Newcastle will finish at least in second place in Europa Group D after five of the six game shave been played in Group D, so we have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa league, which was one of Alan Pardew’s goals this season.
Sylvain Marveaux slots the ball home last night in Newcastle’s 1-1 draw
Here are the standings in Group D of the Europa League after last night’s games which also saw Bordeaux beat Club Brugge 2-1 in Belgium:
Alan Pardew talked to the local press today:
“We wanted to qualify, so we have done the job.” “The last 20 minutes of the game, Maritimo had nothing to lose and we were poor in that period. I am not going to cloud over that.” “But to some extent, we didn’t have enough threat up the top of the pitch. “
“We lost Hatem and then we lost Papiss – we lost Shola yesterday – and we didn’t really have enough pressure up there that could cause them problems.” “They had nothing to lose, so they came on to us, and that was a little bit disappointing, that period.”
“But I am delighted we are through. It’s very important for us because up until that last 20 minutes, we have been excellent in this tournament, so I am not going to get carried away by that.” “We know that we are really stretched at the minute, and I thought that showed in that period.”
“Unfortunately, Europe is impacting on the Premier League and the Europa League at the minute.” “We are trying not to make too much of it and trying to get on with what we have got, but we know we are going to have to be a lot better on Sunday than we have been in the last three games.”
The Newcastle manager is taking some heat from the fans at the moment, but the truth is that any manager would be struggling with the number of injuries Alan has had in the squad this season, and it makes you wonder whether the Europa League is even worth while.
We now have to fortify our position in the Premier League as the most important thing, because next season, when the new three year deal kicks in for the TV rights, clubs will get even more money – about 50% more – if they are in the English Premier League – and that should help Newcastle in our bid to make the team into one of England’s top clubs again.
But we may have to endure a mediocre term this season, because we are simply ill-equipped to play in Europe with the small size of our squad.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org