Newcastle United take the pitch today at the Etihad to take on championship contending Manchester City. You may recall the last time we made this trek –for an
Robert capably previewed the match here, so if you've not checked that out you still have time. Just to rehash a couple of his points in case you're short on time, though, have these:
Are you Pardew in disguise?
There are probably two matches on the Newcastle schedule from January 1 to the end of the season that could most serve for Carver to prove to Newcastle fans that he is not Pardew in disguise (even if he's not able to convince most of the Toon Army that he is fit to be The Man). One is the Tyne-Wear Derby, a match at which Pardew managed to fail miserably at over and over. The other is today's match v. City, against whom Pardew managed to fail miserably over and over.
Carver has promised us tactics (!) and attacking play. He has said we won't be parking the bus. In the same breath, however, he warns that: "There will be long spells where we have to defend." Which sounds like "parking the bus" to me, but hey. What do I know about it. I'm just Joe Bloggs. At any rate, any type of display that doesn't involve Newcastle sitting away from City, letting them possess and move the ball as they please and run at us all day long will ultimately provide a point of distinction for Working Class John Carver.
Guys, we only have four healthy defenders
While Carver may or may not actually be fit for the task of leading Newcastle United, it can't be argued that his hands have been tied by the actions of the January transfer window – even more than Pardew's ever were – as the departures of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Davide Santon saw Lee Charnley holding on with a very very thin rope to hope that the defense would be able to pull through the season with what he had left them. That rope snapped with Paul Dummet's injury against Crystal Palace, and now Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, and Massadio Haidara are the only senior defenders fit for Carver. Color me a pessimist, but that ain't good.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NUFC?src=hash">#NUFC</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/MCFC">@MCFC</a> (4-3-3): Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Haïdara; Sissoko, Anita, Colback; Pérez, Cissé, Gouffran.</p>— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) <a href="https://twitter.com/NUFC/status/569172194116407296">February 21, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Make what you want of all that - it's soon time to hug our knees and cry. Or drink heavily. Or both.