Well now we have seen everything – Alan Shearer the Premier League’s all time top goalscorer has resorted to bringing in a therapist to improve his players’ confidence.
Having not won in their last eight games Newcastle are in desperate need of a change of form if they are going to stay up. With trouble all over the pitch reports today claim that Shearer has brought in a specialist therapist to raise the level of confidence within the team.
This is not the first time something like this has been tried to attempt to stave off relegation, Leeds United spent thousands of pounds on tropical fish when they were mired in a fight for survival. This did not work. Then again, Roy Keane was also rumoured to have brought in a psychologist to help at Sunderland, and the England regime before Capello was keen on therapists as well.
In other words, the track record of therapists in football isn’t that good.
With his side going into a massive relegation scrap against Portsmouth on Monday night, only victory will do as the Magpies edge ever closer to the drop. They go into the game with England international Michael Owen looking for his first goal in 12 games but with both Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins fit after returning from injury against Tottenham at the weekend.
It’s not just going forward that United have been struggling recently though and Shearer’s hired help will no doubt be talking to the defensive players as Newcastle search for their first clean sheet in seven games. A defeat would all but end their hopes of staying up, already four points adrift of safety with only five games to go the manager has repeatedly stressed the importance of winning all the remaining home games.
Things are looking slightly more positive for Portsmouth after the weekend’s results saw them move six points clear of the relegation drop. Despite losing to Manchester United last night Paul Hart’s team have been in impressive form recently and will travel to St James’s Park knowing that a victory will all but secure their safety. However they will not get an easy ride at Newcastle, the fans will be behind the team and midfielder Alan Smith has added his voice to those calling for Shearer to stay on. Whether he does or not may well depend on whether his side stay up or fall to the Championship.
So Shearer has turned to a therapist to aid his players as they go in search of the elusive first win under the messiah but having only won four games at home all season the signs are not good. If they were to fail to win or even worse, lose, then forget therapy, Newcastle would need a full-blown miracle to prevent relegation.