There’s no doubt that tonight’s game is a pivotal game for Newcastle for their season. Things are delicately balanced at the club right now, with a new owner expected to be announced possibly within the week, and a possible 3rd new manager this season being brought in.
But Joe Kinnear in his 3 weeks at the club, has settled down the players, and to a large extent the Newcastle fans. He’s done this by not changing too many things on the field, and quickly instilling the pride and passion that every Newcastle United player should have.
By Kinnear himself letting his players know just how great a club Newcastle are, and how honored he is to be at the helm of Newcastle United, even if it’s just for a few games, seems to have worked wonders in getting the fighting spirit back into the side.
All this is very good but we all know football and football management is all about getting results. If you get wins you are great – and if you get defeats you are little short of terrible – it’s a thin dividing line indeed.
We think Joe will field a strong Newcastle side tonight as follows:
Beye Coloccini Taylor Bassong
Duff Guthrie Butt N’Zogbia
Subs: Harper Cacapa Tozer Geremi Enrique Ranger Ameobi
Jonas Gutierrez will not be risked, and Nacho Gonzales is still out with a sore Achilles heel.
The team is a good one that should be able to score goals, and on Saturday Joe should also have Jonas Gutierrez and Joey Barton back for the important Sunderland game, so things on the injury front are slowly improving.
This is what we think we must do tonight if we are to win this game:
- The defense has to perform a lot better than it has over the last few games. We prefer Bassong to Enrique tonight, because he seems to be the steadier player right now, and it’s important the back four are solid and don’t make any mistakes. Coloccini and Taylor must have confident games and communicate well.
- The central midfield two of Nicky Butt and Danny Guthrie must get a stranglehold on midfield, and they’ve shown in the past they can do this well. With a large and supportive crowd behind them tonight, there should be no reason why they cannot both have good games, but getting a grip on central midfield will be important for a win tonight.
- Up front we’re not sure who Martins will be partnered with, but we expect the young Spanish Under-21 player Xisco to start the game, and it will be important that he gets the head-ons and knockdowns that Martins can take advantage of.
It’s asking a lot of Oba Martins in his first game back, but we still expect the lad to put in a strong performance, which will not be lacking in heart and fight, that’s for sure. This lad has a heart as big as Tynemouth!
- We must make a good start to the game and not start playing once half time approaches, when we are usually already a goal or two behind.
Joe will stress to the players that they must start like a bullet train in order to get an early grip on this game.
We think if the lads can do the above then we have every chance of getting all 3 points tonight – and that’s just exactly what the fans, the players, Joe Kinnear and the Newcastle United club need right now.
Howay The Lads!!!