Venue: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff.
Date: Sat 5th Oct, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leics).
UK TV: None.
No matter what Alan Pardew or the club say, the sharks have started to circle around Alan Pardew now, and if the Magpies lose this one we could well be be seeing a Sky Sports sacking special live from St James’ Park before long. If he wins, it will be a case of Pardew on probation, but the club will then face a nightmare series of games against four of the Premier League’s top clubs, ie Liverpool, Sunderland (ok, maybe not them!), Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham. Poor Pardew, it might be a good idea for him to have Noda Cabs on speed dial?
If it does happen, it can’t be said that it is a huge overreaction to a handful of disappointing result as it was with his predecessor, Chris Hughton. As site reader ‘tunyc’ rightly pointed out on these pages yesterday (I checked), if we look at Pardew’s Premier League record over the last twelve months it has been P38, W11, D6, L21. That’s a shocking total of only 39 points from a season’s worth of games, with a Goal Difference of -27 and a win percentage of only 28.95%.
“It hasn’t been our greatest week but the club we are, we can win 3-0 at Cardiff and everyone will say we’re going to win the league, you just have to go with it.”
In other words, we fans are fickle and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Thanks, Alan, but some of us have actually been remarkably consistent, and know that a insignificant little mediocrity like yourself will never win the Premier League, unless it’s the Blue Square Premier League.
The last time the Magpies met the Blue Dragons, the Red Birds or whatever they are called nowadays in competitive games was two league games in our 2009-10 Championship season, where we narrowly beat them 0-1 at their place, and absolutely hammered them 5-1 at ours. I had to go back as far as the 1983-84 season and the old League Division Two to find the ones before that. However more recently, Pardew did take them them on in a pre season friendly game in preparation for last season, and ended up suffering a 4-1 beating at the Cardiff City stadium. Pardew blamed the defeat on injuries to top players in the squad and the stress of pre season games in Europe (Quelle surprise).
In terms of Premier League form, Cardiff are currently 11th with 8 points after the first six games, with Newcastle trailing in 16th with 7 points and a bigger goal difference. The table below shows how both teams got there (most recent results first).
42% of Cardiff’s attacks come down the right hand side (which is alot). Therefore, Davide Santon on the left will probably have to be at his best in this game.
Injured: Andreas Cornelius (Ankle).
Injured: Ryan Taylor (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Doubtful: Steven Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez (both hamstring).
What the managers have been saying…
“I am expecting a tough game against a team who on their day can take anyone apart.”
Malky Mackay’s pre match press conference where he waxes lyrical about his friend and mentor Alan Pardew (Mackay was captain at Pardew’s West Ham) making some statements about the Silver Fox which are frankly laughable!
“I think all our fans will be looking for a performance. Everton is a result we have to accept, but the performance at Cardiff needs to be high. It needs to be much more relevant to the club that we are.”
Looking at the oppostion he added later:
“They will have their tails up after beating Fulham. They also have an away win under their belts as well as the result at home. Having already beaten Manchester City at home the Cardiff fans are loving their experience of being in the Premier League. This is a tough place to go at the moment, we have to make sure we match that.”
Finally, in the wake of decent performance against Leeds United in the League Cup, and a very good performance to steady the ship against Everton by ‘Iron’ Mike Williamson, Pardew gave a hint that he could be selecting him for a start. When asked about players being dropped after the first half defensive fiasco against Everton he replied:
“I cannot go into detail on what is happening. The most important thing is how you react to not playing, Mike Williamson is a good example of that. He has conducted himself well on the training ground, when the opportunity came against Leeds he did well, then, when he had the chance on Monday night, he took it. I have to repay that in my view.”