Tuesday, 29 October 2013

In the Spotlight: Newcastle United

No. 11: A Derby defeat, Loïc Rémy and Sammy Ameobi

By Aaron Leggott

Following Sunday's catastrophic 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, the Blues turn their attention to domestic cup football as they travel to the North East to play Newcastle. The previous meeting between the sides saw City come out 4-0 winners. I spoke with Newcastle fan Adam Johnson (@ajnufc) to get an update on our opponents. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This is the first meeting between the sides since City's 4-0 victory at the start of the season. Do you anticipate a different result come 10pm on Wednesday night?

Adam: I think it will be a much closer game than the 4-0 at the start of the season.  Newcastle had a stupid red card which left us vulnerable.  You were able to use the width and exploit us only having 10 men. 

I think City will make changes and it won't be the strongest team coming to St James' Park. I think the addition of Loïc Rémy gives us a threat up front which we definitely lacked in the opening game.

A tough weekend for all Geordies after getting beat by Sunderland - do you expect Alan Pardew and the team to get a positive result after such a poor result?

Adam: Probably the worst team to play after losing the derby.  Our recent record against City is abysmal to say the least.  I think the fans just want to see a fighting performance and us to walk away win or lose knowing that we've actually gave it our all.  

That was definitely the feeling after the first game, that we just didn't give it a go.  The Sunderland game wasn't as bad as all the local press are making out, we dominated the game and they just wanted it that bit more which meant they won the little battles which cost us the game. 

What are your thoughts on the issues surrounding the club at the moment - are you for or against Mike Ashley?

Adam: Everyone forgets Mike Ashley put a lot of his own money in the club when we went down just to keep us running, never mind to get some players to get us back into the Premiership.  I'm not his biggest fan though, there have been some very stupid decisions over his time that have just asked for fans to dislike him. 

Bringing in Joe Kinnear was not his best move, but then to allow him to talk to all the press about our players in the manor he did; I think that topped it off for us.  Banning the local press after the Sunderland game has not helped things, and while we are so inconsistent on the pitch, the turmoil off the pitch with no permanent signings being made in the summer and distancing themselves from the locals hasn't made things better. 

We all know we're not the best club in the league but we are a very loyal bunch of fans who love a bit of passion and effort.  If you run around for 90 minutes, show some willingness and we lose 2-0, we're happy that the team gave it their all. 

The owner seems to just want to keep the books balanced.  It shows in all honesty when we're having to play a young lad at centre back. 

How seriously do you think Newcastle will take the Capital One Cup this season, and why?

Adam: It’s a hard one this, the board seem to just want to do well in the league so we get some extra cash, but Pardew has stated that silverware is what we are lacking.

Can you see Pardew making a number of changes for the game?

Adam: I think after the Sunderland game we will name a strong team to try and get a result, there may be a few changes but nothing major.

Predicted Newcastle line-up?

Adam:  (4-2-3-1) Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Santon; Anita, Sissoko; Gouffran, Cabaye, Sammy Ameobi, Rémy 

My only issues are whether Taylor will be fit, and the issue surrounding giving Pappiss Cisse a chance. There is also the debate over whether Tiote or Sissoko should play in midfield, but since Sissoko only played 45 minutes against Sunderland, he will get the nod. 

Who do you think will be your key player for the game and why?

Adam: I think Ameobi. He's a bit unknown but he's also full of trickery and pace. He deserves a start - and after starting in the previous two rounds - he was arguably MoTM in both games as well. Rémy up top will also cause some problems as well.  Hopefully they can combine well.

Who do you see as City's danger man and why?

Adam: It really does depend which team turns up.  I watched your game at the weekend and I thought Fernandinho was outstanding.  He controls the midfield well and covers his centre backs well.  City's strikers are the danger - and against our average defence - they will have a field day. The midfield is where this game is going to be won and if City go with Yaya Touré and Ferandinho they will cause lots of problems.

And finally.. prediction for the game?

Adam: I think we're going to come flying out the traps on Wednesday but I think City will have too much for us. 2 - 1 to Manuel Pellegrini's men.

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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