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The good, the bad, and the ugly - 12/02/2004

The good, the bad, and the ugly
Kieron - better in a central role
   Craig Bellamy
   Kieron Dyer
   Alan Shearer
   Sir Bobby Robson
   Blackburn Rovers
   Leicester City
   Newcastle United

Most Newcastle fans will look back at last night’s game and agree that the game was there for the taking – but conceding in the last few minutes is becoming an unwanted habit.

The ‘good’ news were the 90 minutes and sharp goal scored by Craig Bellamy. He’s had a tough time and to come back and make such a contribution was excellent news for the Welshman. The ‘bad’ was the first half of last night’s game when Blackburn bossed the game and Newcastle were poor. We have quality players and really, those 45 minutes were unacceptable  - I’m sure that was pointed out by Bobby at half time – certainly the second half saw a big improvement. The ‘ugly’ is wholeheartedly reserved for Lucas Neill’s ‘tackle’ on Bellamy. Don’t tell me that he got the ball first, it was a bad foul that the ref didn’t punish but could have caused a broken bone.  Lucas Neill has a bit of previous in him and although we all know what a pain in the backside Bellers can be for the opposition, challenges such as that are undefendable. The fact that he went over to Bellamy and gave him some lip just goes to prove that he meant more than simply winning the ball.

Another worrying aspect of both the Blackburn and Leicester games was the lack of width. Kieron is a class player, but playing him on the right of midfield – where he has a natural tendency to drift inside is not the answer. Without harping back to the Solano sale, who else can give Newcastle the width and quality of crosses that Alan Shearer thrives on? I know I might upset some from within St.James Park, but we’re all – fans, the media, players - entitled to our opinions. If Bobby can secure that fourth place without replacing Solano then he’s done well, and that’ll help justify the sale. Time will tell whether the move was good business, and right now isn’t the time to make such as judgement. I honestly don’t know what Al makes of the situation, but if I were him I’d be happier playing in a team with width.

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