‘If you can’t beat them, kick them. That was Newcastle United’s motto at Swansea yesterday. Luckily for those who like the beautiful game, the below the belt dirty approach of Alan Pardew’s strugglers only worked for 86 minutes.’
Articles by David Wilson
That has now gone up another level with Anzhi forced to play their ‘home’ Europa League matches in Moscow, the last one against Hannover having a reported attendance of 12,000.
The squad was patently not strong enough last September and most of us would accept that if Sunday’s match had taken place pre-January signings, then it is pretty certain we wouldn’t be now six points clear of the relegation zone and looking upwards.
For too long over the years we have had too many players who were tied to particular parts of the pitch and who didn’t have the ability or mobility to interchange and unsettle the opposition.
Options are starting to spring up around the pitch and adding to that mix in the summer could see Newcastle become a real force .
First things first though, let’s win this Europa League!
Alan Pardew said he would settle for a score draw as that would put his team through but the players went one better, he should be a very proud and satisfied boss tonight.
Massadio Haidara makes his debut as United name very decent starting eleven v FC Metalist.
The first twenty minutes could be crucial as we saw how good Metalist’s South American contingent were on the ball at St.James’ Park and you can imagine them coming out with all guns blazing. If Newcastle get through that opening period undamaged then we should have the players on the pitch who can score the necessary goals. It could be some game.
The amount of money swilling around UEFA and the best idea they can find to move football on into the twenty first century is to stick another official behind each goal, you quite literally ‘couldn’t make it up’.
United played Bradford in a League Cup 3rd round match in November 2000 and it attracted a crowd of 41,847, yet two years later Newcastle attracted fewer fans to Champions League home matches against Dynamo Kiev, Feyenoord and Bayer Leverkusen! How do you work that one out?