Europe – Newcastle Have To Become More Consistent First

In one of Newcastle’s best displays of the season last night, and in a game that really mattered, Newcastle were just far too good for a woeful West Ham side.

Alan Pardew – goo start to Newcastle career

And from comments from Alan and the players yesterday, we knew that they knew this was a vital game, and one we had to win if indeed we can stave off relegation this season – which is still the number one priority.

This is what Alan said after the game:

“We started really fast and the midfield really got a grip in that first period.”

“And West Ham were having problems containing our movement and our delivery.”

“Joey Barton in particular was outstanding in that spell.”

Of course with displays like this Newcastle fans start to wonder just how good this Newcastle side is, with Barton, Carroll, Nolan, Enrique and Tiote, amongst others, being outstanding for most of the season.

We have no idea, but one thing we do know is that Alan must get the lads to play consistently good football, and there are definite signs that may be happening.

And on the club’s ambitions for the season,  Pardew continued:

“It’s not shifted at the moment because I’ve got about nine people in that injury room tonight.”

“We’ve finished with ten men because Cheick Tiote had a hamstring injury and Taylor had a hamstring injury.”

“Jonas Gutierrez got a bang in the first half and Leon Best got injured as well towards the end of the game. That leaves us desperately short.”

“We’ve got a great opportunity because we’ve got a good points total to attack the FA Cup.”

“It just worries me that the squad isn’t that big and that’s going to be a really tough game for us.”

“The program that we’ve had has been tough. The Man City and Spurs games really took a lot out of us.”

“As we sit here tonight I’m really pleased with the points and a great performance.”

But the former West Ham manager, who was ruthlessly sacked at Upton Park back in December of 2006, had a little sympathy for his former club, as he continued:

“You have sympathy for professional staff there that I know very well. They’ll be hurting tonight.”

“It’s not about tonight for them, it’s about the next game. And Avram Grant and that team will have to repair the damage quickly to get the next result.”

“That’s what it’s about, football, not anything else, just the next game.”

By the way that’s Newcastle first double of the season, having also beaten West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park.

It’s far too early to be talking about getting into Europe, because we are still just 7 points above the drop zone, with Wolves, Fulham and Birmingham all winning this week.

That still has to be number one priority, but if Alan can introduce some stability into the side,  and increase the quality of the squad in January, and we remain competitive against the lesser sides in the league, then we could do quite well over  the remainder of the season.

There are a lot of ifs and buts in there – but we cannot get ahead of ourselves.

Comments welcome.

28 comments so far

  • G

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #1

    2 games ago, people were shouting relegation battle. It’s a bit premature to start talking about European football. This season is a transitional season, and we simply need to survive, anything else is a bonus, but unnecessary. Next season on the other hand … ?

  • Malaysia-RASHID

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #2

    i’am just hoping us will have all the injuries Lads for Mackem game, very important for us to win if we really want to push for Europe.

    Just play young Lads for FA.

    And for transfers, i would love to see new Lads and no sell player.

  • Malaysia-RASHID

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #3

    most important player when game with Dirty Machem is Tiote.

  • Burni

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #4

    I said after the arsenal game that this team is capable of ending up in europe and that opinion hasnt changed. I think the problem with this season is how close everyone is and like ed says theres only a few points seperating relegation and europe. because of this, people have changed their mind often, as if they were in a state of either pure panic or elation, like every game is the end of the season. I gotta say that although I loved hughton and what he did for the team, you can see the difference in managers and I really like Pardews style he is willing to risk giving fringe players a go and theyre fighting when they get it, I just hope this continue. After the dust has settled after the hughton saga It looks quite sunny imo

  • G

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #5

    Burni @ 4. I still think it’s premature to talk about it, but for what it’s worth, I hope you’re right.

  • alip123

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #6

    2 games ago, as ‘g’ said, yes people were talking about relegation because of 2 defeats in a row – to teams who are title challengers. At times this season we have lost to teams like Stoke and Blackpool, but those defeats afterwards we could come away proud of our efforts.

    I think team against Stevenage should be:


    Perch Willo Kadar Ferguson

    Routledge Guthrie Vuckic Loverman

    Ranger Donaldson

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    Im not interested in Europe, not yet anyway.

    We need to cement our place back in the PL before we think beyond that.

    Also our squad is not strong enough for extra games.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #8

    My XI for Stevenage:

    *********** Krul

    Perch * Kadar * Willo * Ferguson

    Guthrie * Smith(c) * Vuckic * Rout

    ********** Xisco * McLoven

    Soderberg, Bull, Folan, Gosling, Donaldson, Ranger, Edmundsson

  • jesus was a geordie

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9

    The one key thing I’ve learnt from the Hughton era is that aiming high is not the way to go…Set yourself realistic goals, achieve them, then set yourself another!

    This season was and always will be about staying up! If/When we achieve that, THEN we can look at league position and possibly Europe.

    Even if we do achieve it (I think we need another season and a couple more Tiote-esque signings) we should begin next season with the exact same vision, safety first, then look upwards!

  • GeordieToon89

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #10

    Just been on a couple of Leeds blogs and they seem to think Smith is going back to them on a 6month loan as a deal for us to get Max Gradel in return we will also be giving them money mind.. If we sign Gradel though we wont be signing bentley i presume although i personally would sign both as gradel can play on the left

  • GeordieGerman

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #11

    NUFC_Richyg01, Correct, the present squad isn’t strong enough. But Europe (if we were to get there) doesn’t start for us till next season. So I think the squad would be strengthened in the summer.

  • G

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #12

    I don’t usually do this, but my team for Stevange would be this:

    GK – Harper
    RB – Perch
    LB – Ferguson
    CB – Kadar (If fit?)
    CB – Sol
    RM – Xisco
    LM – Lovenkrands
    CM – Guthrie
    CM – Vuckic
    CF – Ranger
    CF – Shola (If fit?)

    Bench would be Krul, Enrique, Best, Simpson, Willo, Nolan and Barton.

    I would try to save as many of the Prem starters for the mackems game as possible, however, I still think Harps may need the game. Also, there are a few question marks over the fitness of some of the players named there from last night.

  • kidda

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #13

    has anyone noticed that when Barton is on the pitch and on the right Newcastle play well, when he has been out or played in the middle we have struggled, if we can keep him on the pitch and on the right to get the ball into the box we can push for europe, if he gets more suspensions or injurys or gets his way of playing in the centre we will be in a relegation battle as we have no one else who can cross a ball like him.

  • Burni

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #14

    I get why everyone is being cautious but why not throw caution to the wind. Maybe I am being premature when I say we are not getting relegated but come on there are 4-5 teams worse than us. So if I set my sights high sayin we’ll get into Europe then the worst that happens is we dont. I’m 90% certain we arent getting relegated now that I have seen the way pardew is runnin things. Hes taken hughtons tried and tested formula, added a lil twist and what we have is a team that Im sure will end up in europe…… fingers crossed

  • GeordieToon89

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #15

    we should get king scout Carr over to look at Gerra Dembele he’s scored 27 goals already this season for Levski Sofia.. he’s got 7 in the Europa League also

  • GeordieToon89

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #16

    ohh he’s only 24 and he wants to play in england and can speak fluent english

  • carrollsinger

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #17

    Fa cup team krul simmo willo kadar ferguson rout smith vukIc loven best xisco

  • david_NUFC

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #18

    Is It just me or does it always sound like Pardew wants to be at West Ham. Dont get me wrong hes doing a good job I just sometimes get that feeling by the way he talks about them

  • GeordieToon89

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #19

    cos hes a west ham supporter and obv felt hard done by when he got sacked

  • AussieToon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #20

    In this league, seriously take it one game at a time. We lose a couple and we are back in contention for relegation. We win a couple and Europe is a possibility. Focus on each game as it comes and it will take care of itself. I am too scared to mention Europe after where we have been. I will be happy with not being relegated this year. Top half finish is a bonus, Europe would be a dream.

  • jwheelie12

    Jan 6, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #21

    save the Champions League for 2012, we’ll have Hatem for a full season then.

  • cyprus

    Jan 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #22

    where r all those people shouting for best’s head today? give xisco a chance too i say. only ranger had a dreadful game. all we really need is a creative midfielder for when it ain’t working for joey (see spurs game) (not a winger, we got those) and we’re set for europe!

  • Lynxie

    Jan 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #23

    GeordieGerman @11:
    and Mike Ashley is suddenly gonna splurge the money to improve the squad for a tilt at Europe is he? Give your head a shake.
    If we stabilise this season, next year will be the year of the kids, with lots of porspects coming in, and a few moving on (Routledge for example for 8m – Roy Hodgson must have had a bang on the head), for a tidy profit. Lets not forget why Fatty is still at the helm. To make money. pure and simple. He would never have signed Ben Arfa yesterday if he couldnt see the hefty profit to be made. Remember, he syill wants the money back that Fat Freddy swindled out of him!!

  • Burni

    Jan 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #24

    Lynxie…. dunno if youve noticed that the club has been taking some positive steps forward and you cant say ashley is bothered about spending cash. when he knows hes getting quality for the right price he is spending so I agree with gg that the squad will be strengthened. I think its good that Ashley is refusing to spend too much coz we dont have to put up with primadonnas like balotelli.

  • cupiddstunt

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #25

    There’s nothing worse than those that chose not to see Lynxie @#23.

    MA took over a club that was haemorrhaging money and slowly dying, and said in the beginning that he was quite prepared to lose 20 to 30 mil. A year in the club, to me those are not the words of someone that is only looking to make a fast buck.

    I agree that he has made some terrible decisions and we have suffered for them he will probably make more yet and we will suffer again but I think the club is in a far better position to advance now than when we were carrying all those over paid egos that got us relegated.

    I think if MA had a footballing mind sitting alongside him as well as the owl then he might make less really bad decisions, but when you have two people that know how to make money but f’all about football then mistakes will be made.

    Open your eyes lynxie the bigger picture is to make as you put it “a hefty profit” is by getting the club up into the money making zone and that is Europe especially the CL and you will never get there by selling your better player that is such a short term stupid view, so get as grip un twist your knickers and settle down.

  • cupiddstunt

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #26

    Just to help you open your mind a little linxie when MA took over as owner of NUFC he was worth an estimated 1.9 billion that is one thousand nine hundred million,

    He was hit hard in the global economic crash and is now estimated to be worth less than half that at a lowly 7 to 8 hundred million a loss of about 11 to 12 hundred million.

    Possibly a very good reason why he is not just throwing money at the club but behaving in a relatively responsible manner by trying to grow the club on a sound economic footing.

    But then again that is just my view but check the figures and you will find I am not far out with them as I am inclined to check what I am typing is correct before hitting the keyboard and making an aerse of myself. 🙂

  • tcbelfast

    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #27

    Not sure i’d be talking about getting a uefa place in the league.surely this season is all about staying in the epl and a bit of stability.lets build a decent side 1st and foremost and progess upwards and onwards.
    if we finish in a uefa place then happy days.
    remember this is a very tight league this time round.Dont get complaceant!!

  • Lynxie

    Jan 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #28

    cupidstunt @26:
    you should have checked your spelling too. You just made a right aerse of yourself. ha ha ha

    I am of the opinion that MA does not HAVE to throw money at NUFC, but surely we should be strengthening the squad now, as our squad is paper thin, and injuries to AC or Colo, Torro, would be catastrophic. If he splashes the cash in the meantime, and we stay up, I will happily give the fat bastard my gratitude, as he clearly DOES know what he is doing….


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