We may have been leading the league for most of the season, but we are hardly the best looking side in the Championship.
Kevin Nolan – may still be rested tonight
There are least three sides that play much more an attacking style of football than do Newcastle.
Nottingham Forest, West Brom and Swansea are three sides who love to attack and move forward and have the players that allow them to do that.
So does the Newcastle squad, but far too often this season, Newcastle have defended too much, and killed games off by ensuring the other side doesn’t score, rather than going for more goals.
It’s a philosophy and Chris Hughton seems to err on the side of caution most of the time.
Of course that has got us 60 points in 30 games, so we cannot complain too much, but it would be good to play more attacking football, which is good on the eye, and what Newcastle fans love to see.
Saturday’s performance was one of the worst this season, albeit against a good side and it was away from home.
Newcastle did make some decent signings in January and now must have the best squad in the Championship, if not the best team in any one game.
This is what Chris Hughton said today about attacking more:
“There are some games where you don’t think it will be appropriate. If you don’t it tends to be a different type of game,”
“It doesn’t mean it will be any less attractive or the passing worse, just that it becomes a different game.”
“If you play a Peter Løvenkrands or an Andy Carroll it is different – you have different players for different games.”
We expect at least three players to be drafted inot the starting line-up tonight – Jonas Gutiérrez, Leon Best and Mike Williamson, and we would hope that Kevin Nolan gets a rest, but from what Chris Hughton said yesterday – that may not happen.
Chris talked about keeping the starting eleven fresh in such a hectic season:
“We are playing teams with the same problems and they are having to play the same players,” “It’s about getting the balance between continuity and freshening things up.”
What’s wrong with giving Kevin a complete rest tonight?
Chris has already done that with players like Butt and Smith this season, and even though he doesn’t admit it – he may still leave Nolan out of the starting eleven tonight, and start Guthrie and Smith in central midfield.
For the long term good of the team we hope he does just that, and ZKevin will come back a lot stronger.
After all we still have 16 games left to play.