Last season at this time Newcastle started the season in the worst possible way, because not only did we know that Arsenal had bid for Yohan Cabaye, but Yohan refused to play when the side arrived at Manchester City, and a number of players – notably Cabaye’s best friend Mathieu Debuchy – just had terrible games at the Emirates Stadium as they were affected by the situation.
Alan Pardew – directing traffic
And if didn’t help that Steven Taylor committed a stupid foul on Sergio Aguero and he managed to get himself sent off just before half time – just in case things were not bad enough. 🙁
But our lads did fairly well in the second half with 10 men, but we were still well beaten 4-0, and things didn’t look good at all after the game.
In his press conference today manager Alan Pardew has talked about the uncertainty last year at this time, but things are much better right now:
¨At this time last season we were in dispute with our midfield player. When we got off that bus, was he going to play or was he not going to play?¨ ¨The difference now is we’re much more settled.” The disruption of that unsettled us.¨
¨We lost a player – Steven Taylor to a red card – in the first half, which is maybe a consequence of the frustration we were all sharing.¨ ¨We have a new-found sense belief and players grow when they see new signings.¨
¨If you see more quality around you feel more confident.¨ ¨The players who have been here a while see that the group is bigger and stronger.¨ ¨I do feel we can give them a good game.¨ ¨In terms of players we have now got a really strong group which makes my job easier.¨
¨There is some real quality offensively, which we didn’t have at the back end of last season.¨ ¨I’m looking forward to putting them on the pitch and bringing back a brand of football, that the fans like to see.¨
‘There are a few players out, and normally that would be too big a blow against a team like Man City, but we’re able to cope and that shows the strength in depth we’ve got.¨
¨We go in good spirits with a fit, strong team and hopefully we’ll give Man City a much better game than we did last season.¨
We expect to see a much better performance than we gave in our first game last year, and it looks like it will be a sell-out crowd at St. James’ Park – hopefully the first of many for this coming season.
And while it’s a pity Siem de Jong and Cheick Tiote are not available through injury, it does give an opportunity to some of our other players to step in and play very well against the Premier league Champions.
We want to see a spirited, skillful and good performance from Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, and who knows we may even get something out of what is a very tough game.
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