Alan Pardew again used his bench wisely on Saturday afternoon, as the changes he made certainly made a difference, and had Newcastle playing much better in the second half.
Alan Pardew in Tiote’s face for some reason on Saturday
Ben Arfa we thought made a positive difference when he came on at half time, and Sylvain Marveaux set up Yohan Cabaye’s goal nicely with a deft piece of skill.
Alan Pardew must have a lot of players knocking on his door wanting to play these days, but he’s managed to keep most of his players happy so far, and has instilled in them a team ethic, and as long as the team keeps picking up the points like they’ve been doing, it’s just great.
This is what Alan said to the local Newcastle press:
“Our two wide players Jonás Gutiérrez and Gabriel Obertan have done terrifically well this year and Jonás was great against Wigan,”
“Obertan is trying to find his feet still but he has got Marveaux breathing down his neck and that is difficult.” “It would be the same the other way round.”
“I like it if everyone in the group is getting a piece of the action so I am spreading the bench around a bit at the moment, trying to keep our players mentally alive.”
“I have got absolutely no dilemmas,” “This is a great feeling being where we are. It is great for the players and we now go to the next game.”
Pardew is taking the Carling Cup 4th round tie very seriously, and is refusing to give even the slightest hint as to what his team selection will be tomorrow night.
There’s a chance that Alan may field a much stronger side than we expect, with only a few changes from the side that beat Wigan on Saturday.
Maybe he’ll bring in Davide Santon for Danny Simpson at right back, Ben Arfa for Leon Best up front and Sylvain Marveaux on the right wing for Gabriel Obertan, and that may be it.
But Steven Taylor is unlikely to play with his broken nose, and it seems that only James Perch is available as cover at center-back, with Mike Williamson still out injured.
That will be the main news before the game – exactly what side Alan will play at Ewood Park tomorrow night.
Alan has made it cleat that the Carling Cup is the best chance Newcastle have of winning something this season, so it wouldn’t be a great surprise if he only made three or four changes for that game.
What do you think?