We have a sneaking suspicion that Sammy Ameobi will keep his place for the game at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Newcastle’s weapon – in action at the Etihad Stadium Saturday
And that’s even if Gabriel Obertan is fit again, and we think the Frenchman could start on the bench, even though the game is against his former club.
Alan Pardew talked about Sammy to the local press today:
“I was pleased for Sammy after Man City.” “It was a tough call on Sammy to play, but he was terrific.”
“He embarrassed Clichy a couple of times.” “I was pleased – Sammy is very much a weapon for us this season.”
It will be another tough call for Alan on Saturday, no doubt about it, and of course he will also have to decide whether to start Ben Arfa, with Leon Best likely to be fit, but we think he’ll keep the Frenchman in the starting line-up.
These are good problems for the Newcastle manger to have with players coming back from injury, and we should be able to field a top side against the Red Devils on Saturday.
On the loan front, goalkeeper Steve Harper is back in Toon after playing five times for Brighton over the last month, and we think if anything happens to standout young goalkeeper Tim Krul, Steve will be the one to come in, rather than Rob Elliot, if only because of his vast experience.
The news today is that the 36-year-old veteran will have another one of those injections on his knee, which seems to have troubled him for a while now.
And James Tavernier, who turned 20 on Halloween, didn’t stay long at Newcastle, after completing another excellent loan spell at Carlisle United, where the Bradford born lad played 17 times for the club.
James again got some great reviews, and that goes with the 18 appearances he made at Gateshead earlier this year, where he was also a standout.
James is off to Sheffield Wednesday, under manager Gary Megson, and his loan will be until mid January, so he will be able to add to the 35 first team games already played this year, and it will do him the world of good.
This is what we will see with a lot of Newcastle’s up and coming youngsters, as they gain experience playing first team football out on loan, and we would expect James to be ready to challenge for a first team place next season at St. James’ Park.