In the last two home games Newcastle have been literally hopeless, and in front of sold-out crowds we have been humiliated by Sunderland (3-0) and Liverpool (6-0), and another result like that against Arsenal on Sunday, would be a very bad way to end what has been a very poor league season for Newcastle.
Alan Pardew – wants to put on a show
And on the contrary, manager Alan Pardew, who has come under some withering criticism in some quarters this week, wants to put on a show for the Newcastle fans – and yes – it’s yet another full house at St. James’ Park.
Pardew had to quickly backtrack on his comments after the 2-1 win at QPR, that he didn’t care if we lost 4-0 to Arsenal, and he remembers one of the great comebacks ever in Premier League history, when our lads were being slaughtered 4-0 at half time by Arsenal just over two years ago, but came back to draw 4-4 in a game that made great headlines for Newcastle around the world.
This is what Alan told the Evening Chronicle today:
“When we drew 4-4 we saw some electrifying play that day – we want that level of excitement again,”
“Without the mood swing of course. We want to get a result this time, and we need to send our fans home in a better mood than the last two games. It was a huge lift, not just for the players, but just as importantly the staff, with us being safe.”
“Now we can really focus on one game. We can play without any inhibitions, unlike against Liverpool. That’s important. We want to win the game for our fans, who have been magnificent.”
“Cheick’s over his hamstring now,” “He’s training well, and I think he’s played a lot better in the last two games. He’ll be very important against Arsenal.”
That last sentence says that Cheick Tiote will be fully fit to play on Sunday in the last game, and certainly Tiote has put in two solid performances over the last couple of games for Newcastle, when it really mattered.
The key to the game on Sunday is whether our defense can again put on a strong show, but not give any silly goals away, which we did against QPR last Sunday.
A win is just what the doctor ordered and it would give us 44 points for the season and a decent position in the league table after we were almost 3rd bottom last week with just two games to play.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org