Newcastle United vs Fulham match banter!
Posted on April 7th, 2013 | 99 Comments |
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sun 7th April, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics).
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to the NUFC Blog “match banter” feature for this afternoon’s vital home game against the Cottagers of Fulham.
With only seven games of the season to go, Newcastle United are still not out of the relegation quagmire. With a strong, winning performance from Aston Villa yesterday, and Wigan going on their perennial end of season run, the pressure is well and truly on Alan Pardew now.
Pardew’s long balls.
Despite our awful season however, Pardew has stuck to his guns, insisting with the “route one” style which has made him one of the managerial greats. Indeed, as you can see from the table below, we have been the biggest long ball side for the whole of this season, eschewing the more Continental “passing” style embraced by top clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and so on. Here’s hoping it can keep us away from another season in the Championship.
|Premiership long ball league, 2012-13.|
|4||West Ham United||30||10230||1530||51.0||15.0%|
TP – Total Passes
LB – Long Balls (over 25 yards).
LBG – Average Long Balls per Game.
LB % – Long Ball %.
All stats by OPTA.
Looking at Fulham’s recent form though, it could be tough ask this afternoon, with Fulham coming into this game unbeaten in their last five games, their last defeat being a narrow 1-0 to Premiership leaders Manchester United at the beginning of February. The lads will also have to shake off their disappointment at their latest run of defeats against Wigan (2-1), Manchester City (4-0), and finally, our Euro capitulation against Benfica (3-1).
However, our Silver Supremo is hitting the season’s final strait in bullish mood as always, telling reporters in the run up to this game:
“I am confident we have the ability in the squad to get ourselves into a position where we are still a Premier League side next season. We are going to be under pressure against Fulham and we are going to have to cope with it. Then we switch back to the Europa League and try to climb what will be a difficult hill, not what I would call a mountain but a decent hill, against Benfica in the second leg on Thursday.”
“When you go away from Benfica, beaten 3-1 and you are really disappointed because we have gifted them two goals, you have got to take that into the next game. We caused Benfica some problems and Papiss Cissé in particular was a threat all night. Momentum will be key for the whole of next week.”
However, the great master is somewhat afeared by what Fulham’s Bulgarian bombshell Dimitar Berbatov might do this afternoon. On the languid stylist he reflected:
“There’s no reason why we can’t show our strength on the pitch at Fulham. It’s an important game for us, no doubt about that and we have to make sure we take care of Berbatov. He’s a great player who can cause us a lot of problems.”
Time will tell, Alan.
Well, there isn’t very long to go now, so I will sign off with my usual reminders about posting team sheets, links to watch the game online when they are available, as well as highlights and a video of the whole game when the game is over.
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon, Sylvain Marveaux, Yohan Cabaye (C), Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran.
Subs: Rob Elliot, Mike Williamson, Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita, Gabriel Obertan, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi.
Fulham (4-4-1-1): Mark Schwarzer (G), Sascha Riether, Philippe Senderos, Brede Hangeland (C), John Arne Riise, Stanislav Manolev, Eyong Enoh, Giorgos Karagounis, Damien Duff, Bryan Ruiz, Dimitar Berbatov.
Subs: Neil Etheridge (G), Aaron Hughes, Kieran Richardson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Urby Emanuelson, Kerim Frei, Hugo Rodallega.