It seems that Alan Pardew will wait almost until almost the last moment before he decides which team will be led out by Fabricio Coloccini at St. James’ Park tomorrow, to face a strong first test in the first game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur.
Cheick Tiote – should be fit to start tomorrow afternoon
Here’s the injury situation with some of our key players as we understand it:
- Hatem Ben Arfa has picked up a knee injury and will not play tomorrow or in Athens, Greece on Thursday night against Atromitos.
- Cheick Tiote was held back from joining up with the Ivory Coast in Moscow on Wednesday, and is now expected to be fit, after recovering from a slight calf injury
- Papiss Cisse is doubtful but trained yesterday and could start tomorrow
- Demba Ba is also rated a little doubtful, but also will likely start the game tomorrow
- Yohan Cabaye lacks match practice still, and could possibly make the bench tomorrow, and get a run-out for say 20 minutes tomorrow
- Fabricio Coloccini is fit and didn’t play for Argentina on Wednesday so is expected lead out the lads tomorrow
With Shola Ameobi in such good form, we wouldn’t be surprised if Shola starts the game tomorrow, even if both Senegal strikers are fit.
Alan said he would sleep on his selection alternatives tonight, before making some decisions, and this what he told the Shields Gazette today:
“I’ll sleep on it – I haven’t got a team in my mind yet.” “We haven’t had any team play yet because Colo was away yesterday. We all know our roles, but I haven’t picked the team.”
“We’ll play Tottenham, and then we’ll take stock of Greece.” “We need to be right for Chelsea.” “We’ve already scheduled a meeting on the different scenarios and how we’ll approach it. There are different scenarios for different results.”
Alan Pardew will now get some good experience as a manager navigating Newcastle in the Europa League this coming season, and he gets his first taste of that next Thursday night at Atromitos in Athens Greece.
But of course John Carver has spent a few seasons with Bobby Robson helping Newcastle become quite successful in European competition, so his experience should be a big help to Alan.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org