It is interesting to me that, almost invariably, the week after a two-week break before a match seems to drag on forever while the second week of the break just rushes by at breakneck pace. If you can't tell, I'm ready for it to be Saturday. We do still have two weekdays to complete before we can get to the match, however, so I'll quit bellyaching and try to do something constructive.
Today in The Links, a clip of a Papiss Cisse interview with Sky Tyne and Wear, Pardew talking about the defense, a really funny/awesome parody picture from Paddy Power and more. Jump and read!
If You Hadn't Noticed, We've Kept Four Consecutive Clean Sheets
Williamson has battled his way up through the divisions since emerging at the foot of the Football League with Torquay United. ... Williamson has helped keep five clean sheets in the last six matches and shut out England internationals such as Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll in recent weeks.
I have to confess that, mostly due to my own lack of effort, I knew nothing of Mike Williamson's career trajectory. You've got to hand it to a guy who has literally played his way up through the League and ended up acquitting himself well at the Premier League level. I know I've been pretty harsh with my thoughts on Willo... but I am starting to look at it this way: Not everyone likes to look at Jackson Pollock paintings and some may think they're probably a little bit garbage... but they are still fine art and are impactful at some level or another and have thus earned their place. Now that I've typed that, I'm not certain that it works, but I'm gonna leave it and see if it sticks.
"The defenders have been outstanding," Pardew told the Gazette. "Davide Santon’s in the best form he’s had since he joined the club. "He’s growing with the personalities he has around him, Him and Colo looked terrific." Newcastle haven’t conceded a goal in 398 mintues, with West Bromwich Albion’s Shane Long the last player to beat goalkeeper Tim Krul.
I believe that we as a community are pretty much of the same feeling about young Mr. Santon. He is finally taking root and giving Toon fans a glimpse of exactly where he could be with a little bit of time... and it is tremendously exciting. Also- if you read the Willo article, Alan Pardew uses exactly the same phrase to describe Santon and Williamson's development. Fun.
Newcastle United FC And It's Relationship With The Champions League
"What the manager has done is press all of the right buttons to get the best out of all the individuals. "That is a fine art – it’s a man management skill. "That’s something Sir Bob had. The gaffer has came here, and he knows what makes people tick."
There has been no shortage of comparisons between Alan Pardew and Sir Bobby Robson lately. I'm not entirely certain that I'm comfortable with these as Alan Pardew has nowhere near the pedigree that Wor Bob came to the club with. I will say, however, that if anyone can make these comparisons fairly, it is certainly John Carver.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is Iron Man, Yohan Cabaye takes aim as Hawkeye, Cheick Tiote is commanding as Nick Fury, Fabricio Coloccini’s curly locks fit Thor like a glove (or a hammer?), Tim Krul is standing proud as Captain America, Gazza is raging as The Incredible Hulk and Cheryl Cole cuts a nice figure as Black Window.
You don't often see major business entities jumping into the realm of "shopping" photos like this... but this one amuses me. There are a couple of layers of existence in this "movie poster" from the funny to the awesome.
Of course the magnificent run under Bobby Robson 10 seasons ago was as good as it got for the Toon Army, and even though they finished in the top three later that season, an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat against Partizan Belgrade ended Newcastle’s interest in the competition – and the Magpies haven’t been back since. Shearer told the Chronicle: "I just hope they get there. "It's a great experience for them if they do. "And it's great for the fans as they will really deserve it. "They’ve had ups and downs."
That this current squad are rivaling the achievements of the most successful teams that an entire generation of Toon fans can remember is as awesome as it was unlikely. Of course we're talking about 1 year and not a decade worth (at this point), but I think that you can read all you need to know out of the comments of former players regarding the squad and the fans.
Although I missed clipping it, this article makes specific mention of that famous European night in Milan where we drew 2-2 with Inter... so I thought I'd drop some video action on you all. Shearer scored two that night, but Nobby Solano would have felt hard done by to not match the number 9 on that night.
And The Rest Of The Links
Newcastle United striker Peter Lovenkrands is set to launch a series of online auctions to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. The Danish forward, who lost his father to the illness two years ago, will be using his Twitter account to offer match-worn items from his Toon team-mates as well as a host of exclusive prizes from the world of football. And having set up a page with fundraising website JustGiving, Lovenkrands is urging people to donate to the cause.
If you're not on the Twitters, you might want to join just to follow @Lovenkrands11 to see how these auctions go down. I have a feeling that they're going to get too rich for my blood pretty quickly, but you never know... and it's for charity.
"The fans of Newcastle show me a lot of love and respect. It is important I return that respect by giving my all for them on the football field," he told Sky Sports News.
This is a little video spot from Sky Tyne and Wear that was pretty interesting... you may just want to take a few moments when you get them and watch it. There is nothing earth-shattering here, but it is interesting viewing.
MY favourite current NUFC player is Jonas Gutierrez, for a number of reasons, but mainly down to his tireless work-rate, flawless attitude and the amount of pressure he can alleviate with his defensive work.
This is a pretty cool thing that the Chronicle do, it seems (though I don't recall running across it before... but I do have to confess that I've finally had the revelation that I should be running my Google News through google.co.uk (duh, I know) so who knows what else I've been missing...). Fan spotlights are fun if not tremendously informative... but I clipped this with the thought I'd do a mini-piece about Jonas in the links here... but then I thought to myself a bit and it got bigger and bigger, so I'm going to try to do some video research before it happens in a more full-blown type post. In the mean time, I leave you with the imperative: "Respect The Jonas".