Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

One -Pointers Have to Find Their Way to Goal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

One -Pointers Have to Find Their Way to Goal

Article excerpt

Byline: John Gibson

UNITED'S one-pointers rumble on to Birmingham tomorrow night desperately searching within their ranks for a regular goalscorer to turn draws into deserved victories.

Once again the Magpies gave up two points at Blackburn Rovers, just as they did through last-gasp equalisers conceded against Spurs and Sunderland of recent times.

That's six points sacrificed which ought to have been harvested, and would have made a decent Premier League ranking that much more impressive.

Tenth would have been miraculously transformed to seventh - above Sunderland.

Only in the sensational one-off draw with Arsenal when 0-4 became 4-4 can we talk of a point being genuinely gained in Newcastle's last five league outings.

Bearing in mind that three of those comeback goals at St James' Park hit the net from the boot of midfielders, it shows that United, shorn of Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi, haven't a striker with regular goals in his locker.

Sure, skipper Kevin Nolan has notched an eye-popping 10 Premier bullseyes, but he isn't playing in the hole any more and from his deep position on the park we must see his goals as a bonus, not a guarantee.

Over four of the last five games, taking out the freakish Arsenal match, United have scored but two goals, which tells its own story.

Leon Best has claimed four in two Premier games, but none from his other four plus a sub appearance, though his return is still decent enough for him to claim he brings hope.

However, Peter Lovenkrands has only two goals at this top level and Nile Ranger none at all.

That is a problem for Alan Pardew to toy with as he attempts to manufacture a victory. Shefki Kuqi is the only striker who can be called to arms, otherwise it's down to tweaking the tactics and we await to see if our 34-year-old late import will be a bellyflop or do a bellyflop (after scoring). …

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