It looks like Shola Ameobi will not make the home game tomorrow afternoon against Manchester City, because of his hamstring problems.
Nile Ranger – could make first PL start tomorrow
If the game at Birmingham had not been called off fairly late in the day last Saturday, then Nile Ranger would definitely have made his first Premier League start of the season, and we were fairly certain that Nile would start tomorrow against City.
But yesterday, Alan Pardew came out with a statement which seemed a thinly veiled criticism of the lad’s attitude in training, and he even said that Nile was not certain to start tomorrow, even though Alan would have started him last weekend.
One of the things that will determine whether Nile gets a start or is brought on as an impact substitute, is what formation Alan plays, and he could play a 4-5-1 with Andy Carroll the only striker up front and Kevin Nolan poaching for those goals as a withdrawn striker.
That would help to combat the strong City midfield, and we remember against WBA, we were completely over-run in midfield when Chris started with a 4-4-2 formation.
But on that day Joey Barton was missing through injury, and was missed badly, and Danny Guthrie just didn’t get the job done in the middle of the park, in what turned out to be Chris Hughton’s last game in charge on Tyneside.
But of course the 19 year-old London-born striker would love to start tomorrow, and this is what he said today:
“I don’t know if I’ll play on Boxing Day, but I really hope I do.””To make my first start in the Premier League would be great and another step forward for me. And I love testing myself against the best players.”
“Man City have some top players so I would relish the chance to cause them problems.” “If I did start, it would be the best Christmas present I could imagine.”
“But even if I don’t, I’ll hope to play a part and maybe even score my first goal in the top flight. That would be pretty special.”
“It’s already been a good month for me because I signed my new contract, which I was buzzing about.”
“I hope all the fans have a great day and also a great new year.”
There’s no doubt Nile was impressive against Liverpool, and we’d love to see the big lad start alongside Andy Carroll tomorrow.
But Nile must get his head down in training and concentrate on doing his best week in and week out on the training field, and not be late to training – ever.
Hopefully he’ll pay attention to what Pardew has said to him, but we’re sure Alan has already had a on- on-one with the player, and we hope Nile heeds the good advice Alan is giving him.
We’d love for Nile to start tomorrow and get his first ever PL goal, as well as his first Premier League start.
Howay The Lads!!