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Lee Clark: Shelvey & Almiron impress me; Fulham & Parker?; Ole deserves Man Utd job;

What you have to consider is that Saturday's win over Everton was Newcastle's fifth consecutive home victory in the Premier League and that's a very difficult thing to do.

I was at the game and the atmosphere was electric in the second half and the players responded. What their fight and attacking quality showed was that they can be a force.

It's no coincidence the team has changed in terms of how dynamic it is as an attacking team since the signing of Miguel Almiron. Salomon Rondon has also been a great acquisition all season. Ayoze Perez has been superb as well. So they're quite a strong attacking team. There's also been the return of Jonjo Shelvey, who I think can be the perfect midfield player for someone like Almiron.

It was difficult for Jonjo before Almiron arrived. His longer passing is second to none in the Premier League but Newcastle didn't have those type of players who get on the end of those passes. Now they do with Almiron. He is prepared to run without the ball behind defences to penetrate them and if you've got someone like that with the passing ability of Shelvey, it makes it easy. So I think it could be the perfect combination and if Sean Longstaff comes back, I don't see any reason why he can't play alongside Shelvey.

The positive thing is the strength there. Issac Hayden's been doing really well the last few games, Ki-sung Yeung came in and was good. Mo Diame is on the bench. Central midfield area is quite a strong area for Rafa's team.


My advice to Scott Parker is: be yourself!

I know Scott very well having played alongside him in my final season at Newcastle. We played together in central midfield. He's a terrific guy and brilliant professional. Like myself he's an ex-captain of the club and even though they've lost the two games that he's had, the team have given better performances.

The games leading up to Claudio Ranieri losing his job looked like there wasn't a lot of spirit in the camp, they looked resigned to losing their Premier League status but Scott looks as though he's given their pride back and given the supporters something to shout about. There's a way of losing. You've got to go down fighting you've got down showing people that you tried to contribute and tried to win the game and certainly the game against Chelsea, which I watched live, I thought they did that in abundance.

Scott will have total respect of the people at the club behind the scenes and he's certainly got the respect of the fans and players. Hopefully in the next few weeks he can show why he could potentially take on the job. Unfortunately it looks like whoever will takeover permanently will be in the Championship but it's still a great opportunity because they'll want to keep a strong squad to come straight back up.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to be given the Manchester United job permanently. And that's still taking in the loss against Arsenal. He's turned the club around and made them like Man Utd again. He has made them exciting to watch, playing with pace and counter attacking football, coming back from situations like against PSG. That was the Man Utd of the Ferguson era and I think with Ole being part of that era he's bringing those facets back to the club.

It's also the impact he's made on the players. Suddenly the they are playing so much better than they were, they are playing to their true potential. When you're a big club like United and you spend lots of money on players you've got to keep the value of those players and that's what he's done. The players have gone to the level that they paid for them. All the aspects of that show that he's doing a terrific job.


I've never had the opportunity to go back to a former club as a manager, but I can't see any problems with someone like Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid.

You've seen the lift that everyone at the club has got since his return. They've brought back the man who won three Champions League titles on the bounce. It's an unbelievable feat and I think it's a brilliant appointment.

He's also a man who can attract the best players in the world. They'll be looking to change their squad around in the summer and he could be the person to attract those big names.

Lee Clark
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Lee Clark

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