Alan Pardew will do more than a bit of tinkering with the Newcastle squad for tomorrow night’s game at Nottingham Forest, and it looks like he will make lots of changes.
Good shot of Demba Ba in Newcastle training gear – love that blue
Pardew will have to balance giving some good fringe players a game, while also ensuring the team is strong enough to make it through to the 4th round of the Carling Cup.
One player very likely to start is French star Ben Arfa, fit again after damaging his ankle ligaments in July in Kansas City on Newcastle’s American tour.
And let’s say it right now, the last thing we want to see ever again is Ben Arfa carried off on a stretcher, it’s too hard to take, and surely he’s now had his fair share of bad luck on Tyneside?
It could also be that James Perch gets a game tomorrow night, and others who may also feature include Peter Lovenkrands, Sylvain Marveaux, Danny Guthrie, Dan Gosling and Shane Ferguson.
Pardew told the local Newcastle press this today he will make a lot of changes:
“There will be a lot of changes. The squad is so tight, there is such a good spirit.” “Actually we could even put in a better performance with those who want to come in and have a go.”
“People like Sylvain and Hatem Ben Arfa have got to play.” “I am looking forward to tomorrow to see some of my other players.”
“We could have had all three on Saturday, but we don’t want to get greedy.” “One point and a fantastic performance is something I will take all day long at Aston Villa.
“We were outstanding in periods of that game. Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in the central area, aided by Demba Ba I might add, were outstanding.”
It’s good that Pardew gives Demba Ba some credit for Saturday, because after Monday night, when Cabaye and Tiote were overrun, Ba helped out and it made a huge difference.
It allowed our top two central midfield players to both have outstanding games - they looked great together – and both Cabaye and Tiote probably had their best games of the season – to date.
Our very best chance of success to break our duck of trophies at Newcastle, which has been going on since 1969, and as far back as 1955 for a local trophy, is the Carling Cup.
And Newcastle have a strong enough team this season to go on a decent run, so we have to hope that Pardew doesn’t make too many changes.
We have a feeling it will be a difficult game tomorrow night at the City Ground, even though it looks like we should get through fairly easily.
But nothing is ever certain in football.