It could be a great year for all my ex-clubs! - 11/05/2004

It could be a great year for all my ex-clubs!
A good deal for Scott and for Charlton

Chelsea reach the semi-final of the Champions League and second place in the Premiership, Charlton look to reach their highest Premiership points tally, QPR gain automatic promotion, and even Bournemouth and Gillingham can look back on a season's that weren't too bad. That leaves Newcastle facing a crucial two games that will make or break their season.  

If you take away the fact that Ranieri is likely to be replaced, the Italian manager would have probably accepted the progress that has been made this term. All and sundry agreed that you can't develop a champion team in one season, so in coming second and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions's all that could be hoped for! I can sympathise with Ranieri's plight, but I also understand Abramovich. He's written off a great deal of debt and invested millions in a  new squad, he has a right to select his own man and as he replaced the very capable Trevor Birch with Peter Kenyon, he's also likely to replace the very capable Claudio Ranieri with ?

Charlton are chasing their highest ever Premiership points total and I believe that Alan Curbishley's team will continue to progress next season. The loss of Scott Parker was a blow, but if the cash can improve the squad then it may yet be a step in the right direction with a negative being turned into a positive. 

QPR have done tremendously well in gaining automatic promotion - especailly after they came through the disappointment of losing last season's play-off final. Interestingly enough, QPR had to travel to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and they like Newcastle, have won their lions share of points from home games. With Bristol City winning they needed a rare away win and came through with a 3-1 victory. I hope it's a positive omen for Newcastle.  

People seem to forget that Newcastle have lost four key players in perhaps the most crucial part of the season. In my opinion, if Woodgate, Bellamy, Jenas, and Dyer had stayed fit, it's quite possible that my old club may have tied up fourth place before they have to visit Anfield. The booing and criticism of Bobby Robson would have been replaced with cheering and media praise! But that is football...a results based business that can be as cruel as it can be kind. Newcastle are capable of pulling off a result at Southampton, and if they do, then they'll travel to Anfield with fresh confidence and determination. The Geordie heads will be lifted and we could be in for another classic Liverpool v Newcastle game...I certainly hope so!





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