Pardew facing a selection headache for Manchester City

Guthrie has given Pardew a headache
Danny Guthrie has spoken of how the team spirit within the Newcastle camp has allowed him to slot straight back into the team and play a part in our current unbeaten run.

Certainly in the Stoke and Everton games Guthrie has shown to a number of fans that he can fit seamlessly into the team if he has to be called upon when there are injuries to Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.

His performances have been ones of confidence and that must be partly down to the mentality that Alan Pardew has instilled in his players.

Danny Guthrie spoke to the Northern Echo whilst appearing on behalf of the Newcastle United Foundation in opening a new all-weather hockey pitch. Guthrie had this to say: “There’s a great feeling in the city at the moment, I think, not just the changing room. Long may that continue.”

There certainly has been a great feeling within the city and that obviously seeps into the ranks of the team. With the fans behind them and the confidence that oozes straight of them you can clearly tell that this particular group of players want to do the shirt proud.

Guthrie went on to reveal about the bad luck he faced with injuries last season: “I’ve had a torrid time with injuries in the past year, so it’s been really nice to get back into the side. You can try not to put too much pressure on yourself when you come into the side but you have to step up to the plate. Stoke away is not the easiest place to come in for your first start of the season!”

“I got injured in pre-season so I’ve always been playing catch-up. Once I got fit and played a couple of reserve games I felt I was ready. It’s terrible when you don’t get a proper pre-season. You can do your own pre-season with the physios but you’re forever playing catch-up and it’s really difficult. I was trying to do too much and picking up little niggling injuries but I’ve found a level now.”

Guthrie is clearly happy that he is back at a level where he can fully compete again. He missed the majority of last season due to injury and hardly featured for Alan Pardew. But now that he is fully fit again it seems to have benefited his game.

With the performances that Guthrie has had in his previous two games for the Toon he has demonstrated to Pardew that he is able to step up to the plate whenever he is needed. This gives Alan Pardew an interesting dilemma with who to play in midfield against Manchester City. If all out of Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote are fully fit then he has a nice headache to mull over of who to include.

Guthrie went on to comment on the French dynamo Yohan Cabaye: “Cabaye’s a top player and a top lad so it makes him easy to play with. He’s well liked in the dressing room. Everyone knows we lost some big personalities in the summer, but everyone gets on well with everyone else and that’s one of the reasons we’ve had such a good start.”

There is a lot of praise for the quality that Cabaye has brought to our side and he seems to have settled very well into life at Newcastle United and given that the French international came through 90 minutes for France last night it leaves Alan Pardew with a further dilemma. Now it’s not just about playing Guthrie or Cabaye or Tiote. Instead it’s about deciding whether or not to stick or twist with a philosophy that has served us so well so far this season.

One of the big things this season has been rewarding payers who play well with a run in the team. If they play well they keep the shirt. This had led to competition for places which has boosted the performances of players. Now, with our “first choice” midfield pairing fit, do we abandon that and replace Guthrie after his performances in the last few games?

What would you do?

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

15 thoughts on “Pardew facing a selection headache for Manchester City

  1. Play guthrie cabaye and tiote in the centre with ben arfa and gutierezz helping ba out 4.5.1 or 4.3.3 formation, ben arfas too good to be kept out of the team by leon best


  2. if pardew has got a headache then he should take some paracetamol and rub some tiger balm on his forehead. works a treat on worr lass when she’s not up for a bit. 😉


  3. There’s definitely the thought that all 3 could start in the center with a lone striker, probably being Demba Ba. Would that be fair to Leon Best though?
    He hasn’t scored in a while or made an assist, although his work rate has been right up there. Very tough decisions for Pardew, especially going up against Man City, where you would think we would want to packets midfield


  4. Who we play where is going to depend on players coming back from injury. We may have to field some players that are not generally a starting XI this season. Reports are a few key players are a doubt or just make the bench.


  5. Yeah I am all for playing Guthrie and Tiote either side of Cabaye with Gutti and Ben Arfa switching flanks and feeding Ba. We need to play a game of possession, keeping the ball when we have it and playing a good game of defensive football from front man to back. Man C away is a good game to end an unbeaten run and and even better way to keep one going.


  6. AndrewT Best was actually responsible for a couple of assists against Stoke. His miscue went to Ba to finish and he won the penalty so he might not be scoring just now but he is certainly helping Ba out in terms of him getting on the board.


  7. Sorry to go off on a tangent but I’ve just been reading about the Barca guy talking about reducing leagues to 16 teams so that the Champions League can be expanded.

    And given people’s penchant for bowing to the inevitable and fecking off with tradition… why not have a Euro league with 20 teams in it. And if you in the Euro league you can’t have a team in your domestic league. Then use the Champions for champions only to sort out who gets promoted to the Euro league.

    That might make domestic leagues more competitive. No longer would La Liga be dominated by two teams and no longer would the PL be impossible to win for anybody except a few.

    Just a thought.


  8. I dare say withouth Best Ba wouldn’t have got half his goals. Look at the Everton game. When Best went off our attack died because Best holds things up for Ba who drops deep and drifts out wide.


  9. if best is fit he should start,ben arfa has shown very little when hes been on the pitch,hes still not match fit.where as best hasnt let the team down in any way at all


  10. Dont think playing 4-4-2 is the way for this one they are too storng going forward think 4-5-1 could benefit us by closing down quickly and counter attacking with pace.


  11. If pardew played guthrie as well as tiote and cabaye they all pretty good in defence so maybe he will opt for this having said that you never know what is up his sleeve


  12. People always knock best and want ben arfa becasue one has the ‘name’ and the other doesn’t. Best works hard presses other teams defences which helps our defensive aspect and his running creates chances which helps ba. Whenever ben arfa comes on he’s looked off the pace, ben arfa will return to his best but it’s going to take him time been out for over a year and hasn’t had pre-season. No point throwing him in. Ben arfa or best shouldn’t even be a question at the moment.


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