Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 22nd December, 2012.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics).
UK TV: None.
Hello good afternoon and welcome to this extra special Christmas match banter for Newcastle United’s home match with the “R’s” of Queens Park Rangers.
To say that this was an important game for Alan Pardew and the Magpies would be an understatement. With The Magpies being pulled ever closer into the relegation quagmire, a fairly daunting pair of away games against Manchester United and a recently resurgent Arsenal follow, not to mention a tricky home tie with sixth placed Everton to complete the Christmas and New Year holiday fixture list. With QPR being one of the few teams which are below in in the table at the moment, hopes have been pinned on this game as the best hope of getting a desperately needed 3 points. However, despite their lowly position at second bottom, even here the momentum is with today’s West London visitors. Even Pardew himself has acknowledged this. Speaking of QPR in a pre match interview he said:
“They have got some momentum, and that’s very important in the Premier League. It’s something we have been searching for.”
That momentum has come since the sacking of Mark “Sparky” Hughes and the appointment of big name new manager, Harry “that money was just resting in my account” Redknapp. Since his arrival at Loftus Road, they have at last risen from the rock bottom of the table, stringing together two draws, and their first win of the season last week against Fulham.
Getting back to Pardew though, he has tried to blame everything but his “hit and hope” tactics this season for the Toon’s fall from grace. The Europa League, Demba Ba’s get out of Toon clause, a lack of new signings and plain old bad luck have all been pointed at by Pardew’s finger of blame. Although there have been a few encouraging signs that the Silver Supremo has been willing to at least make an attempt to play in the right way in recent performances, sadly, the result has mostly been the same, defeat. Here’s hoping that changes today (the result, not the glimpses pf a better style of play), otherwise it’s going to be be a nervous Christmas on Tyneside to say the least. For one thing, if Ba does eventually leave the club in January and it’s embroiled in a struggle against relegation, other clubs will smell our desperation as we hunt for a replacement. As well as this, which ambitious young top striker is going to want to join a club which might be relegated a few months after his arrival? It’s another “perfect storm” waiting to happen.
So with my little cup of Christmas cheer over with, I’ll get on with the usual reminders that I will be posting links for the game in the comments section of this blog, along with the team sheets for the game in the blog itself, along with highlights, and possibly a video of the whole game when it’s all over. Sp stay tuned!
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, James Perch, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez.
Subs: Steve Harper (G), Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi.
Queens Park Rangers (4-3-3): Robert Green (G), Fabio da Silva, Anton Ferdinand, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill, Esteban Granero, Stephane Mbia, Alejandro Faurlin, Jamie Mackie, Djibril Cisse, Adel Taarabt.
Substitutes: Brian Murphy, Armand Traore, Samba Diakite, Shaun Derry, Nedum Onuoha, Junior Hoilett, Shaun Wright-Phillips.