Newcastle Nervous – Hoping For Ivory Coast Victory Today

The Ivory Coast will play Senegal this afternoon in the first of a two legged play off,  to decide which country will reach the African Cup of Nations finals to be held in South Africa starting in January.

And let’s be clear straight away, if Senegal wins this play-off then Newcastle will be in serious trouble in January and February with their two top Senegal strikers missing.

The only other experienced striker on the books now is Shola Ameobi, who is injury prone to say the least,  and had been injured all season so far with another hamstring injury.

Senegal have a new manage in Joseph Koto – who was in charge of the Senegal side during the London Olympics – and he understands the feelings at Newcastle, and he was asked what he thought of Newcastle manager’s Alan Pardew’s preference that Senegal lose:

“The ball is in the court of the players. I have selected them and they have every facility available to them to do well. It is up to them to deliver – and I know that they are professional for both Newcastle and Senegal. So there is no problem.”

“The team that is most motivated and committed should win in Abidjan and we have the means to succeed there. Ivory Coast may be favourites, but we are strong challengers with footballers who can compete against anyone.”/

The Ivory Coast went very close to winning the Cup last February,  when they were beaten on penalties by Zambia after a long drawn out penalty shoot out – and their manager Sabri Lamouchi thinks it may be the last chance for great players like Didier Drogba –  who may be the best Ivorian footballer ever.

This is what Lamouchi had to say about the game:

“This may be the last chance for this awesome generation and if the players are able to bring home the trophy it would be a tremendous gift for the entire nation,”

“My objectives are very clear – to qualify this team for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and to do better than in the previous edition, that is to say, to win the competition.”

The Ivory Coast are favorites, but we’ve learned that doesn’t mean much in African football, and there are lots of upsets in their games.

And whatever the result today, Newcastle fans will have to wait until October 12th for the return leg to be played in Dakar, before we know what our fate is.

It’s hard to believe that Newcastle didn’t bring in another striker to replace the departed Leon Best and  Peter Lovenkrands, but we didn’t for whatever reason.

And that puts the team at great risk if Sengal  qualifies for the finals of a tournament that will take place from January 19th through February 10th.

Newcastle have five games during that period, and that doesn’t include any Europa League games we may have qualified for by then.

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17 comments so far

  • MacToon

    Sep 8, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #1

    I cannot understand selling Best without bringing another striker in, a bit of a gamble 😉

    If Senegal get through at least we can buy someone in January…….. yet again, who knows!

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Best was very ineffectual anyway. He never contributed much. Just the odd game every once in a while.

    I’m surprised that Campbell hasn’t had more of a run out. Thought that would be the reason for seeking best without getting a back up in

  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #3

    I am actually hoping for Senegal to win.

    It woulf be better for us in the end; the gamble we are taking this season again by not bringing adaquite cover in in certain places are just to much at times.

    We need a forward i think most of us will agree on that; maybe with both Demba’s gone we will get on 🙂

    This is what a call learning the hard way! It will do the NUFC board some good 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #4

    * I just can’t seem to write from a smartphone 🙁

  • MacToon

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #5

    Best would have/could have been useful maybe in the cup matches atleast and different to both Ba and Cisse but if you prefer “bare bones” squad then fine I suppose.

  • Pushy Pardew

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #6

    A poster last night mentioned that we were looking to bring in Royston Drenthe who’s a free agent. He’s got a reputation for being difficult but he’s a talent and only 25.

  • Cool Hand Luke

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #7

    We’re going to lose a player either way, either the Dembae or Chiek will be going

  • Pushy Pardew

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #8

    I am with you a good showing from Ba and Cisse could really kick off our season. Let’s not get hung up on what might or might not happen in January. I watched the Dutch game and Luciano Narsingh a wide right man was outstanding. First time ive seen him and young plays for PSV.

  • Pushy Pardew

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #9

    Cabaye had a great game for France apparently. It’s plain daft fans suggesting he should be dropped. He had only played 20 minutes football pre season. He’s a talent and he’s ours.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #10

    Pushy- I agree. Cabaye is my favourite player . He plays better when in an advanced position where he can use his range of short and long passing – he has a wonderful technique. Our best Showings last season were when he was at his best Stoke/ Manu.

  • Pushy Pardew

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #11

    Transfer Sage
    Your being a little unfair to Best . He did suffer from injuries when often hitting form. Hat trick v West Ham.
    Only ever going to be a good squad player would have held onto him. But he’s out for a while again i see.

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #12

    Transfer Sage- Everything is always either black or white with you(
    Boom boom) Best was always offside but he did chip in with goals to
    keep us out of a relegation battle. We’ve up- graded our forwards so he could know only be a fringe player. Campbell looked good against
    Berwick- quick and darting style .

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #13

    Ian and pushy

    How was my post black and white?

    I said beat offered little, which he did. He was either out of form or injured 9 out of 10 games.

    I also said that the only reason I saw him going with no additions was to give Campbell more of a chance which makes it odd campbell hasn’t been involved a bit more, even on the bench.

  • santonthenewmaldini

    Sep 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #14

    I actually want a Senegal win to be honest my reasons for this are that:

    Look at the form that the 2 Dembas are in if they get beat off Ivory Coast are they going to play better?!?The Confidence boost that a Senegal win could provide is what they both need to kick their seasons off!

    It will also mean we get to keep Tiote as to be honest the guy is injured far too much and goes away on international duty far too much as well as we missed him last season when he was gone away

    If the 2 Demba’s are away it SHOULD mean that we will spend money to bring another striker in at the start of the window knowing MA and Llambas they might just make us have Shola up front on his own unless Nigeria qualify and he gets called up as well!!!

  • toon1707

    Sep 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #15

    Am I the only one that thinks pardew coming out and saying he hopes senigal get beat is bang out of order. How must cisse and ba feel about that after all its not there fault they are needed all season as there is no one else

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Sep 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #16

    pushy- drenthe signed for besiktas

  • samuelwongsl

    Sep 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #17

    No back up strikers…


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