Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: United Need a Shift in Fortunes Tonight; Can Kinnear Inspire Magpies to Hit City Hard?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: United Need a Shift in Fortunes Tonight; Can Kinnear Inspire Magpies to Hit City Hard?

Article excerpt

Byline: John Gibson

IT'S the club they can't sell against the one they did - literally for millions upon millions.

While Newcastle United desperately look round for a financial saviour, the funeral march has given away to sheikh, rattle and roll for Manchester City, now the richest club in the world.

United have been an institution which has always loved big-time signings like Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, but City now stand apart, even more splash happy than Roman Abramovich and Chelsea, spending an obscene pounds 34m on Brazilian Robinho without a flicker of thought for any credit crunch.

They have a sugar daddy like no other. Mike Ashley isn't at the same hoopla stall!

And Sheikh Mansour doesn't even interfere with his manager Mark Hughes. Oh, the luxury of it all.

Uncle Joe Kinnear, released from his touchline ban, will be in the dug out for his home debut after United's rising from the dead for a morale-boosting 2-2 draw at Everton.

The Toon Army are willing to warmly welcome JFK because the desperate need is for him to conjure a win from somewhere.

A relegation position doesn't sit comfortably on Geordie shoulders, but that's where we are after a succession of defeats only halted at Goodison last time out.

While a national television audience watches the likes of Robinho, Jo, Elano and Shaun Wright-Phillips with fascination, let us hope it's United who produce a match-winner.

Kinnear needs more players fit and available, and his prayers are beginning to be answered with Habib Beye, Jonas Gutierrez and Oba Martins looking lively once again on the training ground, and Joey Barton about to make himself available after a long rest at the FA and Her Majesty's pleasure.

However, all that is offset by the considerable blow of Michael Owen's absence tonight with yet another niggling injury sustained in training.

The lad is as delicate as porcelain. Typical, isn't it, that at the end of an international fortnight when Owen hasn't been away with England, he still ends up hurt and missing United's next game!

The timing of a goalscoring performance this evening to remind Fabio Capello of his existence would have been perfect at the end of an international period when England's most prolific scorer still wearing football boots was ignored. …

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