Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If Al Doesn't Score Then We've Had It!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

If Al Doesn't Score Then We've Had It!

Article excerpt

To say the natives are restless at Newcastle United's woeful start to the season would be rather understating the level of dissatisfaction with our team.

We have blown an incredible amount of money and potential glory by losing to Partizan Belgrade in a Champions League qualifier we were set up to win comfortably. Allied to that, our appalling displays and points total from home matches with Man Utd, Birmingham and Bolton make another crack at the world's premier club competition doubtful to say the least if this current malaise continues much longer.

Where is it all going wrong?

Everyone has their own take on our tactical approach and similarly the quality (and otherwise) of the club's coaching and playing personnel.

By and large the stinging criticism coming the way of Sir Bobby and his charges hits the bulls-eye and if certain players were to witness the full strength of feeling, they may be surprised.

Without naming individuals, under intense scrutiny from the stands let me just say Shay Given, Jonathan Woodgate and Alan Shearer can sleep easy in their beds.

The rest, and some wannabe top players, may have their out-size egos dented somewhat were they exposed to some of the post-match discussions which turned the air blue in our city's licensed premises on Saturday evening.

On the tactical front, we have lacked the guile to open up teams at St James' Park and the absence of goals from certain "superstars" is dire.

Basically, if Alan Shearer doesn't score, we've had it!

One of the key strengths of our side in recent seasons has been electrifying pace, exploiting the space behind defenders. Bolton sat back and denied us that commodity on Saturday.

How we in the stands longed for a Peter Beardsley shuffle, sending defenders for the pies as his skill punched a hole in the massed defence of the opposition. …

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