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Monday, January 30, 2006

"I am often interested in players but I never say so, although I am looking for a striker and a midfield player."

Newcastle Striker Crisis, Vol. 2398, No. 6

Time for some serious thinking about the Toon front line.

First point: Amoeba and Chop are damp squibs. It's a shame, local talent and all, but it's true. We need to clear them out. The problem they pose is two-sided: 1) they stink and 2) when they play, Shearer often drops back behind them, which is not really where he should be. Here's a guy who is almost 100% inside the box, and you have him halfway back to the midfield line? TDH doesn't think so - the last touch should always belong to Shearer or Owen. When Amoeba and Chop play up front, they bring the whole enterprise down.

Second point: The natural partner for Shearer plays next to him. The natural partner for Owen plays slightly behind him. With only six months of Shearer left (sob - just a minute while TDH regains composure, ah, there it is, okay, whew) it makes more sense to plan for the future. So you'd be looking for a largish fellow who can flick balls onwards to the little guy, or play on his flanks - someone rather Harewood-like.

Third point: Central to this whole analysis, of course, is the assumption that Owen will stay after the World Cup. There won't be the same urgency that brought him to Tyneside. He'll have to choose between first-team mediocrity, with much adulation but probably no European hopes for at least a year, or platooning somewhere snazzier. Bless him, it won't be an easy choice.

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TDH saw a very ordinary L'il Ron the Cowboy being completely outclassed (and practically imitated) by L'el Messi at Mallorca. The Argentine starlet should have had a hat-trick within 10 minutes of coming on as a second-half sub, except that he missed a tap-in served up by maitre d'hotel M. Ludovic Giuly. He bagged the brace, though, the first on a classy run and classier finish, the second on an angled chip that reminded TDH of, well, that bucktoothed guy wearing the headband.

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TDH also realized why Villareal lay down in front of Sevilla. It's simple - none of the Argies in yellow wanted to piss off their national team coach. What, you say? Isn't TDH talking about two separate people, i.e. Manuel Pellegrini and the unfortunately named Jose Pekerman? Well, have you ever seen the two of them in the same place together? TDH didn't think so. Ahaaaa!

4 Comments:

Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

Ronnie - 25
Eto'o - 24
Messi - 18
Xavi and Iniesta - 25 or younger

Terrifying, isn't it?

In terms of an impact striker, you need a bit of Dirk Kuyt. Sure he'd have to adapt, but he's strong, good finisher, good in the air, can play a bit as a target man - and haven't Newcastle always had a great record with Dutch signings? eh? oh.

sorry about the silence - moving house etc.

7:40 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, the tempting thing about Dutch players is that they usually have an easier time adapting to the English game than do Spanish or Italian ones. So yeah, I'd definitely be up for Kuyt, especially when he's the centerpiece of the Dutch World Cup challenge.

But there is just so little action on the transom, except for a rumor that Nihat might come. That wouldn't be bad, of course, but the lack of more rumors is disturbing. Yes, I'd be happy with more rumors. Gah.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Dodgy said...

Good call on chopping Chopra (sorry) and the Ameoba. I've been saying that for ages, and whenever I say that about Chopra some people react as though I've suggested infanticide.

I can't see Eto'o adapting to the English game. Although 17-18 goals in what 20 games, that is tempting.

11:31 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Based on rumors swirling around Craven Cottage, Jimmy Floyd seems to be available. Coleman says he's not interested, though, so I say, "Give that man a two-year deal!"

He's 33 but still built like a brick sh*thouse. He'd make a great partner for Shearer or Owen, and he'd also be perfect off the bench... until we can find someone younger. Okay, he's no consensus-builder in the locker room. But come on, it's a slam dunk.

4:43 AM  

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