Newcastle didn’t show much threat up front at Anfield on Friday night, when we lost 3-1.
This man was manager the last time we beat Man United at St. James’ Park
The first half was fairly even after we had scored first through a fortunate own goal from Daniel Agger after just 25 minutes, but then we managed to concede a goal from former player Craig Bellamy just three minutes after that.
And even in those first 20 minutes of the second half, when we were getting on top, before Steven Gerrard ran the game for Liverpool, we were passing the ball around nicely, but not making much headway.
Chelsea and Manchester City are the only top six sides to have won at St James’ in the current reign of Alan Pardew, but on the other hand our lads have still to beat any of the top six sides since Alan took over as Newcastle manager thirteen months ago.
A good time to start would be tonight, and for sure that would be a tremendous win at just the right time for the Magpies.
Newcastle have to try to get back on track and start to pick up those points in an effort to keep in 7th position in the league table.
Newcastle have had some good games against the top six sides this season, and have hardly had any luck, as Alan talked about those games today:
“Spurs was a fantastic game, probably our best of the season at St James’,” “Arsenal was a great game.”
“Chelsea, we were pushing, pushing at 1-0 down and unfortunately with a man down conceded two late goals, but it was a close game.”
“Man United, Man City, we gave a good account of ourselves and Liverpool, we did the same although the result went against us.”
“We’re close, we can see it, we can feel it, but actually beating one of those sides maybe would be the final piece to take us forward.”
“Looking at the recent games, teams that have sat back against the Red Devils have got thumped,” “They’ve got such talent in their ranks, they’re going to cause you problems.”
“But we have a striker Demba Ba who is in form, a central midfield pairing of Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye that I think’s as good as theirs.”
“And our back line and goalie have been resolute all year, so we’re in a good position to try to attack the game.”
“At Liverpool we didn’t have enough threat despite retaining the ball for long spells, and we’ve spoken about getting that back.”
“It’s important to retain the ball against United, make them work, but we still need a threat at the end of that, and I thought at Liverpool we just lacked that a little bit.”
Gabriel Obertan is expected to play despite an infected toe, which we thought he had only just recovered from – so where is this lad putting his toe to get it infected all the time? 😀
The Newcastle team for tonight will be interesting, after Pardew tried youngster Haris Vuckic as the laid-back striker on Friday night with little success, and maybe Ben Arfa will get a start tonight, in a team that could look like this:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Obertan Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
That’s not a bad side, and we would have to hope that Ben Arfa raises his work-rate and doesn’t lose the ball too much, but the lad has great skill that could unlock an average Red Devil’s defense.
And we have to hope that Demba Ba is in form and puts the ball in the back of the night with any half chance he gets, to add to the 14 goals he already has in the Premier League this season.
We are hoping for something out of this game, but another defeat would be hard to take, and that would be our sixth defeat in the last nine games, which is not good.
We’d just love to see Newcastle win this game, for the first time since back in 2001, when the great Bobby Robson was manager, and they can do that if they give 100% and play somewhere near their best form.
Howay The Lads!!