Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Iceman cometh?

Recent rumours have it that Bolton's Icelandic 'keeper Jussi Jasskelainen may be on the way to Tyneside. It may be a case of putting two and two together and getting five, though - Jasskelainen has refused a new contract at the Reebok, his former boss Allardyce is now the gaffer at St James' etc - and certainly I find it hard to believe we'd be prepared to accommodate another 'keeper when Shay Given and Steve Harper are duelling it out for the starting place and Tim Krul is off getting valuable experience (in other words being offered no defensive protection at all up at Falkirk). Good player and all that, but we've got more pressing needs.

Like getting Joey Barton fit so that dropping Nicky Butt and/or Alan Smith is the only option available to Fat Sam, for instance. It seems as though sightings of the cigar-chomping midfield dynamo in and around the first team squad on recent match days have given rise to false expectations of an imminent return to action; he may still be as much as "four or five weeks" away from full fitness, according to Allardyce.

Better news on the Michael Owen front, though, with his surgeon Ulrike Muschaweck claiming he could be fit again within the next couple of weeks. Of course, despite Owen's comments over the weekend, the potentially swift recovery period has inevitably been reported by countless media outlets as something of a relief or joy for England, rather than for the club that actually pays his wages. Martin Samuel in the Times has somehow managed to acknowledge that fact while claiming that it's only right and proper that England should come first, and that we should stop our bleating. Thanks to NUFC.com for drawing the article to our attention - we'll join them in delivering a hearty fuck you to Samuel.


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