Date: Tues 28th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 7.45pm.
UK TV: None.
Hello, good evening and welcome to my last match banter!
Please forgive me if it doesn’t follow the usual script but this piece is really just a way of saying thankyou and farewell to everyone who has read and contributed after almost five years of blogging on Newcastle United here.
A few years ago my ex-friend and colleague, Hugh, left the site suddenly. I’ve managed to struggle along on my own since then, but I now have other things to do with my life, and in the last few days, the abovementioned Hugh has also informed me that he’s going to cut off the server on the 21st February.
Originally this site was supposed to be a co-operative thing with several contributors, but since then it has been just myself for quite some time now, and it has never come close to being what it should’ve been. I have been busy with more important projects, health problems and even trying to have a social life from time to time!
Anyway, once again, thankyou to all and I mean that from the heart of my bottom!
Getting on to the match, Norwich City fans seem to be behaving like deluded ingrates. Despite some significant purchases at the beginning of the season, they have one of the cheapest squads in the Premiership. For most of the season, the least valuable apart from the three promoted sides this season and last season according to Transfermarkt (though Fulham and West Brom have just fallen below them in the last few weeks).
After finishing 12th under Hughton’s prececessor, Paul Lambert, then 11th under Hughton himself, for the first time in years they are around where they should be rather than punching above their weight, largely because Hughton has a team which is in transition to a certain degree.
Because of that, the twelve fingered banjo twangers are now calling for Hughton’s head. If they get their wish, goodbye Norwich, it was nice knowing you. Good luck in League One again! Actually, if things don’t go too well for Hughton this evening, then Alan Pardew could even be responsible for getting Hughton sacked a second time!
As for the Magpies, I have a feeling that Cabaye won’t be getting selected this evening, but I’ll leave it there as this os a special last blog. I’m sure there are one or two other stories elsewhere where you can read about that particular intrigue.
So, that’s about it, except to remind you that as usual, I will post some links where you can watch the game online in the comments section below.
Howay the Lads!
Norwich City (4-4-2): John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Robert Snodgrass, Leory Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington; Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper
Subs: Mark Bunn, Steven Whittaker, Javier Garrido, Alexander Tettey, Nathan Redmond, Johan Elmander, Luciano Becchio
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote (c), Moussa Sissoko; Hatem Ben Arfa, Loic Remy, Sammy Ameobi
Subs: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Adam Armstrong.