start Thomas if he has recovered from the bruising he received on Wednesday. I would then play Holland who has had a good couple of games, getting his first yellow card in the Premiership which shows a more challenging attitude. If we went for 4-5-1, I would then include Rommedahl.

I would, however, prefer 4-4-2. Darren Bent should be fit, but I would not necessarily accompany him by Hasselbaink, even though he created the goal on Wednesday and had a couple of other good efforts. This game requires someone who is really up for it and that person is Marcus Bent who in his recent comments has displayed a real hunger to prove himself to the manager and the fans. I know that some of the Addickted think that he has an 'attitude problem', but I met him when he first joined the club and I thought that he was a nice guy who was really keen to make something of his move to Charlton.

I am sponsoring the match ball at Leamington v Oldbury United tomorrow for Maggie's birthday. However, the ever hopeful Paul May is making the long trek from Erith to Geordieland for a night on the toon and will be providing a match report.


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