Newcastle have reached European competition tonight for the first time in a full six seasons, and while there doesn’t seem to be much money to be made in the competition, and it would be much better to qualify for the European Champions League, we are where we are, and there’s some prestige on the line for Newcastle, if not big pay days in Europe this season.
Alan Pardew taking the training yesterday
The plan for Newcastle is obviously to keep all their best players in each transfer window, and improve the squad with some savvy buys like the club made last week in getting a very talented Vurnon Anita to Tyneside.
It’s extremely difficult to make the top four in the Premier League to qualify for that top European league, but we are happy we have made it back into Europe, and it’s better than not being in Europe at all, which has been the case over the last six seasons.
And it’s a big test for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, as he continues to grow into the toughest job he has ever had in football, and he has said today he thinks his squad is good enough and big enough to overcome Atromitos tonight in Athens.
This is what Alan said last night:
“For us, this competition is something we want to proceed in, so we have to have a team and a game-plan that is going to get us through.” “For Atromitos, it is a big game for them. We are a big scalp for this team, we are under no illusions of that. And we have that much respect for the Club and the manager.”
“But I think my squad is big enough and strong enough to cope. That’s why we have 24 senior players – because they need to contribute.” “And it is a big game for some of our squad, to show they can threaten the first team. And I certainly hope to see that tomorrow night. It’s a big test for some of our players.”
“We must look at ourselves as ambassadors of the Premier League. We believe it is the strongest division in Europe.” “We need to replicate that in terms of the performance we put out. So regardless of the (Atromitos’) coach’s surprises or experience, it is irrelevant.
“I just have to make sure my team is right and that’s what I will focus on.”
Newcastle have shown in pre-season that some of their top youngsters like Gael Bigirimana, James Tavernier, Romain Amalfitano and Dan Gosling are more than useful players, and they have an opportunity to shine in Europe this season.
This is their big chance to show the manager what they can do in the famous black and white strip, and we don’t think they will let Newcastle down tonight, and either a draw or a win would be a good result for Newcastle.
Then it’s Chelsea in less than 48 hours, and they didn’t look unbeatable against Reading last night, and once again the top side got a dubious goal from Fernando Torres, who was well offside – how do the officials miss these obvious calls all the time?
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