Alan Pardew was quite right in not saying which country he preferred to win the two-legged play-off tie this afternoon between Senegal and the Ivory Coast, which has just got underway.
Cheick Tiote – Ivory Coast’s top midfielder
Being the Newcastle manager it was right that he didn’t side with either team, but we have no such qualms, and therefore can come out and say we want the Ivory Coast to win.
And surely they must have a good chance after being 4-2 up from their home leg tie, but as Senegal captain Papiss Cisse rightly said today – anything can happen in football – and that means Senegal could still get through this tie – one way or another.
Why do we want the Ivory Coast to win?
Simply because if Senegal get through then Newcastle will be screwed, and we’ll lose our best two strikers for some time in January and maybe in February – so it’s purely for selfish Newcastle reasons.
It’s not rocket science really, and we have absolutely nothing against Senegal whatsoever, other than Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse – two fantastic strikers – play for them – and we just don’t want to lose them both to the African Cup of Nations, when we don’t have any suitable backups, other than Shola Ameobi.
That’s not true with Tiote, as young Gael Bigirimana or Vurnon Anita can come in and play defensive midfield while Cheick is away.
.So there you have it – some plain talk from a Newcastle fan – we hope the Ivory Coast win.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org