Newcastle Still Have A Long Way To Go To Hit Top Form

Alan Pardew has said today that it’s only in the last couple of games that Newcastle have approached their top form.

Cheick Tiote – top player again for Newcastle

Alan”s right about that,  and it really started in the second half at Villa Park two weeks ago, when Newcastle came back from one goal down and almost won the game towards the end, when Yohan Cabaye almost scored three times.

And with some top players now available for Newcastle like Ben Arfa, Davide Santon and Sylvain Marveaux and pressing for a first team start, you have to think there’s a decent chance Newcastle can be at or near their best tomorrow afternoon at Molineaux.

“I had a period with West Ham towards the end where we looked pretty strong on paper.” “We didn’t actually get it right on the pitch.”  “But this side at the moment has a lot of really good attributes.” “And at the moment they are producing it on the pitch.”

“It has only been a couple of games really, so we still have a long way to go until we hit our top form.”  “When the team is winning it is difficult. What has been difficult is who will travel, we are leaving two or three really good players behind.”

“That really bodes well because we definitely weren’t like that last year – I was having to nick a player out of the youth team just to make up the numbers.”  “We are in a different situation and we have a team that are playing well.”

“You could ask that about Santon, you could ask it about Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux or Danny Gosling.”  “We have players who are desperate to play.” “I can only pick 11. “

“We’ve said it many times before, it is about who will come in and improve the team.”  “Last year we were talking about who can make up the bench.” “We are in a healthy situation and we’re lucky with injuries – hopefully it can continue.”  

“I have options and I have to use those options.” “We have some big-hitting teams coming up and I might have to sacrifice some of our style to make sure we have the best possible chance of winning.”

“All of those decisions will depend on the form of the team and where we are at.” “For this particular game there is not much to change.”

One thing that will be obvious tomorrow is that the Newcastle bench will be very strong indeed, and if we had to hazard a guess we’d say that Newcastle will start the same team that did so very well last Saturday against Blackburn Rovers, when they could have won by a lot more than just the 3-1 scoreline.

Here’s our guess at the team for tomorrow, and also what the subs bench could be.

Simpson Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Taylor (R)
Obertan Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Best Ba
Subs: Elliot Santon  Guthrie Marveaux Ameobi (S) Ben Arfa Lovenkrands

That’s a strong bench and no place on it for Dan Gosling and Alan Smith and Shola Ameobi is not there because he is still injured.

And Alan Pardew has said this week he will rotate Steve Harper and Rob Elliot on the bench as back-up to Dutch International goalkeeper Tim Krul.

The very good thing about the strong bench is that if Newcastle need to come forward in the second half to win the game, they have players available like Ben Arfa, Marveaux and young Sammy Ameobi, who can help the side do just that.

Newcastle’s bench strength has become very good this season, and it points to a rather successful summer transfer window in the summer, even though it ended in a disappointing way, as the Board famously failed to bring in the expected top striker we seemed to need.

The summer transfer window is looking a lot better these days, that’s for sure,  with players like Yohan  Cabaye, Mehdi Abeid, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and Davide Santon  all looking good buys.

What’s your team for tomorrow afternoon?

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Incentino

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m so excited about this upcoming match 🙂

  • AshtreeKid

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #2

    when lawro (who’s a cock btw) predicts a 2 – 1 home win it means he doesnt have a clue and two one home win is the most common score line so he just puts that

  • Incentino

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #3

    I agree with your team, Ed. I do think it might be time to give Ben Arfa a run through, but to that Pardew would probably have to bench either Ba or Best, so who do you bench – our most consistent goal scorer or the guy who scored a hattrick during his last game?

  • Milking Mikes' bulging pockets

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #4

    Today is beautiful, as beautiful as a mushroom cloud, emanating from Liverpool.

  • Billy1985

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #5

    i wouldnt put ben arfa on just cause of that cock wolves have. forgot his name now the one that went into barton god knows how many times…….bring him on second half

  • Dannyo

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #6

    On the subs bench Ed, u write “Ameobi (S)”
    They both start on S mate… 😛

  • TS -77

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #7

    @5 – Carl Henry

  • TS -77

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Agree with the starting 11 but I would like to see Elliot and Perch out and Gosling, Abeid in on the bench.

  • AshtreeKid

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #9

    actually shola is short for a really long name which begins with an F

  • Milking Mikes' bulging pockets

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #10

    This will be their defence:


    Mega slow. We’ll tear them apart.

    I predicted 4-0 on the last thread, I’ll stick with that, but change the scorers to Ba, Best, Cabaye, Obertan.

  • Jesus1983

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #11

    I bet all managers would like to name 8 subs

  • AshtreeKid

    Sep 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #12

    a lot of over confiedence on here me thinks

  • ichrisho

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #13

    @8 – Who would we have as GK cover then?

    I think we should have defense in mind tomo and attack on the break. I do think the midfield is far superior to Wolves so we should absolutely have that battle won… one thing that worries me in Jarvis versus Raylor… he might get totally skinned tomorrow… HWTL…

    I predict a 1-1 hard fought draw…

  • djm...

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Ts- are you suggesting that we don’t have a keeper on the bench? Thats only a recipe for disaster tbh :p.

  • ~~San-Toon~~

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #15

    Foluwashola Ameobi.

  • Incentino

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #16

    That’s right AshtreeKid,

    His name’s Foluwashola Ameobi.

  • TS -77

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #17

    What the F**K, I ment to replace Elliot with Harper Of course. Forget Abeid and get Gosling in for Perch.

  • TS -77

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #18

    Predict a 3-1 win. Best 2 and Ba 1

  • ~~San-Toon~~

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #19

    Hopefully Best gets the right shoes on this time. Don’t want to see him slicing all his shots again….

  • ~~San-Toon~~

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #20

    Time to get High on dubstep.

  • djm...

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #21

    I think it will be a close game a 1-0 or 2-1 win. As they will look to rough up our better flair players whenever they are in a decent situation. Although of they get a few yellows or even a red we will run the game ala Blackburn 2nd half.

  • chuck

    Sep 30, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #23

    He Ed ! Little bit of reality here in your blog, Davide after playing one game in the reserves is the new Maldini ?
    “Hardest working midfield in the PL”?
    “Newcastle have a long way to go to hit top form’?
    Look I know you are an avid fan etc. but to me that’s a bit over the top, reflecting more fantasy than reality, whats usually called “a homer”!
    Sure we are in fourth place, the side is way ahead of expectations, but still early days, hope these predictions dont come back to bite you in the ass come Christmas.

  • scottdavies9

    Sep 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #24

    Well arn’t you a bit boring ey Chuck!! what a way to ruin the mood on the blog.

  • Robby Bobson

    Sep 30, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #25

    I said that after the Blackburn game….we are unbeaten and forth without playing to our potential.

    We have scraped through alot of games but now we are in a good positiion when we seem to be taking it up a level.

    The football we have played in the last 2 games has been classy and what Pards promited…and with Marveux regaining fitness, Ba back to his sharpest, an Italian international defender to come in and the marvellous HBA returning, things are looking up.

    I was not happy with Pardew after the QPR game as although we were in a good position we were not creating the sort of chances he had been raveing about, we seem to play alot of long balls.

    But in the next two games we start playing the ball and we look really classy.

  • Robby Bobson

    Sep 30, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #26

    haha chuck what you moaning about

    Ed was quoting Peter Beardsley
    Ed was stating facts
    Ed was quoting Pardew


You must log in to post a comment.