Thankfully, we have hit the downhill slope towards this weekend's fixture with Wolves. One way or the other we'll be able to finally wash the taste of the Spurs Capitulation from our mouths... either with the brilliant taste of victory or... well... there are other options, but let us just hope for the victory taste.
The Academy is in the news quite a bit today on the heels of a club-sponsored media tour of the facilities yesterday. I'm splitting that off into a separate post that will come a touch later in the day, so keep an eye out for that.
Players Coming Back!
But Pardew is now about to name his strongest team since January 4 when the Magpies floored the champions Manchester United on Tyneside. Pardew joked that Cheick Tiote’s return from the African Cup of Nations has already "lifted" the training ground in more ways than one. Tiote – nicknamed Mr T by his team-mates after the character from the 1980s US TV series – has already put in some hard, but good-natured, tackles in training, while Yohan Cabaye is set to return to bolster the Toon midfield.
Cheik Tiote pities the fool... /sigh I can't do it. I get that he hast the fauxhawk and all... but we all know that Cheik would demolish Mr. T. At any rate, it was a little eye opening that it's been since January 4 since we fielded as first choice squad as possible... hopefully it lights a fire and we go out and take three points in celebration.
"Three matches out was so long for me, and then another week without a fixture as well," Cabaye told Newcastle's official website. "It was very frustrating how it happened at Brighton, but that is football and I have learned from it. "I have worked hard to be ready and fit again. During my time out I have been training with the team as normal but also training on my own at home. "I wanted to stay as fit as possible so have been running and using the gym at home. If the manager selects me against Wolves I will be ready."
I suppose there's a discussion to be had whether Cabaye jumps right back into the squad ahead of Danny Guthrie. I personally don't feel there is much discussion... for me Cabaye is clearly the better option, especially in combination with Cheik.
But the player has returned from the enforced break for Newcastle feeling refreshed and ready to take out his frustrations on Wolves. Cisse jetted back into Newcastle Airport on Sunday evening along with his close pal Hatem Ben Arfa after collecting some of his belongings following his whirlwind move from Bundesliga side Freiburg.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse are good friends.... I wonder how this affects HBA's future, if at all. I'm not certain that HBA fits into any system that Alan Pardew is intending to play... which makes me question if he has a spot in the squad next season. He's a tremendous talent, for sure... but he's not going to suffer another season on the bench, for sure, and he shouldn't. But if he doesn't fit... he doesn't fit.
But it never lasted. The highs were too often followed by lows. And that’s what has frustrated fans. They’ve seen what the striker is capable of, but a lack of consistency has ensured he has scored 71 times in more than a decade. To Ameobi’s eternal credit, and something fans may not always been aware of, is that he has regularly played through the pain barrier to help the club out. When supporters shout and bawl at him for a perceived lack of effort, it’s often the case that he isn’t fully mobile, having agreed to put his body on the line to play for the club he grew up supporting as a boy after moving to Newcastle from Nigeria aged just four. It is something manager after manager, from Sir Bobby Robson right through to Alan Pardew – who handed Ameobi a new two-year contract in the summer – have appreciated.
This article is several weeks old... not sure how I missed it. Shola is a frustrating figure. One wonders what would have happened had he lived up to his potential. My problem with Shola is not a "lack of effort" specifically, although it has been noticed... my issue is that he frequently looks completely disinterested at times.
Say, how's that Hughton fella doing?
Chris Hughton further reinforced his managerial credentials as Birmingham continued to close on an automatic promotion place at Oakwell.
'm not certain if a manager has been promoted from the Championship to the Premiership two years in a row... but I intend to find out. That all said, it's hard to argue with the results for either the club or Chris.
St. James' Park Forever!
LABOUR MPs are calling on Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to reconsider his decision to scrap the name St James’s Park. The 12 MPs, including Jarrow’s Stephen Hepburn, have signed a House of Commons motion which describes the change to Sports Direct Arena as "corporate vandalism".
I'm not certain that these MPs have a leg to stand on with regard to "corporate vandalism", no matter how funny I feel it may be. It is awesome, however, that Parliament is involved in this whole process.