It’s now time to get down to the real and important business of playing at Fulham Football Club tonight.
After all the hullabaloo with the Carroll affair, the real business of getting on with things begins in earnest tonight at Craven Cottage, and it’s not going to be an easy game for the in-form Newcastle side.
This will be their first game since 11 days ago when we managed to drop 2 points, by allowing Tottenham Hotspur to score an injury time equalizer at St. James’ Park, but the lads still put in another excellent performance in that game nevertheless.
Andy Carroll is gone, but even if he elected to stay on Tyneside, he would not have made this game, and is presumably is still out injured for at least four weeks.
We hope Alan Pardew has the boys really keyed up for tonight’s game, so we can add more points to the 8 we have gained from our four league games in 2011.
Unfortunately Fulham look to be in good form and they really demolished a Tottenham Hotspur side last week, that never bothered to show up and were put to the sword 4-0 in that first half – and when they woke up they had already lost the game, and manager Harry Redknapp suddenly had a few more wrinkles. 😀
So that mustn’t happen with Newcastle tonight, and they must be ready and hopefully start like the proverbial steam train – because they have a challenge this season to show there is life at Newcastle without Andy Carroll.
Fulham have won their last four games at home, so obviously it’s time for that run to end.
Local lad Shola Ameobi and Leon Best will likely get the nod up front unless Alan wants to play 4-5-1 and pack the midfield at least until we get into the second half.
Captain Kevin Nolan who has 10 goals to Carroll’s 11 at the moment, will probably soon become the leading goalscorer at Newcastle, and he and Joey Barton have now become even bigger players for Newcastle United since Andy’s departure.
And we should see the results of the tough training schedule Alan had the lads undertake in Portugal last week, and we expect the Newcastle side to be extra strong and fit in those last 30 minutes of the game, and injury time too.
And please don’t concede in injury time for the 3rd game running, or if we do then make sure we are at least a couple of goals to the good.
Stephen Ireland is still injured and two weeks away from being fit and ready to make his debut, and we have Steven Taylor (hamstring), Dan Gosling (knee), Alan Smith (ankle), Hatem Ben Arfa (broken leg) and Ryan Taylor (ankle) all on the injured list.
With no new injuries to the side, Alan will probably elect to start the same side that did so well against Tottenham:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Barton Guthrie Nolan (c) Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Perch Campbell Lovenkrands Ranger Vuckic Ferguson
With all the injuries and a number of the youngsters out on loan, it was a bit difficult to fill in the subs bench fro tonight.
Danny Guthrie has to put in another good performance tonight in defensive midfield in place of Cheick Tiote, who is serving the final game of his three match suspension, and the Ivorian should be back for the almighty tussle with Arsenal on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
Since Pardew came in the Newcastle defense has looked strong and Coloccini and Williamson have been outstanding in central defense, and we look for that to continue tonight.
We look for Enrique to make his surging runs forward and for Joey Barton to put in those pinpoint crosses – and we’re sure the lads will have worked a lot on their set plays in Portugal, so that’s probably our best shot at getting some goals.
That’s our one big worry tonight – where the goals will come from – but if Shola and Leon can mix it up a little bit in the penalty box, Kevin Nolan is a master at tucking the ball home with any half chance.
With the unrest on Tyneside right now, and the gloom of Andy leaving for Liverpool, we really need a win and all 3 points tonight.
Draws are not worth much, and it would seem we need 4 wins in our final 15 games to reach safety in the Premier League , and we are hoping we can get that first one tonight.
Let us know what you think about the game tonight.