Carroll-less Newcastle head to Craven Cottage.

CRaven Cottage - Home to Fulham FC.
Newcastle head to Fulham this evening to partake of their first football match since the departure of Andy Carroll.

Not that it would have mattered of course as Carroll is currently out injured, but it will be interesting to see what the reaction of the players will be to the loss of a popular colleague, friend, and in some cases, former lodger.

Will the lads who remain dig deep and retain that fighting spirit that has become almost synonomous with this team? Or will they let the departure of Carroll get the down and give them a reason to take thier collective eye off the ball? I’m putting money on the former.

It’s fair to say that it was a pretty disastrous transfer window for Newcastle as they came out of January with a smaller, and weaker, squad than the one that was with us at the turn of the year. Injuries and suspension aren’t helping to solve the problem either.

Steven Taylor will miss the game through a hamstring injury, as will new boy Stephen Ireland. Ryan Taylor is back in training but is nowhere near returning to first team action whilst Alan Smith, Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling will all be out for some time to come. Cheik Tiote serves the last game of his three match ban this evening.

With what we have left in terms of players, I would say that it’s likely we will end up playing with a team that looks a bit like this:

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Joey Barton. Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best.

Fulham have picked up as of late and will head into this game on the back of an impressive FA Cup win over Tottenham. Craven Cottage is never an easy place to go to, and I don’t expect that to change this evening.

As far as team news goes, Dickson Etuhu is doubtful as he battles with a hamstring problem whilst Mark Schwarzer will be rested after his exploits in the Asian Cup. Those two will join Matt Briggs, Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos on the sidelines.

Last time out, Fulham played with a team of:

Fulham: David Stockdale, Carlos Salcido, John Pantsil, Brade Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Steve Sidwell, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Clint Dempsey, Andy Johnson, Moussa Dembele.

Fulham have the edge with regard to the head-to-head record. The Cottagers have been victorius on 25 occasions compared the Newcastle’s 24 and there have been 13 between the two sides.

Mark Hughes is unbeaten as a Premier League manager in his last six games against Newcastle which includes his time spent in charge at three clubs – Blackburn, Manchester City, and obviously now Fulham.

Take the top four away and you will see that Newcastle are the top scorers in the league. The sale of Andy Carroll won’t help that of course, but as I said earlier, we wouldn’t have had him available tonight anyway, and we haven’t had him available for the last four games.

Tonight the lads get the chance to concentrate on playing football. They can forget what has gone on in the last couple of days. All of the mud slinging and finger pointing can put put in the background and the team can go about the business of trying to win the game

Howay the lads!

80 thoughts on “Carroll-less Newcastle head to Craven Cottage.

  1. Batty I just cant see him turning into another Gazza 👿 but I do think Nolan helped him from going any further down that road, so who knows what will happen when he dosn’t have them around him now.
    Talking of Nolan I am surprised that he didn’t try to talk him round, instead of telling him it was a big opportunity 🙁 . and even more surprised that he done an interview with LFC knowing the way the Fans feel .
    But its over now so I hope we can start to get back to the normal football


  2. Johno-

    You and me both, brotha 😉 Although I’ve got some Sam Adams waitin’ in the fridge and the game on DVR hehe. Livin’ in the States has its drawbacks like..


  3. Big Dave-

    Nolan is a huge Liverpool fan, m8. Not sayin’ he talked AC into the move, but of course he’s not gonna be too upset about it either.

    Still sh!te, but honestly I think we might look back and view this as a decent move after all. Provided we survive this season…


  4. OHurley, I think he has been influenced. Maybe by Nolan. We will never know. Point im going to make is Peter Beardsley might be a good place to look too. It was my feeling that when Hughton went he had a say in that, he is very quick to stick up for the current regime. After all if it doesnt work out for Andy he can always come back… cant he?


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