Before Newcastle United v Manchester City on Sunday lunchtime – they might as well play the Imperial March that is piped out on Star Wars when Darth Vader enters the screen.

The event has me feeling a smidgen of impending doom!

newcastle united v manchester cityWe have all been pleasantly surprised by the relevant success of the first half of the season. Some on here even talked of Champions League and Title successes…Taxi for one please!

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Sadly, after all the back slapping following the four on the bounce love in, we are on the brink of repeating that feat – only in bleeding reverse!

Previously I have tagged this team as the most consistently inconsistent team known to man. One minute playing like the 70s Brazil team (is it the shirts?), the next minute playing like Accrington Stanley.

With each win, Pardew would be seen grinning on the sidelines like a newly bespectacled Cheshire cat on prescription drugs. Flying high on Black and White fever. The fans and SJP rocking, overseeing some landmark wins and performances.

Maybe, just maybe,  beginning to come back around to the idea that AP might under his restricted circumstances be doing a decent job, harking back to the 5th top season as reference. The last season dusted over… but for every Man Utd, there has been a Sunderland. For every Chelsea there has been a Hull. For every Tottenham a West Brom. So on and so forth.

The Grand old Duke of York he had 10,000 men – he marched them up to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again. Uncle Alan has had us up near the top of the league, and to be fair we are still floating healthily, but let’s not march down again.

Pardew’s tactics rarely get questioned when we win – why would they? But they have been questioned the whole of last season, the beginning of this, and the recent slump has brought all those doubts flooding back.

Negative tactics against a misfiring Arsenal probably cost us a possible win, never mind a draw. I can understand why he went for it, the same system as playing Man Utd – but that was away from home.

If we play the same way against Man City there will be only one outcome. If we cannot keep their backline and midfield on the back foot for spells of the game, and they are on the march forward throughout – their fantastic front 6 will demolish us.

There is every possibility that even if we go toe to toe and give it a good go that the same result could happen – but I would much prefer to see us go at them. City, although absolutely class throughout, have had some wobbles away from home – but in our last few meetings we’ve been tanned. The first match of the season at their gaff was a debacle.

After that drubbing I feared the worst for the season but the lads bit by bit had gained some momentum. Man City  slaughtered most teams this season, smashing 6 and 7s a plenty – they play with such freedom and expression, they really are amazing to watch. They remind me now of the way we used to play back in the 90s under Keegan. Nevertheless we offered nowt that Monday night back in August, not that Taylor helped like. Will he be brought back in, with Mapou posted to right back to cover for Jean Claude Debuchy? Huge gamble.

Aguero is back training – what great news eh? The City fans must be in dream world. I know the whole City spending is obscene – but if you were them, would you give a flying fig? Why not likely. It’s all about that team creating lifelong memories. Winning Leagues, challenging for every competition you enter, battering all those before you.

One day Newcastle United – oh yes, that will be us. One day. Probably the day after my death!

In the meantime, here is hoping come Sunday afternoon that we are all back on the up after the team giving it everything they have got.

If not – on we go to face the great Hippo Head himself – El Gourdo – Fat Sam. If there ever is a game in the calendar, apart from the Mackems, that I want to win, it’s against that bear sized bluff merchant.

Keep smiling.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSwan1

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January’s issue will be on sale from our numerous sellers outside St.James’ Park before the Manchester City match on Sunday. For those not going to the match THE MAG is now available in all Tyneside newsagents.

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