As you all know by now, I hate international breaks, especially when it interrupts a fine run of NUFC form.
Still, I guess it’s part and parcel of the fixture calendar so we must put up with it, even though I have little interest in the England national team at the moment. It seems as though I’m not the only one with that view judging by Jobey07’s article the other day.
Anyway, thankfully it’s all nearly over and we can get back to what makes us all tick on a daily basis. That being Newcastle United of course. Let’s face it, they are the reason why we are on this site, right?
The Sky pantomime will rock into Newcastle over the weekend and the attention will be on St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon when Tottenham Hotspur roll into town, with both sides looking to continue a fine run of form.
Some fans have dubbed this our ‘first real test’ which I disagree with as I believe that every game is a test. I kind of get what they are saying though although perhaps they way they say it needs adjusting. Still, it’s a game against a top team who are in form which will gauge just where we are as a team in comparison to those who should be operating near the top of the table come May.
One of the big questions for me is the team selection though. Do we stick with the team that has done do well over the last few games? Or do we recognise a need to shake things up a bit on the grounds that each team we come up against requires a slightly different approach?
Either way Alan Pardew is potentially damned. Stick with the same team and lose and he’ll come under criticism for not changing things. Likewise if a switch is made and we lose the game the criticism will be for changing the team. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but who’d be a football manager eh?
Of course some changes could be forced upon us depending on injury. At the moment fingers and toes are crossed regarding Yohan Cabaye and all eyes will be on him tomorrow evening to see whether or not he plays for France, but we have other players who are away on international duty who I’m sure we all want to see return unscathed. There are rumours of a knee injury for Demba Ba but at the moment everything looks fine although obviously things can change.
Providing they don’t change, and providing everyone is fit to face Spurs, what team would you go with? The same team? Or would you be tempted to freshen things up a bit? Of course it will be Hatem Ben Arfa who will likely be the subject of much tactical tinkering, but we also have Davide Santon looking like he is ready for a debut and Sylvain Marveaux who continues to impress.
Personally I’d be tempted to keep things as they are for the start of the match and name the same side that won at Wolves nine days ago. That way changes could be made as we go.
What team would you go with though?
P.S – Tenuous link alert. The chances are that before the Tottenham game we’ll have hit the 1,000,000 visitors since we switched from .info to the now familiar name of nufcblog.co.uk back at the start of March. In just over six months, and for a site which is still new, that is fantastic going.