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It's not a disaster...yet! - 10/05/2004

It's not a disaster...yet!
Bowyer - showed passion that the crowd appreciates
   Lee Bowyer
   Sir Bobby Robson
   Newcastle United
   Wolvehampton Wanderers

One year ago the future at St.James Park looked very bright. We'd reached the second phase of the Champions League and once more qualified for the premier competition - players were desperate to come to Newcastle. Twelve months on and the disappointment and frustration at St. James is massive.

Something is not right at the club and to be honest, I really can't put my finger on it. How a team can play so well against a Chelsea side full of stars and playing with confidence...then days later only draw to a modest Wolves side with nothing to play for - I just don't know. But Wolves were playing for something - their pride. Yesterday you saw Lee Bowyer playing with desire and passion, he shone out in the Newcastle team. Why weren't the rest of players showing such passion? You can point to physical and mental fatigue, but I don't really buy that. Newcastle had everything to play for and the backing of 50,000 fans, but too many players simply went through the motions. Yet these were the same players who played with purpose and determination against Chelsea?

For me, I was surprised with the way Bobby dismissed the dropped points. It's all very well saying that 'we have two cup finals to play', but does that make the fans feel any better? The stands emptied before the final whistle and there were a fair percentage of the crowd booing certain players and booing when it was announced the players would remain on the pitch after the game. The hard core will never boo and these fans should be commended, but you can understand those who show their frustration. If all the team showed passion and desire for the full 90 minutes and things don't come off, the fans will forgive the players, but when they see players appearing to drift through games then you're going to get that reaction.

The top three are so far in front, and with Liverpool looking to get further investment, next season will be harder than this. If Newcastle can get the two wins then the season will be saved, if not, then it's going to be a long and tough summer.

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