The Bordeaux manager Francis Gillot has said that Newcastle are the best team in group D of the Europa League, but he also says Newcastle has two teams, one they play in the Europa League and one they play in the Premier League, and of course he’s right, and we doubt the mid-week team is the best in the group – and unfortunately Bordeaux will play their strongest side tonight at St. James’ Park.
Francis Gillot – Newcastle is best team in group – kind of
It will be a tough game tonight for Newcastle, assuming we play a second eleven against the French club, although it looks like the returning Danny Simpson and top French midfielder Yohan Cabaye will both be in the starting eleven.
We think Bordeaux may fancy their chances tonight, and they probably expect to get at least a point and maybe even the win, with Newcastle almost certain to rest a number of top players in preparation for the tough game at home on Sunday against Manchester United.
This is what Gillot told the Newcastle press corps yesterday:
“Newcastle essentially has two teams – one for the Premier League and the one they have used in the League Cup and Europa League.” “It is very difficult to know who they will name for this match. It is difficult for me to explain tactics to my players because of this.”
“This is why we can only focus on ourselves. If they play the eleven who normally start Premier League matches, then it is going to be tough.” “The other 11 are not at the same level, if you like, because I have seen this. We expect to see the same team as played in Martimo. “
“We will play our strongest team. We are here to win the match.” “This is an exciting match. Newcastle is the best team in our group, they play at a fantastic home and have passionate fans.” “This will be a fantastic challenge for our players. It is a magical occasion because England is the home of football.”
“I do know that Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye are two very good players. I hope they do not play.”
Bordeaux are actually unbeaten since April, and we think Newcastle could win this game with our best team out, but we will not field our best side.
And it’s difficult for Alan Pardew when he selects the side for the Europa League, because he has to ensure Newcastle always have their top side available for the league game that follows the following weekend.
And therefore the teams we put out may not be quite good enough to get us through the group rounds, but we’ve also noticed the top clubs in England play their best sides in Europe – at least that’s what Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham do every time.
If only our squad was biiger, that would help a lot.
What do you think?
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