Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has just announced his team what for is another vital game for the club in our fight to stay in England’s top league and today we entertain an in-form Bournemouth team.
And it’s another controversial pick by McClaren as he prefers Emmanuel Riviere up front to Aleksandar Mitrovic – who is dropped.
Most fans would put Riviere at the bottom of our striker list and we did bring in Seydou Doumbia into our team in place of Mitrovic – otherwise it’s the same team that McClaren starts today.
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett; Jonjo Shelvey (c), Jack Colback; Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ayoze Perez; Emmanuel Riviere
Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Vurnon Anita, Henri Saivet, Yoan Gouffran, Rolando Aarons, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Seydou Doumbia
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Artur Boruc; Adam Smith, Simon Francis (c), Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels; Matt Ritchie, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Max Gradel; Josh King, Benik Afobe
Substitutes: Adam Federici, Sylvain Distin, Tommy Elphick, Marc Pugh, Eunan O’Kane, Lewis Grabban, Glenn Murray
Referee: Paul Tiereny (Lancashire)
Gouffran drops to the bench because McClaren said we wants to win this game, but we are not sure what he sees in Riviere, who looked rusty and out of touch when he was brought on last Wednesday night.
Saivet and Doumbia were brought into the club last month but both remain on the bench and there’s still no Siem de Jong.
The Bournemouth squad on paper is nowhere near to that of Newcastle United, but they are still 8 points above us in the league and beat Southampton 2-0 at home on Wednesday night while we were losing our 7th away game (in all competitions) on the trot 1-0 at Stoke City.
And the Newcastle players issued a statement in support of McClaren about half an hour ago, but that looks far too political and comes just before the game and seems deliberate and calculated.
It is probably meant to give Lee Charnley more ammunition to keep Steve McClaren in charge, even if we don’t win today’s game – which would be another catastrophe.
The Board seems determined to keep the McClaren in charge even as he takes us down to the Championship – what exactly is going on at Newcastle this season?
However a positive effect of the statement could be to get the fans right behind the lads and even inspire the players themselves to put in a good performance and get all 3 points – that we desperately need.
Words mean nothing it’s the performance on the field that matters.
Newcastle fans are not too confident of the win today – which is what we really need.
This is what Steve McClaren said yesterday about today’s opposition:
“My concentration and focus is purely on Bournemouth and winning that game,” “We’re coming into the business end of the season so any sort of win will be tremendous.”
“We need to get results to make sure we’re in the league next season. Bournemouth will be another tough game.” “Every game is a must win. We’ve got 11 games left and we’re just not thinking about losing the game tomorrow.”
“We know in football that things can turn around and change and Bournemouth is another good opportunity for us.””I admire what Eddie Howe has done at Bournemouth.”
“I thought they always had a great chance of staying up. The work ethic and culture he has created there is great and it’s going to be a very difficult game for us.”
“At the moment we’re just preparing, we need to show some fight and get a little bit more luck in front of goal.” “When you’re not performing and you’re in the bottom three you know you’re missing something.”
“It’s not rocket science, we know we’re missing goals and we’re missing clean sheets and we need to put that right.” “People to do their jobs constantly and when you get that you get results.”
“That’s what we want to see from the players for the next 11 games – starting tomorrow.”