Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 24th Aug, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffs).
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our “match banter” for today’s first home fixture of the Premier League season, which sees the Magpies taking on Fat Sam’s West Ham.
Pardew on probation.
In Alan Pardew’s last 12 competitive games with Newcastle United, his record is Won 2, Drawn 3, Lost 7, Goals For 7, Goals against 26. With a record like that, the sharks should be circling, and I don’t mean the loan shark from Wronga, who, incidentally, will be staging their first Wronga “experience” at sunny St James’ Park today. One of their new half time pursuits for this season is called “Straight walking football,” where “two fans will race head to head through a course packed with obstacles to test their balance and skill. Whoever keeps their cool and finishes past Teenie and Tynie will take home £150″ (quote from the Hearts website). Think I’ll give that a miss next time I’m at St James’ Park.
It will be interesting to see how many Wronga shirts are in the crowd today in this first home game.
Most of the drama regarding Pardew’s team selection will be centre around whether Yohan Cabaye plays. The Silver Supremo has been uttering some cryptic words on what the situation actually is. Did Pardew drop Cabaye from the team or did Cabaye actually refuse to play? Or was Pardew trying to make it seem as if it was Cabaye who was refusing to play after criticism for him not playing in last Monday’s mauling by Manchester City? Whatever happened, he’s down on the doubtful list until the team sheets come out.
On the rest, new loan signing Loic Remy will still be nursing his calf on the sidelines alongside Jonas Gutiérrez with his hamstring, and Massadio Haïdara with his knee. Finally, there’s the long, long injury saga of Ryan Taylor with his re-knacked Anterior Cruciate Ligament.
Finally, Newcastle United have one suspension of course, with Steven Taylor will serve the first game of his three match ban for his usual stupid and couterproductive antics on the pitch against Manchester City, which saw him receive a straight red card.
West Ham United.
Pardew will be pleased to know that Big Andy Carroll will still be out for some time with his swollen heel, though not so pleased to know that fellow Toon old boy Kevin Nolan will still be hanging around the box waiting to cause trouble. That just leaves West Ham defender George McCartney, who is out with a knacked knee.
I will be posting the final team sheets for the game when they become available.
Newcastle United and West Ham’s last six games (Premier League only, most recent games first)
|West Ham United||W|W|L|D|L|W||10/18|
In our two games last season, Newcastle United drew 0-0 at their place, though West Ham took all 3 points in a 1-0 victory at St James’ Park earlier in the season, with (you guessed it) Kevin Nolan getting his name on the score sheet. Let’s hope there’ll be no more chicken dancing this afternoon!
What the managers have been saying.
Alan Pardew: “Sam’s an experienced manager, there’s no danger of West Ham going down, they’ve got good players. You like to think they’re in the same bracket as us. So it’s a big game for us. A big three points in that little group I think we’re in.”
Sam Allardyce: “First game of the season at St James’ Park and the fans will lift the players, so we will have to be on top form to make sure we get a result.”
So with that, I shall prepare to sign off now, but only after my usual reminders that though the game will not be televised in the UK, I shall be posting links to watch the game online, as well as highlights, and possibly a video of the whole match when it’s all over!
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Sylvain Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Papiss Cisse.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Paul Dummett, Dan Gosling, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran.
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Jussi Jaaskelainen (G), Guy Demel, James Collins, Winston Reid, Joey O’Brien, Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame, Matt Jarvis, Kevin Nolan (C), Stewart Downing, Modibo Maiga
Subs: Adrian (G), Razvan Rat, James Tomkins, Alou Diarra, Joe Cole, Ravel Morrison, Ricardo Vaz Te.