Will Newcastle beat travel sickness to take three points at Swansea?

Posted on February 12th, 2010 | 17 Comments |

Cyril, the Swansea City mascot.
Cyril, the Swansea City mascot.
A 700 mile round trip faces the Toon Army for tomorrow’s televised game at the Liberty Stadium, when 5th place Swansea City take on Newcastle United with an undecently early 12.45pm kick off.

This will certainly be a stern test for the lads, as Paulo Sousa’s team play good football and are unbeaten in their last four home games. They are strong defensively, and following our 3-0 defeat at the hands of Derby County midweek, they now have the same number of goals conceeded as us. However, all is not perfect as the strikers, or in fact anyone else having a go don’t seem to have much luck finding the target with only a paltry 26 goals scored in 29 matches. Only bottom club Plymouth have scored less.

The last time the two teams met at Swansea City was amazingly over twenty years ago, with Newcastle Utd. beating the Swans 2-1 in a second division match. Since that time Swansea have moved to a new 20,500 capacity stadium, and more recently have earned a reputation as a decent footballing side. That was evident under previous manager Roberto Martinez and has carried on with their current boss, another good young manager in the making Paulo Sousa.

So while Swansea having been playing well at home, Newcastle’s away form of late has been lacking, and the Toon haven’t won any of their last six away
matches. I’m sure many Swansea fans will be seeing this as a good time to play us, especially on the back of our 3-0 defeat handed out by Derby County a few days ago.

Swansea will start tomorrow in bouyant mood after beating Crystal Palace mid week. Fans were hoping to witness Shefki Kuqi’s swan dive after the striker scored against his old club in his first start for the Swans. Kuqi said of his normally flambouyant goal celebration

“Out of respect for the players and some of the fans at Palace, I didn’t want to do it. It’s my former team and I have a good relationship with a lot of people at the club, so it wasn’t a place to celebrate.”

Lets hope we don’t hae to witness it tomorrow either. Swansea apparently started to dictate the play early on in the Palace match with their trademark slick passing and movement. Experienced striker Alan Lee caused a lot of problems for the Palace defence, and another player receiving a lot of plaudits was Andrea Orlandi.

Our lack of cohesive defending with three new lads in the back four cost us dearly Tuesday evening, but we will be boosted by the return of Coloccini to the squad after he missed the last three games due to injury. Hopefully Colo will link up with Williamson and either Ryan Taylor or Kadar will replace Danny Simpson who is still carrying an injury. The young Chelsea lad, Patrick Van Aanholt, looks like his loan won’t be extended when Enrique is fit as Cashley Cole has been crocked and will be out for 3 months so Van Aanholt will no doubt be returning to Chelsea sooner rather than later.

I mentioned that goals seem quite hard to come by for Swansea, and they seem to win by only the odd goal or two. Trundle and Pratley are their top scorers in the league with 5 goals a piece. Meanwhile at the other end, Dorus De Vries, their dutch keeper, has managed to keep a clean sheet 17 times this season, so hopefully our strikers are on form to make the most of any opportunities that come their way. Swansea will have defender Angel Rangel, who has been out with an ankle injury back in the side for the match tomorrow. Cedric van der Gun and Craig Beattie will almost cetainly be out though, with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

Let’s see what team and tactics turn out for Newcastle. For most of the season Chris Hughton has employed a 4-5-1 formation away from home in an attempt to stifle teams and ideally hit them on the break. However after the terrible Leicester game, Chris employed a 4-4-2 formation away to Derby and we suffered our heaviest defeat of the season. Two out and out wingers were used in midfield but for me the main problem was too many new faces who hadn’t yet gelled. We had played the same formation only a few nights previously against Swansea’s nearest rivals Cardiff and thrahed them 5-1. Either we were lucky and Cardiff very poor on the night, but there was no explanation how the same team looked so uncomfortable against Derby. We played as individuals rather than a team, and the new defence were clearly struggling. Bringing in Colo tomorrow will be a good move to provide some stability to the back four. I think Smith should play and Nolan needs a rest. He was poor against Derby and has been in the past few matches. I think I could beat him for pace every time. Now, Chris Hughton must pep up what he describes as a “hurt” dressing room. We’ve had lots of positive comments from the players since Tuesday evening, now we want to see them make it count where it matters, on the pitch tomorrow with a view to taking all three points. This is going to be a difficult task against a well organised team so we need to be up for the challenge.

Who Chris Hughton plays up front remains to be seen with a number of similar strikers available for selection. The game also reunites Routledge with his former mentor, Paulo Sousa. It was Sousa signed Routledge for Queens Park Rangers in January 2009.

On a lighter note, or not as the case may be, look out for Swansea City Physio, Kate Rees, who took some stick at Palace where her regulation track suit was not deemed to be the most flattering of outfits for someone a bit on the large side. But good luck to her. Fair play to Swansea, it’s good to see them employing a female physio in a very male dominated world and let’s hope Kate has a sense of humour to put up with the banter from travelling fans.

I think this will be a very tight game and the odd goal will nick it.

Howay the Lads.

Kick off: 12.45pm, Liberty Stadium, Swansea.

Referee: Andy Woolmer.

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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17 Responses

  1. Great article Deb.

    I’m still not really sure which way tomorrow will go. It would be nice to see us win away and spur us on into our 2 home games next week.

  2. just noticed that Ranger did not feature for the reserves on wednesday either. Anyone know if he’s picked up a knock?

  3. Hmm quite a thorough run down Deb.
    Guess you covered all bases, should be a a game that will give us an idea exactly where we stand as far as quality is concerned, they being a fifth place team.
    Would`nt want to be Hughton if it`s a loss, hope for his sake we edge them.

  4. Chuck – It will give us no idea where we stand! The only way we have a clue wbout how good we are is by seeing where we finish at the end of the season.

    Using your theory, we were miles better than Cardiff (4th place), but worse than Derby (15th place). So where should we be?

    This Hughton talk is getting a bit n’all. It’s part of what got us into this mess in the first place! Judge him when the season ends!

  5. “who took some stick at Palace where her regulation track suit was not deemed to be the most flattering of outfits for someone a bit on the large side.”

    I believe it was something like “that’s why you’re shagging sheep” from the Palace fans.

  6. i have a bad feeling aboot the game the morra like,i think if we go behind the wheels on the big red bus will come off as ch has no plan B.

  7. hitman says:
    February 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    “i have a bad feeling aboot the game the morra like,i think if we go behind the wheels on the big red bus will come off as ch has no plan B.”

    I don’t know who’s worse, you or Sir Jason Gloom. Although he had an odd flicker of optimism recently, for about two minutes.

  8. nar worky im full of hope, just carnt get me nappa around some of CH tactics the man is clueless..

  9. From what i can see, Cyril up there will probably look down her nose at us tomorrow. Hopefully we can change that and put in a good away performance taking 3 points.

  10. “Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, has been handed a double boost by the news that his retail company, Sports Direct, has seen a surge in sales and been cleared by the Competition Commission.

    The Competition Commission has provisionally cleared Sports Direct’s acquisition of 31 outlets from JJB Sports. The news is a fillip for the company, 71 per cent owned by Newcastle United owner Ashley. However, perhaps even more of a boost is the news that the company’s retail sales for the 13 weeks to 24 January rose 9.4 per cent to £326 million.”

  11. aye the slimy fat fk has got away with it,sooner this twat has gone from our club the better,anyone for KFC im paying.

  12. Well it can only be good for NUFC however you look at it. This makes him money which means he can either take a lesser offer if he sells or he stays and makes a couple of decent signings when we get promoted and we stay up . I have a feeling he is going to stay , this week jeff vetre left the club and we signed that young lad from the faroe islands . This will all have cost the club money , why would he invest in the club if he wants out .

  13. On the other hand we have Lua Lua wanting to leave cos he isn’t being given any first team pitch time. Whats the point of signing these youngsters if they languish in the reserves. Carroll for example has been knocking on the door for several years several places down the pecking order to a crock, a has been and a donkey. Work out yourselves who I mean.

  14. LuaLua has been absolute garbage any time he has had first team action, Carroll hasn’t when he has got the chance – that is the difference.

    Andy Carroll was scoring headers in the Premiership against Stoke – a giant team if there ever was one, while LuaLua was getting embarrassed by Peterborough in the Carling Cup.

    The fact he’s had to go down to Brighton tells you there aren’t many Championship teams who have much faith in his skill either, doesn’t it?

    LuaLua is a case of people hyping him for so long, they blind themselves to the fact he’s crap. Nile Ranger is going to go this way soon. People will blind themselves to the fact he can’t score. At least Ranger performs and is a team player, though.

  15. If they’re young enough they’re good enough generally works..but get real, stability is also important….it’s part of the game…Ranger, LuaLua etc will be loaned out then sold if they don’t make it…that’s life..