The Africa Cup of Nations and Newcastle United – A Geordie’s guide.

Posted on December 24th, 2011 | 15 Comments |

Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote.
Ba and Mr.T: Out for Africa.
As most of you will no doubt be aware, the Africa Cup of Nations will be taking place next month.

This incredibly awkward competition is held bi-annually, unlike the European Championships which are held every four years. Also unlike the Euros, it is also usually held right in the middle of the bloody football season! This time the tournament will be jointly hosted by Gabon and Equitorial Guinea from January 21 to February 12 2012, but players will usually be called for duty by their national teams some time before that, even as early as the 8th of January for pre tournament training camps and warm up games.

Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba will definitely be there representing the Ivory Coast and Senegal respectively. Inspired by Manchester City, who also wish to hold back their talisman midfielder, Yaya Toure, from joining Tiote in the Ivory Coast team for as long as possible, Alan Pardew is now trying to delay Ba’s and Tiote’s departure until around the 15th January.

If Pardew and City manager Roberto Mancini fail in their quest to hold the players back until the middle of the month, the two Silver Supremos could be missing their important players for as many as six or seven games according to my calculation. Of course, this will almost certainly have a much greater effect on the Magpies than it will on moneybags Man City with their wealth of strength in depth. In Newcastle United’s case the potential games missed will be the following if Tiote and Ba depart on the 8th January:

Blackburn Rovers (FA Cup) Sat 7th January, Queen’s Park Rangers (H) Sunday 15th January, Fulham (A) Saturday 21st January, Blackburn Rovers again (A) Sat 7th January, Wednesday 1st February, Aston Villa (H) Sunday 5th February, and finally, Tottenham Hotspur (A) Saturday 11th February.

If Pardew is succesful in his bid to keep the players back until the 15th, they will only be missed from the Fulham game onwards, however the length of Ba’s and Tiote’s absence will also be determined of course by how well their respective teams do in the tournament, however Ivory Coast are hotly tipped to win the the tournament and Senegal are quite fancied too this time, despite recent problems centred around their head coach’s contract.

I need hardly tell you how important our very own Mr.T. has been as a sentinel guarding the back four. However Demba Ba has scored no less than 13 of our 23 Premiership goals so far, so to say that his absence will be worrying would be something of an understatement. The last person other than Ba to score was Dan Gosling in our 2-1 victory over Everton on the 5th November. This game was also our last victory. With a somewhat alarming dip in form since that time, with the Magpies only collecting a mere two points in their last six games since that victory, Ba’s goals are needed more than ever. As I pointed out in this piece a couple of days ago, if the form of our last six games continued until the end of the season, despite our great start this term, we would only end the season with the same amount of points we were relegated with (34) in the 2008/9 season.

Getting back to Alan Pardew and his bid to keep Ba’s and Tiote’s absences to a minimum though, he recently said on that subject:

“It’s important to keep players until January 15. The scheduling isn’t great but we aren’t going to moan, we knew about it.”

In another interview, he said of losing Ba next month:

“He’s a great player, and you are going to miss great players. He is going to the African Cup of Nations and he will probably want to win that. Knowing Demba and the way he is playing, he probably could. He has been absolutely terrific for us.”

Meanwhile, there is the good news that Newcastle United’s other African goal machine, Shola Ameobi, will be staying at St James’ Park for the duration of the tournament. For some bizarre reason, the Fenham Eusebio has missed out amidst competition from forwards such as West Bromwich Albion’s Peter Odemwingie and Toon old boy Obafemi Martins, who is now playing for Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga.

Finally of course the January transfer window could be a chance to bring in some reinforcements, however Pardew has been speaking more of bringing in defenders than forwards. On this he commented in a recent interview:

“We are having to look at our squad because we are stretched, especially defensively. We have made some calls to try to find out who is available, but it’s a difficult window. You want to try to get a good player in a window when teams don’t want to lose their good players, so it’s not just difficult for us, it’s difficult for every team. You locate a player, but then they have got to get a replacement and is another first-team going to let a replacement go? There’s a knock-on effect.”

We shall just have to wait and see on that front then.

Before I sign off, as this will almost certainly be our last blog before Christmas, I would just like to once again wish all of our readers very happy Christmas and a great new year!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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15 Responses

  1. Chuck – & any geordie exiles, you may wish to share this
    Christmas Message from the Queen
    sent to my professional blog To:

    Merry Xmas.

    To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign
    Majesty QueenElizabeth II:

    In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and
    also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of
    the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give
    notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
    (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

    Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties
    over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which
    she does not fancy).

    Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for
    America without the need for further elections.

    Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be
    circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

    To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following
    rules are introduced with immediate effect:

    1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’
    ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell
    ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will
    be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’Generally, you will be expected to
    raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

    Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such
    as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of
    communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let
    Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be
    adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the
    elimination of ‘-ize.’ ‘

    3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

    4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,
    lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and
    therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns
    should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out
    without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready
    to shoot grouse.

    5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything
    more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be
    required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

    6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will
    start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time,
    you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of
    conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you
    understand the British sense of humour.

    7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
    calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.)

    8.You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries
    are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips
    are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal
    fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

    9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually
    beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to
    as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be
    referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New
    Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it
    can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British
    Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be
    referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without
    risk of further confusion.

    10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as
    good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to
    play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English
    dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having
    one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

    11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds
    of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New
    Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play
    rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not
    involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar
    body armour like a bunch of nancies).

    12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to
    host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played
    outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world
    beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn
    cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators)
    first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

    13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

    14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s
    Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all
    monies due (backdated to 1776).

    15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with
    saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes;
    plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

    God Save the Queen!

  2. Cabaye is going to the african cup?
    And the first game against manchester united is actually at home.

    I hate picking out mistakes but I can’t just leave them there!

    Useful guide btw, if we lose ba for 7 games I think wee’ll be at least 4 points worse off. Merry christmas to all!

  3. CLiNT FLiCK said on September 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    worky, if it was a much our concern as we make out, then surely we’d all get together & buy the club & run it ourselves. End of.

    Well it took time finding it, but I now have in front of me my “newcastle United Share Issue Prospectus” dated 29th october 1990 offering 8,000,000 shares of 50p each at £1 per share payable in full on application.
    I promptly sent off my application with a £100 cheque for the minimum of 100 shares – unfortunately not enough others did so and a year later my uncashed cheque was returned. John Hall (listed as having 3,095,115 shares compared to chairman W G McKeag’s 941,477) stepped in & the rest is history.

    Those that didn’t put up are cordialy invited to shut up! But I earned my right to criticise as much and as often as as I want.


  4. I don’t think there has ever been so much animosity between fans under a certain regime….it is constant squabbling and bitching.
    The way I see it is everyone who support’s the club has every right to voice an opinion.
    I have never liked Mike Ashley and in the beginning it was an unpopular stance but I did and stand by my opinions that I made a long time ago.

    Mike Ashley will be here for a very long time,he has a stadium named after his retail empire,cheap advertising plastered all over the place,he makes good wedge every transfer window (this one will be the same as all the rest) if I was him I would be here until I popped my clogs…£35mill cash up front on 1 player he must have been laughing his head of and rubbing his greasy mits with Glee!!

    Looking forwards survival is all he wants…just scraping by and showcasing cheap foreign players and freebies to sell on at maximum profit and I have to say he is doing a decent job in that department.

    Be interesting to see who comes and goes this window.

  5. Supermac says:
    December 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    “you may wish to share this
    Christmas Message from the Queen
    sent to my professional blog To: ”

    Supermac, I removed the e.mail, otherwise it will be read by spambots trawling the web, put on to a million dodgy mailing lists then spammmed to death!

    maze202 says:
    December 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “Cabaye is going to the african cup?
    And the first game against manchester united is actually at home.”

    Aye corrected now, thanks for pointing it out. I had no sleep whatsoever when I was finishing the article off, so I didn’t really check through it as well as I should have.

    And happy Christmas everyone!

  6. Xmas Poll…Hmmmm

    Expected Net spend on Jan transfers?
    Poll on which of our players will be sold this window?

  7. Xmas Poll,

    Will Skysports David Craig, on the final day of the transfer window, either:

    A) Tell us we’ve actually signed someone.

    B) Tell us we are trying to sign someone with 3 seconds left, but it’s ok because Ashley has his submarine standing by.

    C) Say nothing and indulge in some fire eating, and knife juggling in an attempt to make St James’ Park look ‘active’ on deadline day.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  8. Fifa 12 generator has us down to beat blackburn 1-2 and suprisingly beat liverpool at anfield 0-2. HWTL?

  9. …god save the queen, the fascist regime, it made you a moron,
    potential H-bomb…


    soz mate but gambling on the stock market doesn’t constitute ownership man.

    Buy out, with cash money (not theoretical promises) is the only way to properly own something.

  10. Poll idea:

    What position/s will get filled in Jan.?

    How many will come in/go?

    How much will we spend (or otherwise)?

  11. Poll idea – an end of year evaluation of where we think NUFC is & where we are going in the next few years –

    1 potential top 6 & euro spot
    2 upper mid table & cup winners
    3 lower mid table going nowhere
    4 bottom 6 with fears of relegation

    it would be interesting to know the spread of opinion and be able to quantify the mood of fellow supporters.

    I’d put us at 2 – and regard that as successful progress in our 2nd season back in the PL.