In what has to be something of a surprise that Chris Hughton starts all six of his January signings for tonight’s visit of Cardiff City.
But at the least it should get Newcastle fans to the ground, as a first opportunity to see all six new players in action, and what we’ve seen of them so far, they look more than decent signings.
And that means full debuts for Fitz Hall and Leon Best, with Danny Simpson, Patrick van Aanholt, Mike Williamson and Wayne Routledge also included in the starting eleven.
Best, who completed his move to Tyneside only on Monday, will start up front with 20 year-old Andy Carroll, which is a bit of a surprise, since we had thought Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands deserved a start.
We are being told that Fabricio Coloccini is out injured, which is why Fitz gets a start alongside Mike Williamson at the heart of the defence.
We’ll just have to hope that Fabricio isn’t badly hurt, but maybe he’s just being rested after all, and he deserves a game off, as long as Fitz can get the job done tonight.
This is Fitz’ big chance in front of over 40,000 Geordie supporters – no pressure at all.
Coloccini has been the stalwart in the Newcastle defense this season, along with local lad Steve Harper, so we have to hope he’s being rested, which is sensible – but only if we win. 😀
Danny Simpson will replace Ryan Taylor at right-back, as expected, and 19 year-old impressive Dutch teenager Patrick van Aanholt, on a month’s loan from Chelsea, will make his home debut tonight.
Jonas Gutierrez is in fact fit after a slight muscle strain, after some rumors this morning he would miss the game and the midfield is made up of Kevin Nolan, Danny Guthrie and Routledge, who also makes his full home debut.
This is the first time we’ll see out and out wingers Jonas and Wayne in the Newcastle side – it should be interesting, and hopefully they can create some chances.
At last Danny Guthrie gets a start in central midfield, as we had hoped, and usually Danny comes good when given chances like this – s0 let’s hope he has a stormer tonight.
Two natural wingers playing out wide, and two natural central mid-fielders in the middle of the park – what is Chris’ team selection coming to? 😀
Alan Smith and Butt are left out completely and rested, since they are not even on the subs bench, and Kevin Nolan is the new captain – not a bad choice at all, although Kevin did not play well last time out.
He can amend for that tonight, and may even get his 11th goal of the season.
The subs bench of Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Nile Ranger, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and Fabrice Pancrate is also impressive, and shows the new strength of our squad.
As far as the Cardiff City side goes, Michael Chopra is not only starting tonight, but he’s been made captain against his home town club, a nice gesture by Dave Jones, the experienced Cardiff City Manager.
There’s no doubt at all that we badly need a win tonight to right the Newcastle ship, so we can steam ahead towards promotion.
We’ll know soon enough, but let’s be clear, a draw is just not good enough tonight.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fitz Hall, Mike Williamson, Patrick van Aanholt, Wayne Routledge, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Leon Best
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Nile Ranger, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Ryan Taylor, Fabrice Pancrate
Cardiff City: David Marshall, Adam Matthews, Kevin McNaughton, Anthony Gerrard, Gabor Gyepes, Stephen McPhail, Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra (c), Darcy Blake, Peter Whittingham, Ross McCormack
Subs: Peter Enckelman, Paul Quinn, Mark Kennedy, Soloman Taiwo, Aaron Wilding, Chris Burke, Warren Feeney
Referee: Kevin Friend