Not All Doom And Gloom At Newcastle

Yohan Cabaye has started his Newcastle career in great style,  and he has now played 16 times for the Magpies with two great goals.

Yohan Cabaye – done well at Newcastle

The bubble seems to have bust on Saturday, not because we lost 3-0 to Chelsea, but because we have lost Steven  Taylor for the season with a serious Achilles injury ,and Steven’s been one of our very best players.

Such is the paper thin nature of the Newcastle squad that James Perch will come in on Saturday for Steven, but who will partner him at the back is still a good question.

Yohan Cabaye is still upbeat though, and expects Newcastle to keep flying high, as he talked to the local press today:

“This team here has integrated very quickly – but there is a long way to go and we can only improve and grow together.”

“That we settled in so quickly was good for myself, Demba Ba, Gabby Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa and Mehdi Abeid, not forgetting Slyvain Marveaux.”

“It has been good for us, but we came here because we wanted to do well for Newcastle and help the club move forwards.” “It is important we stay near the top of the Premier League.”

“There are a lot of games coming up now which we can win.” “The team spirit is still good here and by staying near the top five or six means it stays good.”

“I came to England with Lille to play Manchester United in the Champions League a few years ago.” “I did not get on, but it gave me the buzz of the big English grounds.”

“Now I am getting this each week – I am delighted.” “There have been two or three tough games and we have been able to see what we can do.”

“Every game we go into, we go in for the win and to help the team climb the league.”

Those are good words from Yohan, and they go well with the positive statements made by veteran Shola Ameobi yesterday, and Shola looked very sharp on Saturday when he came on.

So while the situation is not good at Newcastle at the moment, the players still seem to be upbeat and positive – and that has to be good.

And while Newcastle have slipped from third position in the league over the last three games, in which they have picked up just one point, the lads are still in 6th position on 26 points from 14 games, which is a very good record.

And with Liverpool managing somehow to lose at Craven Cottage on Monday night, the Magpies are still 3 points ahead of the Reds, and we didn’t spend £100M on players this year either.

One weakness Newcastle have is while the lads have conceded only 15 goals, we have scored only 19, and every side above us in the league have scored at least 10 more goals.

That’s one reasons we expect Mobido Maiga to come in very early in January, although the big problem with Newcastle right now is a lack of defensive cover.

It will be very interesting to see how the Newcastle Board help Alan Pardew next month to strengthen the side.

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • cheikmate

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #1

    If kadar plays on sat then santon stays on the bench yet again. This guy needs to be out in the position we brought him here for.

    I appreciate what raylor has done for us, but with a proper left back in place jonas can get on with his job and do the things he was doing at the start of the season against wolves and spurs. he was our best player during those time IMO.

  • nightfa11

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #2

    great player…not afraid of anyone.. that gives him the edge.. keep doing your thing Yohan

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #3

    I think on Saturday we’re going to have to play like Chelsea did last night. Let Norwich have the ball in there own half, all back in our half to defend and rely on counters to get goals.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Paperthin squad! We have a very strong, when all fully fit starting 11, but getting away from our best 11, theres only 2 or 3 players good enough to step in at premier league quality! For example, we only have 3 centrebacks, 3 centre midfielders etc before we have to start putting square pegs in round holes! Such is our squad that we have big problems with just a few injuries whereas sides around us can cope! The taylor injury will hit us hard, he’s been immense, put himself on the line, but god forbid if we had a long term injury to Jonas, Cabaye, Collo, Ba, Tiote….i know guthrie has played well but no tiote has seriously restricted cabayes game!

  • cheikmate

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #5

    We definately need tiote back, because he gives cabaye the opportunity to get forward. even tho guthrie has been great hes been to similar to cabaye both spraying the ball out wide. weve seen whats cabaye is like on the edge of the box we need him there more often.

  • cheikmate

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #6

    wud love us to sign alex, hes a beast and can take the free kicks once raylors replaced with santon (only a metter of time). but i think wages will prevent this and the fact hes more likely goin to arsenal

  • boater

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #7

    Patch up the back best we can, then revert to 4-4-2 with arfa on the wing. I’ve been saying all along we don’t score enough goals and have been lucky with tight winning margins. Arfa may lack discipline out wide, but what we loose in terms of shape we gain in terms of threat up front.

  • Dannyo

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #8

    I said Cabaye would be captain in 2012, guess my prediction came through early. I think the temporary captaincy will stand between Cabaye and Krul. But Cabaye is better positioned, he can control the play easier and is so good with the english already, and the fremch which we have allot of.
    80% certain Cabs will be given captaincy until Collo returns. Maybe it’ll even take up his game and help control the flow of the game easier.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #9

    Boater, theres more chance of Pardew spotting you in the stands and asking you to play on the wing than there is Ben Arfa starting on the wing! I agree with him! Ben Arfas the kind of player that can drift out of games! Hughton played him left wing last season, and for 3 of his 4 games he didn’t do a thing, hardly had a touch! Admittedly he played well and scored v everton! The other problem with Ben Arfa on the wing is his discipline for position! He wanders out of position frequently, if you saw him for Lyon or Marseille you’d have seen this, the best place for him is the free role behind the strikers where he can create havoc!

  • jayphoto

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #10

    Think Shola will be captain! He’ll deffo play against Norwich if he’s fit! was effective against chelsea and we’ll need him and his height to defend set peices against a physical Norwich side!

  • boater

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #11

    Jayphoto – I accept there is an issue regarding discipline with Arfa on the wing, but the biggest mistake any football manager can make is to adapt a system around one player – especially one as mercurial, and in and out of games as Arfa. We looked better with Shola on.. more direct, and less faffy in possession. That said Arfa should play – and whilst Obertan isn’t producing any meaningful crosses or threat, it has to be at his expense.

    4-4-2 introduces another goalscorer on the pitch in either Shola or Best, whilst Arfa is given an opportunity to create more by cutting inside. Where else can he play, should we field two strikers?

    Against the likes of Chelsea, I can see why 4-4-1-1 makes sense, but against Norwich we have to assert ourselves offensively, especially with the make shift defense.

  • Toonboy_84

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #12

    Shola for cb. I reckon he would do a job. Good in the air, strong enough……………. or maybe I should lay off the columbian marching powder!

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #13

    the thought of Perch (CB) and the continued horror show of raylor at LB doesn’t bear thinking about.

    In the absense of Tavernier, surely we could play

    Raylor (RB) Simpson Kadar santon (LB)

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #14


    I would argue that a lot of great teams have often been built around one great player, ie Maradonna to name just one.

    For faffy, read skilful, for direct, read ”hoof ball”.

    I don’t want hopeful crosses. I want the ball on the deck and played through midfield with quick forwards making intelligent runs, with ball to feet.

    In English football, apart from the top teams, you always see team mates running away from the player in possession, instead of supporting triangles.

  • boater

    Dec 7, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Rotonda – I don’t see how ‘building a team around one player’ – and adapting a system to fit a particular player (like I say especially one as hot n cold) can be taken as the same thing. It isn’t.

    We all want to see fluid, passing football and yes in theory Arfa behind a lone striker should equate to that, in reality our attacking threat has increased when Ba has someone to link up with and challenge balls in the box. Arfa should play – just not at the expense of a system which has unfailingly given us more potency going forward.

  • Tiote

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #16

    Simpson could nt play cb. He won’t win anything in th air n al he would do is stand off. Whos guna cover him at cb wen caught out? Krul?

  • dmac

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #17

    Id like to see Cabaye temp captain, afterall he captained Lille but i think more likely it will be the mighty Sho ( sarcasm on mighty)

  • StuW

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #18

    I agree that was the best I have seen Shola look in a while, he looked game, and showed some nice touches that I thought he had lost. I can see Jonas or Shola getting the armband, both workhorses, and always give their all to the cause, and would then lead by example.

  • Lachu

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #19

    Ed , nice to learn you radiation is over, my best wishes are with you , i m sure u ll beat the disease

  • niafron

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #20

    Bonjour messieurs.

    A tactical arument? My favourites!

    Well, was a bad game for Beny last saturday. Don’t know if he was a bit tired, but he should have come lower on the pitch when it was obvious midfield was overwhelmed. Instead of that, he remained high and never seen the ball.

    Anyway, i can’t defend pure 4-4-2. These long balls are hereticals for a french football fan.

    NUFC will not play like the Barca in one day, it’s a question of culture.

    But if the team want to improve, the players need time to work together.

    So i continue with my prediction of the summer: if we can remain close from the top team until the boxing day, the play will slowly improve, we can make a good second part of season and qualify for the CPL.

  • hatem or love him

    Dec 7, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #21

    team for Norwich


    Taylor Perch Kadar Santon

    Obertan Tiote Cabaye Jonas

    Ba Lovenkrands

    I’m including Peter as he looked fairly dangerous against Chelsea and he will be looking to prove a point.
    one more thing I’m new to the blog.

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #22


    We haven’t got a naturally left-footed LB, so don’t play one!

    Go on AP! Thank me after we demolish Norwich 😉

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #23

    Sadly, we’ll probably go with the fuddy-duddy 4-4-2.

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #24

    I wish I were as flamboyant as you, Niafron 🙁

  • IPToon

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #25

    The team i think Pardew will pick (if no Tiote)

    —————————— Krul —————————–
    Simpson ——- Perch ———— Kadar ——- Raylor
    Obertan —— Guthrie ——— Cabaye —— Gutierrez
    ———————– Ba ——— Ameobi —————–

    The team i would pick (if no Tiote)

    —————————- Krul ——————————
    Simpson —— Perch ——– Kadar ——— Santon
    Obertan ——- Guthrie —– Cabaye ——- Gutierrez
    ———————— Ben Arfa —————————
    —————————- Ba ——————————–

    Like him or not Obertan is better away from home when we rely a lot more on his pace on the counter attack, he gets a lot more space to run in to.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #26

    AP’s Black & White Army, I don’t know. Sometimes I’m in a bit of a panic about our situation. Than I read one of Niafron’s posts and feel better.

    hatem or love him, it shows that your new. You left Ben Arfa out of your line up. I’m surprised you haven’t been accused of being a Mackem yet.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #27

    IPToon, I think Pardew will but HBA in for at least the first half. Norwich will think that they’ve been hit by a tornado. In fact HBA sometimes makes me think of the Loony Tunes Tasmanian Devil.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #28


  • AP's Black & White Army

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #29

    He’s a soothing fellow, GG…..

    I really want to see a team, with 2 forwards in advance of HBA, creating space for him to tinker with. I’d also like to see Guthrie, Cabaye and Tiote on the pitch together!

    There’s a fine blend in there, somewhere.

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #30

    hypothetically, if we only play two in the center, one being tiote, who would you guys rather see, guthrie or cabaye?

    i think it’s a nonstarter that cabaye will get the nod over guthrie but i think guthrie has been outstanding since he’s started. In complete honesty, i’d go with guthrie.

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #31

    …would be nice to see a five man midfield like this though

    ben arfa….cabaye…guthrie…..jonas

    with cabaye and guthrie both getting forward on the counter and in the final third

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #32

    honestly don’t think i’d want to make this decision anyhow. lovenkrands was our most dangerous player the first half hour at chelsea

  • Toon Tang

    Dec 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #33

    yea good lad is our yohan, we need more of his influence in these coming fixtures. He tends to drift in and out of games though at times. hes been non existent in the second halves of a couple of matches this season and i dont think hes as good defensively as he is at playmaking, the way mata ran off him for that first chelsea goal was schoolboy but drogba should also have been better matched when the ball did come in to the box.

    All hands to the pump for these next few games.

  • phillyg

    Dec 7, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #34


    This has to be the starting line. Kadar is the only recognised cb and he might aswell be thrown in rather than playing someone out of position which takes me to raylor. Raylor is a good squad player but against decent wingers he looks like a fish out of water, if our cb’s are depleted then we need to stop balls coming into the box which i am sure santon could do and hes 6ft1 so could help with ariel threats. Santon is gifted going forward so could be a deadly team with guiti and being more affective at the back guiti should be more able to advance up the pitch. Tiote aint gunna be fit so guthrie gets the nod but has to take more of a defensive role freeing up cabaye to go and do what he does best, pinpoint passing and rifling shots in. Benarfa has always looked most effective down the touchline stretching defenses and cutting in to have a shot or the killer ball to a striker. Ba is a must and ameobi is un-playable when he wants to be but best could come on if shola turns to be strolla. That leaves obertan and sammi ameobi to come on with 20 mins left to devastte norwich’s tired legs.

  • toonbrother

    Dec 7, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #35

    After seeing theterrible choiceshemade last week against Chelsea Ive lost all faith in pardew as a decison maker. Anybody who considers lovenkrans a better option than best cant be too bright

  • NUFC_Harvey

    Dec 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #36

    Maybe, AP could go like this (assuming Tiote is fit)?
    Simmo_ Kadar_ Perch_ Santon
    Cabaye_ Tiote
    Ben Arfa Gutierrez
    Ameobi_ Ba


    Dec 8, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    Comment #37

    Agree with your back four apart from Simpson!
    Untested at CB! Panics if put under pressure by an opposing player! Needs support,back-up behind him. He did play well against Nanure though!

    Perch and Simpson in the same team would give me sleepless nights which i already have occasionally.

    Is Tiote fit again lads?


    Dec 8, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Comment #38

    For Nanure read Manure!


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