This is Newcastle final game of the season – a season that has been very disappointing for us in the Premier League – to say the least. But a win today could see us finish near mid-table and even in 10th place if other results go for us.
And of course our last two home games have resulted in two of the worst results in Newcastle’s history, when we lost to Sunderland 3-0 and then our worst home defeat since 1925, when we were embarrassed 6-0 by Liverpool, and they didn’t even have Louis Suarez playing in the side.
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot is suspended for this game, after being sent off after 81 minutes at QPR, and Steve Harper will be playing his last game for the club he’s served for 20 years..
Sylvain Marveaux is available again after overcoming his groin strain, and he will participate at some point in the game, according to the manager but we think he’ll start on the bench.
We are assuming that Davide Santon is still not fully match fit for this game – so this is the team that could start this afternoon:
Debuchy Coloccini (c) Williamson Yanga-Mbiwa
Ben Arfa Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez
Subs: Alnwick Simpson Taylor (S) Anita Perch Marveaux Campbell
This could also be Danny Simpson’s last game for Newcastle, if he gets on sometime in the second half, which has to only be if a defender is injured in the game.
The players will want to put on a good show after a disappointing season, and two very bad results in our last two games at home, and this is what Alan Pardew had to say about the game today:
“We’re very, very determined,” “We’ve got a good record against Arsenal at home, and we take that into the game so we’ll be in good confidence.” “I think it’s very important in terms of ourselves, most importantly.”
“It has been a tough season for us in many ways, and the last home game – the 6-0 defeat to Liverpool – was not good for us.” (you can say that again) “So it’s nice for us to have a big game with something on the game, which I think’s important, because Arsenal obviously need to get in the Champions League.”
“We owe to the standard of the Premier League and to ourselves that we put on a fantastic show. And I think we can.”
This could also be the final game for captain Coloccini, and Alan Pardew has asked the fans to let him know we love him and want him to stay at Newcastle for the next three years – and the manager has hinted there;s a chance the Argentine can stay on Tyneside.
The game will depend to a large degree how well our defense can play, with Arsenal being in good goal scoring form, and needing a win to guarantee them fourth place in the league table, and Champions League football for next season.
A full 43% of readers thin we are going to lose the game, which probably isn’t surprising given our last two performances at home.
We are hoping the lads can win or at least get a draw, and then they can celebrate with the fans for ending up in a decent position in the league table – and Mike Ashley will give out £1M in bonuses to the non-playing staff if Newcastle can get all 3 points this afternoon.
There’s going to be a minute’s applause for Steve Harper in the 37th minute of the game on Sunday – that’s his number – and it’s in appreciation of Steve’s 20 years at the club and all he’s done for Newcastle – so please pass this on to those attending the game on Sunday.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org