The game against Chelsea today is the first game after the disgraceful performance last Saturday against Sunderland, when we lost 3-0 at home for the second time running, and lost three in a row for the first time since way back in 1923 – so it’s all about Newcastle regaining their dignity and confidence from now through the end of the season.
Unfortunately we’ve been hit by injuries recently.and Cheick Tiote picked up a hamstring injury in training early in the week, just to make things that little bit worse, and Cheick will possibly be out until the game at Hull on March 1st.
Fab Coloccini is again taking time to heal, and that knee injury of his will keep him out until the home game against Aston Villa on Sunday 23rd February.
Loic Remy is suspended for another couple of games, and Yoan Gouffran is unfit but could be back on Wednesday for the home game against Tottenham, and Papiss Cisse is still not ready for today’s game.
And since we fortuitously hammered a nine man Stoke side 5-1 at St. Jame’s Park on Boxing Day, and had taken 22 points from the last nine league games – we have played six games and won only one at West Ham, in Yohan Cabaye’s last game for the club in which he scored two goals and we won 3-1.
And in those six games we’ve scored only two goals. and in our last five league games we have scored only once.
So with Shola Ameobi still to score a Premier League goal this season we are hoping that Luuk de Jong will get a start today, maybe as the lone striker up front.
We think Alan Pardew will play something like a 4-5-1 formation – or some variation of that – to try to combat Chelsea’s brilliant midfield players.
So this is a possible side that Pardew could put out today
Debuchy Taylor (S) Williamson Dummett
Ben Arfa Gosling Anita Sissoko Marveaux
Subs: Elliott Haidara Santon Yanga-Mbiwa Ameobi (Sa) Ameobi (Sh) Armstrong
After Davide Santon got the runaround last Saturday against Adam Johnson, we think he will be benched today, and the only reason we have local lad Paul Dummett starting is that he was the one brought on to replace the Italian on Saturday.
Massadio Haidara could also get the start at left back today, and maybe local lad Steven Taylor will get the captain’s armband.
Sylvain Marveaux deserves to start, after being out in the wilderness this season, but he put in a tidy sub appearance last week against Sunderland.
And we’d also love to see 16 year-old local lad Adam Armstrong make his debut for the club, and that would be great give us something positive to talk about after the game.
It’s not really too surprising that 83% of readers think we will lose the game today, and only one in ten think we can win it – which we did two seasons ago, when Papiss Cisse got those two great goals for us in the third last game of the season, to ensure we would finish above Chelsea in the league table.
Newcastle could have been fighting for a European place again this season, but with Yohan Cabaye departed, that will not now be possible.
And it was yet another dumb decision by the powers that be at Newcastle, which fully illustrates the complete lack of ambition at the club – just in case we had any doubts about that.
And it again shows we are only worried about making top money from our best players, and we will sell at any time to get the greenbacks.
It’s a really sad state of affairs to be sure – but on the positive side of things, at least we are now rid of Joe Kinnear.
We’d love to see the lads hold out as long as possible today in west London, and even get something out of this game, but reality tells us that’s almost impossible.
But there’s always hope.
What do you think?
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 on us on Google+