Alan Pardew – Squad Is Being Stretched At The Moment

Newcastle will be without injured Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and James Perch tomorrow night in Belgium, but suspended Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini will both start the game against Club Brugge.

Gael Bigirimana – could get a start tomorrow night

The Newcastle squad will leave Tyneside this afternoon for the short puddle jump over to Belgium, and it’s not really possible for Alan Pardew to have too much choice in who he plays tomorrow, with three players injured coming out of the 1-1 draw at Anfield last Sunday.

Club Brugge boss George Leekens was fired on Sunday, after the club’s 5th successive loss in all competitions, and George only joined the club in the early summer, after giving up the management of the top Belgium National side.

It could be that Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse play up front in a 4-4-2 formation, and we’re sure that our two best youngsters at the moment – Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson – will also get starting positions to show what they can do.

This is what Alan Pardew said in the local press today:

“It’s an opportunity to get the qualification sorted, and that’s what we want to do.” “But it’s easier said than done because we’re all aware of Brugge’s qualities after the first game and we’re carrying three more big injuries after the trip to Liverpool at the weekend.”

“Yohan Cabaye, James Perch and Demba Ba definitely won’t play, so that’s three big players that are out of the equation before we’ve got on the plane.” “That doesn’t give me a lot of options to rest players or shuffle the team around.”

“The squad is really being stretched at the moment, and there’s no doubt that events at Anfield at the weekend have hurt us.” “But because of their suspensions, Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote definitely come into the equation where they might not have in other circumstances.”

“That will help, and I’m confident we’ll be going there with a strong enough team to hopefully get a win.” “We saw enough from Brugge in the game at St James’ to know that they’ll pose a threat on their home ground.

“European teams at home are often a very different proposition to when they’re playing away.” “It will be a tough game – we’re under no illusions about that.” “It’s going to be important that we’re the ones controlling proceedings from the very first minute.”

“We’ll do our best to do that and hopefully that will enable us to come away with another positive result in Europe.”

With both Perch and Cabaye out we could also see Vurnon Anita or Gael Bigirimana partnering Cheick Tiote in central midfield , and of course the in-form Gabby Obertan will start the game on the right wing.

It’s an important game for the Magpies, because a win will see us qualify for the last 32 of the competition, and we are still unbeaten after four games, being top of Group D on 7 points from 3 games.

We hope for the win, but we suppose a draw would also be a good result, although Club Brugge seem to be in a desperate situation at the moment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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11 comments so far

  • NUFCWill1986

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #1

    Cannot wait for 2moro

  • Graeme

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #2

    I just don’t accept his whinging – this is the same man who, only 3 months ago, was “More than Happy” with the squad he had, when the transfer window shut and we had failed to strengthen the squad.

    He knew the number of games we had; he knew we would have injuries AND suspensions, every team does. The best thing he can do now is concentrate on getting the players he has, working as a team and producing performances, for 90 minutes, every week.

    Stop moaning, get on with your job.

  • boom boom Cheick Cheick le room

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #3

    Come on Pards give Bigi another go the more i see of this boy the better he looks.I would chuck him in on Sunday as well he just does not seem to get fazed by anything or anyone.

  • nufcsg

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #4

    i don’t understand why is he complaining as cabaye, hba, ba don’t usually travel for away Europa matches.

    Simpson, Colo, Williamson, Ferguson
    Obertan, Tiote, Bigi, Sammy
    Cisse, Shola

    Wow! we have depth! only 2 in the 11 started against liverpool. cabs, ba, hba will definitely not feature in this game so pards is bullshitting. perhaps trying to make a point to mike ashley that we need to invest in Jan window.

  • GFH

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #5

    I think nufcsg is going to be pretty close in his team prediction , and it looks OK to me . My query is about Marveaux and Amalfitano, At the start of the season they would both probably rate higher than they seem to do now and I wonder how they will get the match experience to help them integrate/develop if they can’t get into our Europa team.

  • nufcsg

    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #6


    Ya! what happened to Marveaux and Amalfitano?! Gosling and Tav too. Marveaux is good on the ball but lack commitment and conviction. Amal is not the best but is a decent technical player who deserves a shot. Gosling is quite hopeless as he doesn’t improve. But i guess these players should be involved in this game, probably on the bench..

  • martoon

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #7

    I’m not so Cisse will play – I think he will be saved for Sunday in case Ba is not fit.

  • nufcsg

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #8

    Guti to start? and sammy push up to play behind shola?

  • sticklebricks

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #9

    @6 – Gosling is injured.

    Seeing as Saylor and Willo are the only real fit CBs we have I think it would be foolish to start Willo and risk him an injury. Given our position in the Europa league, this isn’t a must win game for us so I think we should send out a pretty young side…

    Ameobi 1 – Ameobi 2

    Bench: Willo, Amalfinatio, Abeid, Marveaux, Moyo, Campbell

  • Munster Mag

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #10

    Gotta say, so far Amalfitano and Marveaux dont look like good signings at all from Mr Carr. Early days, but both both may suit foreign rather than english football.

  • AmericanGeordie

    Nov 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #11

    Projected Brugge Lineup. (4-4-2)

    Bench: Eliot, Saylor, Simpson, Amalfitano, Jonas, Marveaux, Campbell

    Rest: Krul, Ba, Santon, Cabaye, HBA

    @nufcsg, I see we’re of the same mind. I also agree that AP’s poor mouthing rings hollow. If Ba & Cabaye hadn’t picked up knocks in Liverpool they wouldn’t have come into this side anyway! Only Perch’s injury affected his team sheet for Brugge, and it was MORE THAN made up for with Colo’s unfortunate red card.

    Bottom line: we are making 9 changes, and still fielding a formidable XI. Would I like a few more reinforcements? Yes. But I’m tired of hearing the cliche about a “paper-thin squad”. It’s simply not the case.)


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