PC0008_Papiss_Cisse_Newcastle_United_NUFCAlan Pardew will have been hoping two of his biggest attacking threats make it onto the pitch on Sunday against Stoke.

The manager has today updated on the progress of Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa towards the match against the Potters.

On Cisse’s illness over the past week which kept him out of the match in Moscow, Pardew had this to say to the Chronicle;

“I don’t think it will keep him out of the game next Thursday (v Anzhi), it is just whether he can make it on Sunday (Stoke)”.

As for Hatem Ben Arfa who made a surprising start in Moscow it was more definite news, the manager said;

“Hatem lasted longer than I thought (v Anzhi), at halfway I thought we might have to take him off but he got through to sixty minutes.

It that electric sharpness he has, he got away a few times but couldn’t get away fully. That will come though in the next two weeks but he will be involved against Stoke”.

The possible absence of Papiss Cisse would throw up an interest dilemma for the manager, whether to play Yoan Gouffran through the middle or bring Shola in, maybe a lot will depend on whether Ben Arfa is in a position to start which could then free up Gouffran for a more forward role.

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22 comments
Demented_Man
Demented_Man

And yet another reiteration of the 'Support the team, not the regime' slogan.  Yawn.


You don't really want me to tell you that is way past its sell-by date, do you?

Weller
Weller

A great article that sums up the conflicting emotions neatly. I find it hard to switch off my desire for the team to do well, but I also understand that some slightly improved form next season may prolong the agony in the long term.

The regime does have to go. Maybe team up with one of the 'non-preferred' press partners to go after them

Andgeo
Andgeo

I tend to agree with most of your comments but on this one I disagree. NUFC simply cannot go on with Mike Ashley. We have to get rid of him and for the sake of our club this has to be done now, at all costs. The longer this goes on the harder it will be to rebuild on every level not just on the pitch. The reputational damage is just as bad as the complete rubbish we have had to endure on the pitch. We all need to make a stand now. This guy is a complete failure as a football club owner and has absolutely no business pulling the strings at our football club, never mind using the club to subsidise his already multi billion pound fortune in the name of financial control. Ashley out!!

desree
desree

If those who go to games want to see real change, the only answer is to stop going.

Ashley understands the retail business well. He knows that if customers don't go to his shops he goes bust.

Whilst I agree that he has contempt for fans, what about his other customers ie skysports and the PL. Are sky and the PL sit back whilst there are empty stadiums tarnishing their brand and product. Just like a high end shopping mall wouldn't tolerate sports direct, neither would the pl.

Don't underestimate to power of fans, if we all pull in the same direction then we will win.

The bickering between us is senseless. If you wanted the tories out, would you vote for them in the polls?

Supporting the team is admirable it is also an endorsement for NUFC to continue along the sane path.

I really hope that the lack of transfer activity is down to us having deals in progress. The lack of activity suggests otherwise.

DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag

@desree the trouble is, Sky and the papers would love there to be loads of turmoil, a relegation dogfight, crying fans on the final day of the season.  It makes great TV and sells papers.  Their 'brand' isn't about positive football, it's about drama, about theatre...it doesn't have to be positive stories, negative ones tend to sell better anyway.  I'm sure we have deals in the making, even Ashley can't be that stupid to think we are going to be OK going into the new season with what we already have...

foggy
foggy

@DownUnderMag @desree  Maybe Ashley is looking at the first half of last season and thinking to himself that the team were doing ok. Then along comes a complete donkey of a coach to nearly scupper his happy ship in the second half of the season

So Ashley thinks that with a better coach, same squad we'll be safe as the titanic was rumoured to be.

desree
desree

I ditched the foxtel subscription in Feb and won't be paying to watch nufc again. And everything you mention will be massive brand damage for sports direct.

desree
desree

we won 6 games in a row the other 32 were garbage. He will likely be thinking along your lines though, hence the horse and cart analogy, it can mean anything he wants it mean.

Andgeo
Andgeo

That's why the message to the fat scum needs to be loud and clear from the first whistle.

Andgeo
Andgeo

It's not so much stupidity it is ignorance and arrogance. He thinks he knows best. In reality most toon fans would have done a better job.

jack1x
jack1x

There's no flickering light , only doom and gloom , the latest we are linked with , reading midfielder , derby striker , are these the quality signings we weed told about , it's gonna be a long hard struggling season again , not looking forward to it at all , the only way is is to boycott en masse , get this regime out , the only way to save our club .

foggy
foggy

@jack1x  We'll all know the season is well and truly F'd when Bournmouth beat us home and away

grahame49
grahame49

In our lows in the 70s 80s and 90s our crowds dropped to under 10000 at times and regularly under 15000, I was in them crowds a lot of the time and a regular at away games in late 70s early 80s from 500 at Bolton on a Tues night to 10000 at man u to see a 5 0 defeat, but its never felt as hard to love my club as it is today. To the 50000 who turned up at west ham game well done this season is a hard choice for some easy for others

Ring around Uranus
Ring around Uranus

This current squad of players is the weakest in the premier league,end of.

Shipcote Willy
Shipcote Willy

Disagree with 'support the team not the regime'because by supporting the team you are supporting the regime. Ashley has caused apathy but also split the fans by exploiting their loyalty. Some will support the team come what may whilst others will boycott. It seems that whatever we do he will continue to dumb down and shrink the club. Our status in the football world diminishes with every year he is in charge. Blindly supporting the tram while Ashley does this smacks of burying heads in the sand.

DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag

@Shipcote Willy I agree, it's a catch-22.  Support the team and hope they do everyone proud and cement Ashley in place ... or... boycott and protest in hope for change but risk the club getting relegated.  Would relegation even help?  Ashley would still want return on his investment, there would still be the parachute payments and he would have the perfect excuse to refuse investment.  Or could that be the thing that finally makes him sit up and pay attention?  It's a tough call and a bit of a gamble either way...I think it is something that every fan needs to make a decision on for themselves, not because certain fans do it therefore expect everyone else to do it.  it's a tough call, fans have their reasons either way, I was playing devils advocate in trying to show both sides to the story.

Who knows, we may be sitting reading articles on here in 3 or 4 weeks time about a successful transfer window, looking forward to the new season and Ashley having finally turned the corner.  I'll not hold my breath mind you!

JohnBatchelor
JohnBatchelor

A well written article and a fair point of view. I'm afraid I have to disagree with several (but not all) of your points though.

Boycotting games brings huge amounts of negative publicity upon MA and his retched cohorts. When this began to happen towards the end of last season MA embarked upon a desperate publicity offensive culminating in his final day 'interview' to try and prevent further fan action. Negative publicity and coordinated fan action scares him far more than the relatively minor loss in revenue. For this reason I think boycotts and protests are very effective. It's heat he can't ignore because it plainly highlights the awful truth of what he's done and continues to do, but on a national rather than local scale.

Worrying about what other fans will say is pointless. Who cares? Really though? I don't care what fans of other clubs think about NUFC fans. They already think we're entitled, sentimental and reactionary. I couldn't care less if their opinion becomes worse than that. MA has turned the club into a joke already so why worry? A lot of people need to face that and start taking meaningful action against the owner rather than accepting the terrible situation as it stands. Blindly supporting the team on the basis of it being a social occasion does nothing to help the dire situation we find ourselves in.

Sorry for the essay! Just felt I needed to add my tuppence worth!

Chemical Dave
Chemical Dave

Totally agree with your comment about worrying what fans of other clubs think, its weak and its pathetic IMO.

DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag

@JohnBatchelor Tuppence worth accepted, that was my point, generate some proper discussion rather than just the cathartic complaints we see so often these days.

I fully respect any fan who wants to stay away, that is their way of trying the affect change and I honestly hope that if enough do it then it will bring about change.

I personally don't worry about the other fans opinions, but some fans do.  It's never nice having your loyalty brought into question but often it's more down to jealousy than anything which actually makes me laugh when you see what happens when certain clubs don't win anything for a season or two, yet the media tend never to label them as glory hunters etc...