Newcastle fans have the Europa League game tonight to look forward to, as Newcastle attempt to resurrect their season – and get a good run going in the Europa league, as well as starting to win some games in the Premier League – and it’s a fact that Alan Pardew and the lads will be trying to win every single game from now until the end of the season.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – will start tonight
Now that Newcastle have strengthened their squad it’s almost like the squad of last year at this time, and only Ben Arfa is not fit – and he should be returning soon – hopefully for the next league game – at home to Southampton a week on Sunday.
Alan Pardew has admitted today that he has no complaints with his current squad:
“I’ve been a bit unfortunate in cup competitions in terms of injuries and stuff, but I’ve got no complaints this time,” “When we finished fifth last year, we haven’t really had that team to put out at any stage of this competition, even against Bordeaux.”
“Now I’m back to a team very similar to the one I had last year in terms of strength and quality – the fit-again Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko have strengthened our hand.”
“Hopefully we can get through this tie and get a couple of favorable Premier League results. Suddenly we can really look forward to it.” But if you think I took my eye off the European competition, I hadn’t. I was just trying to get through it and make sure we had the strongest team for the Premier League.”
“If we’d had a fully fit squad we’d probably have won the group.”
And it seems that the Newcastle manager has preferred Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to Mathieu Debuchy for the Europa League, and he left Debuchy out of his squad.
Alan explained a little about how he made that choice:
“I thought Mapou in terms of these games would be more important.” “He can play right-back, he can play center half, whereas Debuchy can only play one position. I also felt the fact Steven Taylor had just returned from injury meant Mapou’s chances were not as great as Debuchy in the Premier League.”
That last sentence is important because Alan has to give Mapou some games, so he has a chance to show what he can do in our defense.
Newcastle fans will definitely see Mapou start the game tonight, and that’s worth the price of admission alone, but we also need to win this game, and give ourselves a chance in the second leg in the Ukraine next Thursday night.
Let’s hope Newcastle can start winning games, and maybe we can end of the season in great style – that’s certainly what we’re hoping for.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org