With little sign of optimism returning to the club for the remainder of this season, many Mags would quite happily sign off a deal to waive our remaining fixture obligations, stick our feet up and save ourselves a load of time, effort and hassle to watch what is currently being served up under the name of ‘Newcastle United.’ If I’m being honest, that seems like a canny idea to me too. I’ve tired of Pardew’s, shit excuses. I’ve tired of a group of our players being absolutely, shite, you know who they are, there’s a huge list of the fuckers. I’ve tired of our fans arguing amongst each other (usually on the social media circuit mind.) I’ve tired of wishing for some zillionaire fancying blowing a load of money on shiny new players to make us World Club Champions. I’ve grown tired of people telling me that there’s a way out of Ashley’s ownership, without a viable, willing buyer ready to slip Mike Ashley approx £350m or a donation of similar size being gifted to NUST. Honestly man, I’ve not been this disillusioned with NUFC in all my life, and worst thing about this is, we’ve had much poorer teams than this before too.
I know what’ll happen though, well get 2 weeks into the summer and I’ll be climbing up the wall for trips to Burnley, Leicester, West Ham, etc etc and end up spunking £500 quid on a pre-season friendly weekend in Germany!
So this weekend, it’s a trip to Stoke. Both teams have fuck all to play for (Needle scratch on the record sound)……….. well that would have been the case until Pardew told us that Southampton being below us in the table, meant they had something to play for, it was just us, being above them, who didn’t. So applying the same logic, Stoke have lots to play for, but we have nowt.
Stoke’s current form or home record is immaterial as absolutely everybody look destined to pump 3 or 4 past us at the minute. So I see no reason why Stoke should be any different.
Peter Crouch has 10 goals so far, complete, shit bag, Jon Walters has 4, the same as Odemwighie. Charlie Adam, Robert Huth, Assaidi are doubtful whilst Stephen Ireland is expected to return to the side.
Tim Krul is ready to return in goal but Remy, Debuchy, Sissoko, Sammy Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and apparently, Obertan are still injured. Sylvain Marveaux’s captors have struck again!
So Krul should return between the sticks, which would mean Elliot drops back to the bench.
Santon had a decent game going forward from RB last weekend but his defending still remains poor, but I expect he’ll feature at RB. Haidara vs. Dummett for the left back, with the loser probably playing in midfield? If it’s Coloccini and Willaimson again at CB then I hope they stop deploying the ‘hoping a little lie down in front of the attacker’ tactic before they shoot will put them off, as it simply doesn’t work.
In midfield, well, probably more of Tiote and Anita looking like they need a hand, the out of sorts, Gouffran on the left and either somebody to blame on the right, or another appearance for Gosling.
Up front, I expect Pardew to persist with Cisse and De Jong, of whom I initially joked about his similarities to Big, Rob McDonald, but in fact, I was being harsh on the 88/89 hotshot. McDonald bagged 1 goal in 10 (6 starts, 4 subs) whilst De Jong has 0 in 10 (7 starts, 3 subs.) So I then thought about 1 in 14 (13 starts, 1 sub) Frank Pingel…. it’s either ‘the new Frank Pingel’ or he’s going in the pile with Andy Walker and Paul Moran, if he can’t score at all in his stay on Tyneside.
I doubt there’s a more annoying sight for a sub than to be told to warm up for ages and then watch someone else go on for a couple of minutes, but, that’s exactly what we did to Alan Armstrong last weekend. Shola has had his time at United, he’s been a good servant despite being far from the best player we’ve ever had, he doesn’t deserve to be wheeled out at 0-3 for a couple of minutes.
Ryan Taylor – Knee – Next Season
Obertan – Knee – No return date
Sissoko – Calf
Debuchy – Groin
Remy – Ankle
Sammy Ameobi – Foot
Possible Team (4-2-2-2)
1.Tim Krul: 2. Davide Santon, 5. Mike Williamson, 6. Fabricio Coloccini, 3. Massaido Haidara: 8. Vurnon Anita, 4. Cheick Tiote: 7. Dan Gosling, 11. Yoan Gouffran: 11. Luuk De Jong: 9. Papiss Cisse
Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Shola Ameobi, Paul Dummett, Adam Armstrong, Hatem Ben Arfa,
Referee: Mike Jones
League History at Stoke
1984/85: Won 1-0, United would finish just 3 points above the drop zone in our 1st season back in Division One, Those 3 points were enough to put 6 places between us and 3rd bottom Norwich. Our last away win of the season would come at The Victoria Ground where a Stoke O.G. settled the result. Attendance, 7,088
1989/90: Lost 1-2 A Boxing Day defeat as our league form took a turn for the worse, whilst our all important Zenith Data Systems cup run rolled along nicely!! Kevin Scott’s goal wasn’t enough for the Magpies as we lost the side who would finish bottom of the league. . Attendance, 14,878
2008/09: Drew 1-1 Played out in typical Stoke, snidey, atmosphere, United fell behind after what was becoming ‘standard’ defending for the season saw ex Mag, Abdoulaye Faye score from a corner. Whilst most knew relegation was in the post, a false moment of belief occurred when Andy Carroll thumped a superb header home for a late equaliser. Obafemi Martins phoned in sick, but to be honest, this prick was a waste of time anyway. Attendance, 27,382
2010/11: Lost 0-4 A hideous afternoon, one which is beginning to look increasingly like norm under Alan Pardew. This was a one to forget quickly. Attendance, 27,505
2011/12: Won 3-1 Our barnstorming start to the season continued as we thumped the Potters on a Monday night, with Demba Ba rattling in a hat trick. An ironic twist being that Stoke had pulled out of a deal to sign Ba after discovering a problem with his knee. Walters struck their consolation from the penalty spot. Attendance, 26,564
2012/13: Lost 1-2 We managed to make it no wins in 5 (4 defeats) with another loss in the potteries. Papiss Cisse’s 1st goal with his foot since he started using Tony Cunnigham’s old boots had put us 1-0 up and on course for a win. But, obviously, this being Newcastle United, we don’t do that sort of thing and promptly conceded to shit, late goals to Walters and Jerome, and lost 2-1. Attendance, 26,7793
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Set pieces I’d imagine, will be problematic on Saturday. Jon Walters seems partial to finding the back of our net, Crouch will be a handful, no doubt Odemwinghie’s pace will be too.
I definitely predict the scoreline will have ‘Newcastle 0’ in it. Stole will probably score 3. 4 if they’re half decent.