Newcastle United will travel to the Cardiff City Stadium today, hoping to pick up some points, and climb up the league table before the two week International break starts.
And Newcastle are coming off two league defeats in a row against Hull City and Everton by three goals to two in each game, and we have played some of our worst football of the season in those games.
And as the scoreline suggests our defense – once again – does not seem good enough for the Premier League, even though we brought in three French defenders last January – Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara, who is still out injured.
Newcastle have only 7 points form the first 6 games, and although that’s the same total as Manchester United have under new manager David Moyes, it’s just not good enough, especially when we have a better squad than last season, and we will have fewer games to play than last season too.
Alan Pardew is under pressure to get some wins, and last week there were even rumors that he had been sacked that started out on Twitter, but none of those were true.
Pardew will be up against his former captain at West Ham – Malky Mackay – and he even tried to get Malky to Newcastle as his assistant in early 2011, when Malky was the Watford manager, but that failed in the same way Booby Robson failed to bring in Jose Mourinho as his assistant back in October of 1999.
They were both looking for something bigger then being the Assistant manager at Newcastle.
Alan Pardew has talked about his friend Malky Mackay today in the press:
“I did speak to Malky at the time, but he’s gone on in his own right to be what he is, a Premier League manager, and he’s done that quickly and started really really well.”
“He’s a great great guy who was my captain at West Ham and I love him dearly but I won’t be loving him dearly this week and he knows that.”
“I can see the frustration of both the players and the fans, but I think the supporter needs to know that on the training ground everyone here is working extremely hard to right the wrongs.
“Nobody is perfect, but I don’t think any player would overstep over the white line and think they are not trying to try.”
The big question this week is what team would Alan play today, since our defense was completely hopeless in that first half at Everton.
And it seems that both Mike Williamson and Yohan Cabaye will start this game, and we have an inkling that local lad Paul Dummett could come in at left back for Italian International Davide Santon.
We assume Shola Ameobi and Jonas Gutierrez are now fit again and available for selection for today’s game.
So in a 4-3-3 formation this is the team Alan could start today:
Debuchy Williamson Coloccini (c) Dummett
Sissoko Cabaye Tiote
Ben Arfa Remy Gouffran
Subs: Elliot Yanga-Mbiwa Santon Marveaux Cisse Gutierrez Ameobi (Sa)
No place in the 18 man squad for Vurnon Anita, Shola Ameobi and Gabby Obertan.
Let us know what your team would be for today.
Some changes to the side could see Rob Elliot replace Tim Krul in goal, and Anita start in a four man midfield with two up front – a 4-4-2 formation in effect – to give more solidity in the middle of the park.
Keys to the game are that the Newcastle defense can be strong and steady, and not let in any soft goals, and we’ve conceded six of those is our last two league games.
Every player has to work their tails off today, since it will not be an easy game at the Cardiff City Stadium, in front of a partisan crowd.
It seems that around 68% of Newcastle fans (at the time of writing), think we will get something out of the game today, with 44% believing we can win the game, and 24% thinking we can get a point.
The two week International break follows the weekend games, so it would be nice to see a good performance and a good result from the lads today.
We’ll have to wait and see.
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