The toon army will be looking to beat Championship outfit Brighton and Hove Albion today in the FA Cup 3rd round clash at the AMEX.
After a dismal and frankly depressing winter period for all Newcastle fans, including myself, we will be hoping that the team can put in a good performance.
Since the start of December Newcastle only managed to pick up 6 points out of a possible 21 on offer. Along with a 2-0 defeat away at Bordeaux in the Europa League, luckily qualification was already secure!
This record cannot continue if the team and staff want to replicate the efforts and achievements of last season, managing to finish 5th in the Premier League under the guidance of Alan Pardew.
In recent years the FA Cup hasn’t been good for us, only managing to reach the fifth round. That was last season when we were knocked out by tomorrows opponent, after Mike Williamson decided to become a seagull for a brief moment.
Brighton are certainly no push overs, they have proved that with their performances, not only in the league, but in cup games in recent years. Currently sitting in 9th in the Championship, but only 3 points of the play off places they are going to be tough cookies.
The players aren’t bad either, Craig Mackail Smith and Ashley Barnes supplying the firepower up front with 16 goals between them this season, Buckley in midfield who’s skilful and can grab a goal or two himself and a solid defence and goalkeeper.
Ex Newcastle player, Kazenga Lua Lua will hopefully make an appearance today, I personally feel that we should have never got rid of someone that is quite clearly one of the best unrecognised talents outside of the Premier League.
As for Newcastle a number of first team players will still be absent, Danny Simpson ( Thank God he’s not playing ) is out with a broken toe, funny business at Tulisas house possibly the cause of injury?
Both of the Taylor’s, Ryan and Steven, are long term absences and Newcastle’s defences has sorely missed them this season. When their in the side I’m confident that we might have the chance to keep a clean sheet, without them we have no chance even with Colo in the side.
The French Messi, Hatem Ben Arfa is still sidelined with a groin injury. Ben Arfa is my favourite player, he has everything; Vision, pace,skill and a powerful shot.
Yohan Cabaye remains out, along with Fabricio Collocini and Papiss Cisse who picked up “slight knocks” in training, sounds to me like Pardew isn’t fussed whether we win or lose.
To me that would seem like a good idea, forget the FA Cup and focus on avoiding relegation this season, that should be the priority and it looks like Pardew has his right where they need to be.
But on a positive note Mathieu Debuchy should start after completing his move from Lille earlier today, I’m sure he will be a much better player than Simpson at right back and hopefully he can adapt to the English game quickly.
Finally Demba Ba completed his move to Chelsea yesterday for a fee of £7.5 million, that seems like a healthy profit to me for a player we bought on a free who apparently had a dodgy knee! I wish him the best of luck and I hope no Newcastle fans give him stick when we play them later in the season, players move on in football we just have to accept that.
I’m going for a 2-2 draw tomorrow then we can get them back to St James’ Park and dominate them. Either that or we beat them comprehensively today and send a message out to the fellow Premier League teams in the FA Cup.
Toon Toon Black and White Army!