United stars deny rumours of players unrest

Players are ready to fight, says Tiote Newcastle United have released a piece of news/sort of statement regarding the recent rumours of divisions in the dressing room.

In a brief piece posted on the club website, stars such as Papiss Cisse and Cheik Tiote along with Managing Director Derek Llambias have responded to claims made by Luke Edwards in the Daily Telegraph earlier on in the week.

You can view the article from Edwards which has caused all of this by clicking here, but the fallout from it is perhaps the most interesting thing. Generally speaking I take everything, positive and negative, written in the press with a liberal sprinkling of salt, but the way United have reacted to this situation has left me asking more questions and has made me wonder now if there is something in these rumours.

The club sent a letter via a solicitor to The Telegraph stating that if the article wasn’t removed then Luke Edwards, and The Daily/Sunday Telegraph in general, would be banned from attending matches at St James’ Park, pre-match press conferences and player interviews. The Telegraph have responded by sticking to their guns and insist their sources are correct in an article which you can read here.

United then had another retort lined up and released an article on the official club website featuring quotes which you can read below. Essentially they all centre around these rumours and dismiss the validity of them. First Papiss Cisse had his say:

“Every player is together. We are totally focussed on Saturday’s game at West Ham and the two games after that. We have a strong bond and we want the best for our Club, our manager and our wonderful fans,” said Cisse.

He added: “We are not happy about recent results. Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team.”

His words were backed up by Cheik Tiote who insisted that everyone is in this together and that the players must, and will, fight to get out of the situation they currently find themselves in.

The Ivory Coast midfielder said: “We want to let the fans know that all of the players are committed and we are in this together. We will fight to get out of this problem and we know our fans will help us to do that. They are incredible.”

Meanwhile Derek Llambias also used this chance to take a swipe, presumably at The Telegraph, claiming that false rumours are just an attempt to distract the team.

“The Club is determined to turn things around and everyone is working together to secure that goal. It is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours,” said Llambias.

A lot has been written about unrest in the dressing room, not just by Edwards, so why the heavy-handed approach to the claims? Why not just ignore them? Or even better, why not use them as motivation rather than reacting so publicly? Where is the manager? Where is the Captain? Vice-Captain? Even the stand-in Captain?

At the end of the day these rumours have only gained momentum due to performances on the pitch. If they weren’t so terrible then perhaps they wouldn’t have even surfaced in the first place? Indeed it is only on the pitch where these rumours can be put to bed, and if I was Alan Pardew or the players, I’d be using all of the words questioning commitment and quality of players as inspiration for our game on Saturday.

In fact you could print them out, show the players what people are saying about them – how the French aren’t prepared for a fight, how Colo isn’t bothered, how Cisse is suddenly rubbish – and use it as a team-talk prior to the match at Upton Park.

Just a thought…

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

144 thoughts on “United stars deny rumours of players unrest

  1. Correct Toonsy, where are the captains and vice captain of the club?

    The game against WH will go one of two ways. Either we will be united and they will feel motivated to out in a performance or they will crumble as per Sunderland and Liverpool.

    Do they have professional pride or do they just not care as they will be gone if we get relegated.

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  2. Toonsy .I agree it’s bloody open season on our club in so far as the press are concerned at the moment. Like you say I would be putting all the press ******* all over the dressing room wall as motivation . If the players are anything like me then that would be a red rag to a bull and If it were me I would want to be shoving those words down the collective throats of all concerned. Couldn’t give a monkeys wether it’s true or not ,that can be sorted at the end of the season with fairweather players shipped out and the manager too if needs be ,but right now they need to come together for the good of the club and their own pride. HWTL We are Newcastle United and we MUST NOT go down without a fight .

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  3. The crux of the story is that “some individuals have been more interested in complaining about tactics”. Everybody watching is complaining about f’n tactics! Unless the tactics change, we’re heading down the pan. I’d therefore be surprised and disappointed if the players weren’t speaking out internally about tactics.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the club’s solicitors provided the statements, which look unnatural and contrived, so that the club could seek one or two players to put their names to them. Obviously, Llambias wasn’t going to approach the players from whom you might ordinarily expect to hear.

    This notion of pinning words on dressing room walls didn’t work after the Sunderland match; we went from 0 – 3 to 0 – 6. Any motivation provided by such a ploy needs to be channelled correctly or it’s wasted.

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  4. “…you could print them out, show the players what people are saying about them – how the French aren’t prepared for a fight, how Colo isn’t bothered, how Cisse is suddenly rubbish – and use it as a team-talk prior to the match at Upton Park.” A new face might get the right reaction, but Pardew’s face might be counter-productive if Pardew and his tactics are seen to be the problem.

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  5. TOONSY as you said plenty talk of this that and the other,at the end of the day talk is cheap and so is fight from what ive seen of late

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  6. What we need at the moment is not arguments about tactics and team selection it’s for Pards to look each player in the eye and select the 11 that wont hide.

    All this blame, doom & gloom needs to be dropped until we are mathematically safe. Let the inquests begin then.

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  7. I’m beginning to think Llambias has been sleepwalking into this mess, and is now providing the wrong lead. Sticking to, rather than questioning, the masterplan of the eight year contract set in the boardroom many months ago, he’s now flapping about like a headless chicken!

    It’s not lawyers he should be consulting when it’s footballing matters that are putting us in peril. Typical business man in football. It’s all gone horribly wrong; ring my solicitor for advice.

    Also, the classic problem of a duumvirate where, in one party’s long absences, the other party is hamstrung to formulate new plans and to act decisively.

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  8. Prem – Even if that were the right thing to do, Pards doesn’t take risks like that! He’s not brave enough.

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  9. Georgio and Aussie – My giving a shout for James “Smithy” Corden seems to have inspired you both. 😛

    What about a shout for Gok Wan, “It’s all about the confidence”. 😛

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  10. Toonsy I try to not take any heed from all the scare mongering etc but when I seen the club release the 1st thing I thought was why the Captain Vice or leader of the frenchies not been quoted as after all this would normally be their job to talk for the others.
    But I guess we’ll soon see if they are a team, I also noticed the players pre game huddle over the last few games 😕

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  11. cabaye sissoko tiote and hatem free position in front of them …
    ..and totaly free for attack behind cisse and goufran…
    ..it is the just the wright way and the key for wining games…
    ….with the profile of the actual player in the team this formation is the most equilibrate i think….. ❗

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  12. formation 4- 3 -1 -2 : elliot….left guti..colo…taylor…right simpson…
    tiote…cabaye…sissoko..
    ..ben arfa…free position 10….
    cisse..gouffran…
    i since winter this team formation and tactics is the most better pards can do…this team is equilibrate i think and solid defence blocs ..the offensive can i think it s best attack Tactics and can be very very impressive . ❗

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  13. Djebs – I generally agree with you. I’m not 100% convinced by the lineup, but certainly something like that would be our strongest XI.

    HOWEVER West Ham have proper wingers and a battering-ram style forward, so I’m thinking it would be suicide to play narrow and leave Simpson exposed against Jarvis. I’d be tempted to go for a 4-4-2 on Saturday. Every single player knows how to play in that formation, so there’d be no confusion.

    I’d even be tempted to play Obertan. He may be sh*t, but he’s a winger. Playing the right players in the right positions would be a good first step for Pardew.

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  14. West ham will turn us over they have something we dont; discipline.
    Look at bayern and dortmund – complete discipline

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  15. Blip you may be right. I definitely fear what Jarvis to Carrol might do. But Obertan? It’ll probably have to be Benny and Jonas on the wings. Or he might put Gouff left of a midfield 5. Who knows what the bloke might do. No doubt his tactical genius will get a final 3 spins.

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  16. Elliott
    Simpson, Saylor, Colo, Haidara
    Obertan, Sissoko, Cabaye, Jonas
    Ben Arfa, Cisse

    Gives us Ameobi, Anita, Tiote, Marv(?), Gouffran as useful options from the bench, depending on how the match is going.

    If Obertan is even more out of form than usual, Pards could even play Benny at RW and fling Gouffy/Ameobi upfront. Although that doesn’t provide much more protection for Simpson than a midfield 3…

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  17. Wonder who’s looking forward to the meeting of two geordie heads? Carrol or Tayls? Since Tayls can’t jump anymore it may be embarrassing. Of course he could always smack him one, he he.

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  18. Georgio – Great minds, eh? I suppose Benny has played at RW before. I just think Obertan’s pace alone might force Jarvis to think twice about committing forward.

    I’m not claiming he’s a good player or anything. But he is rapid.

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  19. Actually there’s a surprising amount of options. Simmo, MYM, Anita with his pace at RB. Haidara or MYM at LB? MYM in the centre instead of Tiote?

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  20. Elliott,
    Simpson, Colo, Willo, Taylor / Perch
    Anita, Cabaye, Sissoko
    HBA, Cisse, Gouffran

    Willo will be good in air west ham have no pace upfront.

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  21. Georgio – He cant be crapper than Mbwia against carroll. Also hes english so wont go missing halfway through the game like these french boys seem to.

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  22. Defo got to be 442 for me as I said yesterday and I would have Goofy and Cisse up front. Don’t look like Marv will make it but Benny needs to start imo ,I would be inclined to play Simmo at RB possibly Anita but Anita may be better in MF where he casn spray passes around . Is Harps fit only wondered if Eliott needs to have a break incase his confidence is wobbly after the 3.0 and 6.0 thrashings like.

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  23. Good shout with Willo, he could buffer Carroll in the air some what.. he is no worse than what we have put up with of late.

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  24. Disappointed that neither captain/vice captain were involved in the statement, but at least it wasn’t just Shola/Taylor being wheeled out.
    Local lads aside, there is no evidence that English players have more passion/are more up for the fight than foreign players. It’s total *******. Sure in the good times Barton/Nolan were praised for their impact on team spirit, I can’t remember them having any positive impact in our last relegation battle, does anyone else?
    One of the biggest impacts of a player helping his team steer clear of relegation was A Frenchman – Dugarry at Birmingham.

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  25. Big Dave I would prefer it if our team leaders did their ‘talking’ on the park, not in the ****in press!

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  26. I do feel sorry for some our players tho… it must be ****in hard playing 10 feet away from their preferred position. I mean imagine how bad it would be at work if you had to swap desks for a day, or if you had work in another section of the production plant you work at. Christ you would just not try because you are out of position and you would totally lose all your learned skills.. terrible stuff for our one position wonders, please Pardz, play them in the only spots the can play on the weekend… 🙂

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  27. Aussie@30 😆 😆

    Makes perfect sense for them to not be able to put a five yard pass together, especially when in football manager 2013 it shows the players are RED in those positions! FFS Pards they have to be at least yellow before they can play a part, everyone knows that!

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  28. Newkie 🙂 that’s the problem, once they pass, they don’t know where to run because the left side of the park looks the total opposite of the right 🙂 🙂
    ST 🙂 🙂

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  29. We shouldn’t just play 4-4-2 to counter WHU – trying to second guess our opponents has been our problem all bloody season man! – we’ve never done it yet.
    We need to focus on our strongest players playing in their favoured position and choose a formation that accommodates that.

    As for these comments coming out the club – exactly what I didn’t want to happen!!.
    Let the world talk about our club, manager, players whatever, but have the players totally focused on the game – not coming out making these statements.
    I would have used it as motivation, as Fergie has for years over and Pulis has done at Stoke in recent weeks.
    Fuck the media – play and win the bloody games man!.

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  30. Aussie @30 – totally agree with you mate.
    It’s like when you see a player not having a shot with his left foot – coz its not his favoured foot!!
    These are PL footballers who train every bloody day – they shouldn’t have a favoured foot!!.

    Also, who is playing so far out of position?!, its not like we’re playing Steve Harper up front or Cisse in goal or out like that like is it?!.
    Plus, I wouldn’t say Raylor is the most able and complete footballer in our squad (no offence to him) but he still managed to do a good job at left back.
    It may not be ideal but with the injuries we’ve had this season, needs must.

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  31. “FAT SPANISH WAITER DAY” yesterday. 😛 “SHIT SQUAD DAY” today! 😛 Yeah but, no but, …

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  32. Sharpy your left foot analogy is spot on mate.. i’m sick of all the excuses.. the bull**** has to stop now as far a I m concerned..the Dutch invented total football, we have invented total gash…

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  33. Sharpy & Aussie – your humorous analogies don’t work. You’re talking a qualified painter being asked to be a bricklayer today. He might manage a few bricks in the right place just as central midfielder Sissoko managed a couple of crosses from his right wing. Well our wall fell down alright last Sat.

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  34. “..the Dutch invented total football, we have invented total gash…” 😆 you gotta laugh, Aussie.

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  35. And Raylor didn’t do a good job at left back. He was hanging on for dear life most of the time. He only survived in the team because Jonas covered his ass all the time.

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  36. Georgio, r u kidding?? I guess it was a bit much to ask Sissoko to run down the wing, beat your man and swing in a cross. I can see how he was out of his depth..

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  37. Sharpy’s right as well.
    Sissoko aside sometimes is anyone else even playing out of position?!
    HBA on the right attacking forward doesn’t count as it seems he’s played there many times for other clubs.
    Jonas is a left winger, he played right back at a world cup I’m sure he can handle left back against Wigan.

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  38. Georgio, some attributes are transferable. The ability to pass the ball in a straight line springs to mine, bit of work rate as well, no?

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  39. I’m out of position therefore I can’t remember how to track my man or even attempt to go and get the ball.. 🙄

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  40. Can you imagine having a squad whereby you get key injuries to your better players and you have to turn to Shola, Sammi, Ferguson, Obatan, Williamson, campbell, Perch, jonas, Simpson.

    I wonder why some wonder why we are struggling so badly. With an average manager and a crap squad, its not rocket science.

    Absolute mediocrity runs right through the club.

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  41. Georgio – I think you’ll find that Painters and bricklayers are totally different trades mate!!
    You wanna be careful or you’ll have Dom Littlewood and the cowboy builders after you mate.
    I’m not asking our players to play prop forward or run the 400m.

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  42. Troy – I have said all season the the gulf in quality between our starting 11 and the rest of the squad is too great and therefore whenever were missing one of those 11 our team is weakened.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting a squad of players of equal ability and talent as we couldn’t keep players happy. But if we are to move forward we need to reduce that gulf

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  43. All I’m getting at is the number of times and number of players he’s played out of their BEST positions it’s no wonder we’re doing so badly. Or maybe you think it’s best to play Cisse on the right wing. Gouffran as a left winger or Willo as a centre back.

    Sometimes it’s even looked like he was trying Shola as a striker.

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  44. Absolutely spot on Troy @51. That’s what so many of us have been banging on about for so long. Take 2 or 3 players out of our lineup (I’m thinking of Ben Arfa, Ba, and Colo) and we really are poor quite often. We never replaced Ba as if that was a reasonable option and some of our other decent players have been poor as well (Jonas, Tiote, and sometimes even Cabaye). What does that leave? Very little. And Pardew has not been able to nurse the squad along at any decent level. It’s been a recipe for disaster with an idiot like Llambias in the background who knows nothing about the game.

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  45. Lads, is it any wonder that Pardew is struggling when the players can’t string passes together half the time and that’s got nothing to do with tactics.

    Pardews the fall guy for many on here but questions need to be asked about the club and the lack of foresight.

    Appointing Pards in the first place shows lack of foresight but he’s only part of the problem.

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  46. This really comes down to us, Villa or Wigan going down I believe. I still think Wigan will go down. Then it is up to Ashley in the summer to sort things out. We can pretend the board has some power as well I suppose. A true cleaning out is required. Sack Llambias and Pardew straight away. Bring in a top football man for both of those positions. Make a statement to the supporters that you are committed to improving the club and then actually follow up on it Ashley. You can’t hide your incompetent personnel any longer. The facts (and the table) speak for themselves.

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  47. Luke Edwards ‏@LukeEdwardsTele

    I will be giving my side of the story to #nufc ban and the story that caused it on Radio Five Live shortly after 5pm for those interested

    …If anyone cares and/or is in a position to listen.

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  48. I don’t think I’ve ever seen us lose our shape on the pitch as badly as we did against Liverpool. We not only didn’t hold the line against them, there wasn’t any line most of the time. Saylor caught completely out of position waving his hand. Debuchy looked lost at times, as did Haidara. How does that happen? Why wasn’t Pardew screaming about our shape right from the start? What is happening in practice these days? There should be anger going through these lads now and a desire to get back on the pitch to make it right. I hope that’s the case.

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  49. I do often wonder if these journo’s actually think they are helping the supporters by printing stories like the Telegraph have recently. They said in their statement that they will continue to tell it how it is for NUFC supporters. What if they’re wrongly informed? Does it really help us to know that there are problems? With all the bad publicity it causes I would rather not know until after the season.

    So in short newspapers and journo’s are just in it for themselves, care for nobody and certainly not the supporters of the clubs they cover.

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  50. The turnaround, if there is going to be one will have to start at the top. I think Ashley will see a change is very much needed now. I fear it won’t include Llambias being sacked as he is a mate but Pardew has run out of time at the end of this season. We can’t suddenly sell 4 or 5 foreign players and find new players to bring in but we can sack a manager who is clearly out of his depth. We can re-establish some kind of order and discipline in the squad with the right manager. Confidence will return. Most of these players are internationals in one squad or another. They will be hurting about this as we are (I hope). The right manager could and would do wonders for us next season. He will want to make some changes but there is quality in the squad that can be built on.

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  51. Have to agree Stuart79 @62. They are like vultures circling Pardew’s carcass. At least some of them. There are a few decent journo’s that actually write intelligently about the game but they are few and far between unfortunately.

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  52. I see Luke Edwards says he has text message from players backing up what he said.

    Like I said, even if true – why bring it up now when we’re right in the mire? He said he wrestled with his conscience as to the timing of the story! Yeah right! He couldn’t wait to get the story out there!

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  53. Shaun Custis is a NE journo and the Suns chief football writer and is normally on sunday supplement to chat about all things Toon ,so how come he’s not in the know about these so called rifts if it’s true 😕 .Anyone follow him on twitter?

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  54. @Stuart79
    Great post, their follow up article made it seem like they were martyrs for the bloody toon cause.
    Don’t mind a bit of analysis on what has gone wrong, but they were completely trying to stir **** and kick us while we’re down.

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  55. Not much good news to lead us into the weekend and West Ham. Still the lads are away from home so the pressure should ease a little and our only point in the last 3 games has come away. We’ll need to be strong at the back and in the middle against the Hammers. It will have to be Saylor in the air against Andy but Colo will have to settle the defense. Play Sissoko in his proper position, sit Tiote who is completely out of form. If Jonas can raise his game I would risk him without Tiote. What a mess. Ben Arfa needs to start and score. Cisse seems well off his game and has gotten no decent service. If Gouffran can play well we may have just enough to get a 1-1 draw.

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  56. This is a time when we need a man like Shearer to lead out the side but they are few and far between. I think that’s something we’re really missing, on field leadership. The game can be made to look simple and elegant but only by the best teams. I would try for a simple game plan against the Hammers but it would require Ben Arfa and Gouffran to get a lot of touches and a solid midfield effort to supply them. Cisse can be dangerous in the box as well. If we don’t mount an attack from the start instead of sitting back and defending I think we’ll lose, plain and simple. Our counter attack has been nonexistent in the last few games. Keep a tight line, let Colo pick up the lose through balls and Saylor handle the balls in the air. Then attack with 5 players, not just lump it up to Cisse.

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  57. G2 ,Exactly , no more hopefull punts up field to an isolated Cisse ,it won’t wash and every team know that’s what our tactic is. Give them something to worry about as in trying to keep more than one potential goal scorer quiet. 🙄

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  58. Elliot
    Simpson Saylor Colo Mbiwa
    Anita Sissoko Cabaye
    Ben Arfa Cisse Gouffran
    I think Marveaux isn’t available. I would like to see Sissoko sit deep to protect the back four as Tiote used to. Cabaye and Gouffran can try to link up with Cisse. Ben Arfa can unsettle their left back and either cut inside and shoot or take it past the LB and cross it. Cisse must get into the box and get more service. We don’t have much on the bench at this point but Jonas could give us 30 minutes or so and if we’re desperate we could try Shola but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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  59. Spot on Kimtoon @71. We should have been doing this for the last few games. Not fielding 4 DM’s and praying as Pardew seems to want to do.

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  60. Its about time the other teams had to worry about us instead of us worrying about how to stop them. I think we need to get Goofy up along with Cisse and Benny in behind them doing what he does best.

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  61. Who can we can’t on for a good performance in the last 3 games? I would think Saylor will give it his all but has to stay within himself. No more charging up the field. With Colo beside him he should play better. Elliot will be fine in goal and distributes the ball well. Simpson should play a simple game and just try to get the ball to Ben Arfa as often as possible. Cabaye must lift his game. No ifs and ands or buts from him. Sissoko will play better in his natural position. Cisse must stay under control and not go offside repeatedly or shoot wildly. Gouffran can play a strong supporting role by stretching their defense and trying to get into the box for a shot. Ben Arfa has to get the ball in good positions in their half and then attack as only he can. If we play a simple game under control and don’t just panic and lump it up the field we’ll get a point.

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