Having gained an unlikely point from Stamford Bridge and also from the Smoggies away at The Riverside with two back-to-back scoreless draws, it seems that Joe Kinnear is bringing some much needed stability to our battered and bruised football club. The point at Stamford Bridge was a hugely uplifting and deserved result at a stadium where we would normally concede three or four goals and go home very fed up. The team showed fight and spirit, whilst super Shay Given proved once more that he is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the land with a string of superb saves, repeating the achievement a week later at Boro. Also worth a special mention is the huge improvement seen in the heart of our defence, with Fabricio 'the hair' Coloccini and Sebastian Bassong putting in memorable shifts recently, the latter looking excellent, especially considering his tender years.
I have to say that although I do not want Kinnear to stay as manager in the long run by any means, I am pleased that he has been given the job at least until the end of this season. He will bring fight and determination to the team, as well as some (probably short term) stability that should see us avoid relegation with ease judging by recent performances. Also, he has stated recently that funds will be available in January to strengthen our tiny squad, without the need to sell. However, if I remember rightly, isn't this what Keegan said, only to be left somewhat embarassed and humiliated by a disastrous regime that broke promises? Kinnear has also insisted that he is the man who chooses the players to bring in, with Dennis 'inch-high, private-eye' Wise simply given the task of going out and getting them, which is surely what should have happened whilst Kev was the boss. Strange, eh?
Anyway, as any regular readers may have noticed, I am a very proud geordie and do, at every possible opportunity, like to have a bit of a laugh at our local rivals Sunderland. Must say also that this is light-hearted chat on my behalf; I just generally love the banter between rival fans and think the humour it generates is somewhat legendary and should be encouraged, without violence and stupidity, of course.
The topic here being is the resignation of Roy Keane as Sunderland boss. Now I would not normally go into any great detail on this blog about anything Sunderland-related, as firstly, I'm not remoteley bothered about their situation. I care only about one team, and that is Newcastle United. However, I have to say that Keane's departure is a real shame (honestly!). The only reason being that I was hoping he would be there for the long run (with little success along the way) so that one day we would witness the godly figure of Alan Shearer head-to-head with his old rival in a Tyne and Wear derby. We would win aswell, ideally. Also, although managing a team forever living in our shadow, I do have alot of respect for Keane, both as a player and as a man, and can only see Sunderland going one way from now on without him, and that is Down, with a capital D, as written. All in all, I suppose this means Keane's dismissal is a good thing, as regardless of him being in charge or not, I thought they would struggle this season, and now they will be relegated, I am sure. Only thing is, the derby games will be a thing of the past, which would be a real shame.
Anyway, we seem to be pulling things in the right direction now under big Joe and hopefully three points will be ours on Saturday as we host Premier League newcomers Stoke City at St. James' Park. This is a must-win game as although improvement is evident in our team, we still sit dangerously one place above the relegation zone. So for once lads, please follow the script.