What’s Newcastle’s Best Team For Thursday – Is This It?

Alan Pardew has said that he will play his very best side for Thursday’s night’s game with Anzhi, but we wonder what Newcastle’s best team is these days?

sylvain marveaux anzhi

Sylvain Marveaux in action against Anzhi last week

For starters neither Mathieu Debuchy or Yoan Gouffran are eligible for Thursday night – so they will not play.

So who will come in at right back for Debuchy, and up till now it’s been Danny Simpson, who has no future at Newcastle, since his contract runs out in June, and he will be leaving Newcastle asa  free agent.

So we wonder if Pardew will play Davide Santon at right back and bring in Massadio Haidara at left back, where he’s played in the last two European games, and played very well too.

So that would have a back four of Santon Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa and Haidara.

For central midfield we are starting to mellow on  Cheick Tiote, simply because he’s too indisciplined on the field, and he can become a liability for Newcastle – as he was in giving the penalty away on Sunday afternoon.

So for the defensive midfield position it could be Anita or Perch, with Vurnon Anita likely to get the start.

And then do we play Marveaux or Gutierrez on the left wing, with the Frenchman really pushing hard for a starting position, and he’s playing so well for Newcastle right now.

And we think Ben Arfa will be fit for Thursday night so he will be on the right wing – we hope he can start on the right wing. 😀

So this could be the side Alan starts on Thursday night:

Santon Yanga-Mbiwa Taylor (S) Haidara
Ben Arfa Anita Cabaye (c) Marveaux

That’s a very strong side and for the game at Wigan on Sunday, Alan Pardew could bring in Simpson, Perch, Tiote, Gutierrez, Debuchy, Obertan and Gouffran.

What would your starting elev n be on Thursday night?

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28 comments so far

  • Assam Toon

    Mar 12, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #1


  • stestickle

    Mar 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #2

    can see santon at rb and haidara lb with pardew bringing santon off early on sunday.

  • Spoof

    Mar 12, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #3

    Tiote does frustrate with his recklessness, against Stoke he was superb for the entire game, Stoke could not find a way past him, and then the reckless challenge for the penalty, if he could cut out these rash challenges he would be one of the best in the world in his position, but we must continue with him as we are a better team with him in it, Most of us would like to see Marveaux in ahead of Jonas, but Pardew as yet has never done it so I think it will be Jonas again

    Simpson Taylor Mbiwa Haidara
    Cabaye Tiote
    Ben Arfa Sissoko Gutierrez

    Anzhi are a good counter-attacking side, so we need a defence which will not give them space to counter, playing Santon would be playing into their hands, Haidara is better at defending and not likely to get caught out of position, which is why I feel he will get the nod over Santon

  • Scottiedog

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #4

    For me Haidara & Marveaux on the left would leave us hugely exposed and as such I would play Guti to cover and track back to cover. Marveaux is very good going forward but last week showed he needs to learn to defend.

  • saxonfenken

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #5

    Playing the strongest team is Alan’s way of trying to get the stadium full, he will as always have Sunday in mind. thankfully these days we can make a few changes and still look strong. HWTL

  • Graeme

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #6

    Not sure Pardeaux will play Santon behind Ben10 – it offers us very little cover down that side if an attack breaks down!!

  • wynsleap

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #7

    That team sounds about right to me Ed.
    Maybe Perch for Anita though depending on how much Pardew wants to defensively stiffen his midfield.
    Have a feeling Sissoko could be the big hero on Thursday night.
    I also notice ESPN have got our game on again on Thursday – seems the only way we’re going to get any terrestial TV coverage is if we are the only team left standing in the competition.

  • G

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #8

    I know this is a ridiculous notion, but people seem to be prioritising the defence, rather than the attack. I think we should go all 90’s Keegan, and just throw every attacking player on, and just try to score more 1 than them. It’s not as if a draw will do us much good here, especially a score-draw. I would go cavalier for this one, as we have nothing to lose, so might as well risk everything. Santon & Haidara for full backs for me.

  • dannyboy

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #9

    ive got a feeling pards version of the best team is very different to what the fans is ( as usual)
    i think hel start tiote and jonas when wed all prefer marveaux and anita

  • dannyboy

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #10

    and nobody knows if bennyboy is fit enough to start or even bench , do we?

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #11

    I think he’ll play Simpson too.

    Why not we’re paying his wages. He can do a job for us.

  • dannyboy

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #12

    its hard to believe how poor are corner situation is aswell , imo cabaye is good at the precision free kicks and long floated passes which are very easy for a keeper to catch or defense to clear, corners need alot of pace to try make something happen , i really dont see the point in persisiting with cabaye as the corner taker , someone else might as well give it a go , they couldnt be any worse, 14 corners on sunday and not one single one looked threating , its a serious problem , cabaye doesnt even signal were hes going to put it like barton/raylor use to do, we would have had more points on the board if we were have decent at set pieces, teams win games throught them alot of the time

  • Jonny

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #13

    Benny won’t start.





    That pardrews team I think.

  • G

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #14

    Santon, STaylor, Yanga, Haidara

    Anita, Cabaye, Jonas

    HBA (if Fit), Cisse, Sissoko

    4-3-3 sh*t or bust formation

  • ballerfan2

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #15

    Sorry to disagree with some but we must be very strong defensively to avoid conceding away goals. We have gone out of Europe theat way before and it is not nice. I think Ed has a short memory regarding Marveaux (who is “playing so well for us just now”). Less than a week ago we this blog was full of criticism after Marveaux’ anonymous contribution in Russia. For me, Marveaux is a potential match winner but can so easily drift out of a game. It’s Pardew’s call and I can see reasons for playing him or not. You know what you will get with Jonas. Tiote, apart from his reckless challenge on Sunday seemed to be very good so that’s not an easy decision either. What I do say is that it is so good to have so many options, unlike earlier in the season when the kids just had to play in a stuttering team. It’s good to see them all getting some confidence back elsewhere.

  • Assam Toon

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #16

    I would play guti in place of marv for his defensive strength. He can also win a few free kicks, particularly against a side like anzi. With marv on bench we will have some thing to look forward to, if we need to chase the game. Thats when we can keep cabs and anita in the back and put hba, moussa and marv behind cisse…we will surely score. our defence is very good these days, but two clean sheets against eto’o, traore and willian will be difficult.
    Simpson Mapou Taylor Haidara
    Anita Cabaye
    HBA Mousa Jonas

    If we need to defend we have Tiote and Perch. If we need to chase, we can bring Marv and Santon.

  • Johann

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #17

    Phew, this gets irritating to see again and again. Marveaux is not a left winger, thus, him and jonas are not interchangeable. He´s a midfielder and his best games have been when he played there. He came on for Tiote last game and set up the goal from midfield. In all seriousness, our premier league team should be Elliot, Debuchy Mbiwa Taylor Haidaira, Cabaye Marveaux Sissoko, Gouffran Jonas(even though he´s been immensely poor he´s our only winger option really) Cissé. For this match? I feel at least Jonas has to start to give us some directness as Gouffran is unavailable.

  • G

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #18

    @ I can see your point, but in this competition does it really matter if we concede 1 or 10, if we can’t find the back of the net ourselves? Yes going out on away goals is horrible, but like I say, if we are responding to them from the off, then mentally they have already won. My personnal reaction would be to go out there and make them respond to us, with the home crowd behind us (and at 15 quid a ticket, it better be full and noisy!) then I suspect they will be mentally defeated from the off.

  • G

    Mar 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #19

    Above should read @ ballerfan

  • ballerfan2

    Mar 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #20

    I’m not suggesting we play defensively but to go gung ho could be suicide with their attacking on the break capability. We have not shown yet that we are capable of scoring multiple times and an away goal would definitely give them a lift so we have to be strong at the back.

  • toonincheek

    Mar 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #21

    Conceding a goal means we have to score two to compensate.
    But – we have to attack, not be too defensive.

    Tiote? Errr – let’s remember the ref will be a European ref, controlling the game to European standards, NOT PL standards.

    Kinda rules Tiote out for me.

  • LeToonARMY

    Mar 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #22


  • Sav

    Mar 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #23

    I expect a fairly cagey game. Can’t see a gung-ho approach being taken against the likes of Eto’o etc.

  • ronjohno

    Mar 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #24

    Pardew says he will pick his STRONGEST team- if Jonas is in it then I think Pardew is on a different planet.
    Was at the Stoke game and we may as well have had ten men (not for the first time either).
    A worse scenario would be if he picked Obertan as well – that would make it nine men (again not for the first time).
    Last week in Russia Obertan was an utter disgrace-even in the second half when he was playing right in front of Pardew and he still was not taken off.
    I bet Graham Carr never recommended Obertan in a month of Sundays.
    Alex Ferguson rarely gets it wrong and gets rid when he does.

  • Ash toon

    Mar 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #25

    I’m a fan of Marveaux’s ability but he doesn’t seem to do much on left wing. He seems to bring more when he’s through the middle.
    @Johnny – Your 433 looks right for this game mate with Benny coming off bench. Just hope Tiote doesn’t drop a bollock again! He might put Perch or Anita in there

  • AmericanGeordie

    Mar 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #26

    That’s it! Ed has the team.

    Ben Arfa-Sissoko-Marveaux

    Bench: Harper, Simpson, Perch, Tiote, Jonas, Obertan, Shola

    Not much defense on the wings (with Benny and Marvo), but we need an agressive, attacking side. We have to enter the game assuming that we’ll need at least 2 goals to go through.

  • AmericanGeordie

    Mar 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #27

    In fact, Pardew will tip whether he is playing for multiple goals or playing for the clean sheet by virtue of whether he starts Simpson & Jonas on the pitch or the bench.

  • Blofal

    Mar 12, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #28

    Simpson – Saylor – M’Biwa – Haidara
    ———Anita – Cabaye – Perch
    ———–Sissoko – Ben Arfa

    Marveaux to sub Perch if more attack needed.
    Jonas to sub Anita if more defense needed
    Tiote to sub anybody and give away free kick / penalty.


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