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Newcastle v sunderland – The Mind Games Begin

10 years ago

Following knocks to Cissé, Ba, Tiote and Cabaye in the match against Wolves, Alan Pardew was asked about fitness worries for the sunderland match….

“I don’t think so, I don’t think there’s anything there to worry about”.

With under a week to go I’m already worried about the mackem match, not that I think they’re a match for our lot but experience tells me that form/class/league positions can count for nothing. Even when we had our very best teams including Ferdinand, Shearer, Given, Beardsley, Bellamy, Speed, Robert, Lee and so on, there was rarely more than a goal in it.

The sheer madness of the derby games was shown when one of Newcastle’s worst ever performances saw a final score of 4-1 after trailing in what would prove to be Alan Shearer’s last match.

I am reassured by Pardew’s comments but on the other hand I’m not, if players were a worry would he be telling us (and so the mackems at the same time), would I be wanting him to tell us? I suppose the answer is no but it doesn’t help calm my nerevs ahead of Sunday.

Then we have Papiss Cissé removed from the Senegal squad for this week’s friendly as a ‘precautionary’ move.

Am I supposed to be just thankful he doesn’t have to put up with a 12,000 mile round trip to South Africa and a nothing match where he could get (more?) injured, or now is there a real worry that Cissé might not be on the pitch on Sunday?

I reckon the answer to both questions is yes but again it doesn’t help MY preparations for the mackem match.

I predict countless rounds of speculation to do our heads in further between now and noon on Sunday, sorry If I’ve added to it….


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