Alan Pardew is not far from the truth when he says everything that could have gone against Newcastle this season has gone wrong – what with all our injuries and not having a big squad to start the season with – especially when we had to play games in Europe.
Alan Pardew limbering up at the Metalist Stadium
And some of that was our own fault for not having a big enough squad – but all that has changed in the last six weeks or so, with five good first team players coming through the door last month from France.
And some of our best players like Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor have returned from long term injuries, and Ben Arfa is due back soon too from his hamstring injury – and he is now back in full training at Benton.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the Evening Chronicle today about the season context of tonight’s match:
“Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.” “As I stand here today we look like we’ve got a good side if we keep everybody fit.” “This year we are picking up the remnants of what has been a season where everything has really gone against us.”
“It is about salvaging this season the best we can.” “Now probably the best we can achieve is a top-10 finish.” “That’s going to be nowhere near the fifth place of last year.” “So we can’t really be in that area.” “But we’re in this competition and we earned the right to be here.”
“So we have a chance in this.” “Tonight’s tie is very important because if you manage to get through then this competition comes to life – as it did last year.” “We might be entering that crucial part with the strongest team we’ve had all year.”
“It’s a really key game for us on that score.” “If we were to lose we’d have to accept that.”
So it looks like Newcastle will give it all they have tonight, and we cannot ask much more than that.
But it’s also important what he says in that last sentence – if we do lose we have to move on – and then try to win as many of the last 12 league games as we can – so we can get as high up the league table as possible – and a great late run in the league would also salvage our season.
And two or three good new players in the summer and our squad will be awesome for next season.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org