There was some good news in the relative gloom of being beaten once again by Liverpool at Anfield last night.
Fab Coloccini – in aaction last night
Both Fab Coloccini and Cheick Tiote were on four yellow cards before last night’s game, and neither of them received another yellow card, which would have seen them suspended for one game.
But the slate is now wiped clean, and they are back to zero yellow cards starting next year – that is – tomorrow.
That’s good news, because we really still have nobody to come in and deputize for either Coloccini or Williamson if either one of them gets injured.
And that’s before hopefully we sign a new center-back next month – fingers crossed.
This is what Alan said about the two of them today:
“They were very professional. You couldn’t say Cheick pulled out of anything. He was in the midst of everything, but he didn’t get booked.”
And Coloccini seems to be our Man of the Match from last night with 33% of the votes so far, with Tiote second on 17% and Cabaye in third place on 15%.
Fabricio was again very efficient at the back, and tried very hard to organize the defense, but we were disappointed the lads let in another three goals last night.
Hopefully we’ll get better once there is a an unchanged back four, which we thunk will see Davide Santon in at left back, and sooner rather than later.
And let’s not forget that Newcastle played quite well in patches last night, so when we play the weaker sides, as long as we keep doing well against them and not the top six sides, we’ll be very happy with that, thank you very much. 😀
And it seems the game next Wednesday evening against Manchester United at St. James’ Park could be Tiote’s last game before he goes off to report to the Ivory Coast squad for the African Cup Of Nations next month.
This is what Cheick said today:
“Maybe after the Man United game, I will go.” “We have a training camp in Abu Dhabi and I may have to go to that.”
“It is hard for me I want to play for my country and I want to stay here and play for Newcastle.”
“I just hope we do well while I am away. We have some tough games and we need to start taking more points.”
Given that the tournament doesn’t even start until 22nd January, that’s seems a long time to go off and report for pre-tournament preparation, especially when it’s bang in the middle of the European football season.
Surely Cheick can play against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup a week today, and then report to the squad the next day – January 8th?
And Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is still hoping to have him for the FA Cup tie as he said this morning:
“Hopefully, we will have Cheick and Demba Ba for January 7.”
“And if Yaya Toure doesn’t go until later in the month, why should Cheick go? We are all in the same boat.”
And when Cheick does go we suspect defensive midfielder Mehdi Abeid will get a chance while Cheick is away, and he will play alongside Yohan Cabaye.
And talking about defensive midfielders, what is Alan Smith doing these days at Newcastle, and he’s not even on the bench.
For £60K a week that’s a lot of money to pay for a fringe player, although we suppose Alan did the job for us in the Championship.
Alan Pardew seems to favor Haris Vuckic in central midfield, and the Slovenian got another start last night at Anfield, and although we thought he was quiet, he needs games to progress to a potential Newcastle starter next season.
This is what Alan said about Haris’ performance last night:
“I thought Haris grew into the game.” “You’d expect that. It is at Anfield, and Liverpool have some great players, but we went toe-to-toe with them.”
“Hatem was always going to be first choice to come on, but the game had perhaps gone away by then.”
Haris is a good player and for Alan to have preferred him to Ben Arfa last night, means that the Slovenian must be impressing in training, and he could become the next youngster to make the breakthrough to the Newcastle first team.
For the record, last night was Haris’ 12th first team appearance for Newcastle.