Squad Stretched In Important Week For Newcastle

For really the first time in Alan Pardew’s reign on Tyneside, Newcastle are in a bit of a slump and in 12th place in the league table, which is really not where we want to be, after finishing 5th in the Premier League last season, and qualifying for the Europa League.

Alan Pardew on Saturday at St. James’ Park

But it’s also true that the Europa League has helped to decimate the squad this season, with lots of injuries being picked up as well, and two red cards picked up by Coloccini and Tiote in the league, and they have both been suspended for three league games.

Alan Pardew tried to put things in perspective, given we’ve had so many injuries this season:

“We have been unlucky this year.” “We have lost Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic for more or less the season. One is bad and to lose two is tough to take and we have had suspensions.”

“I can only think of one occasion when I have had everyone to pick and that was at Sunderland when I had all my senior players. I know that is what we need to do. We need our best players back.”

“I am not going to fault the development of these young players or criticize them in any way.” “It is a learning curve, sometimes you learn more as a young player in defeat and we go on to Maritimo.”

“We are stretched this week and we have two big games and really that squad is going to be aided by Jonas Gutierrez.” “We didn’t have any time this week.” “We didn’t have Shola at all and trained with Papiss to play because we felt we hadn’t done anything wrong.”

“And we expected to get a positive answer back.” “He happened to be in good form and it was a blow he couldn’t play.”

There’s no doubt that the next two games are important ones for Newcastle, but there’s also no doubt now that the Premier League must be the priority this season.

We hardly want to do well in Europe at the expense of the Premier League, especially when we are now starting to slump in the league,  with so many games this season compared to last.

The simple answer is that Newcastle’s squad is just not big enough for the club to be participating in Europe, that’s one lesson to be learned from this season, and if we ever make it back into Europe – the squad just has to be strengthened if we are going to compete on two fronts.

What do you think?

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16 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Ed i believe every week is important, especially when are in Europe

  • geordie157

    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #2

    Giannis Fetfatzidis please.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #3

    It seems 99% of people can see what would work and what isn’t working. Why is it that the guy paid the big bucks is the only one who just can’t or won’t!

    Last season we stumbled on 433 and played brilliantly for 6 games, but that has inexplicably been kicked in to the long grass.

    In our current set up there is no movement and good passing whatsoever. Most criminally we have 2 alleged premiership footballers in Simmo and Willo who are not fit for purpose and should be at Stoke where footballing ability is not a requirement.

    If we took Benny out of it we would have zero creativy at all. So many long balls make us a worse watch than Pulis and Allardyce. No invention from set pieces at all.
    We look absolutely devoid of anything unless Benny produces a moment of brilliance.

    This could all be remedied so easily:-
    1) Go back to 433 or 4231 with 1 central striker.
    Put Cisse on the bench to alternate with Ba.
    2) Play Santon RB and Jonas LB
    3) Play 3 in the middle with Anita and Tiote sitting, Cabs or Abeid advanced.

    Please listen Pardew and stop flogging dead horses, otherwise it will be West Ham part 2 all over again.
    Tevez and Mascherano or Harewood and Mullins….hmm.

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #4


    Ian’s point was not wasted on me. I am just making a different point.

    What I have said since the west ham game when all the main criticism began was that I think Pardew should be doing better with the current players but that he needs more time.

    I said he needs at least another couple of years to build his team, we dont spend 50mil a year so therefore it will take time for him to get his team. I said anywhere between 3 and 5 years from when he took over to get everything in his way.

    The point Ian makes I accept, the longer he gets, the more of his signings can be made and then he will have the team he wants.

    My point of criticism is that I think with the current players we have, Pardew should be getting better results from.

  • ginkoh

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #5

    I don’t agree with squad is not big enough, the real problem is not enough preparation per game. Proved Pardew is still lack of experience to lead team with European competition, it’s learning curve for manager as well as players too.

    Hopefully Pardew will accept that his current management is wrong and do the right thing. Sometime it’s hard to accept but making excuse is not clever at all.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #6

    I think we just need to get on with it – everyone knew on August 31st that we could not buy any players again before January 1st. We went into these tough four months knowing this – MIke knew it, Alan knew and us fans knew it.

    …Pards keep saying we haven’t lost any of our big players and we have replaced those we lost. Our squad is better tan last season – that was the words from Pards, DL and most fans on here.

    So please no mote excuses about injuries, suspensions or lack of transfer activity. Every other team goes through the exact same and when it comes to transfers we are not worse for wear.

    We could feel the exact same team as last year, but this time around we have Cissé the whole season, Benny is on fire from the start of the season and Ba is still scoring goals; oh and remember we haven’t lost Saylor for the rest of the season.

    It is tough right now we the EL games, but so far Pards have played two teams, so those 11 he picks for the EPL such be just fine. Last season we lost Cabaye for a number of games and Tiote actually only played in half of our games, so I am not buying into this ‘of team is stretch’ nonsense.

    Maybe the problems are adding up and maybe some of our ‘stars’ haven’t hit form this season (they’ll get there I am sure), but tactics are letting us down this season. We haven’t turned around a game yet and we seem to always having to rectify things at half time.

    At the Swansea game I actually thought the first half was descent, but then Pards went and messed it up at half time and clearly made the wrong subs (I think he knew that very quickly). Everyone makes mistakes – it’s human. It was a case of bad decision making from the silver supremo. As long as he learns from it I think we’ll be alright.

    Lets hope we’ll a good run sooner rather than later 🙂

  • Indian Magpie

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #7

    one point where pardew must act.

    every time he drops cisse or BA, next day their agent is in the news their client is not happy. pardew must act tough.

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #8

    you got to love big mike dont ya,, he just hit the nail on the head there

    “We just continue what we’re doing and I’m sure the belief will come back.” “It’s only a matter of time because it’s not as if we’re doing anything different.” “It’s just that the results aren’t clicking at the minute, so we have to find the right formula like we did last year.”


    someone mentioned luck not beine with us for every game and we finished 5th with good results

    well im telling you one lucky thing that lasted a whole season that wont happen this year is CHELSEA AND LIVERPOOL, they were so poor last year, there players and managers just did not turn up, so i believe we gained 2 positions there, il take that

    last year we still played lots of long ball football, no one can say we did not, ba scored a lot from long balls, then cisse came and we had 3 players trying to play football, HBA cabeye linking well with cisse,,

    this season pardew has tried to keep to many players happy instead of playing the best players he has, he is trying to fit them into strange systems that just dont work, we all see this,

    what i hate is some of you telling me not to be vocal and back the manager, but you same guys are putting forward team line ups and different systems,,, please tell me how you doing this is any better than me saying he is not good enough, if you thought he was /is good enough you would not sugest teams or formations, you would only discuss things that the ref did not give us or how so and so miised a sitter,

    the fact is, he is not good enough, he wants to have his team full of workers with no flare or creativity, i realy dont think the guy knows how to get the best out of good players

    this is the best squad of players we have had since SIR BOBBY, but it does not look like it on the pitch,, and im not just talking about this season, this has been since he gott here,

    he says we play one way, the sats and what you see every week suggest we play another way

    if you take the next 8 fixtures and look at where the points are coming from, its scary, on paper we should beat southampton, but what is our record like at there ground?? not good

    wigan and qpr we should get points, but there fighting for there lives, and mike want to keep it as it is because it will come good,,
    thats why it was important to take points from WH and SWAN, 2 very winable home games, now i fear that come half way point we could have as little as 14 / 20 points,, thats a relegation battle for the second half of the season

    this 8 year contract is a noose around our necks right now

  • Transfer Sage

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #9


    I said that the other day.
    It’s a new thing for pardew I have to plan 2 games a weak. It takes time to learn how to do this.

    We rest at least 7/8 first teamers so tiredness isn’t a huge issue. It’s the distraction of another game for players who aren’t used to it.

  • tequilamag

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #10

    TS whilst I agree our squad bears favourable comparisom with most outside the top 6 we are currentlt lacking Colo Perch Saylor Jonas Cabaye and Cisse from the last game. This would be a problem for any manager.
    Pardew needs time which it appears many on here are not prepared to give.
    All squads are a work on progress. I think it is worth noting that the one area Pardew has not been able to make any significant improvements is in defence where Santon has been his only signing ready to step into first team. The gamble by the owners not to back Pardew is strengthening this area in the Summer has clearly backfired.

  • shearermania

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #11

    who out of these 3 players have been the worst ever to play for nufc
    1.des hamilton
    2. stephen glass
    3. anita

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #12

    Transfer Sage

    i bet if you asked any of the players, they would rather play 2 times a week then train,,

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #13


    those are all defenders,, why has this stopped our attacking and creating,, the MF and FW are the same this is where the real problem is

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #14

    des h

  • tequilamag

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #15

    Catchy, Cabaye Jonas and Cisse are not defenders.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #16

    Tequila…it is not just about the Swansea game. It has been a consistent problem so far this season.

    …every team goes through the same – we are no worse off than others. Take Swansea fx. they were without Vorm, Taylor, Bartley, Chico, Ki and Graham is benched this days because he hasn’t hit form.

    I don’t know if you are suggesting that Laudrup’s just better at coping with injuries and adapting his football philosophy and game plan? 😀

    I think we need to lay this to rest and let the football and managing do the talking (and clearly it is not at the moment)


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