Newcastle vs Cardiff – Match Preview

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The bubble has burst at Newcastle and after going 9 league games when  we won seven and drew one for 22 points from a possible 27 points, we have quickly lost the last two to Arsenal  and West Brom by 1-0.
And Newcastle really only have themselves to blame for the two defeats, falling asleep for Arsenal’s winning goal from a free kick after 65 minutes, and then Mathieu Debuchy getting himself sent off for a two footed tackle after 62 minutes at the Hawthorns, when it looked like Newcastle could have won that game.

And to make matters just a little bit worse, Coloccini and Cabaye picked up injuries on Wednesday, and are not available for the game today, and goalkeeper Tim Krul is also doubtful.

All we know from Alan Pardew on the team selection is that Ben Arfa will definitely start the game, and yesterday at his press conference, he talked about Newcastle needing to win a trophy soon – since it’s been 45 years since we last won anything and 59 years since we last won a domestic trophy.

So he’s right there.

It’s a good question as to what the team will be today – but here’s a shot at the starting line-up, and we’ll assume Tim Krul can make this game:

Yanga-Mbiwa Williamson Taylor (S) Santon
Sissoko  Tiote (c)  Anita
Ben Arfa Remy Gouffran
Subs: Elliot Haidara Dummett Gosling Ameobi (Sa) Ameobi (Sh) Cisse

What team would you start today?

Tiote will again captain the side today, and it could be that Papiss Cisse starts in place of Loic Remy, who probably needs a rest at some point soon, since he’s played in almost every game.

And it’s a great opportunity for both Steven Taylor and Yanga-Mabiwa to show what they can do in the Newcastle  defense, in the absence of Colo and Debuchy.

Maybe we’ll even see Jonas Gutierrez as a sub – and we’re not exactly sure what he’s done to be left out of the side this season – but there are rumors if he plays a certain amount of games, the club has to offer him a new deal.

He’s played 194 times for the Magpies in total so far, and maybe that magic number is 200, but he’s played only twice this season, and last season he played 40 times. 🙁

And after Aston Villa manager’s Paul Lambert’s less than complimentary comments on the FA Cup yesterday, Alan Pardew had this to say about the competition, which is second best now to the Premier League – and by a long way:

“I do think the scheduling – five games in 15 days – isn’t right, and with the FA Cup on the back of it, it isn’t fair,”

“I don’t think it’s fair on Premier League managers, if I’m honest.” “But we have to suffer it, and I’m looking forward to the game. I’m hoping we can win.”

We’ve lost our last two games, but they were close, and one (negative) way to look at both games is we found a way to lose them both, with some sloppy and unprofessional play.

The manager talked about the two defeats yesterday:

“Really and truly, they’ve been two tight affairs, and we’ve lost them both.” “It’s actually quite galling. When you get two tight games like that, it’s hard to take for the group.”

“So we really need to win. I think it will be tight, and we want to win a tight game.”

There’s never much in a game between two Premier League sides, which we have today in the FA Cup, and the fact that Cardiff City have won only one of their last 10 games, and have a new manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, makes us just a little worried about this game.

57% think we can win this game but a high 30% think we’ll lose it.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Cardiff City?

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In the previous three times Alan Pardew has managed Newcastle in the FA Cup, we’ve gone out in the 3rd round twice and the 4th round once, and both times to lower league teams, Brighton twice and Stevenage three years ago.

That is not a good record at all.

So the last thing we want to see today is a defeat or even a draw.

Newcastle should have good enough squad players in the side to be able to win this game, and start to turn around what is hopefully only a blip in our league results.

Otherwise we’ll have those doom and gloomers (or is is it gloom and doomers?) flooding back in – telling us all – we told you so.

Anything but that. 😀

Howay The Lads! – win this game!

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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151 comments so far

  • bishopblaize

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #1

    Who Best Owner – Ashley or Tan ??

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #2

    Cisse, as good a goalscorer as he is, is just that. He needs the chances created for him. With an injured cabaye and Marv not about this season I’m not sure how many players in the pitch will be getting the right passes into him to score so this night not be his game.

    I think is go for this side

    Santon, willo, mbiwa, haidara
    Tiote, Anita, Ben arfa
    Sissoko, cisse, remy

    No point risking krul if not 100% Elliot is as good a second keeper as you get. Get this back four 90mins together as it’s probably the one for the next 3 games.

    Tiote just had a suspension so had his rest, Anita rested enough and give Benny a run in the middle as attacking mid.

    Remy doesn’t look tired and sissoko is a good option in the right again. The cisse in the middle, hopefully Benny in the middle can creat for him, along with Anita.

    The players have a week off after this so plenty of time to recover.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #3


    Rather have Ashley, imagine being Newcastle dragons and having to play in red? Much worse than anything Ashley has done.

    And he’s hardly spending big money either, sold their soul for about 30mil this summer.

    City have the best owner by far. Keeps things traditional, hires a top manager once they got to a level they could attract one. Spends a fortune of own cash, not loans to club, building a huge academy and regenerating whole part of Manchester, but mainly keeps his nose out and appoints proven technical directors to run the football side of things.

  • Hugh Jorgan

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #4

    I have searched everywhere for streams for today’s game but had no luck. Has any anyone else found a possible link ?

  • Douglas

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #5

    Pardew should realise that the scheduling IS fair. Its the same for everyone, its just our squad size is too inadequate.

  • davetoon

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #6

    I would go

    Santon, Saylor, mbiwa, haidara
    Sissoko,Tiote, Anita
    Ben arfa, cisse, remy

    A lot more responsibility for Sissoko to track back and cover Santon.
    We shuld be able to dominate possession in the MF at home and Cisse and Remy wont get a better chance to knock a couple in

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #7

    Hugh Jorgan

    some pretty good link here mate

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #8

    guys what time is kick off?

  • davetoon

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #9

    @ B&W 3pm

  • catchy in norway

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #10

    its comments like this from pardew that shows he is totally incompetent,

    why does he need a few more weeks? he knows what he can do, or at least he should do,

    today I think we will lose , also down to pardews incompetence , instead of mixing it up over the xmas, given a few players a rest, he will make a lot of changes in one match, players in from the cold with no form at all, he might even let ee-or shola lead them out as captain,

    this argument about ben afra, why should he defend ???, id rather have him no where near our box, and in the other half of the pitch, where he can defend from the front,

    the other thing, goofy or HBA, what does goofy offer ???really, he runs, but his passing is the worst, im talking really poor, he never creates anything,, yet he is our forward, he scores , but he wont get you 10 and create 10, HBA will,

    a lot of you are now blinded into pardews style of defensive football, and you have forgot what the game is all about, scoring goals and winning games

    Cardiff will be on a high from the new manager, 2-0 to them

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #11

    i think Pardew will line up a 4-4-2

    Santon, Willo, MYM, Haidara
    Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran
    Shola/HBA, Remy

    but honestly though i would lineup a 4-2-3-1, i never favour this lineup with our current crop but having

    Santon, Willo, MYM, Haidara
    Tiote, Anita
    Sissoko, HBA, Remy

    Gouffran had a poor game against WBA so maybe an impact sub would suit him this game

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #12


    cheers mate

  • davetoon

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #13

    @catchy, will be well pissed if we lose this game.

    sick of our poor record in the Fa Cup in recent years. To be fair we got to 90 minutes against Citeh at 0-0 in the League Cup this season so hopefully the team can rebound today.

    Saylor, Ben Arfa and Cisse all have a point to prove so hopefully they can show it today

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #14

    i got to agree with Catchy, why have HBA defend when we have 4 at the back and 3 in the middle who can defend?

    we wonder why we get beat by the lesser teams

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #15

    i think Pardew needs to try something new like a 4-3-1-2, even IF we manage to win today i would use the FA cup to try different formations because lets face it as much as we want Newcastle to bring a cup home we simply won’t

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #16

    Goofy has peen poor? Sorry lad but your talking absolute sh1t there

    Also point where he’s saying HBA needs to defend, last time he was saying it’s his consistency and decision making that was costing him, and he was spot on with that

  • Hugh Jorgan

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #17

    Black and White with an army lol

    Thanks mate, tried the stream for Sky Sports1, it’s excellent. However Kiwisportz don’t have the game listed in their schedule.

    Thanks again

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #18


    agree on some thing that pardew is limited in what he offers, but also think he is doing a reasonable job….i’d currently say hitting our lowest target in league terms. We should be 8th really.

    On goofy the lad has 6 goals already and has played some good football too, he has managed to create a few goals, with a couple assists.

    HBA hasnt ever got 10 goals and 10 assists in a season, even before us, so dont see how you can say that.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #19

    Gouffran has only had 1 poor game and that was against WBA, he was getting into good positions, tracking back well but his passes where awful especially when he had a chance for a through ball on his left and right to lead to a goal but instead he passes it to there defender

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #20


    I think HBA needs to defend in our system myself….not that i like our system.

    With our players we should be playing higher up the field, pressing teams in their half and winning the ball back to attack..It’s no good us asking hba, remy, gouff, shola etc to press high up if the rest sit so deep as a single pass then takes all 4 of them out the game and leaves a huge gap between midfield and attack…thats the fault of our system though and why we sit deep and never close down much.

  • davetoon

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #21

    Gouffrans goals at SJP have been crucial for us this season with Cisse not playing and Remy not scoring from open play in a while.

    Take Gouffys goals out and we would be well down the table

  • t00ntime

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #22

    Imo hba should come back a little bit, halfway in to our half max! But he should be up front with the ST ready to counter if we get the ball. i never get why we get all our players to defend then have to try and pass it out of our defense cause no one is upfront. Thats how we get caught out quite often, santon+colo give the ball away becausd they get closed down. If we had options upfront they could just launch it for them to chase (if need be).

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #23

    Your right 6 goals already 2 assists for goofy and 20 chances created, sorry but catchy saying he is the new Jonas is absolute BS
    And yeah HBA has never reached double figures in goals and assists in a season before, he’s coming up for 27, for me as a winger he can’t be far off the peak of his career

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #24


    HBA has had several teams and managers and none of them have managed to unlock the talent the lad posses. To me that shows he doesn’t want it enough or doesn’t know/can’t do it, still a good player mind, just not as good as he should be.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #25

    Also not disputing HBA should track back a bit, just saying that’s not Pardews not saying he’s not defending so he’s not playing, it’s just a made up fact to beat him with
    Pardew has enough faults so why the need to make faults? Just takes any validity away from posts

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #26

    we should play like we did against Man U in every game but i don’t understand why Pardew doesn’t do this.

    Transfer Sage

    only if MYM was in defence we should press high, having Willo & Collo pushing higher up is gonna leave us in many dire situations since they are slow players but MYM has the speed to quickly track back.

    unless we use Willo & Collo for offside traps purpose high up the field but then again the officials have hardly been on our side ( except the stoke game )

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #27


    yeh, you are right there. Pardew is stating his consistency, which is a fair complaint but I also appreciate the counter argument to that people have that plenty others like shola, sissoko, remy…shoot/waste possession when they shouldn’t so it’s not just HBA.

    I think the big issue is that we all know ben arfa is capable of so much more than those others so them playing at 90% is equal to ben arfa at 50%…so the levels are the same but the potential in benny is so much more, thats why people are harsher on him and want to push him

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #28

    black and white

    well even with mbiwa in all it takes is a ball between debuchy and willo and the left winger bursting through then mbiwa wont have chance to get near.

    Playing a high line can be done with slower players providing you press high and press quickly, it stops teams having plenty of time to make runs and have them spotted.

    I personally would go mbiwa over colo everyday anyway.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #29

    you see guys that’s why i always mention that we should play an 4-3-1-2 system HBA would love the AMC role and will just do his thing

  • Greebol1892

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #30

    The wheels are coming off now. Injuries & suspensions will really expose our squad now.
    Last 2 games lost because of Pardew’s defensive tactics. Especially West Brom were there for the taking but it was obvious we were playing for a 0-0 after only 10 minutes into 1st half.
    There were signs that Pardew was actually learning then he reverts to type when things aren’t working in 1st half he hasn’t got a clue how to change things and then goes for broke in the last 5mins.
    strolla…. FFS……
    We will never have any chance in cup games with this defensive mindset. We should win today but please give Cisse a chance. We know there’s a good striker in there but just doesn’t fit Pardew’s game plans anymore – he prefers a big target man.
    Howay the lads!

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #31

    Transfer Sage

    i think that’s why we probably need another pacey defender like MYM, i think in some way this is why we were after Sakho

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #32


    I don’t like to watch defensive football but I can appreciate the value of it at times and for certain teams,

    Our defense is ok but our main strength is in attack with the likes of cisse, remy, cabaye, ben arfa, So for me we should be looking to win our games 4-3 not 1-0.

    But it’s currently working for us. The problem with defensive football is that when you lose it looks much worse as you look like you never had any fight, but if you win 1-0 people go home happy.

  • snowdone

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #33

    Pardew should start with the centre back pairing he intends to use for the City game. Mbiwa looked off the pace last game and needs 90 mins with Williamson. It could be argued that the fullbacks should also be the starters against City with Haidara at left back and Santon at rb.

    Cisse must start as our striker. Remy needs a rest and hasn’t impressed me recently.

    Ben Arfa remains an enigma and needs to take this opportunity to show he can make the right choices in the final third. I feel Pardew has handled him correctly. It’s now up to him.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 4, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #34

    blacka nd white

    still though forward are nearly always quicker….never get defenders with pace of ronaldo, walcott, bale, etc

    so it can help to have pace at the back, but not crucial, it just helps cover a mistake or a very rare perfect through ball/good run combo.

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #35

    our main threat is through the centre, even Remy when cutting in he cuts through to the centre and bags his goals, Cabaye’s goals came from the wing and passed through the centre leading to goals.

    playing for wings i think is our weakest attacking point, we need to shove the 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 & 4-3-3 and approach the 4-3-1-2 our squad is built for this

  • Black and White with an army lol

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #36

    how many goals have we seen coming from the wing aimed at the striker for a headed or volleyed goals?

    i think iv’e seen 2 goals coming from cross in for headed goals from Remy & Gouffran but i must at least seen the rest coming from the centre

  • maccamyfriend

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #37


    We had a stupid marginal loss at a team that finished above us last season. We did good v Arsenal and Stoke was great.

    Yes 2012 was amazing, 13 was poor and 14 will be where we should be – top half competing with Swansea, Southampton and hopefully Everton.

    So my 14 very realistic hopes for 2014:

    1. Alnwick to have a debut at same point before a league loan spell next season
    2. Tavernier to excel at Rotherham and come back ready to be a squad player next season
    3. Ferguson to play more and improve in second Blues loan spell, ready to be back up next season
    4. Streete to do the same as Alnwick. Maybe he’s crap but let’s give him half an hour today then he had his chance a la Airey.
    5. MYM or Taylor to replace Colo as main CB
    6. Bigi to get games, maybe on loan!
    7. Obertan and Marveaux to challenge first XI
    8. Newton to come back from Scotland a la Dummett and be quality back up
    9. Sami to surprise me, Shola had so many chaotic changes over the years he never made it into a quality player. Sami has stability..
    10. HBA to consistently star
    11. Vuckic to stay fit and provide quality back up
    12. All these young players proving quality back up will push the first team, as Elliott, a CB, Anita and Gouffran push on we become less reliant on stars like Krul, Colo, Cab and Remy so it’s ok if they leave. We build SLOWLY and REALISTICALLY with top 10 finishes.
    13. No major management changes. Postiive PR.
    14. Debuchy to grow up.

    Most of these are not very exciting targets in the short term, but will work long term. So here’s my not very exciting team for today’s match. Yes we risk losing but top 10 consistency is more important than Europa league unpredictability for now.

    Elliott (Alnwick sub laat min)
    Haidara (Streete sub 2nd half, Dummy to LB)
    Ben Arfa (sub Richardson. I think he’s going to be released but would love to give him a sentimental game)

    loan Sami, Bigi, Good out after this game, bench them today.

    Put Armstrong on bench for experience.

  • Patoon

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #38

    Santon Williamson Yanga Mbiwa Haidara

    Dont think we should b dropping Gouffran just cos he wasn’t at his best at west brom, he’s been great all season and he was stil 10 times better than amanobody, Cisse needs a chance, we desperately need a striker who can play with his back 2 goal, Cisse and Remy cant do this and i’d rather play Krul up front than play Ameobi, i would also like 2 c more of sammy, i think he’s a real threat running at defences, and FFS i wish ben arfa would start passing the ball

  • t00ntime

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #39

    I agree on a 4312. All our players cut in anyway. Pards wont do it though.
    Remy is bad upfront by himself, so this would be better for him, hba would have to defend less (better for him) still get 3 CMs to dominate the game, tiote, cabaye, sissoko/anita. Think it would be our best formation atm

  • breno95

    Jan 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #40

    possible team today and making use of the squad we have could be:-
    Saylor williamson yanga haidara
    ben arfa marveaux anita obertan



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