James Perch, the former Nottingham Forest captain, has a chance of starting the game tonight at Goodison Park for the Magpies, in three different positions, at center-back, right back or in defensive midfield, such is the versatility of the Mansfield-born player.
James Perch - could get a start tonight
The more we think about the team Alan Pardew will put out tonight at Goodison Park, the more we think he’ll find a place for the reliable and solid Perchinho, and he could even shade Mike Williamson to start at center-back.
But maybe the best team is to start Mike in place of Colo, James in place of Cheick Tiote, and keep Vurnon Anita at right back, where he looked very good last time out, and maybe Gael Bigirimana will only make the bench tonight.
The one result we don’t really want to night is a defeat as Newcastle fans are not exactly in good spirits right now.
This is what Perchinho said in the local press today:
“Colo will be a big miss if he doesn’t play – he’s a big player – but we’ve got players who can fill in. We know how important this game is. Everton are a good team – we played them on the last day of the season.” “They have started well this year, but we know what we can do.”
“We have players who can score goals.” “My injury was one to the neck I got during the Atromitos game – I think it was a bruised joint. It has settled down now, so I am OK.” “When you see the injuries we’ve got already, it looks bad.”
“The main thing is to keep fit.” “Everyone’s going to be needed. We can’t afford for any other players to be out injured.” “We had a few days off over the weekend, and came back in and trained well. I’m ready for selection, if needed.”
“Fellaini’s a good player – you saw what he did against Manchester United. He ripped them to bits.” “They have other players, it is not just him. Pienaar on the the left wing is quality. Baines is at left-back, his deliveries are unbelievable.”
“We cannot be too focused on one individual.” “We know they are a good, hard-working team, and that is what we will be focused on.” “I played when Hatem scored that great goal. Hopefully, he does it again.”
“We know if we keep it tight at the back, then we’ve got the likes of Hatem, Demba, Papiss and Cabs – Yohan Cabaye. “Hatem’s goal that day was unbelievable. He rocketed that shot in. He has done it since.”
“He can do it with his right foot, as you saw against Villa. He can run from the halfway line – he can do everything.”
Certainly all eyes tonight will be on Hatem Ben Arfa, whose first ever goal for Newcastle was a beauty two years ago (18th September to be exact) at Goodison Park, when he rifled the ball in with his left foot and gave American goalkeeper Tim Howard no chance at all.
But it was only a couple of weeks later that he sustained the double fracture of his lower left leg at Manchester City, and was out for the rest of that season.
Ben Arfa scoring his first ever Newcastle goal two years ago
But the 25 year-old came back in great style this year, and the Frenchman nailed down a first team starting position on the right wing, and this lad can score at any time, and those words from Perchinho about the lad – he can do everything – says it all really.
And of course we’re hoping the French International can rifle one in tonight.
We’ll take anything but a defeat tonight, but want to see a good and determined performance from our lads, no matter what the result.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org