Newcastle United vs Benfica match banter!

Posted on April 11th, 2013 | 114 Comments |

Newcastle United v Benfica.
2-0 will do the job!
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Thurs 11th April, 2013.
Kick off: 8.05pm.
Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia).

Hello, good evening and welcome to our “match banter” feature for this evening’s Europa League second leg against Benfica.

As you probably know, the Magpies were soundly beaten 3-1 in the first leg at the Estdio da Luz. However, they did get an away goal so a 2-0 victory tonight will get them through to the next round. Although this might seem like a tall order against a team as strong as Benfica, Alan Pardew helped to put things in perspective by reminding us that all the team have to do is play as well as Barcelona did when they beat them 2-0 in the Champions League earlier in the season. On this the Silver Supremo said:

“There’s only one team which has beaten them by two clear goals, and that’s Barcelona, so that’s the size of the task, so we are under no illusions there. This is a Champions League team, really, and if it weren’t for Celtic’s fantastic performance in the group, they could have been competing in the Champions League. That’s the quality we are up against. I don’t think there are going to be many better sides that have played here than Benfica.”

Moving on to Benfica’s style he continued:

“They have a slightly different style to a Premier League team. They have some fantastic technical players – Gaitan, Rodrigo, Cardozo and Lima. They have a real, real threat on the counter-attack, and the game could get away from us – it could easily get away from us – so we have got to be very much on our guard that we approach it in the right manner, give ourselves a chance and try to get us to the end of the game in a position where we can get it back.”

“I would still feel confident two goals down with 10 minutes to go, the way that we are and the potential we have in the group, and the way I can affect it off the bench.”

That’ll be Shola on for the last ten minutes to score a brace then. Semi-final here we come!

Meanwhile in the other camp, Benfica’s head coach, Jorge Jesus, had this to say on this evening’s game:

“Newcastle will be strong in the first-half, not just in the last minutes. We will be ready for any strategy and will be prepared for strong attacks from the start of the game.”

He then continued by confirming that Benfica were prepared for Pardew’s long ball style of play this time, saying:

“I think Papiss Cissé and Shola Ameobi will start up-front. Newcastle have a strong game when the ball is in the air and we are ready for that, we have trained for this.”

Finally, he threw the usual pre match compliment our way by saying:

“Newcastle are a better team than their position shows in the league table. They have strong players and are a very good team.”

Well Benfica will certainly go into the game as favorites, though an overturn of last weeks result is not completely beyond the realms of possibility. So, I’ll leave it at that and get on with some team new by saying that Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote will both miss out, Fabricio Coloccini is around two weeks away away from a return. Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy are of course ineligible to appear in this competition after appearing with other teams, but Alan Pardew has speaking of the “miraculous” recovery Hatem Ben Arfa, even though it is the other team who have a coach called Jesus. The Grey Gaffer also promised a “cameo” from the twinkle-toed Tunisian.

It has also been suggested that the recovered Massadio Haidara might replace Davide Santon this evening, while James Perch is available again. Mike Williamson could also return to action for the first time in fifteen games in the absense of Coloccini and Steven Taylor. Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic remain out, with Taylor said to be a few weeks away from a return.

Which only leaves it for me to get on with my usual reminders that I will be posting team sheets, links to watch the game online, though this one will be on ITV 4 in the UK like the last leg. Finally, I will be posting highlights and probably a video of the whole match when it’s all over.

Howay the Lads!

Team sheets.

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara; Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye (C), Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse.

Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Dan Gosling, James Perch, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi.

Benfica (4-3-3): Artur (G), Andre Almeida, Luisao (C), Ezequiel Garay, Melgarejo, Eduardo Salvio, Nemanja Matic, Enzo Perez, Ola John, Lima, Nicolas Gaitan.

Subs: Paulo Lopes (G), Jardel, Maxi Pereira, Pablo Aimar, Andre Gomes, Rodrigo, Oscar Cardozo.


NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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114 Responses

  1. Krul, Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Haidara, Cabaye, Sissoko, Bigirimana, Jonas, Anita, Cisse

    That is from lee Ryder.

  2. Nice one Worky.

    Formations then? maybe 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-2-1? I cant see us using 4-4-2 with those players…

  3. dont see anything to give me confidence, we need a special night from cisse, he is due some good luck.

  4. Both teams are up now.

    Lima will be their hitman to start with. They also have Salvio this time who they didn’t have last time. He’s a very good player.

  5. You should be, then maybe you could tell him some sense.

    Oh well, we can still do this. We have nothing to lose so hope we just go for it.

  6. Thanks for the links. Bloody Liverpool, Chelsea and now Spurs have preempted all of our Europa League games. I don’t think there has been a single one over here on live.

  7. It’s a bit lame Spurs get ITV1 for the second time running but at least we still have ITV4. Not long left lads. Believe!

  8. workyticket says:
    April 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    “I want to see this minute’s silence for Mrs.Thatch or is it a minute’s applause?”

    I thought that wasn’t happening. Are they doing it?

  9. DarthBroon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    “I thought that wasn’t happening. Are they doing it?”

    Well I just saw that they were doing one. If they’ve cancelled it I missed the memo, Darth.

  10. Worky: I read a comment from the FA the other day to the effect that a minutes silence OR a minute of applause might not be a good idea.

    Not that this game has anything to do with the FA.

  11. DarthBroon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    “Worky: I read a comment from the FA the other day to the effect that a minutes silence OR a minute of applause might not be a good idea.”

    There’s going to be alot of people showing up down here in Trafalgar Square for a big party apparently.

  12. DarthBroon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    “If we pull this off,”

    If we pull this off, Pardew will be pulling himself off every time he sees his own reflection Darth.

  13. Fair’s fair, worky.

    He’s a good-looking lad – without the tramp fuzz.

    I just wish he had a bit of tactical nowse to go with the Saville row gear :)

  14. Haidara won’t reduce their numbers. It’s the only way we’re gonna break through.

  15. Bloody hell. Why is everybody in a b&w shirt STUMBLING over the ball tonight?

    When we have got it up the field, the final pass has been terrible.

  16. At least there’s a better chance of Shola staying onside.

    Much as I love Cisse, I think you’d have to go back to Carl Cort for a worse offender when it comes to straying offside.

  17. We need to get an early goal to make them a bit nervous and have Hatem run at them in the last 20. Worky, saving Shola for Sunday.

  18. Pardew did kind of suggest they’d hold back for the first 70-80 minutes, then hit ’em at the end of the game.

    “…it could easily get away from us – so we have got to be very much on our guard that we approach it in the right manner, give ourselves a chance and try to get us to the end of the game in a position where we can get it back.”

    “I would still feel confident two goals down with 10 minutes to go, the way that we are and the potential we have in the group, and the way I can affect it off the bench.”

  19. He also said he’d be “in tears” if we got through Worky.

    On way or another, I want to see him crying his f***ing eyes out when the final whistle goes.

  20. worky, if we get through, I will stand you a drink or three in the watering hole of your choice.

  21. I just worry they’ll get us on the break. Come on Toon. Let’s see the back of the net gain.

  22. Phisix says:
    April 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    “Willo = Hoof”

    Actually it’s Cabaye = Hoof, Phisix. He’s our biggest long ball player in the outfield, and not just in this game.

  23. pete_toon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    “worky, if we get through, I will stand you a drink or three in the watering hole of your choice.”

    Cheers Pete but I’m in London!

  24. Not a problem. I sometimes get down there. I shall post it on the blog next time I’m down and I will still stand you that round.

  25. pete_toon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    “Not a problem. I sometimes get down there. I shall post it on the blog next time I’m down and I will still stand you that round.”

    OK then pete, do that. Cheers mate!

    Shame about the goal, :-( Salvio’s a very good player though.

  26. good effort in the end from the lads, however why were bigi and anita on the pitch in the first place? i get one of them but marveux should of started in place of bigi, it seems getting an early goal didnt matter to pards.

  27. We played with confidence in the second half. Let’s hope it carries over to Sunday and that we start Marveaux.

  28. GS says:
    April 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    “We played with confidence in the second half.”

    It was “banzai” in the second half GS, but you do leave yourself open to a counter attack. They did try though and Benny seemed to make a bit of a difference when he was on.

    Divven’t have a go at Cisse for the offsides (not you GS). He had a good game overall, tried really hard and he did get the goal after all.

  29. Cisse was really fired up. He’s been like that for a few games recently and I like it as long as he doesn’t get himself sent off.

    His offsides when he scored were understandable as he was very close to the goal. They weren’t the ones where he is outside the 18 yard box and just not thinking.

    When he screamed at the lineseman I couldn’t hear what he said. I wondered if it was English, French or Senagalise?

  30. Hell even though we (Pardew) put out a less than top side, with Cabaye not at his best, we bossed the game for the most part.
    I think had he brought on HBA and Marveaux, earlier, things may have been different.
    How many offside goals does it take before Cisse gets it, Yeah i know it’s a split second, but these are blown opportunities that don’t come constantly.
    Someones gotta take him in hand and show him how it works.
    Nothing but good to say about Marveaux, but it’s not as if we should be surprised, he was a good player before he got here, same with Sissoko and Gouffran (unfortunately ruled out to-day) hell even tubby looked good to day, hope he does’nt put the pounds on again in the summer.
    Sorry to see Simpson go, and i think it’s curtains for Williamson, but give him credit he tried.
    I think with at least three new purples with an addition of someone like Baldy, we could have a competitive top six side in the coming season.
    Lets not forget it’s a side still in flux, that has not reached it’s potential.
    Those last three or four offside goals by Cisse could be for real, once the timing between players is finely tuned.
    Yes siree folks, gonna be one hell of a side to deal with next season, with our pace and talent and i think some of the players who might have signed contracts here, with visions of playing for a bigger side, may in fact be having second thoughts.
    Especially if we bring in some good signings.

  31. DarthBroon says:
    April 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    “I might have been a bit harsh about Cisse’s offsides”

    Darth, you’ll also find that others who are caught offside alot are players like Luis Suarez, Robin van Persie and other highly prolific goalscorers. That’s how it works sometimes. Cisse has scored 6 goals in his last 9 games now he’s settling into being a centre forward again.

    You could also berate Cristiano Ronaldo for being the player with the most off target attempts in the Champions League, until some smartarse like myself points out that he also has the most ON target attempts and is the top scorer. :-)

  32. chuck says:
    April 12, 2013 at 12:13 am

    “Sorry to see Simpson go, and i think it’s curtains for Williamson, but give him credit he tried.”

    Williamson actually had a better game than Simpson last night, Chuck, and was as good as his partner in central defence. He may have had a few problems with Lima but most defenders do and his aerial contribution were quite important (as usual). Simpson had a problem with Ola John too as he’s a good player like Lima. When Taylor played last week we let in three goals and one of them was entirely Taylor’s fault. Yesterday evening we only let in one against a very good side.

  33. Worky
    C’mon, face it how much did he have to do, (Williamson)as we had Befica on the back foot for most of the game and even then he had a cople of shakey moments.

    Though he did send in a good ball, that resulted in it going in the net, cant remember if it was the one that counted or not, so it was’nt all bad.

    In comparison Cabaye possibly had his worst turn out in the black and white, which usually means the side play bad, but the others more than made up for him.

    Actually surprised Pardew did’nt pull him, rest him for the Sunderland game.

    Marveaux,was left out for some unknown reason, i mean the guy has been playing well over the last few weeks, yet Pardew obviously does’nt get it.

    Can you imagine with someone like Aubameyang behind or in tandem with Cisse, Sissoko, Marveau, Gouffran, HBA and Cabaye available as offensive players.

    Tiote, Bigirimana, Perch and Anita and Jonas available in the DM roles.

    Plus Colo, Debuchy, Taylor, MYB, Haidara and Sansom defending, well atually both Debuchy and Sansom, as we know can do their part in attacking roles also.

    I expect we may even bring in another CD (in case Colo. is off) and an additional FB.

    A midfield Cabaye type would’nt be out of place either, but I suspect we have Sissoko designated for that role, the guy is so versatile.

    As for our second goalie, i see no problem there, Elliot has proven to be a good goalie, whereas Krul in his comeback has shown some rust and had a few close calls.

    I guess we will keep Shola for another year, hell why not, he has become a good impact sub.
    Gosling, who knows, sick note ?
    R. Taylor, not good enough
    Amalfitano, does this guy actually exist ?
    Williamson, do i have to spell it out.
    Obertan, got all the abilities, cant put it to-gether
    Kadar & Vuckic, been here long enough without any impact
    Abeid, talented, leave him on loan, see what happens
    Sammy, Ditto
    Fergy, could play right now, bring him back, we are gonna need talent like his.
    Campbell appears to be a favorite and has done well elsewhere, but this is the PL
    There are others, mostly on loan, lets see how they do.
    And let the academy continue to see if we have any real talent comming through.
    Though I intend to Agree with KK, that it’s rare these days for clubs to develope their own player, better to pick em up from a worldwide market as young and to an extent proven, but not yet priced outta reach.

  34. It’s mostly about scouting, but of course putting the right combination on the pitch and using the tactics that suit that particular eleven, certainly plays a big role.

    But there are clubs that constantly find young and for the most part undiscovered player (well not actually undiscovered, but players most of us have never heard of)

    I have noticed hat Glasgow Celtic are such a club, with signing people like the great Swedish striker Larsen and recently Garry Hooper from Scunthorpe, Kevin Wilson from Notts Forest,both of who we had shown recent interest in.

    Also LB Aguirre from Honduras and Wanyama, a Kenyan player, reportedly watched by MU. among others.

    I can understand the attraction of the club, with it’s history and the fact they play in the champons league every year (great Shop Window for a player with ambition)

    Plus due to the fact Celtic, not earnng the kind of money PL sides have been accustomed too, have to sell, if offered a price they cant refuse.
    Where i believe they beat some decent side, such as Barca and Benfica.

    Yep got a lot to do with scoutting, but even though we have done pretty goog in the French market, i believe we are limiting ourselves and whats gonna happen when the African Championship takes place.
    There are great talents in the Balklands and South and Central America that we appear to ignore, is that a good business plan ?

  35. Recent article in regard to the local derby which raised the question, is there too much hatred involved ?

    One interviewee, claimed he thought so and mentioned there was a time when fans would visit each stadium on alternate weeks, though a fan of one or the other.

    Others claiming for the most part it’s only banter and should’nt be taken seriously.

    I myself can recollect a pre-segregation era (pre hooligan era) where you paid your few bob an all mixed in to-gether
    Yes there was banter, continuous in fact, which only made for a more enjoyable time, as there were some quick witted remarks flying about
    The games final was accepted with the usual, you were lucky wait till mext time remark, but i never ever experienced anything close to violence.
    Plus it became a more entertaining experience, for all.
    Having taken part in such an experience, i think it’s become some kind of social phenomina, where there are pressures on fans to behave in ways they may not actually feel, but may think they are letting the side down by not acting like the mob, too bad!

  36. chuck says:
    April 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    C’mon, face it how much did he have to do, (Williamson)as we had Befica on the back foot for most of the game and even then he had a cople of shakey moments.”

    I think you watched the wrong game Chuck. Benfica were better for much of the game, then we had to go shit or bust for the last quarter. We were playing with four upfront more or less, and as I remarked during the game that we were pretty much playing the same formation as the greatest Benfica side of the sixties, ie 4-2-4.

    To Newcastle’s credit, they had a good go at the end and put Benfica under real pressure. Cisse scored and there was hope of another. However, when you play like that of course, you always leave yourself open to the counter, especially with a great counterattacking side like Benfica. They didn’t didn’t have to go kamikaze like us, just manage the game and get through. They managed the game and they got through.