What can we hope for against Norwich?

Magpies take on Canaries
After three weeks of writing about what we could hope for against the three best teams in England, I thought I would have to find a different avenue this week.

Hoping is OK against the big boys, but obviously after our difficult run of ‘hoping’, I was fully expecting a strong Newcastle team to bounce back in style. It’s not as clear cut as that anymore though, with our squad seemingly crumbling as we enter one of the busiest periods on the footballing calendar.

This week we face Norwich, a team that like ourselves, are somewhat over performing and proving the critics wrong, currently sitting in a comfortable 11th position. With three wins, two draws and two defeats at home, they haven’t exactly made Carrow Road a fortress, but they have managed to surprise a few, only being narrowly defeated by an in-form Arsenal, and ensuring the great unwashed left with nothing except red faces.

At home they have taken points off Sunderland, Swansea and QPR, whilst drawing against Stoke and Blackburn. Bar Stoke, all have been bottom-half teams. Their two defeats have come at the hands of Arsenal and West Brom.

Newcastle make the long trip to Norfolk this weekend with players seemingly dropping like flies. Steven Taylor is out for the rest of the season, while Fabricio Coloccini’s thigh problem makes him doubtful, although speaking on Wednesday night, he would not rule himself out. Mike Williamson appears to be still some weeks off full fitness, which leaves us worryingly short at the back.

Numerous ideas have been thrown about, some suggesting Davide Santon should play at centre-back, a position he has played at for Italy U21’s. Alan Pardew seems to prefer to use James Perch rather than youngster Tamas Kadar, and despite much criticism in the past, the ex-forest man performed quite well under testing circumstances when he was called upon last week. Beyond that there isn’t a lot to choose from, with the likes of Remie Streete, Jeff Henderson and Stephen Folan all untested at the top level.

In midfield Danny Guthrie is out for around a month, whilst Cheik Tiote has still not returned. Like Toonsy said in an article a while back, it all seems a bit dodgy. At first he was meant to be back for the City game, then the United game, and now it looks like it will be mid-December at the earliest. Murmurings in the week suggested he could be off in January, with some saying Chelsea have already agreed a £20 million fee. If true it’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

In his absence it seems Dan Gosling is poised to start alongside Yohan Cabaye. Jonas Gutierrez will be back from suspension, which will hopefully give Ryan Taylor the much needed defensive cover that was lacking against Chelsea. Sylvain Marveaux remains out, so Gabriel Obertan looks set to continue on the right.

Ironically, it is upfront, the position in which we tried and failed to bring in cover over the summer, that we are strongest, with all three first choice players; Demba Ba, Leon Best and Hatem Ben Arfa all fit. Shola Ameobi came on last week and looked strong, but it seems as though Alan Pardew sees him as an impact sub, rather than first-team material.

It’s important that we get back to winning ways. Looking back on both the City and Chelsea game, we could have easily scored two or three in each game. It’s important that we don’t look back on every game with this sort of attitude, and instead become more clinical in front of goal. Our latest poor run of form has seen us slip down into a perhaps more realistic 6th place, with Fulham defeating Liverpool on Monday the only thing that stopped us dropping to 7th. The gap between us and our realistic contenders for 7th place- ie; Stoke, Villa, Everton – is currently eight points. If we can keep that gap intact or even stretch it going into Christmas it will signal a very positive first half of the season.

Even with injury, our squad is good enough to get something against Norwich. They have looked good this season, but it is our games against the mid-table teams that really count, and if we want to be sat in the top-seven come the end of the season, it’s games like these that need to be won.

How do you think we’ll do at Carrow Road?

About Ben Johnson

In 3rd year of English degree at Leeds Trinity University. Hoping to go on and do something Sports Journalism related. Breathe NUFC. Follow me on twitter @nufc_blog

39 thoughts on “What can we hope for against Norwich?

  1. Too much is being made of our injuries, we are fortunate to have lasted as long in one piece and most other teams have also lost big players, Hernandez and Vidic in one week spring to mind.
    Tomorrows game is a big test of what we have in reserve, Norwich are an energetic passing side with a suspect back 4, if we take the game to them and get at them we will win but the reverse will happen if we sit back,we need a Stoke like performance to get us back on track.


  2. It won’t be easy, but there is a win to be had. We need to match their intensity and frustrate them to start with before taking the game to them.

    I just can’t shake the memory of getting beat there last time in the Premier League so I’d like to get one over them just for that!

    Draw as a minimum for me


  3. Decent article Toonsy, but the last one was better 😉

    Draw as a minimum but would love to go all out for the win


  4. I’m hoping for a win(as always) but any away draw is a canny result and Norwich are a decent team with a good manager so it won’t be easy and we’ll have to fight for it………..so 0-6 to the Toon 😉 😆


  5. Win.

    I also see Pardew is talking about being vunerable to ‘bigger’ clubs buying our players. He’s mentioning it very regular now. Sure he’s laying the land for a sale.


  6. jeff henderson ,folan and street need to be tested at least at confrence level first(henderson just done a stint at gateshead bogie said he did ok).then on to league club for further development. then i would give the lads a go.but all credit to the youth and reserve team doing well ……proud of them


  7. This is not a ‘bannana skin’, Norwich are by no means a push over they played brilliantly at old trafford and anfield and they get some phenomenol balls into the box from the wings so our new CB will have their work cut out from that angle.

    As it’s a new defense I believe we should go for that old 90’s toon cliche of however many you score we’ll score more i.e the best form of defense is attack.

    I think this is going to be a brilliant game with some end to end stuff and ALOT of mistakes from both sides

    TOON TOON!!! 😈


  8. Stuart79 @11

    Maybe Pardew is just being a bit clever, making this kind of comment to provoke a fans reaction. Pardew no doubt has made his personal feelings known to the owner but is hoping for the weight of public opinion to underline his.


  9. ok this is my prediction for this hard away match!! alot of people have got us down for a win but i must admit i would be happy for a draw! ive also seen every1 can see goals in this game which i very much can see!! here is my team

    simpson perch colo raylor
    obertan gosling cabaye gutierez
    shola ba

    my prediction for this game is a score draw , i think norwich are very good at home this season but i think we can defo scrape a point out of this one!!

    score prediction

    norwich 2 newcastle 2


  10. Agree with Stu re: Pardew.

    I have noticed recently he has repeatedly mentioned “we might lose our best players” “we can’t compete with the big teams when they want our players” etc etc – it’s like inviting them to make bids


  11. I think he is trying to prepare us. If it’s a ridiculous offer for Tiote for example i can understand. I mean 30 mill ridiculous. If he goes for 15-25million it’s a disgrace and proves we’ll never have a good team capable of anything!

    Spittin blood just contemplating it!


  12. I for one will not be happy if we do sell. I think Pardew needs to go if we do. The club has cut costs extensively and this will just take the P*ss!


  13. When Pardew makes comments about being vulnerable to “bigger” clubs you do realise it’s because he’s been asked a question about it?

    The way some of you go on it’s as if you think he sits down at the start of the press conference and just starts spouting off.

    The reason he is talking about it a lot is because he is being asked about it a lot, and the reason he is being asked about it a lot is because we’re getting ever closer to the January transfer window. Jeesh!


  14. “I for one will not be happy if we do sell. I think Pardew needs to go if we do.”

    😯 🙄 ❓ ❓ ❓


  15. Tony Toon: I say that because I want to believe that he is with “us” and not the board but if he has indeed been towing the line, then I like other fans will be unhappy with that.


  16. @Toon Chicken: I just feel he will have been sideing with Ashley if we do sell and he’s almost advertised them for 2 months now. Who does that?

    It’s just obvious he’s been told “we need to sell ……” If that’s the case he will go down in my estimations as he has had enough shyte chucked his way to put up with it.

    I’m just dreading next month as we’re always 1 step forward 3 back. I just think these idiots think that players are like cars and you can go out and get another one and make a profit selling them.


  17. I just find it annoying that the club and now the manager seem to be “offering” our best players to other clubs.


  18. We can all see it coming so Pardew must be able to – if we sell for anything less than a ridiculous fee then he is to blame aswell


  19. Not commented on a couple of earlier threads, “Deals need tying up”. Don’t think so Guthrie, Best, Colo, Raylor, Simpson, Harper. With the exception of Colo don’t see any of these as long term 1st team starters, and as squad players they are all replaceable by Carr specials or someone from the “A look ahead to free transfers” article.

    As to selling Tiote or Krul, don’t be so bloody silly. Neither. I don’t think AP is preparing the ground as much as stating the obvious. ie. we ain’t selling except for silly money or the players head gets turned.

    We have 8 players who I would hope to see long term in our starting 11, Krul, Colo, Saylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas, HBA & Ba, and a good crop of youngsters pushing for the the other positions and the bench.

    We are looking good.


  20. we will go nowhere selling our best players all the time,fair enough if the player wants out or silly money is offerd,but to just sell for the sake of a quick profit will get us nowhere.this has always been a big fear under ashley he sees a profit,and dosnt see a great chance to build a strong team to push the club forward


  21. think 3-1 to us,we will be able to attack norwich, a lot more than wev’e been able to attack in our last 3 games.Hope the comments saying pardew out are pisstakes,before the last 3 games,and these current injury’s,he was the best thing since sliced bread,and IF players are sold in january,do fans really think thats pardews choice?so lets hope fans dont turn on pardew, because we could lose the best manager we’ve had since sir bobby


  22. Transfer windows 1 step forward 3 back. Not this summer. We have a policy of buying cheap to sell at a profit irrelevant of the impact on the team, no evidence at all. There is a lot of paranoia out there today.


  23. Im predicting a high scoring game here. Maybes a 4-3 both defenses are weak but have strong attacks . Hope we don’t make any silly mistakes


  24. Good article Ben. Like always, we can HOPE for a win. I’d be disappointed with a loss but would settle for a draw. Despite the injuries though, if we want to be a top 8 side, these are the games we need to be winning.


  25. Amid our injury concerns, anything we take from any game is a bonus whether that’s a win or a draw.
    It’s basically a ‘keep your feet on the ground’ issue as far as we as fams are concerned.
    All games are difficult and circumstances on the field can predict the outcome, i.e cards, pens, injuries (hopefully not to us) as well as total focus on the game at hand.

    I think in the past we have went into games like this not fully focused , basically taking it more lightly than say, if we were playing Man Utd.

    We have to treat each and every game as our own cup final and if we do, I think we can soldier on until January and injuries clearing up.

    This might sound daft but having these injuries gives the young players the chance to shine but equally the injured players come back fresh and not battle weary .

    There is a silver lining to every coud 😀


  26. I think Nirwich will make it very difficult for us and wouldn’t be surprised if they line up with Morrison and Holt up front to really make life difficult for our stand in centre backs.
    That said, I still believe this is a game we should be winning. Our bench may look little weak or lacking in first team experience but I do feel we can field a strong enough starting 11 capable of winning the game. A point wouldn’t be a disaster with it being away but if we pick the right players and their attitude is right we’ll win.

    Simmo/Perch/Santon or Colo(if fit)/raylor

    That would be my line up for what it’s worth


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