62 players from 37 clubs around the world have called on UEFA chief Michel Platini to strip Israel of their right to host the UEFA Under-21 European Championship in solidarity with the people of Gaza after the recent killings by Israel of over 100 Palestinians in the Gaza strip.
Of the 62, five Newcastle United players, as well as one ex-Newcastle United player (Leon Best), have been signatories to the statement condemning the slaughter. This is the second highest contingent of players on the list after French club, Olympique de Marseille (though there was no Joey Barton on the list). The Newcastle United signatories to the statement are Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cissé, Sylvain Marveaux and finally, Cheikh Tioté. Strangely though, there is no Hatem Ben Arfa there.
The full statement, along with the list of 62 signatories and their clubs is below:
“We, as European football players, express our solidarity with the people of Gaza who are living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom. The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the death of over a hundred civilians, was yet another stain on the world’s conscience.(more…)
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Another disappointing home defeat for the Magpies as they were sunk by two goals, with Swansea’s leading goalscorer Michu getting his seventh of the season in the 58th minute. A disastrous sliced clearence from Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal fell to the Swans’ Spanish international winger Pablo Hernandez, who then proceeded to bang in an excellent cross straight on to the head of his fellow Spaniard, who headed powerfully past the hapless flying Dutchman. (more…)
A high quality live stream of this evening’s second leg Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse’s Senegal, and Cheick Tiote’s Ivory Coast.
In case you don’t know, the outcome of this game could have important consequences for Newcastle United. If underdogs Senegal manage to overcome a two goal deficit (the first leg was 4-2 to the Ivorians), then the club could find that their only proper strikers during the ACON tournament proper, which will be held in South Africa from the 19th January to the 10 February, will be the Shola Ameobi and Academy hitman, Adam Campbell, though Shola’s brother Sammy can also play upfront at a push and Hatem Ben Arfa can act as a “second” striker. It’s not a great situation though. On the other hand, if favourites, Ivory Coast win, then we will be without key midfield enforcer, Cheick Tiote. Whoever goes, they will not be available for our games against Reading (19th Jan), Aston Villa (29th Jan), Chelsea (2nd Feb) and Tottenham (9th Feb).
Who do you think Newcastle United will miss more?
Looking forward to this evening’s game, Alan Pardew had this to say:(more…)
Highlights of this afternoon’s game between the Magpies and the Royals at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.
A real “game of two halves,” the first one being one of the most tedious 45 minutes in the whole of human history, and the second being somewhat better than that with four goals, one of them a controversial “Hand of Allah” effort from Newcastle United’s Demba Ba.
With Alan Pardew paying a visit to his old protege, Brian McDermott, at Reading’s Madejski Stadium. It was hardly surprising that this was a managerial “meeting of the minds” with two 90s style 4-4-2 sides pumping crosses into the box. (more…)
Extended MOTD highlights of yesterday’s game between Newcastle united and Norwich at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
A sublime defence splitting pass from Hatem Ben Arfa, along with an excellent finish from Demba Ba in the 19th minute was the difference between the two sides. Norwich almost struck back on the counter after 27 minutes when Snodgrass’s head connected with Hoolahan’s left hand cross and the visitors would have scored had his effort not been headed off the line by Williamson. (more…)
A rather uninspiring match from both sides, with Newcastle seemingly having difficulties getting started in both halves and Chris Hughton seemingly still tinkering around with his new Norwich side somewhat as he try to find the right balance. However, once again it was moment of excellence from Ben Arfa in the form of a brilliant defence splitting pass to in form striker, Demba Ba, who finished it off with his usual composure. Something which wasn’t the case with his partner in crime, Papiss Cisse. His wildly off target penalty, won for a push on Mike Williamson by Steve Morison in the area just before half time is currently troubling satellites in the upper atmosphere!
Speaking in a pre match press conference for this evening’s Europa League game against Maritimo in Funchal, Alan Pardew has revealed his displeasure at the recent words of Demba Ba’s spokesman, Alex Gontran, also revealing that there is STILL a release clause in the player’s contract.
Telling the media of a recent conversation with Ba about his spokesman’s comments, with Ba himself also revealing that “lately I am not so happy with some things going on.” at the club in his Everton post match interview, Pardew commented:
“I have spoken to Demba [about his agent] and told him I was disappointed with some of the comments around him. Sometimes it’s out of his control and out of my control. We know each other well enough. I just think people were saying things they shouldn’t say, really.”
Pardew then reiterated however that despite all the current fuss and bother, they still have a good working relationship, saying: (more…)
Highlights of this evening’s game between the Toffees and the Magpies at Goodison Park.
It was something of a “game of two halves” this evening, with Everton completely dominating the first 45 minutes with some excellent attacking football which left the Toon completely in their wake. For all their domination, they went in at the break with only one goal to the scoreboard, a great diagonal effort across Harper by Leighton Baines in the 15th minute. (more…)
Following the departures of Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands Newcastle United have only three recognised strikers in our 12/13 squad – fact.
A much documented lack of transfer activity has left countless Geordies despondent with the size of our squad entering a hectic season, yearning for the signature of a new striker. The biggest worry is that whilst both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are competing in the African Cup of Nations (or potentially injured) we will be left unable to cope without arguably our two most recognised strikers, where a lack of goals could become a defining factor in our Premier League campaign. It’s worth noting that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse contributed a huge 53% of our goals total in the Premier League last year (29 of 55), highlighting their importance.
So, should we of signed another striker? Not necessarily. Can we cope without Ba and Cisse? I believe so. A conventional 4-4-2 formation is unachievable should only one recognised striker in Shola Ameobi be available, but alternatives can be utilised to apt effect. Of 38 Premier League fixtures last season a 4-4-2 formation was utilised 26 times (68.4%). What about our other fixtures? We were often tagged as operating in a 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation with 1 conventional striker, 3 advanced mid-fielders and 2 central defensive mid-fielders in behind operating predominately defensively. Why could this not be used in the few games where both Cisse and Ba would not be available? Another alternative would be to play a 4-4-1-1 formation (often favoured by Alan Pardew’s predecessor Chris Hughton) with Ben Arfa operating in what is essentially a free role behind Shola Ameobi. (more…)