In the next two home games there will two tributes paid to former Newcastle star Gary Speed.
Great recent shot of manager Alan Pardew – he has a right to be smiling!
In today’s game against Chelsea Newcastle will hold a one minute’s applause for the former Newcastle player, who played 284 times at Newcastle with 40 goals from February 1998. when he joined from Everton, through the summer of 2004 when he joined Bolton.
Then in our next home game, fittingly against Welsh club Swansea City, the first Welsh club to make the Premier League, Gary’s wife and now widow Louise will be present.
She contacted the club yesterday and said she wanted to attend the full tribute for Gary, so Derek LLambias delayed the full ceremony until two weeks time when Swansea visit.
Louise will be an emotional tribute today at his first club Leeds United, whom he joined as a youngster and went onto greatness from there and played a total of 840 first team games with 134 goals in his career.
Gary played for Leeds (312, 57), Everton (65, 17), Newcastle (284, 40) , Bolton (139, 14 ) and Sheffield United (40, 6).
But Alan Pardew will likely dedicate both of the next two home games to the former Welsh manager, and look to win today’s tough game against Chelsea, who happen to have lost three of their last five league games, with two of them being at Stamford Bridge.
“I think you are talking about a different pressure here in England with the media and I don’t think he has experienced anything like it before in Portugal,”
“He’s won five trophies. I could say I’ve got 16 or 17 years experience on him, but he’d say, ‘Well I’ve won five trophies’. The Europa League, the league, the cup and whatever else he won at Porto.”
“He’s had a fantastic start to his managerial career and he’s at a massive club. He has handled himself pretty well in my opinion. Results could have been better, but unfortunately at the club he is at, that is all that it’s about.”
“I just think Chelsea’s results, with the stature of players they have got and the games they have got coming up, this will be a game they will look to win. They will have that attitude.”
“I saw them against Liverpool on Tuesday night and there is a feeling there they need to kick on. I could sense there are people there who know they have to put this right.”
“Most of the big hitters will be hoping to put it right when they come up to us. I don’t think Andre Villas-Boas has been under this sort of pressure and it is at times like this that the players either stand by you or they don’t.”
“We have got to get the balance right on the day. We’ve got to do the first part right and make sure we give a fitting tribute to Gary. But, hopefully, when the referee blows that whistle to start the game, we have to be ready to play because Chelsea will.”
“A draw would be a good result, but our fans will want us to win and we feel we can win it. The mood in the stadium, and the form that we’re in, evens it up.” “I think against Chelsea we will have that assurance that a draw at Old Trafford brings”
” It will be very important we don’t do what Wolves did and give away an early goal and give them a lift.” “They’ve still got some fantastic players and they will take any lift we give them.”
We’d be happy enough with a draw today, which will keep Newcastle in 4th position in the Premier League, but a win will show that Newcastle could indeed be a top seven side at the end of the season, and likely qualify for Europe.
But whatever happens, we’ll learn a little bit more about just how good this new Newcastle side that Alan Pardew has built really is this afternoon.
Howay The Lads!!