All to play for on Sunday when Man City visit St James’ Park

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 | 50 Comments |

Pardew delights in Cisse goal against Chelsea
Going all out for 4th place
Newcastle United gained a valuable 3 points at Stamford Bridge that keep the prospects of a Champions League finish alive. Here’s some reaction to the match and to the prospect of playing Manchester City on Sunday.

Mancini was in the crowd at Stamford Bridge yesterday, no doubt composing his tactics for the weekend’s game when Manchester City visit St James Park. And it’s going to be a high-pressure game for both teams, neither of which can afford to drop points if they’re to achieve their respective targets for the season.

Pardew is going to go all out for a 4th place finish and Champions League qualification:

It’s not often in a professional career that you get an opportunity to actually break into the top four in this country,” said Pardew.

We’ve been in and around it all year, we’ve touched fourth placed and touched third a couple of times.

We’re going to give it everything. If we miss out, it’ll still have been a phenomenal season and I’m looking forward to the highlights video because some of the goals have been unbelievable, they really have.

Indeed they have. There have been some fantastic goals from Ben Arfa, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and of course Papiss Cisse who added two more to his tally yesterday, the second of which was sublime.

Alan Pardew had this to say about it: “An astonishing goal. Cisse took a chance. You could see he meant it and he’s hit it absolutely true.

And Cisse himself said: “I just saw the ball coming back from Shola and I just wanted to shoot as I had no energy, so I just shot.

And as to the weekend’s game, Pardew said:

A team challenging for the title, a team challenging for the Champions League.

If someone had said that to us at the start of the season, we probably wouldn’t have believed them.

It isn’t going to be easy on Sunday but we do have the home advantage and we certainly have plenty players that can score goals. Then again, so do Manchester City and I think much will depend on how solid our defence is against them. The good news is that by all accounts Cheick Tiote – who looked fairly seriously clobbered yesterday – should be fit for the game. He played well yesterday and will be an important player for us on Sunday.

It’s great to be ‘in the mix’ at this stage of the season and I hope the game on Sunday lives up to its billing.

Howay The Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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50 Responses

  1. Papiss Cisse deserves all the plaudits for this match.

    Great effort from all the lads. The back 5 (particularly Colo and Santon, but all deserve praise) rightly get credit, but the type of quality in this team is apparent.

    I get the impression that Pards is really finding his stride in team selection and mentality. If the team were set out in a 4-4-2 that could absorb pressure and force the issue up front against Wigan, who knows what would have happened. Regardless, 21 points out of 24? Yes, please.

    I started following Newcastle when Dyer Zogs and Milner were the skill players on offing. I am absolutely buzzing with the progress made since then, and I would not trade Cisse, HBA, or Cabaye for any of them.

    Demba Ba remains the wild card, and deserves his place in the team. I would not be surprised IN THE LEAST if Demba makes a killer contribution to win one of our final games.

    Watched the game recorded tonight after class at 10pm MN time. Perfectly warranted to get out on the lash afterwards, despite facing an 8am class. I’ll still be buzzing, and not just because of the lager. HWTL!!!!

  2. As a supporter for 10 years when I moved to Newcastle, I am so pleased for all the fantastic fanatical Geordie fans. I grew up a Celtic supporter, moved to Sheffield and followed Wednesday, I’ve seen some fantastic players and goals. I’ve never been as proud as an adopted Geordie as I was last night. My four year old boys first season ticket and what a lucky mascot.
    Stick to 442 for the last two games, be solid and Demba has got to be due a headline. Two wins, an arsenal and spurs slip up and it could be third!! Let stick it to those self righteous pundits.Make city’s eardrums bleed from every part of st James on Sunday.HTL !!!!

  3. You know what , the chelsea result was completely unexpected , I thought we would get beat 3-1 , but to win 2-0 at stamford defies beleif , were they just not up for it and got an eye on wemberley this weekend ?

    Anyway if we do gatecrash and just suppose beat spurs to 4th spot , and end up in the championies league , would it be GOOD for us or is it a season or two too early …

    I think maybe europa league would be better than straight into the top europe stuff , great money but too much expected from us too eraly on is it really what we are capable of yet , Not sure ??


  4. 2011 was my annus horiblus, what with bereavements, illnesses and such, but 2012 has been absolutely amazing. Thank you Pards, Cisse, Ba, HBA, Colo, Santon, Tiote, Saylor, Raylor, Jonas, Willo, Simpson, Carver, SJP ball boys, Toon Army, Newcastle city council, A1(M), 5under1and (for being shite), HSBC bank manager (for understanding), SHOOOOOOOOOOOLA (for just being wor Shola), Twitter. And finally, ahem, a little thanks to Mike Ashley, I`d rather him than some super rich foreigner throwing good money at mediocre players. Keep it up.

  5. Ivanovic is a thug..he should better join some street gangs with Nile Ranger ..he must be banned for his punch on Ba.

  6. Getting a bit fed up with all these pundits today saying this is the first time United have won at Stamford Bridge for 25 years.

    If they’d added “in league games” that would be accurate – but they don’t so it’s not. Sloppy, lazy reporting is just that – sloppy, lazy reporting AND WRANG!!

    22nd September 2010 Chelsea 3 United 4 Carling Cup
    (Stamford Bridge)

  7. Can’t wait to see cisse defy the odds and the laws of physics against man city on sunday. Buzzing as owt. My lass is pissed at me using all her internet to watch the goal another 8000 times in the past 12 hours. Never gets old

  8. Mancini has some food for thought. Our quality going forward-Cisse, HBA, Cabaye, Ba-means his CMs, particularly Toure, will not be as free to support the attack. I’m guessing City goes 4-4-2 with Tevez & Aguero starting and Barry as one of his “wide midfielders.” (I didn’t watch the match but I understand this is how they lined up on Monday.) Someone’s suggestion on the other thread of starting Perch (for his speed) in place of Williamson is interesting to me, but that assumes Simpson is fit.

  9. One other comment, brought to mind by that photo up there. As one perceived to be too critical of Pardew, I want to point out: Alan played no small part in (or at least oversaw to a significant extent) the assembly of the squad at Southampton that just finished an impressive promotion campaign. Fonte, Guly and Lambert at least are guys that were acquired/scouted under him. Credit where it’s due.

  10. Still digesting yesterdays game.
    A terrific win, with a side that never stopped working.
    One of those games where everyone contributed and gave one hundred percent effort.
    One could see most of the side were exhausted by the final whistle and truth be told, there was more luck than skill in the second goal, Cisse admitting he was so tired he just wellied it to-wards the goal.
    I think the incredible spin curved the ball so much, plus the fact it was so high, just caused Check to totally misjudge its trajectory.
    Dont anyone kid themselves, this win was down to hard work and persistence, i was impressed by the work rate.
    But that’s what it takes and not many sides can do it game after game in this league.
    Certainly an argument for strength in depth and the rotation of players, a horses for courses approach.
    Appears the side is beginning to gell, with both HBA and Santon playing well, instead of warming the bench.
    Now we must strengthen the back four, obviously an area that needs attention and though Perch is playing decently
    (could be our super sub)we need some real quality at the back.
    But all i hear about in the rumors section are about strikers and midfielders.
    Could it be we are about to unload some of our best talent and use the funds to once again re-stock the side
    with younger , better and cheaper ?
    Or is their some kind of serious intent in the near future to win something ?
    Guess we will find out soon enough, as it wont be long before clubs start tapping some of our talented players.
    I expect both strikers, Cabaye, Tiote and perhaps HBA to be coveted and offers made, so this could in fact be a summer of big turnovers for more than one club.
    Qestion remains, can we resist as Spurs did last year
    (with Modric) offers for our best players ?

  11. Chuck, you forgot to mention that one of our very best players apart form the obvious MOTM (Cisse) was Iron Mike Williamson. It wasn’t for the first time either.

  12. Well Chuck, I think we’ll find out a lot about MA’s intent this summer, esp given that we’re clearly knocking on the door. We know chelski will be overhauling their squad and mancs will have to do some of that too I reckon.

    I agree completely that we need more defensive options, esp in the coming season where we’re going to have (hopefully) many more matches.

    Would be gutted if MA were take the wrecking ball to this side… they’ve achieved so much and there’s so much synergy… and there aren’t any stroppy little bitches. There has been 0 controversy around players (save the old Nile monitor drama that no one cares about), which is so refreshing.

  13. Bearing in mind that we’re in Europe next season, one way or another, it would have to be a pretty stupid move by a pretty stupid management team to deny this side the opportunity to prove themselves at a higher level.

    If you ship out key players and bring in potential unknowns as replacements you’re not only risking the development of the club, both from a playing and financial perspective but more importantly the morale and motivation of the existing squad.

    Mind you we’re talking Fatman here :(

  14. Workey
    On Iron Mike
    I just dont rate him as an EPL quality player, he was pathetic against Wigan, being beat in the air by a guy six inches shorter for i believe the first goal.
    If you want my opinion, he cant jump over a match-stick, he’s slow, ball watches, useless on set plays, is often out of position and spends too much time on his ass.
    Zat what you wanted to hear ?
    Sell him to Mansfield Town or Tranmere Rovers, anybody !

  15. AndyMac says:
    May 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    “Bearing in mind that we’re in Europe next season, one way or another, it would have to be a pretty stupid move by a pretty stupid management team to deny this side the opportunity to prove themselves at a higher level.”

    Aye Andy. Let Ben Arfa, Cisse etc show themselves and Sports Direct off in the European shop window for while, let their price go up accordingly, THEN sell them on if the price goes high enough. That would be more how Ashley would think anyway.

  16. WT says:

    “Aye Andy. Let Ben Arfa, Cisse etc show themselves and Sports Direct off in the European shop window for while, let their price go up accordingly, THEN sell them on if the price goes high enough. That would be more how Ashley would think anyway.”

    Jeez I gotta up my dose of these cynical pills just to keep up with you and Chuck :)

  17. Yeah Workey sounds about right, but the temptation will be there, to sell if the price is right.
    After all Ashley is first and foremost a retailer and that means buy cheap, sell for what you can get.
    Oh! you can bet your ass there will be shakeups and shakeouts at a number of clubs this summer.
    With Chelsea leading the charge, dumping a number of players who’s sell by dates are due.
    Not to mention managerial roles, all the old re-treads will be chucking their resmes around the league, hoping for a gig somewhere.
    Even Barcelona ! who will get the job there? if i were a betting man, i would think Bielsa, plus one or two Dutchmen, will be in their sights.
    Of course i dont think the Fenway group are too happy with King Kenny, poetic justice as he constantly undermined Hodgson while he was in charge at Anfield.
    Probably kick him upstairs, a la SBR at Barca.
    If Citeh dont win the league, expect a new manager there and a fire sale on players, one of whom i would’nt mind seeing ar NUFC, talking bout Johnson, class right winger, gets his goals and lays on some sublime passes, but will probably be too expensive for our guy.
    So back to speculation, shouldda stay or shouldda go ?
    It’s all about the dosh init!

  18. Errrmmm ! Cynic you say, moi ?
    Was thinking more in the realm of realist, no?

  19. chuck says:
    May 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    “Even Barcelona ! who will get the job there?”

    Chuck, Barcelona have done the same as they did when they appointed Guardiola, ie promote from within. Guardiola’s assistant, Tito Vilanova, already has the job.

  20. Hmm Yeah
    Tito Vilanova eh?
    Bit of continuity, nowt wrong with that, of course we will have to see how things work out.
    Personally would like to see our Silver Supremo get the gig, but when you only know how to play a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 and a barely recognisable 4-3-3, it makes it tough.
    Though theres a chance that Hodgson may screw up the Euro Championship (actually be difficult to do any worse than his predecessors)and the Silver Supremo would then be drafted in ?
    We can then get Martinez!

  21. Well done Pards for being brave enough to go back to a 4-4-2 for the Chelski game, even though he knew that if we lost, he’d come in for a great deal of criticism from some of the folk on a well known NUFC Blog LOL!

    Brave decision that.

  22. AndyMac
    Yeah watched it a few times (Cisse’s second goal) just could’nt believe it, seeing it the first time.
    There was so much spin on the ball as it curved from left to right, that Check was completely baffled by the trajectory.
    Of course it was IMO more luck than skill, Cisse having admitted he was tired and just hit it to-wards goal, but some of the greatest goals you will see are in that category.
    Though few scorers will admitt to it.
    When the ball entered the net, there seemed to be a time pause, where no one reacted untill the full realization that they had just seen one of the most unlikely goals they will ever see.
    And by the way, there was a bit of schadenfrued on my part looking at the silent Chelsea fans, with that look of dissapointment and disbelief.
    Ah well cant win em all!

  23. Chuck @23:

    You missed out the 9-0-1 at Swansea and the 20 minutes of 3-5-2 at Wigan.

  24. I have been looking for a new job. I think I will apply to Wigan as that Martinez bloke only seems to work for the last 2 months of the season.

  25. Chuck@30

    Mate – even the commentators were remarking on how brave we were to play 2 up front against Chelski at their compact little ground.

    Another clue – Ba actually had a couple of good attempts at goal.

    Did you actually see the game?

  26. UTD111
    So you consider AP brave for going back to a supposed 4-4-2 ?
    Listen when you’r tactically challenged and only understand or at least have been known to play no more than two systems, then going back means, we lost to a well organized Wigan, so lets try the other one.

  27. Chuck

    Don’t need to go too far back. We played 3 up front against Stoke. That counts as “not 2 up front”.

    What is it with you and Pardew – did he strangle your pet budgie or summat? The bloke has managed the team to joint 4th, going on 3rd…..without any russian or arab oil money backing him.

    Give some credit where it’s due.

  28. GS
    I believe the Swansea game was a 10-0-0, at least in the second half.
    As for the Wigan game, who knows what the f**k Pardew was attempting, especially with Santon.
    But whatever it was, made little difference as he was badly out-manoeuevred by a far smarter Martinez

  29. UTD111
    Yeah there’s the two up front and the three up front, then eerrrmmm ! afraid thats it !
    His choice against Chelsea was one or the other and as the three up front at Wigan did’nt go so well, it was lets try the other lineup.

  30. But hey, forget Pardew.
    All credit should be given for the serious effort put out by the side against Chelsea, there were few among them not totally exhausted to-wards the games ending.
    And to look up and see an extra ten minutes to play, must have been hard, but they managed to hang tough and Cisse’s incredible goal must have come as both a surprise and relief.
    But this game was all about effort.

  31. To be fair, Chelsea must have been knackered as well and they still have a lot to play for.

  32. Still in love with cisses goal. Bloke down the shop near mine is an arsenal fan and even he said cisses goal shits all over anything robin van persies done this season. That was good to hear. Bloke in the queue overheard and went ‘cisse? Definite goal of the season’ I’ve even seen canadian sites raving about it. Mental as owt like.

  33. Chuck – wtf are you on – where we were to where we are now in pards short reign is nothing short of remarkable
    Credit where credits due man – he’s done a fantastic job and given championship players such as perch and willo the confidence to kick on and improve themselves
    15 clean sheets is our best defence in as long as I can remember

  34. It still makes me laugh no matter how many times I read the blog that pardew gets grief. Easily manager of the year

  35. chuck says:
    What makes you think we played a 4-4-2 ?

    UTD111 says:
    I think it was the 4 at the back, the 4 in midfield and the 2 up front Chuck

    I cant remember where I first saw we were planning on 4-4-2 (maybe it was from WT’s source after reading that .cock had us down at 4-2-3-1) but if you look at the Setanta intro screens before the game started they have us as 4-3-3.

    Pays yer money and takes yer choice !!!

  36. Chuck

    does it really matter what formation that pardew plays?

    what really matter the most is TEAM WORK, players being able to play together and WIN.

    pardew might not have great tactics and might not know how to turn agame when we are losing but he does seem to know how to getthe best out of his players.

    there doesnt seem like a player on the pitch who actuly plays for him self.

    we had a bad day at wigan and now we are on the up again.

    Pardew might not have the tactical prowese of a manager in the top 4 of europe on paper but he results say everything.

    i remeber a few weeks back we addopted hoofball, no onewants to watch hoofball. and it showed on this blog and on the street.

    pardew is now giving usthe football us geordies like to watch.

    i personly dont mind the 10-0-0 at swansea becasue it was an odd game, few and far between. at least he isnt scared to make sacrafices for three points.

    at least he hasnt resorted to sacrafices for survival in the Premier League like Tony Pulis.

    over the last few games his subsitutions have been pin point. he couldnt have timed them any better.

    and that is one thing a good manager needs.
    i for one was not a big fan of pardew, when he came, when he was at other clubs andeven afew weeks back.
    just becasue he has won 7 out of 8 doesnt mean im going to change my mind.

    but it does mean if i dont, then i need to change my ways………

    some people are stuck in depreison, some people can not see the light and some people can not see the shit for the trees.

    people forget pardew works on defence and he doesnt have much to do about the attacking side of training, Carver does that. we have had one of the best defences in the League and now are attack is proving prolific.

    let us take heed of our opinions and i for one will not change my stance at certain points in the season. but i will change my outlook.

    Pardew IMO if he continues to create a good working environment for the players and the team stick together then next season could be just as good as this if not better.

    i for one would probably consider buying Mr. Ashley a pint if it had not been for the name change.

    i might just buy myself some cheap shoes instead from Sports Direct.

    the thing about critisism its high after a bad game and higher after a bad run. but at the season you can guarantee there will be few who can say many bad words about this season.

    the possitives i see from Pardew are there to see just as bright as the negatives but at least he is willing to change the way he works. we have all been shouting for ben arfa all season and now the gold rush is on.

    lets hope we can continue this all round good vibe and look forward to next year.

    and chuck if at the end of the season you still feel the same, either see a shrink or move back to geordie land.

  37. AndyMac says:
    May 4, 2012 at 12:03 am

    “I cant remember where I first saw we were planning on 4-4-2 (maybe it was from WT’s source after reading that .cock had us down at 4-2-3-1”

    I had it down as 4-2-3-1 because that what the club’s site had when they posted the team sheets before the game. However, they always seem get it wrong, they did last time and the time before that so I kept my eyes peeled when they kicked off and lo and behold, it was a 4-4-2 so I changed it. Even in the match reports after the game, they often get ’em wrong all over the media because many of the clowns who write up these games haven’t got a clue.

    It was a 4-4-f@ckin-2!

  38. Stephen, there are some things Pardew does deserve credit for, and some things he doesn’t.

    The people who deserve the most credit, unreservedly, are the players and all the people who have been responsible for tracking them down. Some of them have been nothing short of miraculous and have made all the difference. We’ve missed out on some too because of Ashley’s austerity package going too far. Ashley wouldn’t bid over £1.5 million for Moses FFS, so Wigan got him for a mere £2.5 million.

  39. i agree worky.

    but for mike at the time of the Moses loss, we were still in the second tier.

    mike had just made major errors and i think he was trying to prevent himself from taking big risks.

    i remember Moses at Palace and i know he was good, but he has become amazing at wigan this season. £8 million in the summer would probably cover him but i doubt Ashley would want to pay such a price.

    but one loss out of the many we have gained is not bad work for a season or two.

    i agree the whole team need to take equal proportions of the credit, as well as fans like myself who travel home and away and make the away games worth playing at. there isnt a ground where the home fans have out sung us this season.

    even part time fans like Clint Flick need some credit i think i heard him clapping twice yesterday. which added to the atmosphear.

    all round Newcastle on a whole need to spread the joy, the fans, the players, the twitter accounts, the charity events, the nights out in the bigg Market, the general bond, all plays a part in the vital life blood that is NEWCASTLE UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB. so long may it continue and long may we travel knowing we are the best fans in the country, the loyalist fans in the land and unfortaunetly the quckest fans to jump ship and critisize when things go wrong.

    but they are all part of the great land we call home, the place called Newcastle that we cant live with(in workys case) and we cant live without.

    as geordies i think we need to enjoy it whilst is lasts and hold onto it with both hands but dont expect it all to be stripped away, but be prepared for when it does. dont feel too angry when it all turns to sand and slips through our fingers.

    sand and coal dust are very much a like, good when its there, keeps you warm and happy but carry too much too soon and it slips away and they were both in an abundance in the north east, but now seem to be in shorter and shorter supply.

    so let us not make fires with our coal dust and castles with our sand, but rather windows of oportunities with our sand and let us sparkle fires with our coal dust.

    dont let it slip away just expect it not to stay and then we can enjoy every second of every minute of every day whilst it lasts.

    let us look at what we have not look at what we could have had.

    European football guarateed for at least two games, what more can a fan what?

  40. Waxing philosophical there Steve? Agree. Enjoy the high and abuse methadone in the lows. I’m just enjoying the season and I’m hopeful that the best is yet to come, before the inevitable slide, the phoenix burns, and we rise from the ashes anew.

  41. Stephen, I still give much of the credit to Hughton, who knows how to build things for the long term.

    Ashley and Llambias, the football geniuses, had Dennis Wise, Tony Jimenez, Jeff Vetere and, allegedly, Kia Joorabchian on player recruitment, but they went. One good decision they made after that though was to let Chris Hughton sort out the scouting instead and bring in Graham Carr. We are still reaping the benefits from that, including on Wednesday evening.