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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Games Against Lesser Opposition Key To Newcastle Turnaround

11:18 am, Saturday, November 24th, 2012 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 38 Comments

We have tow away games at Southampton tomorrow and then Stoke City on Wednesday and then Wigan at home next Monday night, and all three opposing sides are currently below Newcastle in the league table, so normally we would expect a good number of points from those games.

Alan Pardew - in happier times on Tyneside

But we have lost some key players to injury and suspension, and the Magpies are hardly playing anywhere near their best form right now.

And Newcastle fans are not too happy at the moment, after a string of uninspiring performances that have seen the team slump to 12th position in the league table, and we had only 21,632 at the game against Maritimo on Thursday night, which was the smallest crowd at St. James’ Park since Pardew arrived almost two years ago.

The Newcastle manager is hoping his team can give the travelling fans something to cheer about in tomorrow’s game, against second bottom Southampton:

“This is a long one for them.” “I thank them for Thursday because they got behind us. I just feel sorry for them in the last 20 minutes.” “Maybe it was the result or a little bit of complacency. But we’ll look to put that right.”

“I think this is a key week. We have Southampton, Stoke then Wigan.” “On paper if we had everybody available you’d like think we’d win two or three of them. But we know we have a battle on our hands.” “It doesn’t mean to say we can’t do it.”

“Papiss should be OK. He had a kick on the thigh. If he has a warm-up at Southampton he should be fine.”

Hatem Ben Arfa, Fabricio Coloccini, Shola Ameobi and Yohan Cabaye will all miss the game tomorrow for various reasons, but some good news is that Colo will be back for the Stoke City game, after he’s served his three match suspension, and of course Papiss Cisse is fit to play tomorrow, after limping off against Maritimo on Thursday night.

We don’t have our best team out tomorrow, but the lads in the black and white stripes have to give it all over the next few games, so that we don’t make things even worse than they are right now.

A win tomorrow would be simply fantastic, and would help the process of turning things around at Newcastle.

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Tags: Injuries · Newcastle News · Premier League



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38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kyo // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Too bad we’ve been outclassed by lesser opposition all season.

  • 2 sirtoongospel // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    from previous thread,

    Lee, at least Ranger would pass, he hasdecent vision for a forward. It has become blatantly obvious though that neither Demba or HBA will pass to Cisse. Not sure why. But if we moved the ball quicker and passed to Cisse earlier, we would pick teams off on the break, much like last season. We were quite defensive then, with Jonas and Cheick grafting their plums off, but Cabaye was finding the front 3 quickly and we looked brilliant on the counter. Demba doesn’t want to play on the left though so we abandoned it. What we should have done was played someone else on the left side and told Ba to sort his attitude out. Pardew has knelt to Ba’s demands though so we ar stuck with it as it is.

    All i know is when Ba plays front and centre we play awful football. As soon as he came on the other night we stopped playing. Before that we were in total contro, got in behind them a few times and Cisse scored a perfectly good goal also. All changed when HBA went off and Ba came on.

  • 3 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Alan Pardew, a canny knack for displaying arrogance and sowing excuses in the same breath.

  • 4 Graeme // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    A performance, for 90 minutes, would be a good start and anything else is a bonus.

    Last year we would expect to tear this lot apart, now its a case of can we get a point – oh how the mighty have fallen!!

    We still have the players and enough ability to win this game, I guess a lot depends on “Do the players want it badly enough to put a full shift in to get it” We will see!!

  • 5 sirtoongospel // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    I think that the return of Jonas will help. W ehave struggled this season but we ground out results. As soon as he went off against West Ham we lost control and then Swansea we were just the same. I know he lacks an end product, but in games like this you just need grit. We have the players to create something, although Jonas isn’t one of them! He is important to us for sure. I took him for granted a bit and have seen the difference without him, he is our hardest working player and lifts those around him. Pleased to see him back tomorrow, and he should make us a bit tighter from a defensive point of view. I am going for a horrible, scrappy, but crucial 2-1 win for us.

  • 6 Transfer Sage // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Graeme

    For me the performance means nothing now.

    We have had back to back league defeats so we just need to stop the rot.

    We need 3 points even if we get battered for 89 mins and then Southampton score an own goal.

    Performances would be nice, and I wanted them in the last 2 games but its all about the points this weekend for me.

  • 7 Transfer Sage // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Sir toon

    I think cisse has made bad runs all year. Even when the ball has been played early he is offside most of the time.

    He must realise if the likes if Jonas, Ba, sammy. Etc don’t release it early he needs to make runs a bit later.

    He can’t just keep running offside and say you should pass earlier because some of our team don’t have the vision or accuracy.

    And we played bad when Ba came on because we went 442/4411 which never help us. Also amalfitano was on and looked anonymous and Ben arfa, the one guy who made us tick in the first half was missing.

    Nothing to do with Ba.

  • 8 NEWEXPATMAGPIE // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    We would struggle against QPR on our present form!

  • 9 Marty-Toon // Nov 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    He doesn’t sound confident and nor should he…..I’d love it if the team proved me wrong but I can’t see us get anything but 1 point out of these 3 PL games and that’s a draw at home against wigan.
    Amazed that our all possession is so poor whether it’s our best or next best team out there

  • 10 toonLYF // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    how hard is it to get a team of professional footballers passing the football along the ground in an offensive manner? Surely it’s the same as expecting a book to open…

    Howay man Pardew! Time to ditch the BULLSHIT football. We’ve made nearly every team we’ve played this season look like slick cultured passing sides; and i’ve seen no signs to say that won’t be the case tomorrow. Sickening.

  • 11 AndyMac // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    If only goals from corners counted this season, Southampton would be in second place.

    If only goals from corners counted this season, Newcastle would be third bottom.

    So thats a start then Pardwho ! Get them organised for a change and ditch the fecking long ball for gods sake.

    Newcastle have played a higher percentage of their passes long than any other Premier League team this season (17.5%).

  • 12 AndyMac // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    If only goals from corners counted this season, Southampton would be in second place.

    If only goals from corners counted this season, Newcastle would be third bottom.

    So thats a start then Pardwho ! Get them organised for a change and ditch the long ball for gods sake.

    Newcastle have played a higher percentage of their passes long than any other Premier League team this season (17.5%).

  • 13 eaststandgeordie1982 // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    We need to start pressing teams and stop them having the ball for so long, it has to start tomorrow we have to go all out to get the win we have to turn that corner its a must.

  • 14 Geordie in Africa // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    The Problems with Newcastle are very clear and were highlighted again in the game against Maritimo.

    When Cisse had the place to himself (before Ba came on), he looked sharp as and was really enjoying all the space – even unlucky that he was 6mm offside when he scored. We played with wide players who stretched the game at the front and it was only going one way. Ben Arfa went off, Ba came on, and we were crap. Long passes were played over the top, Cisse didn’t touch the ball in the ten minutes that they were both on, and Ba was forcing his way to everything – he seems to be the dominate partner and is trying to prove himself against Cisse. The problem is that Ba is truly shit outside the box or when he needs more than one touch, whereas Cisse has a nice touch, can think quickly and his speed is picking up. If Ba leaves, then we can go back to the 4-3-3 which has left us unbeaten in Europe this year and got us to 5th last year, compared with the 4-4-2 attacking through the middle which was deemed obsolete eight years ago by Mourinho when he came to Chelsea – he said it had been surpassed by formations and tactics like that of Barcelona and Chelsea, and after that it has only been used by English ex-footballers who were taught that way themselves.

    The only advocates of it in England now are Pardew, O’Neill and Hughes – nobody else uses it, and all three of these teams look shit; and these managers look like 1980s throwbacks. It compacts the centre, and does not allow runs with the ball through the middle (Ben Arfa last season), no penetrating passes between defenders who have been forced apart (Cabaye last season), and no space for a quick-thinking striker (Cisse last season). The only route is over the top, which has allowed Ba to score, but nobody else; and it is incredibly easy to read and defend against (we are fourth bottom from last six league games using this system, and have only scored 7 goals). There is an advantage when defending, but it is impossible to take advantage of opponents out of position. Man City under Stuart Pearce were followers, and had seven 0-0s on the run at home before they got bored and sacked him.

    In Europe, we have performed well until half time against Maritimo – partly because the teams are shitter, but partly because using a more modern system allows us to create opportunities using Ben Arfa and Marveaux, rather than route one to Ba. If we lose to Southampton then we are going to be in trouble in the league – only Villa and QPR will then be worse than us (watch how QPR will do well now they’ve sacked Hughes). because the teams are shitter, but partly because using a more modern system allows us to create opportunities using Ben Arfa and Marveaux, rather than route one to Ba. If we lose to Southampton then we are going to be in trouble in the league – only Villa and QPR will then be worse than us (watch how QPR will do well now they’ve sacked Hughes). – partly because the teams are shitter, but partly because using a more modern system allows us to create opportunities using Ben Arfa and Marveaux, rather than route one to Ba. If we lose to Southampton then we are going to be in trouble in the league – only Villa and QPR will then be worse than us (watch how QPR will do well now they’ve sacked Hughes). – partly because the teams are not as strong, but partly because using a more modern system allows us to create opportunities using Ben Arfa and Marveaux, rather than route one to Ba. If we lose to Southampton then we are going to be in trouble in the league – only Villa and QPR will then be worse than us (watch how QPR will do well now they’ve sacked Hughes).

  • 15 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Mauro Zarate for £7m would be a great buy. He’s at a great age too. He’d fit in well with Gutierrez and Coloccini being here. It’s a no brainer really. Just imagine our squad if we signed these players:

    Alderewerield
    Debuchy
    Boudebouz
    Sissokho
    Remy
    Zarate

  • 16 Transfer Sage // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    We don’t need too many players. 2 defenders and a quick forward/winger

  • 17 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Hello Kets, how are you today?

  • 18 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    We need a couple of midfielders as we aren’t creative enough. Sissokho would add more creativity. We don’t need to splash out on midfielders. Sissokho will come cheap. Every team need 4 decent strikers. We only have Ba and Cisse at the moment. Xisco is decent but he’ll never get a game.

    Ideally we need 2 centre backs, but 1 in Jan will do. We need a right back/left back as Simpson isn’t good enough. We should’ve signed Cissokho, but Debuchy is more versatile and can play as a holding midfielder as well.

  • 19 catchy in norway // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    If we play football, results will follow,

    He should start with the man in the mirror
    We’re asking him to change his ways
    No MSG could been any clearer

    Make that change

  • 20 Super Magpie // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Team for tomorrow? I’m really struggling…

    Krul
    Simpson Williamson Saylor Santon
    Tiote Jonas
    Sammy Marveaux Ferguson
    Ba

    Subs- Elliot Tavernier Anita Perch Amalifitano Cisse Ranger

    That team hardly strikes any confidence into me. We’ll do well to come away with anything tomorrow.

    Likely team-

    Krul
    Simpson Williamson Saylor Santon
    Sammy Tiote Perch Jonas
    Ba Cisse

    Subs- Elliot Tavernier Anita Marveaux Ferguson Amalifitano Ranger

    That team is even worse. We desperately need a few players. Those teams show how much quality in depth we lack.

  • 21 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I’m in a good mood actually. Feel quite alright. Looking forward to the football today and watching Take Me Out etc tonight. How are you?

  • 22 Conaldo (The Wizard...Also Bestest Friends With Paul Scharner) // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Is Pardew saying the fans got behind the team on Thursday? No they didn’t.
    There was only 21000 people there, there was no atmosphere. The only chanting was from 9 year olds in the strawberry corner singing songs about Sunderland, and a large number of fans booed the team off the pitch, despite us drawing and qualifying.

    The fans were embarrassing on Thursday. They were shockingly poor.

    But Pardew can’t exactly come out and say the fans were sh1t, and they need to start supporting us.

    Some fans need to give there heads a shake and realise that we need to support the team now more than ever.

  • 23 Transfer Sage // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Catchy

    Obviously results will improve if we play better football consistently.

    But would you accept a scrappy 3 points just to lift us back into the top half, especially with the injuries we have to cabaye and Ben arfa, also missing colo.

  • 24 toonLYF // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    ——————-Krul———————

    Santon—-Taylor—-Williamson—-Anita

    ————-Perch—-Tiote—————-

    Sammy———–Ba————-Marveaux

    ——————Cisse———————–

    Elliot
    Tavernier
    Simpson
    Ferguson
    Jonas
    Obertan
    Ranger

    …what a shit bench!

  • 25 ToonDownSouth // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    The only difference between Sammy and Obertan, is that fans don’t boo Sammy.

    Same poor first touch, same pace, lots of stepovers, same lack of end product.

    That’s my opinion anyway.

  • 26 archaeomag // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    ..macems 2 nil down at WBA

  • 27 MacToon // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    TDS, not booing sammi … yet ;-)

    Something to be cheerful about, mackems down to 10 men and 2-0 down already.

  • 28 archaeomag // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    correction: macems 2 down down at home!

  • 29 toonLYF // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    TDS – Sammy is much more creative. He has a footballing brain, he can come in from his channel and move the ball around. He has some clever flicks in his inventory aswell. I’m not saying he’s miles better than Obertan, as atm they’re fairly even, but Sammy certainly has more to him.

  • 30 eaststandgeordie1982 // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    TDS i agree sammys first touch is terrible and he always runs into trouble.

  • 31 toonking // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    well it is getting so hard to pick a team now with injuries so big as for formation 4-4-2 seems the only choice we have unless we gamble
    the team i would say will be done to tomorrow
    _________krul_____
    simmo_willo_saylor_santon
    sammy_tiote_anita_jonas
    ____cisse___ba______

    if i were to choose i would go
    ________krul
    simmo_willo_saylor_santon
    ____tiote___bigi
    sammy__________jonas
    ______ba__cisse__

  • 32 Blaydon-Toon // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Sammy problem is his decision making … He has bags of potential can go either way and causes problems given the fact he does not know himself what he is going to do the opposition certainly struggle but all to often in runs down blind allies and turns over possession sober get caught out !

  • 33 AMEOBI // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Kets,
    On take me out I bet you’re into Lois, you poor sof

  • 34 AMEOBI // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Kets,
    On take me out I bet you’re into Lois, you poor sod

  • 35 davis_toons // Nov 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Can Newcastle Players Pass like WBA?

  • 36 davis_toons // Nov 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Its just sad that Newcastle cant bring Steve Clerk here. WBA is playing good football. Cost of the team was way of ours.

    What was their record signing this year?

  • 37 Ketsbaia9 // Nov 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Haha, there’s some crackers on that programme.

  • 38 nufcusa // Nov 24, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    5 points from these three games would be a healthy return. If we can get that it gives us a foundation to build from. The league is so tight this year 3 results will shape a teams season.




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