Sunday afternoon sees the return of several faces to St James’ Park as Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll and Sam Allardyce all come back to the club that once employed them.
For Nolan, it will be his first appearance since departing for West Ham in the summer transfer window of 2011. The Liverpudlian helped Chris Hughton’s side to gain promotion at the first time of asking and contributed towards making sure the team stayed up when back in the Premier League once again.
His comments about comparing the Tyneside city to a ‘fishbowl’ have been met with some disapproval among fans and it remains to be seen how he will be treated by the Geordie faithful.
Andy Carroll, currently on loan from Liverpool, will make his second trip back to the North East. Since linking back up with Nolan, Carroll has made an instant impression to highlight that he is still a top player. Certainly, he will feel that he has a point to prove with the £35 million price tag following him everywhere he goes.
Allardyce will show his face at the club he was only in charge for twenty-one games. He has spoken to the press about how he feels that his return is not important as that of Carroll’s and Nolan’s. The former Bolton manager was not a popular choice for Newcastle fans and he will likely feel the disapproval of the Geordie fans.
Both Demba Ba and Alan Pardew will be facing a club that once employed them. Alan Pardew has a strong record against the East End side and will make it his priority to keep it like that. The last time the Hammers visited the Tyne was back in January 2011, which saw Leon Best bag a hat-trick. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could pull off a result like that again?
Newcastle need to put sentiment aside in this one and focus on getting the job done. Allardyce will have his team fired up for this one, like he has done ever since he left us in fairness, and with Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll also with a point to prove, Newcastle will have to be wary of the threat they carry.
Hopefully we can cope with it all and grab the three points on offer.