Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dyer's Future Is on the Line

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dyer's Future Is on the Line

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

Kieron Dyer's career with club and country is at the crossroads as England prepare to take on Ukraine at St James' Park tonight.

That's the opinion of Malcolm Macdonald, who became an England record breaker while with Newcastle United when he scored five goals against Cyprus at Wembley.

"If Dyer sees the international retirement of Paul Scholes as a window of opportunity for him then the way he's gone about things so far has been all wrong," insisted SuperMac.

"His disgraceful antics leading up to the Boro derby could end his United career ( yet if he insisted on playing centre midfield to take over as England's No 1 attacker from Scholes then he ought to remember that throughout Euro 2004 the Manchester United star played on the left wing. Yet Dyer didn't want to play as a winger for Newcastle!

"The guy is at the crossroads of his career. He's blown it with United fans and has to make sure he doesn't blow it with England. Because this is his last chance to become a regular in the team rather than just a sub.

"Dyer's problem is that I haven't seen him improve one iota since he came to Newcastle and this is his sixth season. In comparison, Frank Lampard has improved two, three or even four-fold.

"Dyer has been happy to rely on his pace and hasn't worked on his passing, his kicking, which isn't clean, or his goalscoring. He's averaged two and a half goals a season in the Premiership, which isn't like Scholes.

"Ironically, Nicky Butt has stolen a march on him by starting tonight, just as I suspected he would. Butt is the one in the driving seat."

Sven-Goran, aware of the furore surrounding Dyer, has insisted he won't protect him from the crowd tonight.

Dyer will get on at some stage, probably to play on the left, with Sven insisting: "Kieron will get his chance and I hope the Geordies in the crowd remember what he's done during his five years with Newcastle. I've never protected a player from the crowd and I'm not going to start now. …

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