Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Newcastle Preview

Incredible really that it has been 25 months since Scott Parker left Charlton, and yet tonight will be the first time that he takes to the field against us. A combination of being out of favour, bad injuries at Chelsea, and rearranged matches have all contributed to Parker’s long awaited ‘reunion’ with the fans of the club who made him the player he is today.
The £10million we received for him made the blow of losing him less difficult to swallow, but it is widely recognised among Addicks that we have never replaced Scott with an equally talented midfielder, and our team hasn’t quite been the same since he departed.

I’m curious as to the reception that he will get from our 6 travelling supporters this evening. The Charlton fans I have spoken to about the issue appear to be pretty 50/50 about whether they would cheer or boo Parker when he eventually plays in front of the Covered End again. Perhaps the fans that are making the long trip up to The Toon this evening will be a little more forgiving towards Scott than those who only see the home matches.
Yes, he left us, but he left us after providing years and years of incredible service to Charlton. A true product of our youth system, a 100% honest, combative, and talented English midfielder who was twice voted our player of the year. It was difficult to accept the way that he left, but time is a healer, and I have forgiven Scott. If I was going tonight I would definitely give him a cheer when his name is announced.

On the pitch he is going to be a lot more difficult to ignore than off it. Shearer faces a late fitness test, and if he fails that then Parker will continue to deputise as captain in his absence. It’s likely that the main job of shadowing Scott will fall to Kishishev, which means that a good performance from the Bulgarian is crucial this evening. When Parker plays, Newcastle play.

The other Newcastle player facing a late test is Kieron Dyer, whose form seems to have picked up incredibly since the departure of Souness from St James Park. If he makes the 7:45 curtain, then Chris Powell’s performance this evening will also become that little bit more important. He is never going to match Dyer for pace, so his positional sense will have to be excellent, either that, or stop the ball from getting to Dyer in the first place. He is definitely the kind of player who will sulk if things don’t go his way, and because he is still recovering from a long term lay off, he would likely be withdrawn at half time if he isn’t having a good game.

Marcus Bent will slot back in up front in place of Bothroyd, and Hughes is set to continue in midfield, meaning that Ambrose will again start on the bench against his former side.
We haven’t beaten Newcastle in our last 8 attempts, but there are a couple of feel good factors which could play a role this evening. Charlton tonight will be celebrating our 1000th top flight game, and the squad will also be buoyed by the FA Cup quarter final draw from earlier this week.

Current form shows that Charlton haven’t won any of our last 8 premiership away games, while Newcastle are unbeaten in their last four home matches, and have won all three encounters since Roeder took temporary charge of the side.

Cynic Athletic’s Prediction – 2-1 defeat (Parker, Ameobi – D.Bent)


Post a Comment

<< Home