CHN Tuesday Links: Be Afraid Edition

Have a laugh and a smile (and a Coke) and then bunker down... it's going to be a long close season.

A tremendous season in the Premier League has wrapped up with Europa League qualification. As the close season starts, it's time, as supporters of interlopers in the Top 6, to gird ourselves for the headlines that have already started. If you were unaware, all of our players are leaving, we're never going to survive next year and so on and so forth. "Pardew Fears Toon Exodus" and other similarly doom-saying headlines will be the order of the days to come and every player on the squad would like to go play at a "big club". We are looking at bringing in some excellent players and have some excellent players in the wings. Time will tell how the Toon will deal with the increased fixture load, but for the time being, it's time to enjoy what the lads and Alan Pardew have achieved.

...

And that's about as much time as we'll get. After the jump - looking back and looking forward.

Items From The Last Week Of The Season

Premier League - Cabaye's run-in with ball boy - Yahoo! Eurosport

The midfielder was clearly frustrated as Newcastle had gone behind in the first half, and when the ball went out of play in the 25th minute he rudely snatched it from a ball boy, almost knocking him over in the process, and then appeared to raise his hand towards him in fury. The crowd howled in disapproval at the Frenchman's actions, and referee Andre Marriner had a stern word with the player even if he somehow failed to hand out a yellow card. Cabaye did at least seek out the ball boy to apologise and give him a perfunctory hug - something which the youngster did not appear to appreciate at first, though he subsequently broke into a grin.

I can't let this one just slide by for two reasons: 1) It was way over-stated during the match. Apparently Yohan did not in any way shove the ball boy and this should be noted. I had taken an extremely dim view of the actions with the information that he had. 2) It's still not acceptable, and Yohan has shown a propensity for the petulant (remember that El Abd dude?) which is going to give him trouble when the kind of tactics that have set him off are in abundance in the Europa League.

Alan Pardew delighted to have the respect of fans - NUFC News - Newcastle United - ChronicleLive

ALAN PARDEW feels he has won the "respect" of the Toon Army in his first full season as manager of Newcastle. The United boss has become the first Magpies chief to complete a 38-game Premier League season since Sir Bobby Robson did so in 2004. Pardew endured a frosty reception upon arriving as manager in December 2010. But he has since won Barclays manager of the season, overseen a team that has scored 100 top-flight goals since he took over – and led United to a top-five finish.

Alan Pardew has certainly done the job thus far in his time at the helm of Newcastle United, but it was interesting to see that he was the first manager to complete a PL season since Sir Bobby. (The similarities KEEP PILING UP!!one1!!1!) We have become exactly what we have always been in recent memory - a squad that scores goals but is let down at vital times by suspect defense. Welcome to the Toon Army!

Bad boy Joey Barton’s Twitter rant at Alan Shearer - Local News - Shields Gazette

Magpies and England legend Shearer criticised the QPR midfielder after he was shown the red card for elbowing Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez in a Premier League match on Sunday. The 29-year-old then kicked-out at City striker Sergio Aguero before aiming a headbutt at Vincent Kompany. Shearer, now working as a pundit for the BBC, blasted Barton’s behaviour on Match of the Day, and suggested the midfielder could face a lengthy ban.

Here's one special for John. What a bell end. Not John... Joey.

Newcastle United net £54.4m from Premier League - Football - Shields Gazette

NEWCASTLE United earned almost £55m in TV money from the Premier League this season.

7th in the cash table... Anyone want to guess which clubs finished above us?

Welcome To Exodus Watch 2012™

Ben Arfa pledges Toon future | Setanta

Hatem Ben Arfa has pledged his future to Newcastle and is not thinking about leaving the club anytime soon.

Might as well start out on a positive note. One never knows, but at least Hatem is saying he is not leaving... that's something.

Alan Pardew is making a case for defence - NUFC News - NUFC - JournalLive

And Ecuélé Manga is an option for United if they fail to land top target Douglas, who will be available for transfer at the end of the Dutch Eredivisie season. Juventus are also tracking the Brazilian defender, who has moved to the top of United’s hit-list after Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen expressed his desire for Champions League football next season. Ecuélé Manga shares an agent with Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy, who is being earmarked for the right-back role next season if Newcastle can agree a deal before the European Championships.

Vertonghen might be out... but here are a couple of new names that I haven't seen linked with the Toon thus far. Predictably, they're all defenders.

Top four Newcastle United's target next season - NUFC News - NUFC - JournalLive

“It’s going to be a bit like a roulette wheel, and I’m hoping that the players we’re looking at all have awful tournaments. But there’s a good chance they’re going to have excellent tournaments, and all of a sudden, their price might look a bit different. “I think all of us will be looking at that closely.”

Alan Pardew (along with ever other manager in the Premier League) is hoping to get major transfers tied up before the European Championship... I wish him luck both for the financial side of it and the excitement side on the supporters' end.

Alan Pardew aims to bolster Newcastle United’s rearguard - Newcastle United - Sunderland Echo

“The third goal summed us up this year,” Pardew said. “We should have prevented that, and we’ve had a few goals like that. So we’re going to improve at the back – definitely.”

Not to beat a dead horse, but I felt that this quote should be out there for people to read. I mean... we all know this.. just nice to see Pards saying it.

Additionally, I did run across a French language site today that is linking Mehdi Abeid to a move away from Tyneside, either back to France or potentially to AC Milan, but I have no frame of reference with regard to which sites are reputable or which sites put out scholck, so I'm just going to drop it in here as an "I heard" sort of thing.

Looking Forward

Squad players will need to step up to the plate for NUFC - NUFC News - NUFC - JournalLive

It will be interesting to hear whether Pardew intends to attack the Europa League, or whether – like Stoke City – he will sacrifice league points for a morale-boosting run in Continental competition. The Potters, by the way, used only 21 players in their league season, so it is little wonder they succumbed to fatigue.

I'm not going to lie... the added fixtures are a concern. The fact remains, however, that we have a stronger squad than Stoke City, and with new players coming in and young players in the wings, we should be able to cope.

Top four Newcastle United's target next season - NUFC News - NUFC - JournalLive

“It’s going to be a bit like a roulette wheel, and I’m hoping that the players we’re looking at all have awful tournaments. But there’s a good chance they’re going to have excellent tournaments, and all of a sudden, their price might look a bit different. “I think all of us will be looking at that closely.”

Well... this is what happens when you aren't paying full attention when you clip articles. This quote is regarding Pards' hopes to get deals done before Euro 2012 and I'm getting guff from the OSotPGF to get busy packing, so I don't have time to change it. It's a good article, though... and I will say Top 4 is maybe a little ambitious.

Magpies told to enjoy Europa League (From The Northern Echo)

The gruelling schedule, with the potential to include long trips to eastern Europe, has caused havoc to clubs' domestic campaigns. It was also treated with disdain by Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this season when Manchester United had fallen out of the Champions League.

I think that we are going to have to prioritize competitions in order to avoid utter collapse. In a dream world, we do the triple with League Cup, FA Cup and Europa glory, but that's just not feasible. I would be happy to concentrate first on Europa, then FA and lastly League Cup glory.

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Keshi Leaves Door Open for Ameobi

"Shola is always welcome to the national team when he is ready to play. It's Nigeria's national team and he is a Nigerian so our doors are open to him whenever he is ready," Keshi said. The Eagles coach noted that he would not send invitation to the experienced Newcastle striker until the player has confirmed his readiness to play. "Like I have said before, as soon as he confirms his readiness to play, we would extend him an invitation, but until then I will not send him invitation," he said.

Do it Shola! You deserve it, my friend.

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