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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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Howay The Lads!!



Pardew – Newcastle Have Tremendous Assets In Background

11:49 pm, Thursday, December 26th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 44 Comments

We were not at our best in that first half today, but Stoke manager Mark Hughes after the game was stretching it a bit when he said Stoke were well positioned and would have gone on  to win the game,  if they hadn’t had two players sent off just before the break – but we would have seen a different Newcastle in that second half,  after a very lack luster first half showing, and some harsh words from manager Pardew.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester City v Newcastle United - Etihad Stadium

Ben Arfa and manager – the Frenchman gave an exhilarating display

Ad that’s what we got, albeit against 9 men, but lots of Newcastle players showed some top form and Ben Arfa is back – and he gave the fans a tremendous display of skill and determination tis afternoon.

A delighted Alan Pardew had this to say after the game:

“I look at the team and we have got some tremendous assets who haven’t been seen for a while – Hatem did some unbelievable things today and Papiss scored.”

“Shola made another telling contribution and Massadio showed his influence with that left foot of his, with which he hit some great balls in.”

“We have got a lot of assets in the background, and it’s about just keeping rolling along and trying to win as many games as we can.”

“We have been on an incredible run, really. I’m not sure any team has beaten that run over the last nine or 10 games this season, even Arsenal.”

“So we have set ourselves up for what will be an intriguing encounter, and we will probably know a little bit more about this team after Arsenal.”

And it’s not surprising that Hatem is currently leading our Man of the Match poll with 73% of the vote so far, followed by Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy.

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Coaching · Hatem Ben Arfa · Yohan Cabaye



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44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 26, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Wow Remy in third in the MOM poll?

  • 2 manxpie // Dec 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    anxpie // Dec 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    jesper just shut up your boring ya film stuff is boring your bloody trivial pursuit is boring and especially on a football blog!!!!!!
    now that is me being socially “rude!” but fair don’t you agree?
    no arrogance at all!? just i know that people wan’t to talk about our club and not about the royal f**kin family in wat ever f**kin country!!

  • 3 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    manxpie…just right there! It sums you up so well ;)

    …that is exactly how I see you (for better or worse just not a very likable person)

    *definitely my cue! never change will you lol

  • 4 manxpie // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    haha jesper well it seems u are the only problem i’ve had since all i did is offer a different opinion 2 u and if you read my last post correctly it was “how i could be rude!”?
    but i hope you got the point!

  • 5 Moe // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Am I the only who thought that Debuchy is our MOTM??

    He was the most consistent throughout the game, before and after the send offs. He might have taken some of the fault for their goal but he was immense attacking and defending.

  • 6 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    manxpie…no that was actually just you yet again being who you are!

    and just so we are clear this has still nothing to do with difference of opinion! you seem to linger on that part so I just want us to clear!

    …it is still your attitude that is the problem.

    Now goodnight!

  • 7 manxpie // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    thankgod he’s gone!!
    moe yea he played well apart from the silly yellow
    but between him n cabeye for me

  • 8 IssedPoff // Dec 27, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Thing is. if we get to EL and we don’t have any new arrivals who the F hell will stay?

  • 9 Widowmaker // Dec 27, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Thanks to some decisions went our way, it was a great boxing day. To be honest, I even feel sorry for Stoke. Those were fouls, without a doubt, but the Whelan send off was harsh IMO. Also, we would be really mad if our second goal was against us, but we have experienced them all. So perhaps it just balanced things out somewhat a little for us.

    Next game against Arsenal, I think will largely influence not only our season, but also the PL season. It’s just so tight in the top 6 or 8, unbelievable.

    Anyway, I just pop up to express my confusion. Which is why on earth are we still afraid of dreaming for even an Europe spot? It’s half way in the season, and we are sixth with only 6 points from the top. It’s amazing how MA has transformed our fans from discussing how we could improve to challenge for the top to this status. To be fair, I think the current board has taken away one of the best part in football supporting, which is to dream. And I find it sad on a very pleasant boxing day.

  • 10 HutchToon // Dec 27, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Tremendous may be a slight exaggeration but we are looking like we have a good squad at last though top 8 and i am happy!

  • 11 RonVanDam // Dec 27, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Looks like the ref gave us a late Xmas present

  • 12 RonVanDam // Dec 27, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    When was the last time we thrashed somebody with pardew in charge? 2 big wins in the last 2 games. GD starting to look respectable.

  • 13 davetoon // Dec 27, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    what an amazing run we are on. can’t remember last time we had a +6 goal difference

  • 14 Himanshu Dhingra // Dec 27, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    if we beat Arsenal, Ashley may spend :P (I can hope)

  • 15 Himanshu Dhingra // Dec 27, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Last night showed that ANITA will be the one dropped for Tiote. Unlucky for him.

  • 16 Sgt. Heagerty // Dec 27, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    Hugely disappointed, didn’t get to see the match today, only the 2nd I’ve missed all season but the first wasn’t televised here stateside, at least that’s an excuse, this one, my 4 year old son wanted to visit his grandparents who don’t have the proper channels to watch the match…. The nerve of my son to pull that crap, I thought I was raising him better then that, lol!!!! Hwtl big 3 points today waiting on match of the day to come on to see the highlights…. And I told y’all cisse would score a cracker, can it be a cracking goal if its from the spot!!! Lol onward and upward time to take arsenals scalp and add it to the collection, Howay the lads!!! Long live the silver fox king pardew!!!!

  • 17 swemag // Dec 27, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    I would not read too much into this result but see it more as a attacking football exercise.
    Eleven against eleven we did not look too good.
    I would expect Pardew to point that out and to get some heads straightened out. It will be massive to have Tiote back and I think it showed before the red cards that he was missing.
    Bring on Arsenal, we stand a good chance, and god knows what could happen would if we win that one.

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 27, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    Swemag,
    Exactly. The only half worth bothering with in terms of analysing whether we played well or not was the first – and we came up short.

    I actually thought Debuchy in the first half was the poorest I have seen him defensively in a while. He let Assaidi cut in for the goal, and then 5 minutes later did exactly the same thing. Couple of other moments where he didn’t look his usual self. Maybe that was to do with breaking up his partnership with Sissoko, who knows. (This isn’t me having a go at HBA, I don’t want him babysitting the full back when he plays).

    Sissoko was probably our worst performer in the first half. I think for the visit of Arsenal we have to get that partnership back together again on the right, as Arsenal will try and use the width and pace they have out there.

    For me that means HBA and Santon both need to be left out. Bring Tiote back into the middle with Anita and Cabaye so we can match them in the battle there. Plus MYM in for Santon to offer a bit more defensive solidity down the left.

    Good news that Ramsey is out, he has been there star performer this season, despite Ozil’s arrival.

  • 19 Blofal // Dec 27, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    I think the first half showed just how much we rely on Tiote. Sissoko was a bit lost in the centre. I agree Santon hasn’t been at his best.

    I was actually think how good it would have been to have Sammy and Dummett on the bench. They both link up very well and that second half would have been great for them. Haidara’s crossing needs some work. For Arsebal I would go…

    Debuchy-Willo-Colo-Mbiwa
    Sissoko-Tiote-Cabaye-HBA/Gouffran
    ——-Ameobi-Remy.

    I think it could be safe to unleash HBA down the left if Mbiwa stays back.

  • 20 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 27, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Blofal,
    Can’t leave Goofy out though, 5 goals in his last 5 home games. Give HBA 20/30 minutes in the second half. (Depending on the score at the time)

    I agree on Dummett and Sammi, would have been nice to have given them a run out against 9 men. Impossible to predict that Stoke would have 2 sent off, and if it had stayed 11 v 11 there is no way I would have wanted either coming on.

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Bills asked yesterday, if HBA has a blinder and scores a couple should he stay in the team, I said yes and Tiote should be left out to make him think twice about his bookings, well HBA could have easily had a couple but that first half showed we missed Tiote, I think Benny should be unleashed from the bench.

  • 22 The True American // Dec 27, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    MOTM : MARTIN ATKINSON

  • 23 Dannyo // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Benny had a stormer yesterday, all he lacked was a goal to top it off.
    He went past everything and it was great to see him back to his best.
    But against Arsenal, I want Tiote back in, we know what an attacking threat they are.
    HBA is the only one I could see AP leaving out, but at the same time, you want him to keep pressure on Arsenal, and not just be dealing with theirs.
    It’s a tough one, I just hope AP picks the right pieces for this one, and I’m happy it’s not up to me.
    At the same time btw, I’d want Haidara to start.

  • 24 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Our problem before the sending offs were, without Tiote, Cabaye and HBA were playing to deep and when we went forward Remy was left isolated on his own time and time again.
    This let Adam play in the hole and basically run the show.
    To play five in midfield you need Tiote and Anita in the team allowing Cabaye a more forward link up role.

  • 25 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Sorry for Stoke supporters NO hardly any turned up, p*ss poor for a boxing day fixture.
    I we didn’t get the rub of the green at Swansea and we won’t get those decisions against Arsenal.

    Sorry for the TOON supporters like me and many others had to get a taxi home – NO bloody buses.

  • 26 Thump // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    If we start the Arsenal game the same as we did against Stoke I think we’ll be in for a thrashing (and we’re due one, too). Stoke’s opener was well deserved and not entirely against the run of play, they held possession in our half far too easily and played through our defence a little bit too easily. If Stoke can do that, Arsenal will tear us apart.

    That said, maybe I’m underestimating the influence of Tiote. We really missed him in the first half and the freedom he provides to other players – basically as Charlie said earlier. Remy looked lost, nobody was supporting him, when he came out wide, nobody was busting a gut to move into the middle. A lot of red flags for Pardew.

  • 27 Thump // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Also am I the only one who feels heartly bloody sorry for Haidara? Every time the poor bugger gets on the pitch some sod wipes him out.

  • 28 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Thump
    Yeah if we play like we did in the first half against Arsenal we will get thumped.

    I think Pardew has a tricky dilemma in picking his team for Sunday.

    Does he go for a five man midfield dropping HBA
    and going with
    1. Tiote, Anita, Cabaye Sissoko and Goufran in midfield with Remy up top
    or
    four man midfield dropping HBA
    2. Tiote, Cabaye Sissoko and Goufran in midfield with Remy and Shola up top
    or
    four man midfield
    3. Tiote, Cabaye Sissoko and Goufran in midfield with Remy and HBA up top
    personally I would go with option 1.
    And I would start with Hiadara at left back impressed with his cameo performance yesterday as Santon looked off the pace yesterday

  • 29 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    Morning lads!

    …you know the Arsenal game is going to be a tough on either way – maybe like Ancient said we should leave out Benny (mmaybe even Santon as well) then you know non of the two could get any stick if everything goes south ;-)

  • 30 cyprus // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Not sure what to make of yesterday’s game. We had 9 players in front of us, thrashed them, job done. Still, the first half was a different story, it seems we were missing Tiote. Yet, I worry about that line of thought because it means HBA sits out the next game, and we need some of that unpredictability ‘fear’ in Arsenal’s back line. Aaand, if HBA plays then it means Gouffy is out. Tough one, for whoever sits it out and that includes Anita. BTW, excellent pass to Remy through the middle.

  • 31 Dannyo // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    @Thump
    As Haidara got wiped out again yesterday, I thought that if that continues to happen, the poor lad will be afraid of going forward at one point.
    Need to watch out for that, he’s still young and if things happen repeatedly, you tend to avoid those things if they’re bad.

  • 32 cyprus // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Jesper,
    what’s that fight about above at the top of the page? Haven’t really seen you involved in such altercations that’s why I was wondering :)

  • 33 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Cyprus,
    It’s much better to have selection problems than to have your eleven ‘purples’ turn up regardless of form, shame it took one of the most horrible seasons in memory and a near relegation to make the powers that be realise that the eleven purple system was one of the most ridiculous policies ever mentioned in football.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Is Haidara relatively unscathed from yesterdays tackle.

  • 35 Thump // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    @Charlie: Completely agree. The only way to nullify Arsenal would be to pack out the midfield. Whether I’d drop HBA or not is a different matter, he was up for it from the first whistle, was tidy in possession and didn’t give too much away unnecessarily; at least not from what I remember. He also tracked back a lot while continuing to be an attacking threat. His passing plus Remy’s/Goofy’s pace means he can pull the strings from a deeper role.

    I’m undecided on Santon. He does look a bit shaky this season and he’s made some daft mistakes but he hasn’t really been all that bad, I think. A few dodgy challenges here and there but not exactly terrible in defence. I think the pressure of having Haidara and Dummett breathing down his neck is getting to him a little; you can see how much it hurts him to be subbed. Maybe some time on the bench would do him good.

    @Dannyo: Yeah, that’s my worry. The first time he started a match for us and it very easily could have been his last. Looking for the silver lining, though, he could take it as a back handed compliment. They’re seeing him as such a threat that they’re needing to put in those panicky tackles and you can see how much the physio’s care about him; straight on the pitch and seeing if he’s okay. Having said that, Atkinson did Stoke a massive favour with that challenge yesterday (which seems to be another factor in Haidara being taken out – the offender rarely gets punished!)

  • 36 cyprus // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Jail,
    Have to agree there. You can’t keep playing any 11 no matter what. Dip of form, different opposition etc. In fact, we need more players to feel as if they are part of the team and to consider it ‘ok’ if they sit one out.
    I’ve been an AP critic, more so than re Mike as you may have noticed (MA isn’t the coach), but he’s learning and I can’t ask for anything else. The results help too ;)

  • 37 Thump // Dec 27, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    @Jail: Well, he finished the match and was still getting to the touch line to whip in crosses/pull it back for Goofy/Cabs, so yeah, I think the lad’s alright. A bit of “character building bruising” as my old footy coach used to say…

  • 38 cyprus // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    I’m pretty sure there were two more pens there but even I felt sorry for Stoke by then.

  • 39 spudzzz // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    Does Mark Hughes ever take his dimension warping spectacles off….Everytime you hear him in interview he always complains about something , rarely grateful in defeat, and always looks miserable (grumpy the dwarf) . The 2 yellows could be deemed a little harsh but all other decisions were spot on…actually i would say he didn’t give us at least another 2 blatant penalties end of 2 nd half

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Thump,
    That’s good news I think the lad’s got a big future, I still think we need another RB in the Haidara mould, as in young but good enough and also willing to bide his time, this would keep Debuchy firmly on his toes, hopefully Tav will come good.
    Cyprus,
    Look what it’s done for Willos game knowing that he is very droppable and I can imagine STaylor will play out of his skin when he gets his chance.

  • 41 bills-son // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Yesterday proved how important Tiote is to bossing midfield and how Sissoko is no DM or a Yaya Toure.

    I could have seen us losing the game before the sendings off and we need to go back to a five man midfield with Anita, not HBA, to give Arsenal a game.

    HBA did well with nine men of the pitch but not alot with eleven. Same goes for the rest of the team.

  • 42 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Dannyo…I have just beeen trying to give manxpie a lesson in etiquettes lately…

    …manxpie has a problem with manners as you can probably read (had just decieded that I didn’t want to let it go anymore)

  • 43 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Sorry…that post was for you Cyprus :-)

  • 44 SpaceGhost // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Few things to reflect after the Stoke game :

    1. We can go without Cabaye but we can’t afford to miss Tiote. His last season’s exploits made forget how good he is in that role. No wonder Chelsea considered him at one point. The 2 red cards covered the cracks in the team. Not too sure the introduction of Shola was enuf if it was 11 vs 11

    2. My new found faith in Remy. I admit I was suspicious of his motives coming to NUFC but he has won me over by giving Cisse a much needed goal, rather than capped a personal glory havin a hat trick.

    3. Cisse’s penalty was the finest penalty I have seen this season. Pure technique matched with unbelievable confidence. He placed it exquisitely in the top corner where no keeper in the world could have gotten near.

    4. Krul could have done better but Debuchy was all over the place. Sissoko didn’t even know where to stand on the field. Worst ever performance from the big man. He even managed to fluff a free header. Perhaps coz of his role yday to support Remy.

    5. Santon vs Walcott? I’m not too sure about this at all. Dumett did a good job at Man City against Navas. Or Mbiwa there if Pardew insist havin Colo partnering Willo. We need pace if we’re pushing up the defence.

    6. Tavernier had a good game & Vukic scored the winner against Bradford with a brilliant goal. Tavernier & Vukic the new Debuchy & Cabaye?




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