Please allow me to apologize for my absence the last couple of days--unplanned severely early mornings for work can sometimes get in the way of the things that are really important. In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson however, I'm Baaa-aaaack. Following the jump, of course, will be the links - today addressing Europe, Robin van Persie, Gaby Obertan and more. Later on, Three Question Thursday! (It may be a touch later than normal, but it's coming!)
Gutierrez told the Journal: "I think Van Persie was wrong. There was no need for him to do that - they have won the game, it is finished. "I can't understand a person like that. I think it is not right. When you feel like that, it is because you are not a good person. "I don't care about the football, I'm talking about the person. When you have people who do that, it's not right.
"You're a... You... You're... such a bad person! Like all the way through to the core!" - Stu from The Hangover
Pardew has consistently monitored both Ben Arfa’s fitness and attitude this season – and has been quick to leave him out of the team when he has felt the need. But following his contributions in recent weeks, and calls for him to be a more frequent starter, Pardew told the Chronicle: "I can’t fault him – I thought it was terrific. "It was a great goal (at Arsenal), and his workrate was terrific. "You have to say that."
"You think the pet rock was really a great idea?" "Sure it was." - Michael Bolton and Tom Smykowski from Office Space
Ba arrived on a free transfer last summer after being part of the West Ham team that was relegated last term, and his 16 goals have helped put Newcastle on course for Europe. Ba won 56% of the votes with Manchester United defender Phil Jones (31%) coming second and former Toon skipper Scott Parker picking up third spot with 13%.
In related news, water is wet, fire is hot and the sun is really quite bright.
"On Monday it was a different position for me. I felt I did OK – I tried to do what the manager had asked me to do. "I stayed back in midfield more and was asked to cut off the play to their wingers as much as possible. I did the best I could, unfortunately we lost, but that is football. It is obviously difficult to play a different role and come back after time out, but it is exciting too. Just to be playing again is very exciting after a long time out but yes, it takes time to get back into it.
I said, shoot to thrill, play to kill
I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will
-AC/DC, Shoot To Thrill
But Guthrie said today: "I’m just scheduled for talks. "Come the end of the season, my agent will be in touch with the club, or vice versa. "We’re just waiting to see what happens." But when asked if he was happy on Tyneside, the St James’ Park favourite said: "Of course.
Guidetti has revealed he may be prepared to leave Manchester City permanently in the summer, unless he is given assurances of his first team chances. If the 19-year-old decides his future lies away from the Etihad Stadium, it is believed Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will ask the Blues to name their price for the striker.
UEFA have confirmed to the Chronicle that an extra place in the league would be generated ONLY if two teams from the upper echelons of the Premier League reach the FA Cup final at Wembley in May. An ideal scenario for Newcastle would be a Tottenham v Chelsea or Liverpool final – providing the Cup hopefuls stay at the business end of the table.
We've got very very much hoping to do if we don't start winning... and soon.