It’s clear from the way the team played yesterday, that Newcastle will indeed try to win every single one of their remaining 10 league games.
John Carver and Alan Pardew yesterday
But whether they can climb the league table is another matter, and the game against Everton next Saturday, who are now just 3 points behind the Magpies with a game in hand, after easily beating a poor Sunderland side yesterday, is another question.
Unfortunately Everton are coming into some good form now, and are also starting to climb the table, so we think next Saturday could be even tougher than yesterday’s game.
We really needed those 3 points yesterday, to press our claim that Europe is still a possibility, but the Premier League teams are still very bunched from 7th place down to third bottom, with only 9 points separating 7th placed Bolton and third bottom WBA.
But it seems that manager Alan Pardew still thinks Newcastle are in with a decent chance of getting higher up in the league, but doesn’t even mention European qualification.
Newcastle have been unlucky for most of the season and in four of the games the lads have drawn this year – in 2011 – against Sunderland, Tottenham, Blackburn and Bolton, with a little luck in front of goal, Newcastle could have won those games.
But that’s water under the Tyne Bridge now of course.
This is what Alan Pardew said today:
“We had to take a point but it was a well-deserved point,” “In light of the fact I’ll have Stephen Ireland training on Monday and Shola Ameobi will be available for Everton, hopefully along with Joey back, it wasn’t a bad result. It was probably a fair reflection.”
“So we go to the next game and hopefully we can get ourselves a win that propels us up the league. It is congested – it is a tight league, but two or three wins can take you to a very nice place.”
It’s true that Newcastle’s squad will be significantly strengthened these next few weeks as good players return form injury, and it wouldn’t surprise us if Shola Ameobi and Leon Best start up front against Everton.
Steven Taylor could even be in with a chance at starting at right back, after he played there yesterday for the last 25 minutes and looked solid enough.
And every time we see young Nile Ranger in action, he looks like Andy Carroll, only quicker and possibly more aggressive.
Nile is doing himself no harm in the way he’s playing for Newcastle these days, when he comes on as a sub, and the 6’2″ striker beat Jaaskelainen to a high cross in the second half, and headed the ball just wide.
That reminded us of Andy Carroll’s winning goal at the Emirates earlier in the season, when he out jumped the Arsenal goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, for the winning goal just before half time.
7th place can get Newcastle into Europe this season, but only if a top four side wins both domestic Cups, starting this afternoon with Arsenal playing Birmingham, so we have to hope for a Gunners win.
It was really surprising to us that two relegation fighting sides, West Ham and Birmingham made the semi-finals – but they both played their first teams in the competition.
Are you allowed to do that these days?