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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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Benfica One Of The Best Sides In Europe – Pardew

9:52 am, Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 19 Comments

Benfica are one of those teams that didn’t qualify for the later stages of the Champions League, but did well enough in their group to get into the Europa League  knockout rounds, much like Chelsea did, and they are now one of the best teams left in the Europa League.

alan pardew man city

Alan Pardew - done homework on Benfica

It’s always seemed strange to us that Champions League teams that don’t qualify from the group stage of the Champions League are allowed into the Europa League, and maybe that’s one reason why there are just too many Europa League games each season, as Alan Pardew has complained of a number of times.

But that’s the way things are at the moment, and Newcastle will have a very tough game in Lisbon tomorrow night, and will do well to replicate our defensive record in the knockout rounds – where we have yet to concede a goal in four games.

In the group stages of the Champions League Benfica managed a 0-0 draw against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, and they beat Bayer Leverkusen and Bordeaux home and away in the last two Europa League knockout rounds – and of course we were beaten 2-0 at Bordeaux although we hammered them 3-0 at home in our Europa League group.

It seems Newcastle have done their homework on the famous Lisbon side, as he had this to say:

“We’ve got a good knowledge of Benfica, as they will of us,” “They’re top and they look like they’re going to win it to me.” “We’ll have played two of the best teams in Europe, I think, in Manchester City and Benfica this week.”

“It’s a wonderful city,” “I’ve been there three or four times and it’s a great footballing city.” “They’re going to really, really love it there and hopefully they conduct themselves like they have in the other European games, where they’ve been absolutely excellent.”

Benfica have 64 points from 24 games played ion the Portuguese Leage and are 4 points ahead of Porto, and have yet to suffer defeat and they have dropped only eight points in their four drawn games – so they are a top side and hammered Rio Ave at home 6-1 on Saturday, so they’ll not lack confidence tomorrow night, that’s for sure.

It will be a difficult game for our lads – so we hope they can play somewhere near their best – otherwise our European adventure could be all but over.

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Tags: Coaching · Europa League · European Competition



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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Transfer Sage // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Very difficult game but this is the beauty of European football.

    Ask fans and players and most will say these big games are the ones they enjoy, not the ties with mettalist but these big games.

    We may well get beaten but as long as we show effort, commitment and passion in our games then that’s all we can ask.

  • 2 martoon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    I agree with Ed – I don’t understand why teams drop out of the CL into the EL. I can understand the one’s who lose playoff matches but the one’s who drop out the leagues have played at least 6 matches – surely once you are knocked out – that’s it.

  • 3 ichrisho // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Go on Nobby Son…. :)

    http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/solano-fights-newcastle-united-s-corner-in-portuguese-press

    I’d say if we stick to what we have and what we can do on a quick break – we can nab a goal… I say 2-1 to Benfica… Ben Arfa to start!!!

  • 4 yo-yo // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Rotonda

    Appreciate you were just making a point but we all know you are very anti Pardew and rarely miss an opportunity to bash him.

    The 4-3-3- debate was another stick you used I recall especially APs hopes that Ba and Cisse would gel (we know they didn’t) but again I thought he had little choice but to persevere in that over a good few matches.

    I agree it’d be cracking to see us have the players to really go for the 4-3-3 but we are at least a LW short and the 4-3-1-2 looks a good alternative for us too.

    Di Matteo did have a similar losing run with WBA before he was sacked btw. No way is he an upgrade on Pardew imo. He is also in the mediocre manager group.

  • 5 Rotonda heights // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    yo yo

    If you’re going to use big words to abuse people at least spell it right. It’s all one word delusional, not di-lusional !!!

    Try putting it in perspective. I said I am so sick of watching Pardew’s negative tactics I would almost take Di Canio over him now. That was just to emphasize how peed off I am with Pardew, not that I would actually take Di Canio. I am appalled by fascism and racism in equal measure

    If you want to compare Di Matteo’s record over Pardew, please be my guest. As far as I know Di Matteo hasn’t had any relegations or record losing streaks in 2 different clubs history.

    DM has also had promoted 2 different clubs, united Chelsea in a very short time after they had imploded somewhat and won 2 more trophies. DM is still only 39 I think.

    Has Pardew even got one trophy in the cabinet in 14 years coaching ?

    Re – Benny coming back too early. Do you really think the decision should be left with a young lad over common sense. Yes he may have been ready but why throw him in at the start after a long lay off on a plastic pitch and in sub zero conditions?

  • 6 martoon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    ichrisho @3 – I don’t think that will happen as Ben Arfa is not in the squad. I’m not expecting a very good game – I suspect we will be very defensive similar to how we played in the last away leg.

  • 7 Ian Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    32Ian Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Transfer Sage@24- Good Morning. An interesting though diversionary topic. Di Canio has previously praised Britain for its multi-culturalism whilst singling out Muslims for making little effort to integrate in Italy. Claiming that he doesn’t want the Italian culture to
    disappear. I see that really as a request to the Italian government for more inclusion. I do think that the mackems and Di canio have been naive in their handling of the introduction to the press. It’s always better to front up and manage the story rather than the fire fighting which carries on unabated. I think it’s only a matter of time before a fit and proper test is introduced for prospective premiership managers

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Yo yo,

    Your argument that Italy were having a territorial war in Abyssinia makes Fascism a racist political persuasion would mean that virtually all Brits, and political groups throughout the world, are racist due to the numerous colonial wars we, and other countries/states have fought under various different governments/monarchs/despots/dictators.

  • 9 ichrisho // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Martoon – I would say so too and Ben10 thing was just hopeful dreaming!!! :) I hope he plays Marv so we can get it down the wing… Benfica are a frighteningly good passing team so am worried… with Tiote out does that mean Perchino takes centre stage?

  • 10 Lilongwe Geordie // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Ichriso

    I thought Ben Arfa was out for the season now?

    Benfica are good, so can we be. If we keep it tight over there, and can get away with a draw then I make us favourites. However that is a huge ask, and would require infinite improvement from the weekend.

    Benfica are favourites with a lot of pundits and some of the bookies, and tipsters. But if we play as well as we can there is no reason why we can’t go through.

  • 11 bollance // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    We are winning, playing ugly and arguably the defensive tactics that everyone on here critisises with a passion but we are making progress.

    At this stage of the season winning is all that matters so we need to do it whatever way possible.

    Once again not conceeding in Europe is getting us through. It might not be easy on the eye but a strong defence at the beginning of last season paid dividends and is doing so in Europe.

  • 12 Ian Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    yo-yo- don’t take the criticism personally. He once complained about
    my vocabulary and choosing to use the word pithy. I enjoy reading your material just carry on.

  • 13 Assam Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Agree with the first comment…sage!
    As long as we give a good account of ourselves. its the lack of ambition and ideas that gives me headaches.
    a good performance by saylor and mapou is a basic necessity. for me, cabaye is the one who can win it for us.

  • 14 bollance // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    In contrast to the last post – our attack.

    Do we already have 4 players who can do a job upfront?

    Hba
    Sissoko
    Gouffran
    Cisse

    One or even two more additions would transform our threat upfront because we would be able to play sissoko, gouffran and hba in midfield which would help get the ball to the strikers.

    Over to Carr..

    All the strikers we have been liked to have been linked to many teams suggesting the clubs will sell but at the right price which is not our game.

  • 15 low fell mag // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    It is hard to believe im reading on a newcastle web site that a person is saying they would rather have a certain italian as manager than Alan Pardew .Give YOUR HEAD A SHAKE,you fool. We are in the quarter finals of europe and 3 points of 10th .Your glass is half empty mine is half full,we dont need you negativity.Mr Pardew is the right man to take us forward, not a clown from the red@white circus.

  • 16 ginola_tonic // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    2-0 to the toon :)

    Sorry I just woke up. Must be still dreaming. Please please let us get to the final. Tbh I don’t mind if we lost as long we put in a 110% performance and give it all. No negative tactics!

  • 17 ShadowsNGB // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    My club, Benfica, have a very strong offensive dynamic. And that’s the main problem to our adversaries.
    Ola John, Salvio and Gaitan gives us many options.
    And Cardozo, Lima and Rodrigo already have given us this season 62 goals.

    I think that the result with Man City will have no influence on Newcastle players.
    European games like this gives top motivation to all players.
    And Alan Pardew is a very experienced coach.
    Newcastle have good players with quality to discuss the outcome of this 2 games.
    I expect a great game and hope that all you Newcastle fans that travel to Lisbon have a very nice staying! (Except in the game result…)

  • 18 Rotonda heights // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Ian / Carl / Pushy

    Ooh get you !! I do have a name you know, although unlike you I tend to stick to just the one. True I can’t invent other people to back me up but equally it saves on the confusion.

    I’m sure yo yo is a big boy and can take care of himself without your alter egos babysitting him.

  • 19 ichrisho // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Yeah – BEN10 dreaming thats all… I know he’s out and to be honest – I dont expect to see him back with us next season… like an underperforming middle-manager in Sports Direct – Ben10 may be on his way to liverpool job centre…




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