Alan Pardew has pointed out this morning that Newcastle were without some of their squad for Saturday’s game.
Ben Arfa meets Nigel de Jong on Saturday – all is forgiven
But that didn’t stop them putting up a great fight at the Etihad Stadium, but the lads got nothing out of the game against the impressive Manchester City side.
Nothing from the game in terms of points that is, but Newcastle will have gained a lot of support from the way they played the game with guts and spirit, and the general way they went about things on Saturday afternoon.
This is what Alan Pardew said this morning:
“We were without four but my squad is definitely deeper than last year without a shadow of doubt,” “Sammy Ameobi would have got great confidence from some of the embarrassing moments he caused Gaël Clichy. He did brilliant.”
“We had Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid not involved so we are strong enough to cope with a strong season, and that is what we hope to have.” “It’s almost a minor triumph to keep them to within two goals,”
“We were at full tilt. Colo had problems, Ryan Taylor had problems, Danny Simpson had problems which we have not had in other games.” “Throughout the game questions were being asked of us, real tough questions.”
“It was a great performance by us simply to be in the game.” “I would be surprised if we haven’t worked harder than we have worked all season. I would expect the statistics to show the players had to up their workrate just to compete with City.”
“We can take confidence that we were level for 40 minutes and then matched them in the second half.” “You can get negative on yourself but you could see in the dressing room, there is genuine belief and in the second half we were hunting for that next goal.”
“We knew it would be crucial and if we had got it, suddenly it could have been very different.”
Indeed in that second half it looked like the legs of a few of our players had gone, as they had all worked their socks off for the cause, and we know we were beaten, but we were still so proud of this Newcastle side at the final whistle.
We also think Newcastle are gaining fans throughout this season, by their gutsy approach to these games, and certainly the neutrals on Saturday wanted Newcastle to do very well.
I got emails from some neutrals after the game, and they thought Newcastle were unlucky and things could have been different if only we had taken some of those chances.
But that’s all woulda coulda shoulda and we should really try to take something out of the game on Saturday at Old Trafford, and keep our high position in the league just as long as we can – and we could still shock people this season.
Alan Pardew also liked the performance of a certain Ben Arfa on Saturday:
“Yes, he did some great stuff up front for us but look at his work at the other end.” “He works really, really hard and I said to him, ‘Coming into this team, the one thing the other players are wanting to see from you is energy,’ because that is what we have had all year.”
“Every player who has come in has given me energy and he did give me that, and extra quality.” “Hopefully he can take us forward. Actually coming out of this game when we get everyone back, we could be a stronger side.”
A brave performance that got Newcastle zero points, so we now have to put in another good performance on Saturday at Old Trafford, cut out the mistakes and try to get back on track and take some points from every single game, as we managed in every league game before Saturday.
It’s great to see Newcastle playing so well, but we must still keep racking up those points in the league, and at least Manchester United are not as good as Manchester City are at the moment.
That must give us a chance on Saturday.