Newcastle United have a chance on Sunday of making an impact in the Premiership — which they have failed to do all season.
They play Chelsea at St. James’ Park where last year — in the last game of the season — they won by a solitary goal scored by Titus Bramble.
In the two games they have played against Chelsea this season they have played extremely well while losing both games 1-0.
With the fans right now very unhappy with the team – the players have an excellent opportunity to produce something to send them home happy — a win.
While Chelsea are on a tremendous run of form, Newcastle could nevertheless make a dent in the London club’s pursuit of a third successive championship.
It will depend on which Newcastle team turns up on Saturday but every player should have motivation as Roeder has made it clear that they are all playing for their futures at the club.
The game will come too early for Michael Owen — but the last thing Newcastle want to do is rush Michael back this season. Newcastle’s quest for Europe is very likely over — for the second time in three years – so it may be best to keep Michael fback or next season. Whether he should be allowed to play for England in June will come under intense scrutiny from the club.
Glenn Roeder must get the best out of his players in these final games of the season – as his motivational abilities are under intense scrutiny from the fans.
This is what he had to say Friday about the game:
“Every game of football is worth winning, wherever you are in the league. Every game of football is a challenge.
It is quite weak to say, ‘the season is petering out, we are in the middle of the table, it does not matter if we finish a couple of places higher or a couple of places lower’.
That is a weak mentality. We are playing for a lot of money – every place in the Premiership is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds – so that is very much to play for.
And then, of course, there is the issue of pride. You try to finish as high up the table as you can.”
If only for pride – the Geordie fans will expect their team to challenge Chelsea with 100% all-out effort — anything less will simply not be tolerated.