I had this terrible dream last night that Newcastle United had done everything they possibly could, finishing fourth in the Premier League and yet they didn't qualify for the Champions League. What's that you say? It could be reality? Spit.
Plenty of time to worry about that, though, eh? As a matter of fact, the links have several stories that are "worry about later" type stories... but since they're there, they get linked now. Also, thoughts on the Wigan match this weekend (not preview-type thoughts just yet...), a little bit of time to laugh at the scum (or not... I can't decide who to laugh at in this story) and memories from a former Toon player regarding the Champions League. Take the jump and check it out!
The Problem With Wigan
Wigan's average attendance is just 18,000 this season, despite the capacity at the DW Stadium being 25,000. And Pardew thinks that Wigan should take the money and let the Toon Army turn Wigan black and white. He said: 'I hope we get some more tickets and fill the place up. They could probably do with the money.' Wigan could make an extra £110,000 by accommodating all the Newcastle fans who have asked for tickets, but they would have to move season ticket holders to ensure proper segregation.
Add to this:
Wigan chief executive Jonathan Jackson said: "We strongly urge fan without tickets not to travel. Any Newcastle fans in the home stands will, on police advice, be ejected."
and I'm really concerned that things might get ugly this weekend. I certainly hope not, but it's all there for a little powder keg to be ignited. I completely see Wigan's side of the situation in that, to accommodate more away fans, they will have to move season ticket holders, which is not something you would normally want to do. The solution of "just don't come" is not ever going to work, though, either. I really, really, really hope that this match comes and goes with no incident... but I'm afraid.
News Involving Northeast Clubs
While United are at home to Swansea – who have nothing to play for – on May 6, City travel to Newcastle United on the same day to take on a Magpies outfit in great form and needing points to ensure a place in the Champions League. If City can take what they need from St James’ Park then we move on to May 13 and United will probably travel to Sunderland – another club who have nothing to play for – needing a win at the Stadium of Light, while Mancini’s boys are at home to QPR, who might still needs points for survival.
With the Mancunian clubs each having a match remaining against a club from the northeast, we are still yet able to ultimately influence the Premier League title race. There is the small matter of our jockeying for European competition to factor into the equation. As the author says:
United will probably travel to Sunderland – another club who have nothing to play for – needing a win at the Stadium of Light
There you have it.
Noble tweeted: "Sunderland was great until I signed a pro contract. Only one club gave me a shot at pro football. Many thanks to everyone at Carlisle United. Great club great fans." He later added: "Not bitter at all about leaving Sunderland! Sh*t club sh*t fans! Hope to see you's soon. Maybe give us a derby next year. Haha."
Did you ever have one of those situations where you can identify something is funny... but it's funny for multiple reasons. So you laugh... but even though it's funny, you don't know why you're laughing? This is one of those situations. I know that it's funny that a former player has said that the scum are a "Sh*t club [with] sh*t fans". I know it. This is a player that graduated Academy with that club and signed his first pro deal with the club... BUT this is a player that was loaned from this club and ultimately released. Not sold... released. I know THAT is funny as well.
This Is All Cool Now
Who at St James’s Park on a cold October night almost 10 years ago can forget the goal from Andy Griffin that saw off Juventus? Not Griffin, certainly. And not the 48,370 crowd. Written off after three straight defeats, Sir Bobby Robson’s side looked to be heading out of the competition until Griffin burst into the box in the 62nd minute and took a shot at goal, the ball cannoning into the net off Gianluigi Buffon’s out-stretched hand.
FABRICIO COLOCCINI has dedicated his place in the PFA team of the season to his colleagues at Newcastle United. The Magpies were overlooked when it came to the list of nominees for the main prize, with Robin Van Persie eventually taking the player of the year award. And while Captain Colo was proud to make it into the dream XI, he feels he couldn’t have done it alone.
This is definitely one of the awesome and enjoyable things about supporting this group of guys... It really genuinely feels like they buy into this whole team-spirit sound bite that we've heard all season long.
Cabaye set the tone against Stoke with two assists and a goal to lift Newcastle into the coveted Champions League zone. And with so many players on form, Pardew hopes that Demba Ba is about to join his close pal Cabaye in what he hopes can be another road trip party for the Toon Army on Saturday. He said: "It was Cabaye’s day against Stoke. Last week was Hatem’s day against Bolton. Before that, it was Cisse’s day. "I’m still waiting for Demba’s day, and I don’t think that’s far away."
Didn't Cabaye score two and assist one v. Stoke? I'm pretty certain I saw this the opposite way around in a different story as well. I mean... I know why you might get confused but...
Anyway- the point of this is the quote from Alan Pardew. This club as so many viable weapons that you just feel on more days than not you're going to get something from one of them. The awesome thing? When one is getting theirs, it's not at the exclusion or detriment of the others. Sure I understand Demba hasn't been scoring when Papiss has... but he has been hugely influential (especially lately) anyway.
NEWCASTLE United star Sylvain Marveaux is close to making his long-awaited comeback from injury. And Marveaux’s fellow winger Gabriel Obertan also has a chance of being involved against Wigan Athletic on Saturday. United manager Alan Pardew is hopeful the pair will be fit enough to make his squad for the club’s visit to the DW Stadium.
I think that as a support base we forget about Sylvain a little bit. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since he last played, but if you've forgotten how electric the side felt when he was introduced into a match, I imagine you are going to undervalue this news.
Let's Worry About This Later
NEWCASTLE could be forced to start next season's European programme without strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba. The Olympic football tournament clashes with the preliminary round of the Europa League, and it looks increasingly likely that Cisse and Ba will be selected in the Senegal squad for the Games.
I think that we've seen before that the Senegal FA is going to do what they want and ignore any requests from Newcastle United. We can figure that both Papiss and Demba will be tied to the Olympics (and, don't forget, the second of the consecutive-year ACONs in January). We have Shola who has scored goals in Europe and Peter Lovenkrands who has scored goals in Europe, but I'll be really hoping that we purchase a young striker not based in Africa to plug the gap a little bit.