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.
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?
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