Toon Crier: Focusing on Europe

Hoping to see Gouffran on the pitch, doing this, soon - Richard Heathcote

The lads put Tottenham behind them, while their European foes play to a draw

It is no fun looking at the league table and seeing Newcaslte in 16th. Currently, the Toon sit 4 points above the relegation zone. Though, in a statement to how compact the table gets (one you get passed Manchester United, anyway), if Newcastle win their next time out, they'll have 30 points, level with 11th place West Ham United. 11th sounds and feels a lot better than 16th, obviously. With the next Premiership match taking place at home against Southampton, there will be some pressure to get the three points for sure. Their win over Manchester City aside, Southampton are level with NUFC in points. Both teams will be eager for a win.

Unfortunately, that match isn't until the 24th. Newcastle will have two Europa League matches before getting back to the business of staying in the Premier League. Onto the links!

Alan Pardew says Newcastle need two more wins to feel safe. A six point bump would put Newcastle at 33 points. If 40 is the magic number, NUFC wouldn't be totally safe, but it could give some breathing room. Also in this article, Steven Taylor says he has Learning French CDs in his car.

Pards has kind things to say about Gareth Bale.

Kind of an amusing write-up of Metalist Kharkiv's draw with Whitley Bay. The Ukrainian team asked for a lot of privacy for their friendly with Whitley, originally wanting it to be played behind closed doors. They finally relented, providing no one wear black and white in the stands. Metalist didn't release a team sheet for the match, but players came out of the tunnel with names and numbers on the kits. While Pardew was absent, I'd be amazed if Newcastle didn't send someone to scout.

Metalist needed the tune-up because they haven't played since December. The Ukrainian Premier League is on winter break. As far as I can tell, England is one of the few leagues in Europe that doesn't take a winter break. The link is a bit old, but here's former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce suggesting the Barclay's Premier League add a winter break.

Scores from yesterday:

Everyone at CHN groans as Aston Villa knocks of West Ham.

Manchester United beat Everton to go 12 points clear of City at the top of the table.

Around the SB Nation Soccer Network:

While we may have not liked the result, 7500 to Holte enjoyed Villa's win.

The Liverpool Offside previews Liverpool's match with West Brom.

Managing Madrid takes a look at Manchester United ahead of the UEFA Champions's League clash.

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