One more yellow card for either Cheick Tiote or Kevin Nolan and they will get suspensions for two games.
Jonas Gutierrez – unlikely to play tomorrow
It turns out that both Kevin and Cheick are on 9 yellow cards for the season, and another yellow card will see them be suspended for two games, so that’s not good news for the Newcastle team or the fans for that matter.
We’ve already been without Joey Barton for two games, in which we got a a solitary point, and Jose Enrique is out at least for the game tomorrow, and let’s be honest, we’re not the same side when some of our top players is missing.
And the news today is that Stephen Ireland is out at least another two weeks with his thigh in jury, which he picked up after recovering from his long term ankle injury – but he still hasn’t played a single minute ion Newcastle colors since he arrived on loan back on January 31st.
Jonas Gutierrez has not trained all week and only returned to Newcastle last night, as one of our readers, Vandinhio, was on the same plane coming into Newcastle, so he must be a big doubt to play tomorrow afternoon – Gutierrez that is.
And if you want to get a little more worried, since our two great wins against Wigan and West Ham in the first two games this year, Newcastle have now gone 9 games with just one win at Birmingham, including the loss at Stevenage, although there are five draws in there but only 8 points from the 8 league games played.
This is what Alan Pardew told the local Newcastle press today about Barton and Gutierrez:
“I am going to have to make a late decision.” “Both are very close, but we cannot risk them in a game of this magnitude.” “It is physical power you need on the pitch against Stoke. It is a small pitch and there will be battles all over the pitch.”
“I have to make sure my team is strong enough to cope with that and it plays its own game.” “It is something like 700 square meters smaller than our pitch at St James’ and we need to use the full width and keep possession.”
“We need to be able to cope with them and dictate the pressure of the game.” “You are going to miss a player of Joey’s quality and I am not going to try and disguise that.” “I am hopeful he will be available for this one, but we are just going to have to wait and see.”
The injury problems have come when the Newcastle side have had very few games to play, so that has to be good news, but we’re a little surprised that Joey Barton and Stephen Ireland have been out for so long, with what were supposed to be fairly short term injuries.
At the moment we have Ben Arfa, Gosling, Smith, Enrique, Barton, Ireland and Gutierrez all out with injury, and the only good news is that young Nile Ranger is fit again, and Joey may play tomorrow.
Ryan Taylor is suspended for another two games and Kevin Nolan and Cheick Tiote are one caution away from missing two games through suspension. So it’s hardly a good situation at Newcastle right now, and that’s why tomorrow’s game takes on even more importance.
On the positive side it gives a chance for our fringe players to come through and get the job done for Newcastle, and that’s what we are hoping will happen tomorrow afternoon.
And if Jonas Gutierrez cannot start give young Shane Ferguson a chance on the left wing, because the last thing we want to see is what Sam Allardyce used to do – and play his best 11 players but played a number of them out of position, and they were like square pegs in round holes.
We don’t want to see Sol Campbell out there on the left wing tomorrow afternoon.
Give the youngsters a chance at Newcastle to show what they can do, and in all likelihood they’ll give us all a pleasant surprise, just like they’ve done in the past.
Howay The Lads!!