A couple of weeks ago, if anybody had asked if Newcastle had any chance of competing for silverware this year they’d have been laughed out of St.James’ Park.

However, the last few matches have seen glimpses of football that could trouble any team, the question is whether that will be be unleashed in the Europa League?

When asked after the Spurs match about the forthcoming double header against Metalist, Alan Pardew immediately turned the conversation back to the need to make sure United stay in the Premier League.

Of course we all agree with that sentiment but what does that suggest lies in wait for us when we pile into St.James’ Park on Thursday night?

On the plus side it seems a certainty that Mapou and Cheick Tiote will be included, so those changes could well strengthen the team rather than weaken it, what about elsewhere though?

It was great to hear Gouffran hasn’t broke his leg but that shows still what a knife edge we are on in terms of lack of depth in many parts of the team/squad.

We wait to hear whether Gouffran will be missing for any amount of time but it must be likely he won’t play on Thursday and I doubt very much if Cisse will start.

So I can see us starting with Shola as our main attacking(!) threat.

I hope I’m wrong but I can well see also the likes of Cabaye, Cisse and Sissoko rested and a reliance on players such as Anita, Marveaux and Obertan.

I’m not saying this is a recipe for disaster but I find it hard to see it as a recipe for success either.

Would this side be up to the job and am I alone in thinking we will slide quietly out of a Europa League that certain people at the club might not be too unhappy about?

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  • disqus_f4wYK46HMs

    At the risk of sounding like a complete moron…I would actually play Williamson and Haidara.

    • OhSholaAmeobi

      please not williamson. imagine him against cavani or falcao if we go far! christ.

    • Williamsson if great!! for the oppsite team. if he doesnt score a own goal he always missas a clearance or is wrong possisioned. pls get rid of him asap

      • Cheese

        I agree. I know hes not the best defender in the world, and he’s a little prone to mistakes, but he has actually made more defensive clearances than any other defender in the premier league, and I mean, he’s really not that bad. I’ve never actually seen him have a truly awful game.

        • Give yourself a slap , do you watch football or what

          • Glyn Wade

            williamson isnt the best defender in the world but he was never bought to fulfil that role. he was bought when we were in the championship. he might make mistakes and he might be behind others in the defensive pecking order but he always gives his best. his best might be not up to what we need right now but thats not his fault. he didnt come to us shouting about what he would do every weekend. he arrived when we needed him. i think we have had value for money from him – just think of some of the players we have bought for 5 6 or perhaps 16m over the years. now that we might not need him and he is on the bench i havent noticed him shouting his mouth off in the press etc etc he seems a decent honest pro, not in the papers for the wrong thing, abusing his club or team mates just doing what he is paid to do – play for nufc when he is required.

  • play the full team we have no game saturday and this is a important game for us and if we win 3/4 -0 2nd leg we could rest players etc

  • matty

    dont think it will be that weak, we dont play in league for a while and 2nd leg a week later, dont think krul will be rested, and theres no reason he should be, cant predict wot pards will do 4 the rest tbh

  • David Marsh

    The whole concept of playing a weakened team in Europe amazes me, why bother trying to finish as high up the league as possible if you aren’t going to bother trying to give it a go. It is a waste of time qualifying. Why should we, the fans, pay money to watch a team who has no interest in winning the cup or at the very least trying to progress? We are years away from winning the league so why are we actually bothering to participate in the league. We don’t have a game for 2 weeks. Let’s give it a go?

    • I agree entirely. Have thought all season that the attitude of Pardew and the board towards the Eurocupa cup has been deplorable. Show some respect for the fans and the competition itself and play the best team available. We can progress to the next round if the manager manages properly.

  • OhSholaAmeobi

    some people are underestimating Metalist. We should put a full team out and hammer them at home then go for a result at their place with our weaker team.

  • OhSholaAmeobi

    And by the way Gouffran can’t play Europa league anyway! He’s cup tied.

  • Sean Spokes

    agree with harry why not go for it with no prem game till 24th….go all out to win at home by as many as possible this fixture was set up perfectly for us with no prem games for at least 14 days…..

  • shola is gonna send us to the moon(amsterdam) and back over the next few months.his record in europe is pretty good and he seems to be able to impose himself better on these teams.tho metalist will be the toughest team we have faced yet for sure.id go for it like,we have a free weekend after it so would like to see us put out a 3/4 strength team maybe minus cisse,saylor and cabaye

    • I think Shola would be ideal up front on Thursday. Heaven forbid Williamson, Perch and Simpson take to the pitch. We need to play our strongest available team. We can no longer have Pardew pussy footing around and through the Europa cup. Time to play the strongest available team. Leave the hoofers at home Alan!

      • shuddart

        Simpson will most likely play as Debuchy missed out on the Europa League squad

  • G27

    dont understand this. chances r we wont make europe next year so why not bloody well go for it with a proper 11. surely we can go for europe now we hav new players and still survive. 2 weeks till southampton so they can say we hav a fixture pile up. they still obviously need the practice and fitness afta yesterday.