The Secret Diary of Lee Ryder (aged 44 and a half)

Quality grammar check going on…. (not hard to miss!)

Some excellent responses like. “Not fit to shine Alan Oliver’s keyboard”…. :lol:

Come in number 9 you’re time is up

It’s a debate that won’t go away but as talk grows on whether a new bearer of the number 9 shirt is about to emerge the question is just what does Chris Hughton do with the legendary black and white jersey.

Andy Carroll would probably take it, if offered but today has claimed that scoring goals is the most important thing to him next season.

Filling it with a new signing would also be a popular option to many Toon fans yet with funds supposedly limited at St James’ Park, the question of finding a big name signing with the town halls to grace it may well be a hurdle for Hughton.

No matter who gets it, it could turn out to be a burden or it could turn you into an absolute superstar.

Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and Oba Martins are the only players to wear it during the Premier League years for Newcastle and since Martins – by far the worst of the foursome listed above to don it – the shirt has disappeared.

Before those we had number 9s such as Wor Jackie, Supermac, Mick Quinn and even Mirandinha.

Last summer, I perhaps naively asked Carroll if he wanted it with Newcastle in the Championship.

His answer was a mature one, responding: “I don’t decide things like that.”

A fair answer, after all, he had only scored three goals for Newcastle at the time.

In the end he was handed number 24.

It later emerged that Hughton had deliberately withdrawn the number for the season with Newcastle trying to avoid any hype or sideshows on what was already a testing stay in the second tier with every man and his dog queuing up to take pops at the Magpies.

But what now, is 19 goals last season in the Championship enough to warrant Carroll the shirt?

Or are we making too much fuss about it all?

Certainly from a marketing point of view it makes sense to have an established number 9 at Newcastle.

Or if superstition is anything to go by perhaps we should just leave it and concentrate on winning matches and staying up.

The more controversial thing to do would be retire the shirt, however, the time to do that should surely have been when all time record scorer Shearer hung up his boots.

In doing so you would abolish the dreams of millions who yearn to be United’s next number 9.

Giving it to Carroll could place too much expectation on his shoulders with the youngster still at developmental age.

That said, Hughton has already stated he thinks Carroll could handle it which may be the largest indication that a new number 9 is about to be born.

It’s just one of the tasks for Hughton to decide this summer.



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