Alan Pardew will have a challenging time in the next couple of weeks, with Newcastle playing four vital games, having successfully navigated the first game at home to Tottenham in good style on Saturday, with a good 2-1 win top start the season off well.
Gael Bigirimana – will play in Athens
And as expected the Football Association charged the Newcastle manager today with misconduct, following his shove on the assistant referee after about an hour or so, and he has until 4PM on Thursday to respond to the charge.
Of course Alan will be in Athens with the side at that time, and the really interesting thing is what team will he field for that game, and he said over the weekend that James Tavernier, Haris Vuckic and Gael Bigirimana are three youngsters who will play in that game.
We had thought it would be all change side and that Newcastle would field a second eleven – maybe as follows:
Tavernier Williamson Good Ferguson
Taylor (R) Gosling Bigirimana Marveaux
Ameobi (Sh) Vuckic
That would still not leave room for players like Romain Amalfitano or Mehdi Abeid (hmmm), and maybe Alan will give a full game to Vurnon Anita to get him in the swing of things at Newcastle, but that team is a complete change from the side that started the game last Saturday.
But Alan Pardew said this morning that some first-team regulars will be in the side in Athens to play Atromitos FC, and that it would not be 11 changes from the side last Saturday:
“I’m going to put a team out that I think can win, and that might not be all of our big hitters all of the time.” “But I won’t be making 11 changes on Thursday.” “The most important thing for the next couple of days is rest. We have to make sure that we rest well.”
And we don’t know whether Shola Ameobi and Fabricio Coloccini will be fit enough for Thursday night, so it’s a bit of a challenge for the manager and coaches as to which side to play in Athens.
But make no mistake, this is a very important game for Newcastle, and we must qualify for the group stages of the Europa League, and it will time for some youngsters and players to show what they can do for Newcastle.
What do think the team will be on Thursday night?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org