Bring on Inter - 27/02/2003

After last night’s relatively easy win against Leverkusen, it’s all set up for a mammoth night in Milan. At present the games just can’t come soon enough, and although we’ve the little matter of Chelsea on Saturday and then Boro away, I’m really looking forward to the Inter game. One thing’s for sure, we’ll give them a real, tough match. I hear they’ve a few injury problems and that Cannavaro’s also suspended. Although they beat us 4-1 at St. James, our present form and Inter’s problems really set this up as a close game. What a platform to play on, and what a game in prospect. I didn’t think we’d see the Feyenoord match surpassed for atmosphere, but with so much at stake for both clubs the San Siro could provide the venue for the best game of the season.

Last night's game was a bit of a mismatch – although the Germans didn’t play that well, you have to appreciate that their domestic situation is more important to them. As a result, after the first two goals went in the game was dead. It’s a shame for the fans, but it was great for everyone to see Al get his hat-trick – apart from me that is!!! He’s got all the records in the book and now he’s gone and taken my one and only record. It was nice whilst it lasted, but with a total of four Champions League goals, it was only a matter of time before it went! Now it’s his, I just hope he goes on and gets another four in the next two games.

Chelsea will be tough, and although we’re riding a crest of a wave, we could come crashing down on Saturday. Before the Blackburn result last week, they’d been on a great run. They’ve some class individuals, and if there had been a doubt about their consistency, they’ve gone a long way this season to set that one straight. That young lad…Zola, he’s a player isn’t he!? With Hasselbaink and Gudjohnsen also more than capable of hitting the back of the net, they’re a potent force. They turned us over last season, and the season before I think it was 0-0, so coupled with a bit of a poor record at Stamford Bridge, Bobby won’t let the lads underestimate them. Once again, that first goal will be crucial, and whoever get’s it will more than probably go on to win. Lets just hope that we have a repetition of the last three games, where we’ve scored a goal within the first 15 minutes or so.

I stayed up in Newcastle last night, and this afternoon I’m part of a panel – along with Jermaine Jenas – judging a ‘funky footwear’ design competition. It’s a project for 11-16 year old’s, sixty-five schools have taken part and knowing that I’ve built a reputation as a fashion icon, they invited me along to help choose the best design. Seriously though, I’m all for these sort of initiatives and I’m happy to help. Some kids may not show their true potential through exam results, I didn’t, but that’s not to say they haven’t got talent. The North East winners will face the best from the South East, let’s hope Newcastle's recent record in London is matched by today’s winners!

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