The Two Key Players For Newcastle v West Ham
A lot of factors surround today’s match against West Ham; whether it is suspensions, injuries, no new signings or the Cabaye fiasco that needs sorting pronto.
What is perfectly clear is that Newcastle need to start scoring goals, the dismal goals return of the second half of last season was carried into this pre-season – only two of the eight friendlies saw United hit more than one goal in a match.
With Cisse our only real out and out goalscoring threat, the challenge must be to get other players up there to take the weight off his shoulders and give the opposition something else to think about.
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Leaving Cabaye aside because I really don’t have a clue whether he will be involved today, which is bizarre as no other club would react in the same way (leave him out) when they receive a ‘derisory’ bid for one of their best players.
So in Cabaye’s absence, for me Pardew has to take risks and get Gouffran and Ben Arfa as high up the pitch as possible and into goalscoring positions.
Gouffran is a willing worker but in our current circumstances he can’t be given a Jonas type role of simply tracking back and hugging the left touchline, we need him in central areas in and around Cisse.
As for Ben Arfa, we all know what he is capable of and he must be give an license to thrill.
The first goal is essential today and I’m confident that if Gouffran and Ben Arfa are given the platform then they can help carry us to that vital first win of the season and lift some of the clouds hanging over St.James’ Park.
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