Predicted Newcastle Starting 11 vs Southampton
There are times when your first 11 picking itself is a very good thing, you know, like when we had Shearer, Ferdinand, Ginola, Lee, Beardsley etc etc.
Then there are times like…now.
A combination of inadequate summer transfer activity, both in terms of quality and quantity, plus a couple of key injuries, leaves the team today looking all a bit obvious.
The possibility of inexperienced Rolando Aarons being catapulted into the team has been halted, at least temporarily by a hamstring injury he picked up with England.
Likewise, the other obvious attacking changes have been also stopped in their tracks, with both Siem De Jong and mystery man Facundo Ferreyra picking up injuries in training. The Dutch midfielder likely to be out until the new year and you can only guess at when we will ever see he on-loan Argentinian who I think most of us had forgotten about until Alan Pardew reported he was now injured.
All the signs are that the Newcastle manager will ‘unleash’ Remy Cabella in a free number ten type role behind Emmanuel Riviere, in the hope that this will give United a route to creativity and creating/scoring goals.
With what looks a solid but goal scarce midfield, we really need the likes of Cabella and Riviere to find their feet very quickly.
Anybody watching the French match against Serbia couldn’t have failed to be reassured by the quality of Remy Cabella’s performance but can that be replicated alongside the likes of Anita, Colback and Riviere, rather than Cabaye, Loic Remy and of course today’s opposing midfielder, Schneiderlin?
When playing for France, Cabella had the opportunity and space to play in as Serbia had numerous threats to deal with. Already it is looking like Premier League opposition are closely marking Cabella and double marking him when he gets in the final third, all very reminiscent of when Ben Arfa was in the team.
United need to find greater movement and pace if possible, senior options are very thin on the ground so Perez or Armstrong playing with Riviere and Cabella looks the only viable alternative to Pardew’s usual sit back and flood the midfield.
Cheick Tiote won’t start today, if you can believe what the manager says…
Alan Pardew claiming Ivory Coast had broken an agreement that he wouldn’t even play one full match, never mind the two complete 90 minutes he did put in over the space of only four days. This despite Pardew claiming Tiote shouldn’t have even gone on international duty and indeed hadn’t even properly trained yet.
All very strange.
If Tiote doesn’t start then the midfield looks as nailed on as the defence and up front.
Rather than Remy Cabella expected to do it all, I think the whole starting eleven needs to raise their games by twenty or thirty per cent to then look like a team that can handle the Premier League.
We need leaders throughout the team but the question is whether they have it within them?
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