Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get Ready for the Coronation

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Get Ready for the Coronation

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN GIBSON

THE glittering crown is held in unshakeable hands just a few inches above the head.

Newcastle United are about to be crowned kings of the Championship and the lips of the trumpeters are pursed in appreciation.

Tonight in far off Plymouth all should be confirmed, with the coronation before loyal subjects at St James' Park to follow on Saturday.

Oh, what a right royal day that will be! United fully deserve their big occasion. They have been a class above all in this division.

However, forget about the mere point of confirmation. Let us gain victory at Plymouth, achieve 100 points and finish the season on a long unbeaten run. True champions do that.

While United are preening themselves to receive the Premier prize, Plymouth are scrapping for their very lives with less and less hope of survival.

Not even a Mariner has been able to navigate the high seas which have smashed Argyle against the relegation rocks, which is a shame for Paul but more so as far as we are concerned for his sidekick John Carver, a Geordie and loyal Newcastle servant as Sir Bobby Robson's No 2. Even though Plymouth are desperate I cannot see them dumping United on their backsides. They have played the black-and-whites three times already this campaign without winning once.

That Steve Harper is United's only ever present is testament to Chris Hughton's obsession with shuffling his pack, albeit successfully in the main, rather than changes being restricted to replacing injured players.

For example, at Reading last match Hughton chose to bench goal-laden strikers Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands as well as star performer Jose Enrique.

Equally, he recently went to Peterborough and left out FIVE of United's key attacking players - Carroll, Lovenkrands, Jonas Gutierrez, Wayne Routledge and Danny Guthrie. Only Carroll was injured and he was fit enough to return next game. …

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