Are Newcastle Players Fit Enough?

Yes we know we don’t have enough cover for the first teamers at the moment and they have had to play two games a week, but the way we slump at the end of these games is alarming – and we wonder if our lads are fit enough. It was obvious once Arsenal scored their fourth goal that it took the heart out of the Newcastle side, and our players probably felt even more tired than they would have been if we had scored that fourth goal for instance.

alan pardew today

Alan Pardew – fourth goal was a killer

So we think in part the collapse yesterday was caused by almost the waving of the white flag once their fourth goal went in  – as Arsenal came to life and did  what they love doing – scoring goals.

Alan Pardew has refused to put any blame onto his players, but he does concede we let in some really poor goals in the last 20 minutes and the last goal – scored by Theo Walcott – was it four or five of our players he beat in the penalty box before he slotted the ball home?

This is what Alan said in the Sunday Sun today:

“I thought at 3-3, we should have shut up shop and we couldn’t do that. The energy levels between the two teams was evident towards the end. Arsenal looked energized and our team looked really leggy.”

“The fourth goal knocked the wind out of our sails a little bit because we then conceded some bad goals. It’s why we ended up with the scoreline we did.” “It is hard to take. But we put in a real effort against Manchester United on a really sodden pitch, and that took its toll.”

“And the bench today really didn’t have enough on it.” “I didn’t put Remie Streete on there to make a point. He really was my only defender and he shouldn’t be anywhere near my bench – that’s the truth of it. We really were down to the bare bones.”

“At least Mike Williamson will come back on Wednesday and hopefully Vurnon Anita.” “We put the ball at risk too many times today and at the end showed too much naivety as we tried to get another goal. Maybe the fact we are scoring so freely has made us too open.”

“Even with the players we had available, it was important we attack the game, which we did.” “We had some great offensive performances today.” “Sylvain Marveaux had what was probably his best game for us and Demba Ba scored two goals.”

“But you need to defend as a team and we needed to show a little more nous in the last 20 minutes.” “If Arsenal had played on Boxing Day, we certainly wouldn’t have had the scoreline that we did.”

One good thing is the lads have an opportunity to put things right against Everton on Wednesday night at home – and we want to see an all out performance from our Newcastle players in that game – and please – no letting up in the last 20 minutes  – especially against a side like Everton.

If we can do that we could even win the game.

What do you think?

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49 comments so far

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #1

    Ed you forgetting arsenal didnt play Boxing Day n were fresh

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #2

    Are players are fit enough it’s just simmo willo arnt good enough n tiote causes so many of defensive problems more than he helps

  • hdavid23

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #3

    the fitness level of our players is still worrying tho… as i’m from central europe, i must say we should hire a serbian fitness coach, we have some coaches from Serbia in our league, and their teams are in like superman physical conditions

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #4

    All the pundits on SSN predicted that we would tire yesterday in the second half,I guess some of them know their stuff.

  • Mister Tuff

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #5

    Bigi is a top player, confidence and maturity beyond his years. A measure of his skill can be gauged by the fact that all the senior players do not have a problem
    in passing to him on a regular basis.
    With reference to our displays recently -November onwards – it does not matter how the displays are “dressed up” or what sort of positive aspects are alledgedly taken from these games -the bottom line is that we are relegation fodder – please do not reply with that old chestnut -we are too good to go down. We are in the claggy.
    Our only escape from the abyss is purchasing several players in the window unfortunately we will not have the luxury of waiting to see if they will be good enough -this may equate to having to fork out extra cash to ensure we stay in the league. If this happens -the club has only itself to blame -their skimpy tactics in the summer have come back big time to bite them in the bum. The master plan to save cash will have been proven to be a crock – the great summer no buy gamble is clearly going to cost us more in the long term.
    I’ve regularly said we will buy at least three players with the potential of a higher quality/better known player. The re-enforcements will need to be above the “el cheapo”/bargain basement/future prospect types of players for obvious reasons.
    Lastly -after yesterdays displays, I watched Match of the Day last night -the commentator described Walcott as a “predatory centre forward” – what a complete load of bull. Whilst he scored a hat trick -he will never ever fulfill such a description on any sort of regularity -he normally makes wrong choices and does not know where the net is – our input into creating a fable as to his supposed abilities hurts.

  • yorkymag

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #6

    Fitness is not the issue ,a top class defensive coach is needed .Arsneal first goal would never have been scored if the defence were together as a unit.
    Not sure who but it can’t be to difficult to find one Calderwood as an example was better than anything we have at the moment

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #7

    Why can’t fans blaming pardew see he is helpless to do anything when his defenders are useless all 11 goals all could of been prevented

    At 3-3 pardew was shouting no more mistakes then tiote fannys about on the ball as usual n they score ffs what is pardew to do

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8

    Jail might hav something to do with them being ex pros, n most ex pros have said if we sign players we will b ok, unlike knackers on here who play abit football manager n think they kno what there talking about

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #9

    The only criticism I would levy at pards is playing Cisse on the left. He is a goal poaching finisher and if he’s on the pitch he should be up front. Period.

    Demba can play anywhere across the front line. The curious comments made by pards about Ba playing 90% of games up front are puzzling but I guess he was thinking Ba didn’t score playing there.

    Going forward Cisse needs to play central of up front with Ba or not play at all. Cisse is weak defensively when covering the right.

    That’s my only problem and the issue that needs solving 2nd half of the season.

    Everyone knows we need players back and a few quality additions.

  • AwToonnufc

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Getting sick of everyone having a go at the players about the last two games, saying that where still not playing well enough, Yeah we have let goals but at least we are playing good football again, the defence does need changing, but because we played well in the games everyone seems to be forgetting where we were playing, arsenal away and man u away two of the hardest games of the season where we never get anything. Instead of moaning at the team we need to back them now more than ever, we play like we have done the last two games at home to Everton we will get 3 points I’m sure of it.
    Its just a shame that we’ve left it to these two away games before we’ve started playing well.

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #11

    Of course I meant right

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #12

    Spuggy your right about cisse if ba is central than cisse shouldn’t play, it’s that simple n it works the other way aswell as ba can’t play that role either, Pardews biggest problem is he picks players like jonas when we’ve had quality in marveux for a year sitting in the bench, pardew telling are useless defenders not concede goals is like telling a little kid don’t touch that it’s hot you know there gonna do it

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #13

    Yes Spuggy
    Had Pards played Cisse in your preferred position we may have scored eight and then everything would be ok today.

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #14

    that humiliating defeat had nothing to do with fitness. It was all about incompetent defending. Sadly sideshow bob- the constant in these dismal defensive displays – is also the most deeply entrenched member of the team. Pardumb and fans need to appreciate a defender’s primary role is to defend. Colocinni might look a million bucks when we are in possession but that doesnt mean squat if he cant put a block in when it counts. 6 out of the seven goals yesterday were scored from the centre of the defence. Lucky for Williamson he missed the horror show or people would have found a way to blame him as well. You cant keep overlooking the obvious. No top team in the premier league has a defense led by such an incompetent central defender

  • wingspan

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #15

    Was some massive overeactions last night, as usual some of the fickle fans on here are braindead. You cant gloss over a 7-3 loss and even as pards said some of the defending in the last 20 wasnt good enough, but even the most fickle among you must know that its not about being able to just run around fro 90 mins its about being able to perform at your maximum for 90 mins, Mentally and physically, which is what you have to do to get a result at places like the emirates.

    Now if one team has played a gruelling game a few days earlier and one team made a piss poor excuse about a tube strike so they had an advantage against a team they felt threatened by (especially when qpr and fulham both played) there going to have a big advantage in the final part of the game!!!!! Doesnt matter how fit the team is!

    Some of our football yest was the best ive seen us play in a while, good pass and move some fluid football. Better team in the first half for sure, just some niave defending cost us the goal. Marv was fantastic.

    And all you guys calling for Pards, do you hoinestly yhink he didnt want more players???? Its not his fault he wasnt backed in the summer (im sure he was asking to be), its not his fault weve had all these injuries and hes the guy thats gotta come out to the press every few days and answer awkward questions. Sure hes made mistakes but whenever he does he comes out and holds his hands up and i have no doubt works hard on putting it right. I wud prefer that to a Mancini or a Wenger who always seem to think the whole world is conspiring against them, bless them.

    And you dont finish 5th on pure luck. You cant have a season of luck. So stop being moaning doomongers some of you and get behind the team, surprisingly when things are bad thats when the lads need the fans most, not only when things are going great.

    Rant over

    Peace out x

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #16


    Debuchy Saylor Collo Santon

    Anita Tiote/bigi

    HBA Cabaye Marv


    I wonder if we will see this this season?

  • Marty-Toon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Some say we need a midfielder or 2 ??
    We have Cabaye,Jonas,Anita,HBA,Raylor,Gosling,Vuckic,Tiote,Bigi,Marveaux,Obertan and Perch
    Some defenders is a must but we’ve known that for 2 years,it’s really unbelievable that we haven’t bought any.
    There is several Championship defenders that are quality and used to the English game,yet wouldn’t cost that much either.
    We got Perch from the Championship,Niall Quinn(I know most nufc fans don’t respect him but he’s got a point) was commentator on Espn yesterday and talked bout players needing 24 games before adjusting to the PL from a foreign league.
    That’s what we had with Santon,Enrique,Colo etc
    We can’t just expect Debuchy to fit right in or any other defender,they’re are no quick fix.
    We’ve got quality in our midfield yet they’ve up til the last few games not played at heir peak and apart from Jonas give the back line little help.
    The problem with Jonas is he then gives us little going forward like Obertan or Marveaux

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Walcott devoured our defense yesterday. I completely concur with him being described as “predatory”. He ripped apart our non existent central defence.

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #19

    handbags jail

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #20

    Looking at yesterday’s bench everyone of those players bar Shola should be in the championship getting regular game time,the idea that Mashed is investing in youth looks ridiculous with that young talent being led out like lambs to the slaughter.

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #21

    Wingspan – sense at last thank you

  • Beattie25

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #22

    If Arsenal did play on boxing day it would’ve been the sane scoreline.

    Their players are fitter and in they have better depth to rotate the team.

    Our lack of depth is killing us and Pardews idiotic decision to back the owners view point in the summer has crippled us.

    Baring in mind that only Saylor was missing as astarter from our first choice defense and you can see how awful we are despite the ‘tired’ tag.

    Pardew knows what to say in order to get some of you to follow blindly.

    We all know the best way to shut up shot us to retain the ball.

    When he decided ‘no more goals’ that was the nail in the coffin.with so many out of form players we should never have let Arsenal have the ball but we decided to sit back ;again) and invite the pressure onto us.

    It was a capitulation the likes I have rarely seen from our club.

    If these players cannot play 3 games in 7 days they need to find new jobs as that I’d what they train for, and get paid for.

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #23

    Stupid to say we conceded all those goals because we were tired. We conceded because Arsenal finally realised they would score every time they made to our 18 yard box. If they had adopted that positive approach throughout the game we would have conceded 14 goals. Amazing how we blame Williamson, then Perch and Tiote (who isnt even a defender ) overlooking the obvious culprit in these collapses. Overrated, overpaid Colocinni. Williamson and Taylor together would never have conceded 7 goals in one game. Never

  • Marty-Toon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #24

    Listen guys,
    Colo even with a weeks rest will never keep up with the likes of Walcott or OC,it doesn’t mean he’s a poor defender it’s just those guys are exceptionally quick.
    He’s not the quickest but reads the game well and if we’d had the luxury of several defenders then I’d have him in defensive midfield as Chelsea have done with Luiz
    It was nice to see when we passed back to our other defender(perch) that he didn’t nearly pee himself on the ball as Willo usually does and he played the ball simply out of defence,on the other hand he got caught out several times with crosses.
    Sad state of affairs.

    With regards to this post by Ed I think the players are fit enough just we haven’t the bench to freshen it up.
    Arsenal had Giroud and Ramsey amongst others.
    We are after all 8 top(starters) players on the sidelines,that’d hurt anyone.
    Again even with everyone fit we’ve still got a poor defence….

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #25

    People are forgetting that defence starts in midfield. If you lose the ball or can’t retain possession. Our weak mf put massive constant pressure on our back four. Yes we need 2 defenders but we also need Cabaye HBA Anita Jonas saylor and Taylor back!

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #26

    Lol at the collo criticism. didn’t he make the top epl 11 last season.

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #27

    @marty toon . If only you could check the archives of this blog. Ive been calling for him to be redeployed as a defensive midfielder for ages. A good central defender he clearly is not. The frustrating thing is listening to fans bending over backwards to blame everyone but him for these defensive nightmares.

  • bills-son

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #28

    When Pards subbed Bigi and Marv and brought on Shola and Fergy he totally conceded the midfield to Arsenal. We ended up with just Tiote in centre midfield and were overrun completely in the last ten minutes. Pards idea was obviously to get Fergy slinging balls into the box for Shola to knock on for Ba and Cisse in the hope of getting an equaliser – it didnt work. Tiote was our weakest midfielder yesterday and he was left on his own against four Arsenal quality middle men. No chance.

    Going forward yesterday we were very good and our possession play was often great to watch. However, Santon was atrocious defensively and those on here knocking Simmo need a reality check about Santon. Apart from playing Walcott onside and turning his back for at least one of the goals he consistently comes inside deep in the oppo half, loses the ball, and then does sweet fa to get back into a defensive position quickly. This means we are constantly playing with a three man back line which is pulling the CB’s wide to cover the breaks after Santon loses the ball. That didnt happen last year with Raylor.

    Santon might be a very good fooballer and athlete but he is a lousy defender who is imo the biggest weakness in defence. The first job of any defender is to defend – period. Santon’s forward runs, which 99% of the time lead to nowt, are fooling fans and apparently Pards as to Santon’s usefulness to the team.

  • Beattie25

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #29


    How can you ssay that Colo being in the team of the year last season has any baring on his form this and thus he should escape criticism?

  • JDdubai

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #30

    How we play against Man U and Arsenal wont determine where we end up this season..its how we do against the other “weaker” teams that will matter.

    If the players can up the performances like they did for the last 2 games then why have they dished out the complete crap for the rest of the season so far????? And we did play well at OT and for 75 mins yesterday..

    Marveaux is key from now on, must be played behind the CF.
    Even if we can only strengthen 2 positions in January, a team of:


    Not a bad team, whether we get them all on the field together or not is the question tho…

    Just keep 442 out the way now and please dont put Cisse wide right!!!!

  • davybtoon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #31

    Oh yes obertan 2 assists in 2 games how many has jonas got none, anyone who thinks jonas should b in our team needs to take long hard look at them selves, maybe a rb but that’s only bcoz Simpsons so poor

  • Marty-Toon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #32

    Name some players that can play continually for 3 games in 7 days 🙂 for whichever team?
    Van Persie ?no he gets rested
    Cleverly?no he also gets rested
    City maybe have the one in Yaya,but those around him get rested leaving him with less running to do due to the running and movement off the ball from his team mates

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #33

    Santon is not the weakest link in defense. Stop it! Santon was not the reason we conceded 7 goals yesterday.

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #34

    Collo has been lacking some form but he is covering for poor defensive qualities in willo and santon primarily who never gets back.

  • Spuggy

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #35

    Good shout on collo at dmf would love to see that his passing is only second to Cabaye. However we’d need two top class Cb and that ain’t gonna happen. Also you need Cb who can play the ball out

  • Marty-Toon

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #36

    On Colo,
    I’m not criticizing him,he’s just not quick enough to play alongside weak defenders like Willo,he’d be a great DM
    The problem again being that we don’t have enough defensive cover like Chelsea/Manu/Gunners/Spurs/City have

  • toonbrother

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #37

    @13 lol. Unfortunately that sort of logic-free analysis is common among NUFC fans.

  • blew

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #38

    The manager said we tired in the second half because the match against Man U was on a sodden pitch, which had its effect on the players.
    Man U played again yesterday on that same sodden pitch. They won, it did not bother them.

  • Beattie25

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #39

    Marty toon

    It depends on the player, the situation and the team.

    If Van Persie had to play 3 games in 7 days he would, as he has fantastic conditioning but he doesn’t have to due to the squad depth at Man Utd.

    Look at all the teams from Leuage 2 upwards, look at the European leauges, look at how many games that Barca have played this year and how many times the big p;layers have been rested.

    Look at the job the armed forces have to do. Running miles, hardly any sleep and fighting every day.

    Tiredness is the biggest cop out ever. If this is what we are like now, imagine what we’ll be like come Mach, April and May.

    It was a mental issue last night, not a physical one.

    Anyone who says any different is stupid.

    There has been many similar games in the past where one team has had more time off than an other and gone on to win.

    Pardew treats them like boys not men. Real men say they were poor not tired.

    They’re just not good enough, too relaxed knowing they have no competition and put simply just don’t care.

    Santon has been the player of the season so far so we can forgive him one game.

    Everyone else, Simmo, Colo, Willo, Saylor and Krul have been poor all season. So what? They were tired when we got beat by West Ham, Swansea, Fulham etc..

    It s another excuse from Pardew.

  • Mumbai Mag

    Dec 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #40

    I remember Pardew saying a few days back- Bigi shudn’t be anywhere near my first team.

    The truth is Bigi has looked more accomplished than Tiote.
    Willo, Simo, Guti & Tiote have looked really really poor this season.

    Also, disappointed that Ben Arfa won’t be back untill Feb. We clearly messed up his hammy.

    The only positive to take from these last two games has been the fact that we’v looked like scoring goals, Marveaux deserves a lot of plaudits. The guy has made a massive difference.

    I’ll be gutted if we swap Marveaux to bring in Remy.


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