Date: 4th January 2009 at 6:27pm
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In terms of goals scored, Newcastle rate quite healthily in the Premier League, slotting in 26 goals to be 9th, just three less than Man Utd. However that belies just how weak our options are.

Michael Owen`s future remains in doubt. It`s a banker that he`ll be away but the betting now is whether he`ll got this January or in the summer. It`s patently obvious Ashley`s choice would be to get something back on the player rather let him leave for nothing but even he can see the trade off between letting him go now and recouping £4m or losing him for nowt but getting goals that might maintain Premier League survival.

Oba Martins remains a great player, when fit, and I reckon he`ll be our main act in the relegation run in. He`ll go in the summer though but we`ll deal with that when it happens.

Mark Viduka is a waste of space, more comfortable on the treatment table than on the pitch. Like the dormouse his winter hibernation habits are well known so expect him to resurface for the first week of May.

Alan Smith is another who, like Owen, is on his way but again the betting is whether it is a January move to Everton or a summer move.

Xisco is everyone`s favourite to be first out of the door. Signed by Wise, he is symptomatic of our scattergun transfer policy and will never make a Premier League player.

Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll remain both unsuitable for top flight football, despite the former`s purple patch of two goals in three games after his recall.