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Archive for category: Shola Ameobi.

Can Newcastle cope without Ba and Cisse? – An alternative eleven.

September 3rd, 2012 | 24 Comments |

A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
A potential Newcastle United 11 without Ba and Cisse.
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…)


Newcastle United Vs Aston Villa Match Preview

August 31st, 2012 | 135 Comments |

Old Aston Villa fan.
Villa sign a younger replacement for Shay Given?
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sunday 2nd September,2012.
Kick-Off: 4:00pm.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: None.

Sunday brings Premier League football back to St James’ Park as Aston Villa provide the opponents for a 4pm kick-off. There will be no UK TV broadcast of the fixture so it will be time to scour the internet for links if you’re not attending the match.

Newcastle will look to bounce back from last weeks defeat at Chelsea. While Villa have lost both their Premier League fixtures to date, a 0-1 loss to West Ham, and a 3-1 defeat to Everton last week at Villa Park. Historically Villa have struggled at St James Park, with only one win in the last twelve years. So the omens do look good if you believe records mean something.

Newcastle United Vs Aston Villa History

The way in which the Villans goaded the Magpies back in 2009 when Newcastle were relegated still strikes a nerve with many Toon followers. On Newcastle’s return to the Premier League in 2010 / 2011, Villa provided our first opponents at home, so a chance for some kind of retribution presented itself. Joey Barton, a Kevin Nolan double and an Andy Carroll hat trick helped to inflict a 6-0 mauling for the Magpies. Last season, Papiss Cissé introduced himself in style, controlling Jonas‘ left wing cross and lashing a volley past ex-Magpie Shay Given to secure a 2-1 victory. The last time we lost to Villa at St James’ Park was during the 2004 /  2005 season, where we witnessed Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer fall out very publically and get themselves sent off for fighting after Bowyer felt that Dyer was refusing to pass the ball to him in the game. (more…)


Amsterdam or Bust? Newcastle United vs Atromitos match preview

August 30th, 2012 | 27 Comments |

Ajax's Amsterdam ArenA.
The road to Amsterdam.
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Thusday 30th August, 2012.
Kick-Off: 8:00pm.
Referee: Stephen Studer‎ .
UK TV: ITV 4.

With the sides evenly matched at 1-1 after last week’s first leg Europa League tie in Athens, Newcastle United entertain FC Atromitos at St James’ Park this evening to determine which club will take the road towards the Amsterdam Arena (with some welcome additional revenue), and which team will pack away their passports and sun tan lotion for another season.

Should we prevail and make it through to the Group Stages we’ll be one of 48 teams split into 12 groups who will play one another, home and away during the next few months. After which, if we finish in the top two, we’ll move on to the Round of 32 having been joined by the eight clubs finishing third in their UEFA Champions League group.

Europa League Finances

So what exactly is at stake tomorrow evening? While we all know that this revamped second tier competition is the poor man’s version of the Champions League, it is encouraging for all competing clubs to learn they will now benefit from a greater proportion of the “Market Pool” to help add to the official UEFA prize money. (more…)


Chelsea Vs Newcastle United Match Preview

August 24th, 2012 | 129 Comments |

Chelsea v Newcastle United.
♫ "Blue is the callah, football is the game!" ♫
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.
Date: Saturday 25th August, 2012.
Kick-Off: 5:30pm.
Referee: Phil Dowd.
UK TV: ESPN / HD.

Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea await the Magpies this Saturday, as Newcastle United return to Premier League action in the capital for another live ESPN scheduled encounter.

Alan Pardew will look to build on last weeks 2-1 home victory versus Tottenham Hotspur at a ground in which we are now undefeated for four games. This stretches back to the 2008 / 2009 season where we left with a point after a 0-0 draw.

You can’t help but reminisce about last seasons fixture, where a certain Papiss Cissé opened the scoring with a sublime flick and volley in the first half to put United 1-0 up. Unfortunately for that particular strike, it was completely overshadowed by what he managed to do late into injury time, when he smashed a right-foot volley at an insane angle past Petr Cech, securing Newcastle the three points in a 2-0 victory. If you haven’t witnessed that goal, then I seriously suggest you scroll straight to the bottom of this page right now and watch it before reading any further. (more…)


Cardiff City vs Newcastle United match highlights and Pardew post match interview

August 12th, 2012 | 10 Comments |

Highlights and Alan Pardew’s post match interviews from yesterday’s 4-1 defeat to Cardiff City, which saw the Magpies go 3-0 down within 20 minutes of the kickoff thanks to goals from Cardiff’s Aron Gunnarsson and Joe Ralls. Whilst Newcastle United did strike back with a Shola Ameobi penalty just after the restart, Cardiff completed a comprehensive defeat with a fourth goal in the 76th minute strike from Etien Velikonja.

In his post match interview, Alan Pardew blamed injuries to key players and the attitude of his squad for the rout. You can read more details about the injuries the squad are facing in my previous piece. (more…)