There is naturally talk of Newcastle maybe qualifying for the European Champions League this season, and that’s because we are just one point away from joining Chelsea in 4th place.
Jonas Gutierrez challenges Alan Hutton on Sunday
But in reality we would still be in fifth place because our goal difference of +5 is inferior to the other top side like Chelsea +15, Arsenal +12 and Liverpool only +7, clubs who will also be competing for a Champions League position.
Even Sunderland, 9 points back in 8th position, who we play in a noon time kick-off game on Sunday 4th March at St. James’ Park, have a better goal difference of +9.
That’s because of their good results of late – since Martin O’Neil took over and organized them into a much better side than they had been under Geordie manager Steve Bruce.
In the 10 league games O’Neil has been in charge they have won seven and lost only two, both 1-0 defeats at Chelsea and Tottenham.
It’s going to be a much more competitive derby this time around – no doubt about that.
Back to the European Champions League and it seems the players are not thinking about it at all, as Jonas Gutierrez has pointed out the lads are trying hard to take just one game at a time:
“We are not thinking about the Champions League. We are just thinking about the next game,” “We are in a good position, but I think the team and all of the players, we don’t think about what the fans and the press are saying.”
“We are trying to focus on the games that we have left.” “That is what has brought us success so far and that is what we must continue to do. We know we are having a great season but we have to focus game-by-game.”
“And that means no thinking ahead of ourselves.” “We are thinking about Tottenham only – no one and nothing else.” “It will be really, really tough.”
“They are in third position in the league and they’re trying to stay in the Champions League places so it will be really hard,” “They are a strong team at home but for us it is going to be a big test because they are one of the few teams that are above us.”
“We know that whatever team we put out it will be a good team. ” “If we do the right things we can beat any team in the Premier League but we have to be focused for 90 minutes – for the whole game.”
“Against that team, with that kind of quality player, you have to be focused for 90 minutes or you will be punished.”
We watched the Tottenham side at Anfield on Monday night, and they looked a strong side and very well oragnzied, and now they have big Ledley King and Michael Dawson in central defense, they looked extremely solid, so it will be difficult for Newcatsle to score on Saturday.
But there again we have Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, who seem to be able to score goals, and both looked sharp on Sunday.
Tottenham will present a problem in central midfield, and it will be a huge test of Danny Guthrie and James Perch, who will go up against the likes of former Newcastle midfielder Scott Parker and Luka Modric.
Newcastle thought they had a great chance of signing the Croatian play-maker back in May of 2008, but that was before he went down to London and ended up signing for Tottenham the next day – and for lower wages than the Magpies had offered him – or those were the rumors anyway.
Spurs have lost just four times in the league this season, and two of those were in their first two games at Manchester United 3-0, and at home to Manchester City by 5-1, and that’s the only game they have lost at White Hart Lane all season – so they are due a defeat.
But only if Newcastle are in top form, and get some luck in the game, could they possibly come away with all 3 points or even a draw, but we’re sure that’s what Alan Pardew and the coaches are working on this week in training – how they can do just that.
But we’ve seen this season that anything is possible with Newcastle, especially when we’ll be starting with the two Demba boys up front. 😀
Howay The Lads!!