Time For Some Newcastle Players To Step Up To The Plate

Newcastle’s two top Senegal strikers, Demba Ba and Papiss Cissee,   will be representing their country tonight in their first game in the African Cup of Nations, when they take on Zambia.

Leon Best – after scoring against QPR last Sunday

We’ll be looking for that score-line and hope that  Senegal can get off to a winning start.

And apparently the Senegal-Zambia game is on UK Eurosport at 8.55 pm tonight – thanks to reader Jared Simpson for that information.

But before that game even kicks off,   Newcastle will be playing at Craven Cottage, and we have to hope that Newcastle can score some goals this afternoon without their two top strikers.

And last night Demba Ba put this out on his Twitter account:

“Hi guys,Tomorrow big day! 2 wins would be wicked! Come on Newcastle, come on Senegal!!!”

It’s nice he put Newcastle before Senegal in that tweet. 😀

We expect Shola Ameobi and Leon Best to be the two strikers up front today, but think that Frenchman Ben Arfa will also get a start out on the right wing.

Newcastle won at Fulham 1-0 back in 2007 with a last minute penalty by Joey Barton, but they have had little success at the Cottage since that time,  and lost 1-0 last February.

The lads turned in a rather poor performance in that game,  which was a couple of days after  Andy Carroll had been sold to Liverpool, and some of the players were still in shock.

As it turned out,  Shola Ameobi also broke his cheek bone in that game, which made the shortage of strikers even worse at Newcastle, and they had to bring in Shefki Kuqi on a short term contract.

Alan Pardew is looking for other players to step up to the plate today, and get the job done up front for Newcastle:

“We have other assets who need to do the business on Saturday,”

“We are in a position now where if we can keep ticking over until that period when Cisse and Ba return then we will see what we can do.”

“Leon Best scoring a goal against Fulham was massively important – as important as anything this season. Leon has done well this season but needed a goal.”

“And in Ben Arfa we have a player where the penny is dropping as to what he needs to do.” “He was brilliant when he came on against QPR.”

With Newcastle becoming a good side and getting some good results this season, some opposing teams may resort to parking two buses in their penalty area to try to stop the Magpies.

But that’s hardly going to happen at any of the away grounds like Craven Cottage this afternoon, and is more likely to happen when lower level teams visit Newcastle, like Wolves, Aston Villa  and Bolton – who are still to visit St. James’ Park this season.

Alan admitted teams may play negative defensive football against Newcastle:

“We are going to find some negative agendas and we need to be on our guard. It is a compliment in a way but we have to be able to overcome it,”

“On Sunday versus QPR we struggled at times, we gave the ball up cheaply. That was because of the opposition. I don’t think we will get that at Fulham.”

“They don’t play that way. Later in the season hopefully, it is a good sign when teams do that, but we have to deal with it.”

Newcastle are  trying to strengthen their squad,  and the acquisition of Cisse will allow Pardew to change his attacking options a lot more during games.

That’s something we haven’t been able to do, and with Peter Lovenkrands close to being  fit again, Pardew will have about five top strikers he can use through the end of the season,  once Ba and Cisse return from the African Cup of  Nations.

Other top sides already have several strikers up front their managers can use, and Alan talked about this:

“We know that. Look at the team below us,” “They have Kuyt and Carroll who could start. They can put Suarez on. Or change it and play Bellamy somewhere else.”

“That is what they have. They can play Gerrard and Bellamy behind. That is what top teams have.”

“We have players now where we can change it when you need someone different to find that goal.”

Newcastle do have a decent chance of winning the game this afternoon, if the lads can get a goal or two, and the defense can again be very solid at the back.

A win would take Newcastle up to 39 points from their 22 games played – just one point from safety and four points or less from a European Champions League position. 😀

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #1

    We expect Shola Ameobi and Leon Best to be the two strikers up front today, but think that Frenchman Ben Arfa will get a start out on the right wing.
    It seems play in 4-3-3 already!!! Haha

  • LewSpi

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #2


    I see, yeah cheers for that. :-).

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #3

    well FGB you do know why those capital letter come when i type Wow

  • fgb224lbs

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Lew a few people have asked him before.
    What are peoples thoughts on the match today? Score? Scorers?
    Personally i think 1-0 best to score again

  • shearermania

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #5

    “Pardew will have about five top strikers he can use through the end of the season, once Ba and Cisse return from the African Cup of Nations.”
    5 top strikers …ba tick top striker, cisse tick top striker..shola….hm well striker…best…hm okay striker….loverpants..striker sometimes

  • fgb224lbs

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #6

    Roshan. Because you play world of warcraft? Lol

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Jan 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #7

    what IS that FGB

  • Spuggy

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #8

    Shola and Best today and Arfa will defo get an outing although I couldn’t guess where.

    We need to get behind shola lads, he’s not as bad as some make out. He’s not a poacher. He was brilliant against blackburn when he came on, before he did we had best and arfa up front and it was terrible.

    He was also instrumental against manu with him and Ba up front and Best wouldn’t have have scored without his chest down.

    Open your eyes peeps. He’s no shearer, but he is a good squad player like raylor, and contributes when we need him.

  • fgb224lbs

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #9

    Never MIND RoshAn

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #10

    Are you going down to the game today.

  • Spuggy

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #11

    @ Jail

    Nah, I’m at a wedding. Was thinking about going to the unwashed game in a few weeks. You going?

  • FloridaToon

    Jan 21, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #12

    2-1 to us. Best and Guthrie to score.

    Sorry but Shola shouldn’t start. Would rather see Lover in the 4-4-2 or 4-3-3

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    I wonder what Shola’s career stats are they must be embarrassingly terrible.

    2-1 or 1-1 I think for today’s result, Fulham are tricky team.


  • Marty-Toon

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #14

    Most pundits saying were gonna lose today,time to prove em wrong.
    Eurosport in Norway is showing the Senegal game at 11:30 this evening.
    Recording it so I can see it as me n the mrs are out,looking forward to seeing the new toon partnership

  • YOY_Yorkshire

    Jan 21, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #15

    All this talk of Europe…. Humbug… Take it one step at a time, build a squad that can be effective Europe (and in the premeirship ) over the longer term… Nothing worse than an unprepared club getting washed up in the Europa competition to then do badly at home because the squad is thin and the qualities not right. Prefer to wait a season, show our intent and keep our better players whilst purchasing additional quality with promotion of home grown talent.

    0-2 today i think 🙂


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