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Archive for category: Injuries and fitness.

Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview and match banter!

December 7th, 2013 | 72 Comments |

Two teams needing to bounce back.
Two teams needing to bounce back.
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Date: Sat 7th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 12.45pm.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
UK TV: BT Sport.

Well both teams go into this one still reeling from defeats in midweek.

For the Magpies, Alan Pardew’s four game winning streak was brought to a shuddering halt after a tactical masterclass in adversity from Swansea’s Michael Laudrup. After losing their third striker Alvaro Vazquez to a groin strain, Laudrup reacted by bringing on Nathan Dyer and using Jonjo Shelvey in a so called ‘false nine’ role. They went on to transform the game with a goal each, with Shelvey also forcing Mathieu Debuchy into scoring an own goal for a 3-0 defeat.

Newcastle United are still roughly where they should be in the league though, seventh. Meanwhile, Manchester United certainly aren’t after their midweek defeat to Everton. The Red Devils thought they’d try a grumpy Glaswegian as manager for a change, but now find themselves languishing two places below the Magpies in ninth place with only six wins from their fourteen Premier League games so far. (more…)


Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion mega preview and match banter!

November 30th, 2013 | 95 Comments |

Newcaastle United v West Bromwich Albion.
Can we throttle the Throstles for four in a row?
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 30th Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 5.30pm.
Referee: Phil Dowd.
UK TV: Sky Sports 1.

Could we be celebrating four wins in a row this evening?

If the Magpies do manage to wrestle a juicy three point worm from the Throstles at tea time, it would be the first first time they have managed such a feat since March and April of 2012. Back then, they beat Norwich, this evening’s opponents, Liverpool, Swansea, Bolton and finally Stoke in a 6 match winning run, before finally succumbing to a 4-0 hammering at Wigan.

Although that was in the Spring before last, the side had an unseasonal 4-3-2-1 ‘Christmas Tree’ formation with a potent ‘delta force’ of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa up front. During the West Brom game in that run I jokingly referred to Alan Pardew as ‘Alan Pardiola.’ The Guardian’s North East football correspondent, Louise Taylor, actually took me seriously and the phrase stuck amongst spme fans for a while. (more…)


Newcastle United vs Norwich City mega match preview

November 23rd, 2013 | 2 Comments |

Chris Hughton.
Hughton returns to St James’ Park.
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 23rd Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
UK TV: None.

Chris Hughton’s Norwich City seem to be a team in transition at the moment.

Despite bringing in quite a few new players in the last transfer window and very creditable 11th and 12th placed finishes in their last two campaigns, they still have a very modest squad by Premier League standards. Both Hughton’s predecessor Paul Lambert and Hughton himself punched well above their weight, so much so that some Norwich fans have become rather unrealistic about the squad’s real strength, with some ingrates even calling for Hughton’s sacking when, for the first time since they were promoted, they were about where they should have been, third or fourth from the bottom of the table.

Quite a bit if this has probably been due to the two managers difference in approach. Whilst Hughton’s predessor Paul Lambert would have a go, I think it could be said Hughton’s approach to get Norwich punching above their weight in the League was somewhat more cautious and ‘defensive’ in his first season at Carrow Road, albeit with very similar results in the League for the two managers. (more…)


Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United mega match preview

November 9th, 2013 | 33 Comments |

Tottenham Hotspur clock.
Will the Cockerels get a good stuffing?
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sun 9th Nov, 2013.
Kick off: 12.00 noon.
Referee: Chris Foy.
UK TV: Sky Sports 1.

Well this one will certainly test the commitment of our away fans.

A 12.00 noon kick off down in the big smoke should see a couple of thousand Geordies or so waking up to pitch darkness with a long dawn trek before them. Something which isn’t an issue for myself as being a Geordie in North London, Arsenal’s stadium is but a leisurely walk away and White Hart Lane a mere tube or mini-cab ride away.

Of course, the Magpies will probably go into this one with more confidence than usual, having just beaten another London giant 2-0. but can they repeat that performance away from home?

Well it could be very difficult. Although Tottenham have a derisory amount of goals for a team who are currently fourth in table (only 9 in 10 games), the other side is that they have been as tight as a gnat’s chuff at the back, only letting in 5 goals. This is the second lowest in the Premier League behind Southampton’s even more miserly 4 goals conceeded. In their 17 games in all competitions this season, they have kept 13 clean sheets. Hence, they could be VERY tough to break down and unlike Chelsea they will also have home advantage of course.

Previous results. (more…)


Sunderland vs Newcastle United mega match preview

October 26th, 2013 | 17 Comments |

Sunderland fans.
Time to face the Banjo twangers again.
Venue: Stadium of Blight, Blunderland.
Date: Sun 27th Oct, 2013.
Kick off: 1.30pm.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: Sky Sports.

“They’re an odd lot let me tell you; ideas above their station yet supporting a team who are nothing more than a hindrance even when at their best under Peter Reid.”

Wrote Sir Alex Grumpyface on Sunderland fans. I think he is referring to the time when they once came seventh under their simian faced supremo, with Peter Reid winning a Manager of the Year award then bombing the next season in a style later emulated beautifully by our own silver supremo in the his last two seasons on Tyneside. But as most Newcastle United fans know, our old friend Sunderland is always there so we can say to ourselves “oh well, things could be worse!”

Meanwhile on Newcastle and it’s fans, old red nose had the following to say:

“If you bring success to those fans you will have achieved something that will write you into the folklore of a special city. To go so long without and whiff of success yet still retain that amount of passion is unique.”

Which is better than that stuff about “a wee club from the north-east.”

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