Back to Reality.......3 points at Blackburn please
I'm excited, are you excited? Premier League football is back and we don't have to wait as long as others thanks to Saturdays 12:45 kick-off. I'll be tucking into my breakfast around that time. Mug of tea in one hand and face stuffed with egg, bacon and toast. The good life. Andy Gray commentating would complete me.
I don't miss Blackburn away. Always found myself travelling up there by car, which as some of you may know is a hideously long journey. Especially for a 0-0. I'm a Sky Sports man tomorrow (it's part of the contract when selling your soul to the devil).
Palacios a main concern for the away trip, jet-lag being the likely reason if he's not present in the starting line-up. He played a part in Honduras 3-1 win over Mexico that saw the end of Sven. No team news just yet, so I can't confirm whether England International Darren Ashley Bent will be fit and available for selection.
Win this and any lingering concerns of relegation will be banished. I'll be shaking my booty in celebration. 41 points is safety territory. My hips don't lie. We can probably start to salivate at the possibility of a 7th spot finish. We've picked up points some cheeky points when not expected to do so. All I'm requesting from Harry and the players is to not lose any points where we are expected to pick them up. It's a test. One that needs passing.
Elsewhere, congratulations to Aaron Lennon for claiming the PFA player of the month award. Well deserved. Even if some of the lazy journalists who prioritise completing a match report in time for a deadline and base their analysis on generalisations and sound bites (rather than actually watching the game) don't quite rate his rate of improvement. At international level at least. I read one or two references to 'end-product' or lack of. Really? Sure, he has a habit of fizzing the ball when on occasions cutting back and playing it 'inside' would be preferable. But the boy done good against the Ukraine. When his team-mates decided to give him the ball. Criticism was best left for the ones who deserved it. Johnson and Cole come to mind.
Don't usually talk about other clubs, but everyone has an opinion on Newcastle United. Bit of a gutless move this by Shearer. An exercise in inflating ones ego. If Newcastle stay up, he'll be a hero and might well walk away from it (he's claiming he is there for 8 games only) as the inspired legend of the club saving them from the hellmouth of Championship football. If they do go down it wont be because of him. He'll have done his best and at least galvanised the crowd in the short term.
The Newcastle board should have appointed someone far earlier or Shearer should have stepped up after JK went into hospital. Or would that have meant far too many games for Shearer and the possibility of actually being responsible if his team were relegated?
Imagine Shearer on MotD next season having 'saved' Newcastle from the drop? The smugness will be unbearable. He'll be able to give us insight on other managers experiencing problems at their clubs, because 'he's been in the dressing room from the perspective of first team coach'.
That's why our priority this season should simply be this: Thrash Newcastle United at the Lane and save our Match of the Day as a consequence.