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MATCH PREVIEW: Watford v Newcastle United 9/01/16 KO: 3pm Vicarage Road, FAC 3rd Round.

by • January 6, 2016 • Match previewsComments (16)2863

Let’s get one thing out of the way.  Newcastle United do not need to ‘concentrate on the league’.  We’ve been ‘concentrating on the league’ for the last 8 odd years, and we’ve been largely pathetic in the league.  Concentrating on the league is what Lee Charnley wants you to do.  Not ask questions about our cup form. Buy your season ticket. Think about the Premier League. Watch Sky and their cowardly pundits who name NUFC as a ‘crisis’ club but blame the fans rather than the people who have created yet another crisis.

Going out of the cup at the 3rd round stage in 2008/09 didn’t stave off relegation.  Going out of the cup in the 3rd round in 12/13 didn’t stop a disastrous slump in form that saw Pardew’s side nearly relegated.  Not being in the FA Cup didn’t help in 13/14 when Pardew’s side lost 6 Premier League games in a row and plummeting from 4th on Boxing day to 10th place winning just four more games all season.  Going out of the cup last year didn’t stop the horrific scenes we were subject to under John Carver,  In fact, you know what, I can’t think of a single season where Newcastle United ‘benefited’ from being out of any cup competition.?

I do remember season 99/00 when United were under the threat of relegation with Bobby Robson newly installed as MiguelBotosmanager.  No mentions of ‘concentrating’ on the league. Got to the semi final that year and should have won it.  Our league form saw us miles away from relegation second half of the season.  If you need other examples, you don’t have to look that far.  Gus Poyet’s ‘miracle’ survival at SAFC 13/14 was achieved with a run to the Carling Cup Final and the FA Cup quarter final.  Last season Leicester’s victory over us in the third round was their first home win since September.  They lost only twice more at home all season.  As a struggling team you have to start somewhere.  You have to win games.  Any games.  Winning is the key.  Scoring goals is the key.  If I see any more mags on twitter saying they want to lose this weekend I might just explode.  We need to win.  It’s a must win.

It’s a must win for several reasons.  I have lost all faith in the manager. He will relegate us.  He’s not to blame for NUFC being hopeless as a club – but the squad at his disposal is better than several sides above him.  It’s not better than many in the league, but a few above us.  He’s not good enough.  Can he turn it around?  Of course he can and he can start by winning this weekend.  Let’s go into Man Utd (who are beatable) in the knowledge that he has organised a side to go and do the rarest of things – win a game of FA Cup football for Newcastle United. The record in the cup under Ashley is so poor that the club needs this badly – or it should do.  I’m sick of no football on cup weekends.  We’re Newcastle United FFS – not some championship club (yet) who see the FA Cup is a no hope opportunity that is in the way.  In fact you’ll find plenty of Championship clubs who’ve put NUFC to shame in this cup in the last 10 years, we should be looking to have a go at this.

I want to watch cup draws again.  I want to head to SJP on a Saturday to see us play against spirited but ultimately inferiorPavel is a Geordie charity t-shirt opposition.  The grind of the Premier League means gluts of goals and easy days at the office are few and far between.  The FA Cup provides that antidote.  I want to watch a game where I’m not looking at my phone constantly in a state of panic that one of the newly promoted/other terribly run clubs have scored.  Yes it’s a shit draw (again) and Watford rightly start as favourites.  If the manager is worried about suspensions/injuries – change the team.  I don’t care about the line up.  We’ve lost enough games in the past three years to prove team selection isn’t the key in the cups.  It’s attitude and desire.  I love what Watford have done this season, they’re currently 10x the side we are – but it’s Watford away, not Man City.  We should be going there to win.

I would play some fringe player.  Not to rest first teamers, but to see if any of these lads could get a game for the first team.  Play Perez up top and De Jong behind.  Give Thauvin 90 on the left.  Play Sissoko and Janmaat becuase we have to.  Is Lascelles, at 6 foot 4, a better option than Colo?  Let’s find out.  Pair him with Dummet – a fine CB – and play Mbabu at LB where he did so well earlier this season.  Play Winjaldum inside with Tiote and tell him to get forward.  I’m sick of seeing the same players fail for NUFC.  I want to see lads come in and give everything for the shirt, in the hope of playing Premier League football.

I have no idea what type of side Watford will put out.  They could put a full side out, as their season is secure already as a success.  Like us, their manager will probably want to look at some fringe players.

Either way lets go and beat them.  It will mean a lot of things to a lot of people, and you never know who you’ll get in the next round.

Prediction: 3-2 United


ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 


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16 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Watford v Newcastle United 9/01/16 KO: 3pm Vicarage Road, FAC 3rd Round.

  1. Emile Strunz says:

    Brilliant article.

  2. Ian Summers says:

    Is Colocinni injured yet?

  3. Nick Turnbull says:

    Bang on

  4. mike says:

    I agree 100% however with this lot you know afore the game what the manager/coach/players attitude will be. I hope im wrong but this shower are not interested.

  5. Stephen says:

    Brilliantly put.

  6. Simon Sharp says:

    Great article. Shame that it won’t happen. No-one in any “directing” role at the club has any interest in anything beyond bringing in the coin that comes from the Premier League and SKY and anything perceived as “jeopardising” that objective (although you eloquently cite the reasons why it’s bollocks – cup runs don’t get you relegated, consistently poor form does) will be set aside. Lee Charnley is blinkered. John Carver was similarly blinkered, so was Pardew in not taking this competition seriously. But given the man who owns the club, are you surprised that easy money comes before pride and glory?

  7. Big Coll says:

    totally agree, and when we went out v Chelsea in ’96 it was supposed to pave the way for premier glory… Man U won both! A winning mentality is essential. I’ll stick up for Pardew though, he gave the Europa a go in 2013 and we were unlucky in the end v Benfica. Going out of FA Cup doesn’t hurt nearly as much as having a ‘void Saturday’ while other sides continue their quest for glory..

    • Ian Summers says:

      During the Ashley era we persistently lose momentum by switching off in Cup competitions eg Sheffield Wed. reserves this year. Problem is our club never switch on again and sleepwalk into yet another relegation battle. The debate here is not really about do we compete in the cups or focus on the league. Our club is not professional enough to make that kind of choice. It is all about maintaining the momentum of recent performances which I feel have been good. We have deserved more than recent results but if we fail as we did against Sheff Wed. how long will it take to recover recent momentum. This could be our biggest game of the season? Any cynisism regarding Colocinni is not about resting him but more the patronising unnecessary lies that are typical of Sports Direct United.

  8. Anton says:

    Great article!
    Let’s just stop throwing games – a football club’s priority is to play football and win football games. Winning points (and games) wins prizes. Winning gives you confidence so you can reach your potential as a player and a team. Not rocket science.

    Pardew, Allardyce and now Klopp are building a career out of excuses: too many fixtures over Christmas; the African Cup, which always comes as a surprise to Big Sam (why do you think these players are available at knock-down prices you muppet? risk is always priced in); timely “injuries” to key players (Coloccini, Remy), etc.

    Also, Thauvin needs a chance. Unless we’re hiding a Gareth Bale-like secret weapon in our U21s, he is the future. Let’s see if he can do it.

  9. Peter Shearer says:

    Based on what we have seen so far, if Thauvin is our future then things are even worse than we think!

    • Ian Summers says:

      Get off his back and let the fella play. The media panned Thierry Henry throughout his first season at Arsenal.

  10. Dave says:

    Can’t disagree with any of that preview, you’re spot on Alex. If our beloved owner is to be believed after his impromptu appearance before the West Ham game last season, we’ll be going all out to pick a strong team with the intention of winning & with the luck of the draw go as far as we can in this competition. I guess by 5pm on Saturday we’ll know just how sincere Ashley was.

  11. Dave says:

    Another thought Alex, if the current owner/MD/scout/head coach (& whatever Moncur’s role is) along with the players had half the passion, commitment & desire you show then we wouldn’t be in this sad predicament.

  12. tom Bates says:

    I think we have only won 3 fa cup games in Ashleys 9 or so years and never progressed beyond the 4th round. Pardew must have the worst FA cup record of all our managers. Only a modern fan brainwashed by the SKY premier league propaganda machine could think the cup doesn’t matter. The fact NUFC are a big club is down to their glorious cup history in the 50s giving them national exposure and being recognised as one of the biggest in English football. Sadly staying up is now viewed as the target for us and lots of clubs rather than trying to win a cup which was the point of football in the olden days. Sod it I would rather win the cup and get relegated and risk doing a Wigan rather than go out of the cup and celebrate finishing 17th in the league.

  13. tom Bates says:

    I wish the 4th champions league spot went to the cup winners that would get the likes of Ashley taking it seriously. Currently it’s just us stupid backward supporters who care about it who still think a trophy is more important than securing easy millions for treading water in the league. We need Charnley to educate us on the true purpose of a football club and how those pesky cups just get in the way.