Opportunity to experiment?

Time to tinker?
Alan Pardew has recently said how sorry he feels for some of the players on the fringes at the moment and how much he would like to give them a chance at some point.

I would think these players understand, as at any club, it is extremely difficult to change a winning side. They will have to wait for their opportunity and to my knowledge there has been no toys thrown out of the pram as yet.

Obviously when these chances do come along it is imperative that anyone looking to stake a claim for a spot in the strongest starting eleven needs to do their upmost to impress and give Pardew real food for thought.

Although it is a risk to make wholesale changes at the moment, looking at the run of fixtures preceding the two trips to Manchester and home game against Chelsea there is an opportunity to give some their chance to shine and prove they should be on the pitch when we face the big three come the end of November.

First up is Wigan at St James Park. With Wigan only taking one point from four away games to date, conceding thirteen goals in their last five games and struggling to score with only six goals in eight games, this is a match Newcastle should definitely be looking to take all three points from.

I think a home fixture to one of the weaker sides in the Premier League does open up the opportunity to make a change or two at minimal risk. Personally I would like to see Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa start. The two to make way being Gabriel Obertan and Leon Best. Both have played well in my opinion but at the same time are the two in the attack in most need of reminding their positions in the starting eleven are far from sewn up.

Davide Santon also deserves a shot from the start as does Dan Gosling but for a must win game I would like to see the defensive side of the team remain intact for the moment. I think their opportunity will come sooner rather than later with the Carling Cup tie and it is not worth the risk making too many changes for Wigan.

The Carling Cup game at Blackburn is next up after Wigan and I would expect as with our previous cup ties that Pardew will make wholesale changes to the side despite it being Premier League opposition. Again I would expect Marveaux and Ben Arfa to start and play ninety minutes. Along with those two I would fully expect Davide Santon, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Guthrie and maybe James Perch to start.

The only others I would like to see would be Shane Ferguson, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic and Sammy Aeobi although I can`t see any of them starting the game. For a cup we look like really pushing for this season it is of course a risk to make so many changes and I don`t know how other fans would feel at this stage, maybe we would be better served sticking with our full strength side?

The reason I think Pardew will make changes is the following two fixtures don`t leave too much room for experimentation. Stoke at the Britannia Stadium is never an easy fixture and will be a battle more than a game for finesse and taking risks.

I would fully expect us to revert back to the tried and tested for this one. It is not a game that will suit the likes of Ben Arfa and the only change I could possibly see from our first eleven to date would be maybe Davide Santon coming in for Danny Simpson, simply because of the set piece and aerial threat that Stoke will try and make the most of.

The final game before an international break and the trips to Manchester will be Everton at home. Again, not a game I would like to see us experiment or take risks in but given the opportunity to do so before then and the massive fixtures after this match, it will be the final opportunity to have a look at what exactly is the strongest eleven to take the field against the title contenders.

It is a home fixture which should make us confident of getting a result and by then I would expect one or two will have made an impression. The one man we might see on the pitch by then is Hatem Ben Arfa. With significant smile material in the memory bank from the last time he faced up against Everton a lot of fans will want to see him on the pitch and by the sounds of things he will want to be a regular fixture by that stage too, he wants to be now.

The only others I can realistically see making enough of an impact to be in consideration by then are Marveaux and Santon. I think Marveaux could well be in the side ahead of Obertan by then to be honest. Another performance like he had against Nottingham Forest and a couple of cameos in the league and he will have done enough to warrant a place in the starting line-up in my opinion.

As for Santon I`m not so sure. It seems to be the case that we are slowly integrating him in, letting him get settled, improve his English etc. Basically there seems to be no rush to get him in the starting eleven as the defence is doing a good job, but in saying that he has the potential to demand a starting spot and is looked upon to be a first team player, so he has every chance.

All speculation aside, the next four games provide a great opportunity to experiment and give some promising signings a real chance to prove their worth. Come the end of November there won`t be the same opportunity to have a look and tinker.

By the time we play the Manchester sides and Chelsea I would imagine Pardew will want to be 100% on what his strongest eleven is, and even beyond those games we then hit the hectic Christmas schedule which won`t provide the same opportunity to experiment. Everyone will need to be fit, ready and up to competitive speed to get through that period and be in a good position to push on come January.

For the moment, what a luxury to have. To be debating on how to get players like Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Santon and others into your starting line-up. No wonder there is renewed confidence on Tyneside.

What do others think? Should we use the next few games to give fringe players a chance or stick with the tried and tested who have us in the position we are in?

204 thoughts on “Opportunity to experiment?

  1. MM

    I think Hughton did a fantastic job under trying circumstances, but with the squad he had, anything other than winning the league would have been an absolute failure. Still he couldn’t do more than that. And we hit the premiership hard.
    But he just isnt cut out for the big time for me. I think he’ll be a good relegation scrap type manager. Plus he’s a fantastic bloke. Hard to dislike him. But he’s almost too nice.


  2. MM you should ask the Ladyboy lover how he would like it if people started questioning his sexuality 😆 😆 but you are right he is a Coward of the highest order


  3. I still think that Fat Sam is the wrong type of manager for West Ham and their fans will turn on him towards the end of the season if they arn’t up there. It’s only right though, he suits a Bolton or a Wigan or a rugby supporting northern town. Look at where he did well, at Bolton. Why do managers pick the wrong sort of club to go and manage, it’s stupid. They are never going to take to his style of management at West Ham so why go there. (Other than for his next paycheck and spanish holiday villa of course)


  4. Big D…in respect of Troy he did come on here and take it on the chin and admit he had been proven wrong…at least so far….but he also admitted he found it all good stuff… not like some other doom mongers elsewhere… 🙂


  5. Big Dave

    When thens in all likelihood go tits up for a while in November, they’ll all be back like foghorns on a misty harbour.


  6. Steven Taylor has blocked more opposition shots than any other player in the Premier League this season (14). Not only that, but Steven Taylor also has the most headed clearances of any other player in the league.

    Not bad for a useless sh_t eh Stardust!?

    I think he makes the perfect foil for Colo who then mops up and sweeps up everything around Taylors physical presence.
    They are both also good distributers of the ball. Something which Simpson really needs to work on.


  7. Batty-

    You guys need to lay off Wanky… he can’t help it that he’s a little slower than the rest of us 😉


  8. MM he did mate, and tbh I think Troy is a good laugh, but too many dont seem to get him
    A lot of us get him just fine, which is the problem. He’s not as bad as some others though


  9. had to laugh guy just asked if comments are being taken off blog,and his was taken off,what a bloody joke,on org like


  10. 🙄 witters 😆 😆
    Spence thats who I was talking about, I haven’t seen him in ages.
    Unless he find the footie boring and only likes the windows 😉


  11. This site is the best blog about imo, the only one with a good un biased view, and a good bit of craic. I like the footy mad forum as well but the blog writers on that are stupid as fuck 😆


  12. Ice…what was the second one he removed? seen the first one 🙄

    Dave….it’s spooky that, I was thinking earlier Army hasn’t been on for a while.

    Whey, that’s me all packed for a short trip to Welsh Wales, we could have had Swansea away this weekend ffs 👿


  13. Spence there is one on here is the same 😆 😆
    Richie im surprised that you would be on there 😕 how long are you over for, and what has you going to the land of the leeks ❓


  14. Dave….Munichs comments got me interested to see what crap was going on, same old same old.

    Best man at an old army mates wedding…..it’s taken him 22 years but at least now he admits I’m the best man 😆



    Not a bad day, just busy, grey, rainy, cold… kind of a typical English day lol 😉 That and I’ve got to do inventory in my store tonight so I’ll be staying late hours. Woohoo…


  16. I’d say the cup games are where we should be changing the team, not the league.

    Don’t take Wigan lightly. Certainly we should expect to win this one, but we have a history of falling over in the ‘easy’ games. Sure we broke that hoodoo against Blackburn, but we can’t rest assured until we’ve broken it a few more times.

    And if we want to push on an try and win the cup, I think it’s time to start playing a strong side and only change those positions that are, perhaps, contested. So, Santon for Simpson, Marveaux for Obertan, Shola for Best, Ben Arfa for Ba.

    Maybe rest Cabaye or Tiote, probably the former, and play Guthrie or Gosling or Vuckic. The only other change I’d contemplate would be whether to give Perch another run – he seemed to do well against Forest.


  17. Again I don’t think I’d make any changes to the league team…maybe Arfa for Best, but i’d rather make that change at about half time and see where we are. Marveux for Obertan was my shout when we were chasing the game against Spurs, but from the off I think Obertan should start, he’s more reliable tracking back and we need to see if his sharpness can come back and see what he’s all about.

    Mass changes for the cup though, expect to see completely new team but i would love it if we LEFT OUT LOVENKRANDS! Aye he might score, but if we’re playing Shola and Loven we’re asking for a boring and possibly dodgy result, they just don’t work together at all. Get Shola on with his brother playing behind him, or leave him out as well and save him for the super sub role? Marveux and Arfa on as well with Gosling in the middle and some youngsters/santon at the back.


  18. To test the theory that we have loads of depth;-

    If they got injured…

    Goalkeeper………..Ellott, Harper
    Defenders……..Perch, Santon, Kadar, Ferguson
    Midfield……..Benny, Gosling, Marveux, Guthrie, Abeid, Smith
    Forwards……Shola, Sammy, Lovenkrands, Ranger.

    That means in the league we are only really one injury away from crisis. Thats the thing, it depends really on which player gets injured. In defense and attack we are potentially one injury from crisis, in midfield we have more cover but no real cover for Tiote.

    I just looked at the subs for the last game, there was no real CB cover. Not even James Perch, there was just Santon as the only sustitute who was even a defender.


  19. DJG – Remember we will have Williamson coming back soon so that will give us at least some cover at the back. We could do with mire no doubt which is why I hoped Kadar would start to step up as its going to be tough to sign a decent centre back to sit as 4th choice.


  20. Witters@176…ok mate…thanks for leaving the Kraut bit out though !….

    I’ll not write too much cos I’m boring… 🙁 🙁 😥


  21. Munich…in all honesty I don’t know why you bother with that place. I used to deliberately try to wind them up but in the end you realise that most are bitter, twisted, believe they have a mind of their own when in reality they are weak minded deluded fools and they’ll never change. They are beyond help, argument & reason. They don’t support Newcastle United, they think they do but they don’t, they don’t have it’s best interests at heart & are total c u n t s (bar a few).

    Have a good day, today why don’t you greet your german colleagues as krouts & see what happens, for research purposes & let us know what happens later!!


  22. Very late but…. @ no 5

    HBA does not need his confidence back, he loves to hold onto the ball (far too long imo) obviously that’s because he’s just coming back and he’s trying to prove what a great player he is.

    I do not believe this lad is lacking in confidence.

    Only change I’d make is HBA on to start for Best. Don’t get me wrong – I like Best but we need to start seeing what this lad can do.

    Bring Marveux and Santon on at about 70 minutes, let guitierrez switch to the right and let’s see if Santon and spiderman can link up. I suspect they could be a match made in heaven!

    I’m about to make a mess in my trousers at that 😕


  23. Shit… one sub left 😯 I’d also switch ameobi for ba sometime in the 2nd half to see if he’d repeat the spuds game.


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