Newcastle have announced the dates of their six group games in the Europa League, and that’s good because it will allow fans who can go and want to support the lads to get their tickets and travel booked.
Alan Pardew – managed only two games in Europe with West Ham
The group is a good one for Newcastle, so we are hoping the lads can progress beyond the group stages this season, and we’ll know that at the latest by December 6th, although the Premier League is the number one priority this season, as Alan Pardew keeps reminding us.
Newcastle will begin their Europa league games at Maritimo on the Island of Madeira on Thursday, 20th September. Madiera play in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, and the finished in 5th place with 50 points last season.
Newcastle then play two games at home against Bordeaux (4th October) and Brugge (25th October), and with 29,242 at last night’s game it looks like the lads will get some good support in Europe – as usual.
And then on 8th November Newcastle will head to Brugge, before taking on Maritimo at St. James’ Park on 22nd November, and then finish off away to Bordeaux on 6th December.
Here are the Newcastle United Europa League fixtures, courtesy of the Newcastle web-site:
All kick-offs listed are Central European Time, which is one hour ahead of local Newcastle time.
Thursday, 20th Sep – CS Maritimo v Newcastle (7pm KO)
Thursday, 4th Oct- Newcastle v FC Girondins de Bordeaux (9.05pm KO)
Thursday, 25th Oct – Newcastle v Club Brugge (9.05pm KO )
Thursday, 8th Nov – Club Brugge v Newcastle (7pm KO )
Thursday, 22nd Nov – Newcastle v CS Maritimo (9.05pm KO)
Thursday, 6th Dec – FC Girondins de Bordeaux v Newcastle (7pm KO)
It;s the first time in six seasons that Newcastle have qualified for Europe so while I’m disappointed we didn’t get in another couple of players over the summer, we still have a good squad, and we could shock people again this season.
But players like Ryan Taylor and James Perch are much better than they were last year, and several of our youngsters have also improved a lot, and the four players we did sign look great buys – so there’s a positive way to look at things.
In retrospect, we should probably have kept Leon Best, and have him as the 4th striker – since he’s still young and done quite well for the Magpies, but it does give Adam Campbell more playing time, and this lad could prove to be a huge surprise on the upside this season.
We hope so – and we still think Newcastle can do very well this season, but we definitely need all 3 points against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Finally, news coming through that Newcastle defender Paul Dummett has joined St Mirren on loan until January, as their manager Danny Lennon has confirmed.
Dummett, who is only 20, was on loan to Blue Square Premier League side Gateshead last season, and he will get valuable playing time north of the border.
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