Five of our next seven games will be on Sky. Happy days. Our game in hand finally comes around
So the second of our trio of away matches takes us to the north east, where we might as well stay till the weekend really. Rumours are abound that Allardyce was given two games to turn it around before the Blackburn game, and how sweet it would be to get that fat walrus looking cunt sacked. Given Newcastle and Middlesbrough’s recent form we should really be looking to take six points from these two games, which would give us some breathing room going into games against Chelsea, Spurs, Portsmouth and Everton. If we win this game in hand we go eight points clear of Chelsea, nine points clear of Liverpool and a minimum of six points clear of United assuming they win at home to Fulham tomorrow night.
Newcastle have lost four of their last five games, with a draw against the mighty Sunderland in the middle. It really is fairly remarkable what Allardyce is doing there. He had a good track record at Bolton, bought players to fit his system, didn’t spend much, got the team playing how he wanted to play, always picked his best team, and achieved moderate success with it. At Newcastle, he seems hellbent on getting sacked as soon as possible. He plays players like Butt, Geremi, Smith and Viduka, in place of players like Barton, Emre and Martins. With everyone fit, there is quite an obvious line up that they should play, yet Fat Sam has managed to avoid playing it in every game. Against Blackburn, he played N’Zogbia (a left winger) at left back, Martins (a left footed striker) on the right wing, Milner (a right footed winger) on the left wing, and Alan Smith (terrible footballer, and all round shitpiece) upfront on his own. He’s picking teams that have no chance of doing well, because no one has a fucking clue what they’re supposed to be doing.
In the league under Wenger we’ve beaten Newcastle eleven times, drawn seven times and lost four times. The last match between the two sides at St. James’ Park ended in a draw, and the season before that we lost 1-0 thanks to a Solano winner and a ludicrous red card for Gilberto. We last won at this ground in December 2004.
Abou Diaby and Robin van Persie are still two or three weeks away from returning. We’ll end up getting them back just at the end of our busiest fixture period of the season so far. Perfect. Hleb, Flamini and Fabregas are also out of this fixture. Flamini should be back for Sunday, but Hleb and Fabregas are likely to miss that game too. While Newcastle are undoubtedly shit, missing all three of Fabregas, Hleb and van Persie usually takes away nearly all of our attacking edge. With the players we have available, 4-5-1 is almost a certainty. Either Eboue or Walcott on the right, and Rosicky or Eduardo on the left. He may decide to use Rosicky in his left sided role, and play Denilson, Diarra and Gilberto in the middle, or use Rosicky behind Adebayor ala Hleb against Villa, and use Eduardo on the left. I’d like to see Walcott and Eduardo get a start really. I don’t like seeing Eduardo used on the left, but I can see it happening. We won’t go 4-4-2 missing our three best attacking players.
Subs: Lehmann, Senderos, Denilson, Eboue, Bendtner.
Note: That’s the team that they should play, not what they will play. Allardyce will find a way to squeeze Butt, Geremi and Smith into the side.