We thought Joey Barton and Jonas Gutierrez would have a decent chance of making the important game at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Jonas Gutierrez – Argentine is doubtful for Saturday
But it looks like Jonas, in addition to Jose Enrique, could miss the game against Stoke City.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is waiting on the fitness of Joey Barton, Jose Enrique and Jonas Gutierrez for Saturday’s game, since injuries have seemed to hit the Newcastle squad big time over the last few weeks.
We have to hope that Joey Barton will be able to play, and has fully recovered from his thigh strain, which has surprisingly kept him out of the last two home games, in which Newcastle gained but a solitary point against Bolton and Everton.
And it seems that Joey has the best chance of the three to make the game, since it’s almost certain that Jose will not be risked on Saturday, but the good news is that the Spaniard should then be fit for the next game in a couple of weeks, which is at home to Wolves.
Pardew talked to Sky Sports News today:
“Jose and Jonas, we have just got to see after training tomorrow, really.” “You are pitching them in without training after 10 to 14 days in a Premier League game where it is almost like warfare at times at their place.”
“So I will be careful what I do.” “I would have to be 100% sure they are right.” “We think Joey has got a good chance – he did the warm-up today. Jose looks very doubtful and Jonas did the warm-up today, but he looks a bit doubtful.”
Enrique has suffered from hamstring pulls during his successful career at Newcastle, and it would be unwise to risk him, especially when he could be fit for the remaining 8 games of the seaosn, starting against Wolves.
And if Jonas Gutierrez is not fit, why not give 19 year-old Shane Ferguson a chance out on the left wing, as he can certainly play in that position, and will track back too.
Pardew was asked about his possible team selection for Saturday:
“I don’t know who will get the nod. My selection will be based around being strong enough to cope with what Stoke do.”
“They don’t really carve you open with inter-play, it is set-plays and second phases and aggression and forceful play, and you have got to be able to cope with that.”
“That’s something I will think about when I select the team.” “It’s not really an ideal situation for us. We ended up with a lot of injuries over the Christmas period when games were so congested – ridiculously so.”
“And now we find ourselves with one game in the best part of a month.” “It can’t be right. For us, it is difficult because we are trying to keep the focus of the players.”
“We have this game, when we have had a two-week break leading into it, and we are going to have a two-week break coming out of it, so it’s far from ideal.” “But with the players I have and the experience I have, hopefully we will be able to cope with that.”
We cannot complain too much about the fixture list, although we do have a couple of games over a four or five week period.
Since we were knocked out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, and participated in only 3 rounds of the Carling Cup, Newcastle will play only 42 games this season, and that’s probably as low as any other Premier League club who are not playing in Europe.
I suppose if we didn’t want this lull to happen, Newcastle shouldn’t have allowed themselves to be knocked out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at Stevenage.
It’s nobody else’s fault but our own, and it’s a bit like Alex Ferguson, who always blames the referee whenever Manchester United are beaten, and that’s just a little different to Arsene Wenger’s approach, who blames the first thing he can think of, when Arsenal are beaten.
We are also concerned Newcastle have had so many injuries since Alan arrived, because that was a curse with previous managers, and arguably cost Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder their jobs at the club, although their results were just hopeless.
And as far as the game on Saturday – we’d be quite satisfied with anything but a defeat at the Britannia Stadium.