It’s games like today’s fixture against Aston Villa at home, that Newcastle will have to win if they are to finish high up in the league table come mid-May.
Charles N’Zogbia – when he was at Newcastle
If Newcastle do win today and Chelsea lose to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the later game, Newcastle will be in joint 4th place on points, but 5th because of an inferior goal difference to Chelsea.
And the Chelsea vs Manchester United game is the first Premier League game to ever be shown live on network TV over here – as a lead-in to the Super Bowl tonight.
The European Champions League and 4th place is probably a Tyne Bridge too far this season, so to speak, and Alan will not even talk about that at the moment:
“When we get to the last six or seven games, if we’re in or around that area, we’ll give it a go.”
“Talking about the Europa League – that’s different. We’re in a good position to try to achieve that.”
“It would be a fantastic achievement, but we’re not getting carried away.” ” Today is a game where we have to be careful.”
It’s not too much different from Europa League qualification, because 5th place gives automatic qualification, and for that Newcastle would need to finish higher than both Arsenal and Liverpool.
Of course we could get there depending on who wins the FA Cup and the Carling Cup, and if it’s teams that have already qualified for Europe, we could finish lower than 5th and still qualify for the Europa League.
Newcastle fans will see former players Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia returning to St. James’ Park today, and they both left Newcastle in January of 2009, which turned out to be a short four months before we were relegated.
When Charles was here with Wigan Athletic last season, he scored two goals and looked good, and he even managed to out-jump 6’4″ Mike Williamson to head one of the goals.
So Newcastle will need to keep an eye on him this afternoon, as he seems to finally be showing some good form for Villa.
But the win is what we need today, and we’ll be happy if we can get that.
We’ll be very happy if we can get that – in fact – we’ll be ecstatic if we can get that. 😀