Monday, November 06, 2006

Down among the dead men Part II......

Hands up all those people who thought Newcastle and Charlton would be propping up the league table at this stage of the season, there cannot be that many who'd have predicted that? I for one cannot believe how badly both teams have faired thus far. I fully expected the three promoted clubs to really struggle and to go straight back down, I still do, from what I've seen Reading have the best chance of staying up, but I wouldn't put a penny on that happening.

To say Newcastle are missing Michael Owen would be something of an understatement, but I actually hope that the Magpies turn it round, because I think Glen Roeder seems like a good young manager. Yet today it's been announced that Newcastle's chairman Freddy Shepherd is to hold crisis talks with the manager later in the week. It sounds like a pr exercise, Shepherd was quoted today saying 'it's about time the players realised who they are playing for'... one would hope that things aren't that bad that the players aren't suffering from amnesia - I think we can safely rule that out as the likely cause of Newcastle's problems. More likely this was the reaction of a chairman under-fire, after the home fans chanted 'sack the board' following the home defeat by fellow strugglers and relegation certs Sheffield United this weekend.
Newcastle will be okay providing everyone holds their nerve.

Charlton are another thing entirely, you do wonder how much Ian Dowie's off the field problems with his former employer Simon Jordan are affecting him. Jordan is a man who wants his piece of flesh and his day in court. Like Newcastle though, they have too many good players to go down and so faith is the key.

A few weeks ago ("The Sack Race") I predicted that Man City's Stuart Pearce could be a managerial casualty, I still feel that is a distinct possibility, he will walk before he's pushed and I wouldnt rule out him ending up at somewhere like Newcastle at some point in the future. City wont go down though, I'd be amazed if they did.

'Boro are another club whose supporters will be having sleepless nights about their lowly league position, but they too should have too much in the locker to be considered serious relegation candidates, at least for now at any rate.

I shall return to this dead men walking theme in the coming weeks ahead. For me and for now Warnock, Coppell and Boothroyd remain my favourites to slide back down the greasy pole.

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