Newcastle On The Precipice

When you don’t pay much attention to the Premier League, it becomes pretty easy for it to become a noise in the background. True enough, it’s a shrill, shrieking noise – the sound of a child in a supermarket after its mother has bought Ready Brek rather than Coco Pops – but it soon becomes little more than a drone in the background. I’m told that this is what tinnitus is like. I mention this now because until this evening I had no idea how properly bad Newcastle United are at the moment. You read about it in passing and snigger to yourself at the idea of Alan Shearer, with no managerial experience whatsoever, taking charge of a club in freefall and running the risk of becoming possibly the first ever Newcastle manager to manage no wins whatsoever during his time in charge at St James Park. You look down the team sheet, and it doesn’t look so bad on paper. Shay Given might have gone, but Steve Harper had always been a reasonable deputy in goal, Damien Duff has always seemed like a lively enough kind of player and Michael Owen may have lost a couple of yards in pace but should have gained at least half a yard in wiliness. You look at Hull City, who may have been in a state of civil war since before...

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