Newcastle have never been an easy team to support, and we found out why that is the case yesterday.
Chris Hughton – needs to make one or two changes to the side
After completely dominating Stoke in the first 45 minutes, the lads somehow managed to lose all 3 points in the second half after going ahead through a Kevin Nolan penalty just before half time.
And the reason Newcastle were beaten was that they couldn’t adequately defend the high balls into penalty area from Rory Delap, once he was introduced in the second half, and also the high crosses that came in, particularly from Matthew Etherington.
But the good news for Newcastle fans is that Newcastle have a much stronger squad than last year, and there are players only too willing to come into the first team for this weekend.
The player who is most likely to get a start now at Manchester City next Sunday is Sol Campbell, and maybe we could have done with his experience at the back in the second half yesterday, but Sol wasn’t even on the substitutes bench for the game.
James Perch is having a hard time of it, and we were surprised he got the start yesterday, and while he did OK, maybe Ryan Taylor should be given a chance at right back, and Ryan is also a threat from both throw-ins and free kicks of course.
Right back maybe Newcastle’s weakness at the moment, and we have to believe that once Steven Taylor finally returns we’ll see him in that position rather than joining the fight for the two central defensive positions going on right now between Williamson, Coloccini, Campbell and young Tamas Kadar when he’s fit.
Up front Andy Carroll had a subdued game yesterday, and if Shola Ameobi is in top form right now, Chris should play him more.
But we have to hope that Chris doesn’t field exactly the same side that was beaten in the second half yesterday, and will give a start to one or two of the fringe players to see what they can do.
Reserve players should get their chances when the first team players don’t get the job done, and the lads didn’t get the job done yesterday – that’s for sure – for the second home game running.