Three massive games - 28/01/2003

After losing to Newcastle last week, weíre faced with three absolutely massive games. Iíll stick my neck out and say that if we can get 7 out of the 9 available points, then weíll be playing Premiership football again next season. I know that 7 will only take us to 28 points, but by taking points from Birmingham and West Brom, weíd have helped push both midland clubs further into the mire.

Looking back to the game at St.James Park, we played some good football Ė especially in the second half, but good football doesnít automatically bring you points. Both West Ham and Fulham are sides who can and do play attractive football, yet both are under performing. Itís what happens in the final third of the pitch that counts, and although Newcastle scored a good goal from Jenas, there were no scorers on the Bolton sheet.

The media gave Campo a positive reaction, but he didnít convince me. Sitting in front of the back four gave him time and space, and as a result he had plenty of time to select a pass. If a Premiership and ex-Real Madrid player canít pick out those passes, then itís a different game to the one I played not so many years ago! In my opinion he hasnít got the necessary composure for the Premiership, you get little time or space at this level and heís been found out on a number of occasions. In this game Newcastle choose not to put a man on him Ė and why should they? Eleven wins out of twelve speaks for itself.

As I mentioned above, itís all about putting the ball in the back of the net. The Everton game comes at a time where theyíre not enjoying their best spell of football. Rooney is suspended and they went out of the cup to Shrewsbury. Since then theyíve been beaten by Tottenham and did us a favour by taking the points at home to Sunderland. But the question has to be, whoís going to get the Bolton goals tonight? I wouldnít play Ricketts, he didnít get a good reception at Newcastle and if the crowd turn on him, then itíll be a negative situation for the rest of the team. Coupled with the fact that he won't want to injure himself, I simply canít see the point in him playing. A poor performance is hardly going to boost his value on the transfer market, and if selected, I can't see a the chance of a hat trick. Samís been talking of bringing in two strikers, and with the Ballesta deal looking by no means certain, I hope Samíll get a breakthrough.


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