ncleve

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Everton – 28/12/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Yacob

Newcastle United are playing their final match of a very disappointing 2014 today against an out of form Everton side. Both teams desperately need a win after an average first half of the campaign, with both holding hopes of a European challenge, but that’s looking unlikely given their current positions. Either team would benefit from a victory to carry momentum into the new year.

Newcastle have conceded 3 or more goals eleven times in 2014, which is the highest for a calender year since 1975. In our last 38 matches, we have only picked up 42 points, which is relegation form in anybody’s definition, but Pardew is as safe as houses, especially after a modest winning run. Alan Pardew has lost 21 of his last 38 matches in charge of Newcastle, which is a worrying stat, considering he isn’t close to the door. Fan pressure will build again and the next two matches at home are crucial. Newcastle have had a difficult run and with a trip to Chelsea to come, they need to gain some momentum against Everton and Burnley.

Everton were excellent last year as Roberto Martinez showed he had the character to lead a bigger club than Wigan after taking his side to the brink of Champions League qualification. However with the added pressure of the Europa League, his side have struggled as the squad have been stretched and key injuries and players being out of form have hindered them so far. They’ve lost four of their last six matches in the league, over a difficult run, but Martinez would have been hoping for better results against Southampton and Burnley. Continue reading

manunclopp

Manchester Utd Fans’ Thoughts on the Match

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Yacob

I headed over to Redcafe to ask the questions and got a decent response as always. Check out both threads, plenty more replies. The questions were:

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
2 – How do you feel the team have progressed since the arrival of LVG? (as opposed to last season under Moyes)
3 – What young players could make an impact?
4 – How good to you think De Gea can be/is?
5 – If you could have one football player, past or present, live in your spare room who would it be and why?
6 – Have you got used to not having Ferguson as manager (still seems a little strange to me)?
7 – If your club was a biscuit, what biscuit would it be? And why would it be that biscuit?
8 – Who would be the first choice defender you would like to see you sign in January?
9 – What are your thoughts on Newcastle United as an outsider?
10 – Scoreline prediction?

MannyB

1 – Where do you think you’ll finish this season? What about Newcastle?
I expected us to do top 3 at the start of the season. Then we dropped quite a few points, but we were able to grind out results and we are back up there. I’m hopeful of top 3. Top 4 minimum.

2 – How do you feel the team have progressed since the arrival of LVG? (as opposed to last season under Moyes)
We are better despite what journalists, opposition fans and pundits say. There actually seems to be some direction and belief this year and it’s starting to show. Injuries have really stifled our progression into our new way of playing.

3 – What young players could make an impact?
Januzaj is talented but needs to start showing it. Blackett is pretty decent.

4 – How good to you think De Gea can be/is?
He’s been great for us this season. He had a shakey couples of months when he joined (which I feel was exaggerated) and people formed there opinions of him. But he’s finally getting the plaudits I think he deserves.
How great he can be, depends on how long his current form holds up. I don’t remember van der Sar hitting this level of form though.

5 – If you could have one football player, past or present, live in your spare room who would it be and why?
Eric Cantona would be such a laugh. Or George Best.

6 – Have you got used to not having Ferguson as manager (still seems a little strange to me)?
It was weirder last year under Moyes comparing how very different the two men were and how they carried themselves. I’m over it now we have LVG and looking forward to seeing the team progress.

7 – If your club was a biscuit, what biscuit would it be? And why would it be that biscuit?
Don’t eat biscuits

8 – Who would be the first choice defender you would like to see you sign in January?
Hummels

9 – What are your thoughts on Newcastle United as an outsider?
Don’t mind them at this moment. A well supported club. There was a point when fans would go on and on about how big a club they are. That was annoying. Other then that, you guys are alright. Pardews a bit of dick

10 – Scoreline prediction?
2-1 to us hopefully. But we have a habit of dropping points this season so you never know.

Continue reading

manuncl

Preview: Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd – 26/12/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Boxing Day sees Newcastle travel to Old Trafford for the second time on this holiday in three seasons in hope of halting our slide down the table by avoiding our traditional Christmas hangover loss to a north-western opponent, as has happened six times in the last decade.

Going into the match the two sides are in contrasting form; the hosts have been great of late, after a slow start to the season they went on to win six on the trot until a draw with Aston Villa halted the streak; while the visitors are being harshly brought back down to Earth after their own winning spree, in the last couple of weeks this included two heavy defeats in North London and a late loss to our local rivals after overcommitting in the derby.

Manchester United sit in fourth with no ability to climb, only to try to close the gap over the leaders Chelsea, who may be as many as 13 points ahead by kick-off, and their local rivals Manchester City, who have a seven point cushion. Failure to win could see this season’s surprise packages West Ham and Southampton overtake them. Newcastle are currently ninth and at risk of slipping back into the bottom half for the first time since November’s run of form propelled us up to European places. A win can only take us up a place if Swansea lose to Villa.

This fixture last year was arguably the highlight of the season, despite a 1-0 scoreline. We played an attacking 4-3-3 and took the game to the hosts, dominating throughout thanks to a classy display from our midfield trio of Anita, Cabaye, and Tioté, and on the odd occasion that we did come under attack we defended admirably, included a goal-line clearance by 5’6” Anita of all people. The breakthrough came via a right-win surge from Sissoko before a cut-back for Cabaye to coolly slot home. According to the ToonForumIndex of fan ratings, this match was our best team performance of 13/14, and also Pardew’s best game of the season by some margin. Continue reading

nclsun

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Sunderland – 21/12/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

Sunderland travel to St James’ Park looking for third win on Tyneside in as many seasons. Newcastle United, meanwhile, have had a week as dreadful as those last three derby games, conceding 8 goals and scoring 1 in back-to-back games in North London. We do however sit 7 points and places ahead of 15th placed Sunderland as we look to increase that gap further to 10 points this weekend.

Sunderland’s away form has been poor of late; the black cats have won only 1 of their last 6 games on the road, although they have only won 2 games, home or away, all season which is the joint lowest record in the league alongside Leicester and Hull. Newcastle’s home form on the other hand is very good; we’re unbeaten in the last 6, winning the last 4. The form guide certainly points to a home win, but we all know form can mean very little heading into a derby.

The Magpies’ recent derby record is nothing short of horrific. We’ve not won in 5 meetings and the last win was the Ryan Taylor over the wall game. Gustavo Poyet is unbeaten in Tyne-Wear derbies while the Toon Army have only won 1 during Alan Pardew’s dismal reign in charge at St James’ Park, and that came at the Stadium of Light in August 2011. Continue reading

totncllc

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle Utd (LC) – 17/12/14

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

This evening Newcastle face Tottenham in a League Cup quarter final match at White Hart Lane, four days on from a 4-1 loss at their rivals’ ground four miles away, and four days before welcoming our own rivals to St James’ Park. This is our second visit to White Hart Lane this season, the previous match a 2-1 win following a half-time turnaround and some pro-active subs that arguably sparked our winning run.

As is always the case in League Cup stages other than the semi-finals, which are two-legged, this is a single match in which one side must emerge victorious on the night, with extra time and penalty shootouts being used if necessary. The victors will advance to the semis alongside Chelsea, who beat Derby 3-1; Sheffield United, 1-0 winners over Southampton; and either Bournemouth or Liverpool, who play their match at the same time as us, with the draw for the next round taking place on Sky Sports 1 after today’s two ties. Continue reading