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Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers match preview.

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 | 28 Comments |

New East Stand sign, St James' Park.
Sign of the times @ St James' Park
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle
Date: Saturday, Sept 24th, 2011
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Martin Atkinson

This week will see Newcastle United playing at home for the first time in four games, as Indian chicken mogul owned Blackburn Rovers pay a visit to St James’ Park.

The game will also be notable in that it will be the first one since Newcastle United’s new sign has been erected, flanked by further Sports branding to give the home of Geordie football a further air of class, sophistication and dignity.

Of course, the most famous link between the two clubs in modern times is Alan Shearer, who former Blackburn owner, Sir Jack Walker, famously refused to sell to Manchester United. So it was that Shearer subsequently became a Newcastle player for a then world record fee, and eventually, one of the highest goalscorers in Newcastle United’s history, arguably the highest, depending on whether you think Jackie Milburn’s wartime goals counted or not.

Of course, the days when Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United broke world record transfer fees are long gone now, though Newcastle currently find themselves rubbing shoulders with the kinds of clubs who can still afford such mind numbingly expensive transfer deals, standing as they do in the last of the top four Champion’s League places in the Premiership going into this game.

Stat attack

Although Newcastle currently reside some twelve places above Blackburn in the table, with Rovers hovering above the relegation places at sixteenth, perhaps the most ominous statistic for us going into this game is that Blackburn Rovers have won their last five games at St James’ Park, the last one being a 2-1 Sam Allardyce victory last season. In that game the goals came from Morgan Gamst Pedersen and Jason Roberts for the visitors, with Andy Carroll goal for us somewhere in the middle. The game was also marked by controversy with Joey Barton’s little prod at the abovementioned Pedersen’s midriff, however both parties kissed and made up afterwards.

Our last victory against the Rovers at home came in the 2004/5 season, and funnily enough it was current assistant, John Carver, who was in charge for that game. It was Carver’s only game as caretaker manager so far, inbetween Sir Bobby Robson being moved on and Graham Souness being poached from Blackburn.

Although Blackburn had a poor start to the season, which is reflected in the current position in the league, they also come to St James’ riding fairly high on the back of a draw and two victories in their last three games, the first of these being a 1-1 draw against Fulham. The second was a fairly remarkable and very exciting 4-3 victory over Arsenal, with their last game being a fairly predictable 3-1 League Cup victory over League One’s Leyton Orient.

What the manager’s say

Blackburn’s above mentioned victories at the temple on the hill were in the thoughts of both managers in the run up to the game. Firstly, Alan Pardew said of the winning streak:

“Although they’ve got a great record here, they’re not bringing the same personnel and we’ve certainly got a change of personnel.”

“It’s an amazing stat. I can’t tell you why, all I do know is that for us, it’s an important game because it’ll mean a really great start, rather than a good start, if we win.”

Meanwhile, Blackburn’s manager, Steve Kean alluded to the wins, but paid his respects to Newcastle’s good start to the season, saying:

“We have a great record up there in the last few years but we have to go about the game in the right manner and be very cautious at the back.

“If we come back down the motorway with a win it will have been a great week for us but the important thing is that we respect what Newcastle have done this season.

“They are very tight and well organised. I worked with Alan Pardew many years ago at Reading and he will set up them up very well so it will be tough to break them down, but we have the attacking players to do so.”

Team news

Blackburn Rovers
On the Blackburn side, they seem to be pretty Ok on the injury front, with Morten Gamst Pedersen, David Goodwillie and Michel Salgado returning from injuries. This now leaves Steve Kean with almost a full squad to choose from, with only Ryan Nelsen (knee) and David Dunn (calf) still out.

Squad: Robinson, Dann, Samba, Olsson, Salgado, Givet, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Formica, Goodwillie, Rochina, Lowe, Roberts, Yakubu, Vukcevic, Hanley, Pedersen, Slew, Blackman, Bunn.

Newcastle United

Things aren’t looking quite so good from the Magpie side, with Mike Williamson still out with the ankle injury he picked up at Scunthorpe, the seemingly endless injury woes of Alan Smith continue as he recovers from his hamstring injury, ditto for Haris Vučkić with his hand. Davide Santon has allegedly been trotting around gingerly on his knacked knee in training, but won’t be ready yet.

With much gossip circulating about the return of Hatem Ben Arfa from his second injury at the club, and a 70 minute run out in the Magpies’ victory over Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, Alan Pardew has suggested that he needs to show more in training before winning back a starting place, so he will probably start on the bench. Finally, Shola’s shoulder is doubtful.

Squad: Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, R. Taylor, Ferguson, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Obertan, Gosling, Guthrie, Ben Arfa, Abeid, Ba, Shola Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best, Sammy Ameobi.
Howay the Lads!

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NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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28 Responses

  1. You see, I think that signage for tackydirect.com is Ashley’s idea of a joke.

    There is absolutely no need to have ‘sportsdirect.com’ both before and after the ‘Newcastle United’ other than to annoy the fans.

    I suppose at least it shows he has a sense of humour, although perhaps not a particularly good one.

  2. Three points please, Mr Pardew, for the Toon Army to stay on the march and for the glimmer of hope to continue its rise.

  3. “the seemingly endless injury woes of Alan Smith continue as he recovers from his hamstring injury, ditto for Haris Vučkić with his hand”

    A hand injury ????? This is just taking the piss !!!

    Name me a dozen players or more who have played with more than just a “hand injury” ?

    I’ll start with

    1.Bert Trautmann – Feckin Broken Neck.

    “Despite his injury he continued to play, making crucial saves to preserve his team’s 3–1 lead. His neck was noticeably crooked as he collected his winner’s medal; three days later an X-ray revealed it to be broken”

  4. “Dear Mr Pardew

    Please excuse my son from playing in the first team squad as he has a runny nose”

    Yours sincerely

    Mrs Vukcic

  5. Phisix says:
    September 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    “Santon is not injured anymore as he has been training with the team.”

    Phisix, Last I’d heard from the NUFC Department of Truth, he’d trotted around gingerly, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be anywhere near ready for selection yet. I’ve put that in the post now though.

  6. @The kid, I agree, I hope they don’t make all our players sh#te like they did in 11. By the way PES is rubbish played loads of them and find it really boring.

  7. It’s exciting to think we’re in the top 4 – and also that we could feasibly remain there until after the next two winnable games. I still reckon this team lacks the goals to realistically challenge for anything other than mid-table obscurity though – not that that’s so bad.

    We couldn’t have played much better than against villa and still lacked any serious goal threat apart from long range efforts and cabaye’s late miss – which was more down to poor delivery from wide, rather than the strikers themselves.

    Marveaux could be a big player for us – getting real quality into the box for our strikers. What I’d give for a complete forward up-top who could create the space and opportunities for themselves even when the balls into the box aren’t perfect.

  8. supermac says:
    September 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    “Worky – Friedrich Nietzsche – brilliant! & booked! Thanks.”

    I’ve seen that quite a few times before supermac, but I just noticed the continuity error for the first time. He was no 10 on the teamsheet, and no 5 when he was booked.

    I noticed the first time I saw it that the Greek goal was completely and utterly offside though! :lol:

  9. boater says: “I still reckon this team lacks the goals to realistically challenge for anything other than mid-table obscurity though”

    Yes, a bit of a worry, only 4 goals in 5 PL games so far. But unfair to put pressure on our forwards yet, I think we might miss the midfield goals of last season (especially Nolan’s) – but time will tell.

    HWTL

  10. Boater @11:

    at Villa we were a bit unlucky, Cabaye hit the bar, Sammy scored and Shay was in inspired form. Still, I agree with your point.

    Could also say that the defense isn’t as good as it was made out to be as Bent missed a sitter.

    Does anyone have any internet links for the match????

  11. GS says:
    September 24, 2011 at 12:06 am

    “Does anyone have any internet links for the match????”

    Hard to say until just before the match GS. They only usually put them oot in the half hour preceeding the game.

  12. We’ve actually had big amounts of shots on goal, a fair few of ’em on target.

    worky,
    i knew he had 1, but wasn’t sure after that.

  13. Let’s just stuff Blackburn. I’ve never seen us beat them at home (started following NUFC and the league in 2006).

  14. It will be hard-long night for us against Blackburn but if we get 3 points I don’t care how. Hopefully we can. HWTL !

  15. I’m a great believer in ‘horses for courses’ and Blackburn’s track record at SJP is exceptionally good, regretabbly.

    Therefore, the team has to be at its very best to win. If we win, and hopefully we will, then this could mark a turning point in our season but other teams will start to pay us a lot more attention thereafter. But on the positive side as Colo said, on Wednesday, words to the effect that a winning mentality has to be ingrained in the players.

  16. AndyMac: although not at professional level, I was playing for my old work team (Fairhursts on Barrack Road) against my brothers team from NT council in Davy Bank as was. The score was 1-1, I was following a punt from our keeper and their centre-half was coming the other way, result was my jaw broken in 3 places and me out cold. After a lengthy period of concerned bystanders, recovery position, etc, I roused myself, continued the game, scored the winner to take the match 2-1, went to the pub and poured Guniness down my shirt all night – much to the disgust of my then girlfriend, think she was a lesbian anyway

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