Preview: Newcastle Utd vs West Brom- 30/11/13

Match preview by Ramone, click here to go the our match discussion thread

NUFC vs WBA Match Banner

Salutations bretheren,
Let’s get this out of the way first; we’re 8th. Somehow, despite the fact we didn’t buy anyone in the summer, despite the fact we lost to one of the worst teams in the league, despite the fact that our £10m striker hasn’t scored a single league goal this season, we’re 8th. Not only that, but we’re coming into a very winnable home game on the back of a three win streak. The performances that got us those 9 points may not have been as silky smooth as we’d like but there’s not much arguing with results.

Important Stats
Newcastle have 20 points, West Brom have 15.

Possible line-up

<krul>
<debuchy> <willo> <mym> <santon>
<sissoko> <tiote> <cabaye> <gouff>
<sham> <remy>

Previous encounters
One of our crowning performances of the 11/12 season was the 3-1 away victory against West Brom. The front 3 of HBA, Cisse and Ba we’re truly dangerous and proved it more than once against Roy Hodgson’s men. If you need a reminder, check out this.

The Ref

Phil Dowd will be the man sweating uncomfortably as he tries desperately to keep up with play on Saturday. Generally seen as a ref easily swayed by the home crowd, this could prove a big advantage for us.

says
All my defenders have got a fight on their hands at the minute because they are (all) playing so well, when you are winning games it is difficult to change it so it’s a tough call for myself on that one. I’ve got really good players who aren’t playing at the moment, and I try to do my very best to keep them in a good place for when they are going to be called upon. I’m a knob. And when they are called upon, they need to grasp their opportunity. Mike Williamson is an example of somebody who wasn’t anywhere near the first team for periods of this season, finds his opportunity and takes it. He will play on Saturday, 100 per cent.”

“There’s a good determination amongst the group to continue our run, we have great assets on the bench most games now and they can make the difference. This game could certainly be won from the bench on Saturday because we’ve got major players on there and so have West Brom.”

Where to Watch/Listen
The match day box office is open from 9AM until kick-off, and thanks to the visitors not selling out their allocation, tickets will start at £15 for adults and £5 for concessions.

The game is live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage starting at 5PM. Radio commentary will be on BBC Newcastle (local) and talkSPORT (national).

Overseas TV coverage: (via nufc.com)
6’Eren (Denmark)
Al Jazeera Sport +10/HD6
Al Jazeera Sport +9/HD1
BeIN Sport 3 Premier
C+ Family 2 (Poland) +HD
C+ Futbol (Spain) +HD
C+ Sport (France) +HD
Digi Sport 2 (Hungary) +HD
ESPN Brazil
Fox Sports+ (Italy) +HD
Fox Sports 2 (Australia)
GO Sports 2 +HD (Malta)
GOL Stadium (Spain)
Guangdong Sports (China)
Idman TV (Azerbaijan)
MTV Sport 1 (Finland)
NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Nova Sport (Bulgaria) +HD
NTV plus Futbol 2 +HD
OTE Sport 1 (Greece) +HD
Planeta Futbol (Mexico) +HD
PremierLeaguePass (NZ)
Sky Sport 2 (Germany)
Slovak Sport TV2
Sporting 2 (Belgium)
SportKlub 2 Croatia +HD
Sportsnet (Canada)
Star Sports HD1
SuperSport 3 Africa
TV2 Sport Premium HD
TV3+ (Denmark) +HD
Viaplay (Den/Swe) +HD
Viasat Football (Swe) +HD
Viasport Baltic (Sweden) +HD

Enjoy the game. Links will appear in the thread tomorrow at some point.

How do you think NUFC will do against West Brom, is a fourth straight win on the cards, or will our bogey Baggies be able to break the streak? Have your say in our match discussion thread here.

West Brom Fans’ Thoughts Ahead of the Match

Originally a forum post by you can call me yo, click to read/comment

This week I went to westbrom.com to ask the questions. Its getting to the stage that some new questions would be nice so please post any suggestions in this thread, I have replaced the summer question with something more applicable. The questions were:

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
9 – Scoreline prediction?
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?

wbasoprano

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?

Myhill
Reid McAuley Olsson Ridgewell
Yacob Mulumbu
Amalfitano Sessegnon Brunt
Long

Clarke likes to pull a surprise here and there though, so Morrison, Anichebe, Berahino or even Anelka might start.
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
Awful start, followed by some great results. We’re drawing too many games though, either through bad penalty decisions (Arsenal, Stoke, Chelsea) or poor finishing. Overall pretty happy at the moment.
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
Can cross, can finish, helps his right-back out with the ugly side, has a trick in him. Only thing he lacks is a turn of pace. Err no you can’t.
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
Berahino has made the headlines, Izzy Brown buggered off to Chelsea at the first chance so we’ll probably never hear of him again till he gets loaned to Brentford, not sure who will come through out of the next group to be honest.
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
Sessegnon, on his day, is unplayable, I’m sure you’ll give him a good reception too 😉 On current form Shane Long.
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
I think Remy is a great player so him.
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
We’ll finish about where we are now.
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
I checked my predictions and actually had you down for 15th, you’re got it together lately though so about 7th or 8th I think.
9 – Scoreline prediction?
2-1 Remy and some other French bloke, Olsson for us from a corner, he’s long overdue a goal.
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
Huh? Err… Is this Blind Date? A cherry because we’re rock hard in the middle

crazedwbafan18

1 – How do you think you’ll line up? 4-4-2, long and anichebe up front, mulumbu, yacob, amalfitano and sessegnon behind, olsson mcauley, popov and reid at the back.
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy? Not really, far too many points been dropped through not being clinical enough, generally sloppy play/bad reffing decisions
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain? Haha, he’s been a bright spark in our midfield, providing creativity and a sublime goal at old trafford. Very happy he’s in our side; itd be pretty weak without that sort of creativity!
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’? Our academy has always produced gems, and i still think the likes of Kemar Roofe, Cameron Gayle etc have a fairly good future ahead of them
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat? Long and sess, providing hes on target this time round unlike villa!
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat? Remy has been excellent this season, and Ben Arfa is a very big threat when he plays well.
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season? Midtable; 11th/12th probably
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season? Similar if im honest, probably around midtable maybe slightly higher than us
9 – Scoreline prediction? 1-1, another tantalizing draw for us -.-
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be? A pomegranate, the fruit(Team) people know are there but hardly sets the world alight!

Albion07

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
Myhill, Reid, Olsson, Mcauley ,Ridgewell, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt, Sess, Amalfitano, Long.
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
Incredibly frustrating, could and should be higher up the table and around 20 points or more. Without resorting to winging we’ve had numerous decisions go against us and also thrown away points from our own carelessness/ lack of being clinical.
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
He’s an excellent crosser of the ball and very good technically, Give us Debuchy and Romain and we may consider it (in fact not our decision as he is still only on loan)
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
The obvious one is Berahino, Not to sure who will be the next to make it though as many of our biggest talents have been poached, e.g Izzy Brown to Chelsea and Jerome Sinclair by Liverpool.
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
Sessegnon would be our biggest threat by a mile if he could finish, but probably Long in this sort of game. We’ll play largely on the break and we’ll rely on his pace against Williamson/ Yanga M (whichver Centrebacks are playing)
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
Remy on current form, Ben Arfa is your most talented player but enigmatic to say the least.
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
Hopefully top half, but I can see it being an up and down season.
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
Similar to us. I’d have my worries if I was a Geordie about Remy’s impending trial as well as the fans clear anger with the board/ Mike Ashley and Pardew never seems to be more than a couple of losses from pressure.
9 – Scoreline prediction?
To be honest nothing would surprise me but I’ll go for a 2-2 draw as we are a difficult team to beat.
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
A banana skin (hopefully)

Hull Baggie

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt, Long
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
Reasonably happy but we are frustrating, poor finishing and poor refs have cost us points but on the whole we aren’t playing too badly. We still look hard to beat.
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
Amalfitano is the kind of player we were crying out for, tricky winger with a killer final ball, tracks back..lacks a little pace. No you can’t swap him!
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
Berahino, Thorne (although both no longer academy players) Roofe, Gayle and D. Daniels are others.
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Long, Berahino..Olsson and McAuley from corners.
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
Remy, Ben Arfa, Cisse’s back!
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
8th -12th (probably nearer 12th!)
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
Similar to us probably 9th
9 – Scoreline prediction?
1-2
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
A Mango; tasty on the outside and a bugger to get through the middle of!

Fall Out Boy

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?

Myhill; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell (hopefully); Mulumbu, Yacob; Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt; Long. (4-2-3-1)
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
Relatively. A win at Man Utd doesn’t happen every season, but there are other games where we should have done better. And don’t mention the ref!
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
He seems very good. He is scared of a bit of hard work, and he has quite a bit of skill. He’s also set up and scored quite a lot since he’s been here… hopefully we’ll make it permanent, and you can keep Romain.
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
Saido Berahino has been making an impact recently, while George Thorne was in and around the first team before a bad injury (he’s now on loan at Watford to recover fitness). We keep having our better players taken by other clubs, despite having a well-funded and top class academy, so it’s a bit of a sore point.
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
Shane Long has scored 3 in his last 2 for us, and seems to have found a bit of form. Any time Chris Brunt gets a chance to put the ball in with his left peg it’s a threat, while Sessegnon and Amalfitano can usually come up with something.
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
Remy. Goalscoring strikers don’t seem to be popular at the minute, but he looks dangerous every time it drops to him.
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
About where we are now, maybe a little lower. We don’t have a real consistent goal threat (having lost Lukaku / Odemwingie), so to repeat last season is probably beyond us.
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
Most were expecting a struggle, but I think they’re underestimating the benefits of keeping a settled team. I think you’ll be fine in mid-table, like us.
9 – Scoreline prediction?
We could do with turning a few draws into wins, and I can see us being a bit difficult to beat on the road, but I can’t see us getting one over you this time. 1-1.
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
I’ll take anything, as long as we don’t go back to being run by vegetables.

LiamTheBaggie

1 – How do you think you’ll line up?
Myhill; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt; Long
2 – How has West Brom’s season gone so far? Happy?
We had a poor start but we turned that around by picking up some wins. We’ve played some good football and had it not been for some very poor refereeing decisions we could have been at least five points better off than we are.
3 – How good is Morgan Amalfitano? Can we swap him for his less talented brother Romain?
No you can’t is the answer. He’s a very good player. Provides us with a great balance.
4 – Do you have any talent coming through your academy? Who are the ‘ones to watch’?
Saido Berahino and George Thorne. Saido has had a great start to the season whilst Thorne has had his start delayed by an injury he picked up last season.
5 – Who should we watch out for / who is your biggest threat?
Morgan Amalfitano and the man you Geordies know all about – Stephane Sessegnon.
6 – Which of our players do you consider to be our biggest threat?
Loic Remy. His pace and movement will give us problems.
7 – What is your prediction for West Brom this season?
Somewhere in mid table. Hopefully replicate last season.
8 – How do you think Newcastle will do this season?
Mid table. Pardew to envitably sacked with Joe Kinnear taking charge.
9 – Scoreline prediction?
1-1.
10 – If your football club was a fruit, what fruit would it be?
Is there a fruit that everybody loves?

The thread on their forums can be found here.

Do you think the WBA fans are right predict an upper mid-table finish for Newcastle? Have your say in the discussion thread here.

Over the Wall, Over the Hill? A Future for Ryan Taylor

Originally a forum post by LaFraise92, click here to go the thread

Ryan Taylor joined Newcastle from Wigan in February 2009, having previously been part of a Tranmere Rovers team that reached the League 1 playoffs in 2004. His signing for an undisclosed fee in the throes of our relegation season seems somewhat symbolic of the club’s transition from the old ways; the only thing we know about the deal is that it was a part-exchange for Charles N’Zogbia. Taylor’s first season on Tyneside saw him set up Steven Taylor for a goal on his debut against West Brom, and make a total of ten appearances before we were relegated to the Championship.

Since then, he has arguably played two full seasons – the 2009/10 Championship, when he scored 4 from 36 appearances, and the 2011/12 Premier League, when he got 3 from 34, including the fondly-remembered “Oh Ryan” free kick which curled softly and alluringly into the mackems’ net. He had been mostly used as a substitute in our first season back, with James Perch and Sol Campbell taking up his usual position at right-back.

Towards the end of the 2011/12 season, Taylor was proving himself an invaluable squad player, providing cover for Danny Simpson, as well as a lethal set-piece specialist. He was also a fan favourite due to his mackem-bothering antics and a seemingly humble, focused nature, à la Leighton Baines at Everton. He had proven himself a decent, if not first-choice, right-back in the Premier League and distinguished himself with game-winning set pieces and assists.

As his 28th birthday came around in August 2012, it seemed that Taylor would be invaluable for our Europa League campaign. To that end, he started against Atromitos in our first group game on 23 August and it seemed to be business as usual with him bagging a free kick goal – but in the return leg on 30 August he would suffer a potentially career-ending injury as he tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee. He was stretchered off the pitch and is yet to appear either as a starter or on the bench, for either the senior team or reserve outfits. To add insult to injury, his misery was further compounded when, upon returning to training at the end of last season, he tore his knee ligament once again.

Alan Pardew has stated that Taylor will definitely miss the entirety of this season – giving him a potential return-to-availability date of August 2014, almost two years since he last competitively donned a Toon shirt. But this begs the question – will we ever see Ryan Taylor play another game for the Toon?

Mathieu Debuchy is well-entrenched at right-back, and as a regular member of the French national team is arguably of a much higher quality than Taylor. It’s hard to see Taylor pushing him out of contention, especially considering Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon and Anita are all capable of playing in that position as well. By the time he returns, Taylor will be touching 30 years old and in the final year of his contract, which expires in June 2015. By contrast, the oldest of our other available right backs is again Debuchy, who is a full year and two months younger than Taylor. Their styles also match quite closely – attacking, pressing wing backs – so it is a stretch to imagine that we would ever prefer to select Taylor over the Mighty Buche.

Surely it can’t hurt to have a free kick specialist around then? Well, Gallic huff-taker and all round dreamboat Yohan Cabaye has established his status as set-piece specialist at the Gallowgate, and Sylvain Marveaux has shown an eye for goal in similar situations, despite the fact that he seems to be confined to the reserve team these days. It would be hard to justify including a player just for free kicks, as much as we’d like to have that liberty.

Then there’s the question of whether Taylor will even be half the player he was before his injury. We see it time and time again – the slow, gradual erosion of a player’s abilities by age and injury: Marco van Basten, Steve Coppell, Paul Lake. Taylor is perhaps not of the calibre of van Basten but that does not make his drastic fall from grace any less sad. It seems more and more unlikely that Ryan Taylor will play again in a Newcastle shirt in anything other than a bit-part role. It’s a real shame to see a guy who seems genuine, fair and more than adequately skilled leave, but at this stage in his career it seems inevitable.

What do you think? Have your say in the discussion thread.

Are we going to lose the spine of our team next summer?

Originally a forum post by Smudger, click here to go the thread

Coloccini would go now if he could; he probably won’t in January but will make another push in the summer. I think it’s clear he just agreed to stay one more year as a compromise.

Cabaye made it pretty clear that he wanted to go in the summer. A decent season and/or World Cup and he will be off as well, especially as we can no longer hold the threat of missing an international tournament over him. The only way I could see him staying is if he has a poor season or clubs don’t meet our valuation.

Rémy, well we had better hope that there’s an agreed price and contract already drawn up. I was shocked a team like Arsenal didn’t snap him up in the summer and with us not agreeing a permanent deal (understandably, given the circumstances), a good season will surely see him snub us again.

My question is, do you see all three leaving, and are they replaceable?

For me, Yanga-Mbiwa is very similar to Coloccini and the signing of a big CB who would complement him would actually improve us defensively, instead of playing two similar players. This is probably why Williamson looks so good with either of them, he stops us being dominated by bigger players/direct styles.

I don’t know how we’d find a player who can play like Cabaye. We were linked with number 10s like Gourcuff when Cabaye almost joined Arsenal, which would mean a change in style for us as we’d have to play 3 in the midfield to accommodate such a player, and lose the flexibility of being able to use the same man in a 4-4-2 without getting overrun. I would actually spend the money on a top winger and promote Bigirimana to fourth choice centre midfielder, Anita is criminally underused as it is.

As for Rémy, we should do absolutely everything possible to convince him to join, and if he doesn’t then find someone in a similar mould. Having a forward with intelligence, pace and a first touch has been invaluable so far and going back to Cissé would be an awful step down.

What do you think? Have your say in the discussion thread.

Which team is better? Newcastle United of 11/12 or 13/14?

Originally a forum post by you can call me yo, click here to go the thread


We’ve had a talented set of players for the past three seasons and it’s only the squad depth that is preventing us from consistently challenging in the top six. However, at the moment we have been avoiding injuries as we did two seasons ago and with the other teams being weaker now, I feel that we have a genuine chance of doing something similar again. Of course it’s extremely unlikely that we will finish as high as fifth, but it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. I expect the team to change slightly this season with HBA coming back in for Shola at some point.

2011/12

Krul
Simpson Williamson Coloccini Santon
HBA Tioté Cabaye Jonas
Cissé Ba

Fringes: Harper, R.Taylor, S.Taylor (first ten games?), Perch, Obertan, Guthrie, Gosling, Shola, Best, Lovenkrands

2013/14

Krul
Debuchy Williamson Coloccini Santon
Sissoko Tioté Cabaye Gouffran
Rémy Shola

Fringes: Elliot, Haidara, Dummett, S.Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, HBA, Obertan, Marveuax, Jonas, Anita, Bigirimana, Cissé, Sammy

I think the first-team and squad in general is better this year as players who have been here the whole time have developed. Krul, Santon and Cabaye are better now. Tioté is getting back to his 2010/11 best. Rémy is better than Ba, but not by a lot. Cissé in the 2011/12 season was better than Shola is now. Debuchy is reaching form that is better than Simpson. Gouffran is better than Jonas was as he offers something going forward. Coloccini has regressed from the 2011-12 season, while Iron Mike is Iron Mike. Ben Arfa was amazing towards the end of the 2011/12 season, so I’d say he was better than Sissoko is now.

That said, I still do prefer to 2011/12 team purely for Perch, Best, Raylor and Lovenkrands, but if we add a few British players in January then even that aspect will have been addressed. Of course it’s down to Pardew to get the best out of the current squad. And to do so he needs to start switching his tactics depending on the opposition, then we may have a good chance.

I make it 6-4 to the current squad. How do you score it on a player-by-player basis? Have your say in the discussion thread.