Alan Pardew gave a number of interviews yesterday, including his press conference for the Tottenham game at St. James’ Park late tomorrow afternoon, and one of the points he made was that he was pleased he had so far kept all his players at the club this summer – that he wanted to keep – and is still hoping nobody leaves before Saturday, September 1st.
Demba Ba – true to his word and stayed on Tyneside
And of course the major player we could have lost was Demba Ba, but his release clause in his contract ran out on August 1st, and Newcastle dodged a bullet there, and the top Senegal striker was also true to his word, and stayed at Newcastle, which he had said he would throughout the summer, to anybody who would listen – good for him.
Alan talked yesterday of the Europa League, and it seems we will follow Stoke’s example of last season, when they largely played a second eleven in those games.
This is what Alan said:
“I noted how Stoke played a complete second XI in one of their Europa games last season and left senior players behind,” said Pardew. “I can understand that. We have to be very intelligent in what we do.
“The scheduling of the Chelsea game is a bit unfortunate as, with the Notting Hill Carnival being on in London that weekend, the police more or less dictated it had to be played on the Saturday which gives us a really tight turnaround. It gives us a disadvantage.”
“We’re vulnerable to a Champions League club and the salaries and fees they can pay.” “But Mike Ashley does not sell cheap so they’d have to pay a lot of money.” “I might possibly leave some senior players in England.” “But we’re really pleased to be in the Europa League and, if we can, we’ll try and give it a real good go.”
There’s one way Newcastle can remove the threat from Champions League clubs, and that’s by finishing in the top four next season, which we did twice under the great Bobby Robson, and we noticed that new boy Vurnon Anita made clear that was one of his team goals at Newcastle.
The Magpies can field players like Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigiriamna, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux, Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Perchinho, Ryan Taylor, Shane Ferguson, Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid and James Tavernier in Europe, so there’s twelve good players right there, so we should still be able to field a top side and hopefully make good progress.
But first things first as always, and we need to get through that two legged tie against Athens-based side Atromitos over the next couple of weeks, that’s the first item on the agenda in Europe – and it’s vital we reach the group stages of that competition.
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