MAN CITY v Newcastle – Two Champions League Contenders? In Newcastle’s Eyes, Yes!

1 Oct

Whilst the phrase ‘winning mentality’ has not been far from Roberto Mancini’s thoughts during his tenure as Man City boss, ‘optimism’ is certainly something that Newcastle United fans have in abundance. Some may argue that optimism is based more on recklessness that previous achievements, but it’s fair to say that a Geordie always views the glass as half full.

England cricketer and Newcastle fan Graeme Swann was recently asked what he felt were realistic aspirations for the season for his side, and although tongue in cheek, his reply certainly sums up the attitude of many a Geordie. ‘Maybe not the title, but definitely the Champions League.’ A response perhaps more suitable to a supporter of City, but surely not applicable to a newly promoted club.

 

There were rumours before the season started that Mike Ashley, a perfect example of how not to run a football club, would sack manager Chris Hughton if he failed to guide the club to a top ten finish. Now criticise me if I’m being too harsh on Newcastle, but for a club who just two seasons ago were in turmoil as they got relegated, sold their best players and were on the verge of changing ownership, that expectation may be a tad too demanding.

In Hughton, they have a manager regarded as one of the most genuine in the business, someone who guided them back into the Premier League against all odds, and has now set about re-establishing them among the elite. Their situation, at times, mirrors that of City’s, namely the rapid sacking of too many managers before they have properly been given time to stamp their authority on the squad. For Newcastle’s sake, I hope they stick with Hughton and can remain in the Premier League this season.

They come into this game on the back of a demoralising defeat to Stoke, despite having led for a large part of the game. Their form so far has been decidedly mixed, with some fantastic victories interspersed with some mediocre performances. They do possess some high quality players however so in no way, shape or form is the result of this fixture a foregone conclusion. In Andy Carroll, they have a striker on the verge of a call-up to the national side, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa has been a revelation in a creative midfield role. Kevin Nolan and former Blue, Joey Barton, are no walkovers, whilst Fabricio Coloccini is an adept performer at the back. 

For the Blues, my good friend Roberto Mancini must decide whether to change a number of the side that battled to an entertaining draw with Juventus in midweek, or whether to hope that his stars can play another match without succumbing to fatigue. Nigel De Jong will step back in to replace Patrick Vieira, whilst Mancini must hope that Jerome Boateng can play once more after a lengthy injury. After a decent performance, capped off with a goal, Adam Johnson will expect to retain his place, although both David Silva and James Milner could return. Argentinean defender Pablo Zabaleta was taken off in the Juventus game and he will miss this one with a muscle injury, leaving open the possibility of a return for either Joleon Lescott or Dedryck Boyata.

                                                  Hart

Boateng            K. Touré              Kompany              Lescott

           Y. Touré                de Jong              Barry

Silva                                                                                    Milner

                                              Tévez

Subs: Given, Boyata, Richards, Vieira, A. Johnson, Adebayor, Jo

Key Battle

James Milner  v James Perch

This is perhaps not the most obvious clash on the pitch, but it’s one where I feel City have a fantastic opportunity to attack the away side. The former Nottingham Forest right-back has been the weak link for Newcastle all season, his miserable start compounded by an acrobatic own goal against Stoke, handing the side from the Potteries the winner. In Milner, City have a player fully capable of taking advantage of Perch with his direct running, trickery and indubitable workrate. If Milner is on top form, City may just run Newcastle ragged.

Referee: Martin ‘7 Minutes’ Atkinson – For this game, we are refereed by Fergie Time’s number one fan, Martin Atkinson. Although regarded as a competent referee, City haven’t exactly been on the receiving end of Atkinson’s better decisions recently.

Prediction:  MAN CITY 3 v 1 Newcastle  – An entertaining game, complete with chances galore as both sides press forward. Goals to be scored by David Silva, a brace from Carlos Tévez, and Andy Carroll.

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14 Responses to “MAN CITY v Newcastle – Two Champions League Contenders? In Newcastle’s Eyes, Yes!”

  1. big john 01/10/2010 at 6:09 pm #

    city are going to beat newcastle oh yesss

  2. toonsy 01/10/2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Funny…. I’ve still to meet one Newcastle fan this season who wouldn’t be happy with 17th place. It’s about time these lazy stereotypes that are pumped out by the media and accepted by the simpletons are put to bed.

  3. StaffsToon 01/10/2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Sad really, i respect City’s fans as they supported their club in good numbers through some tough times and if anyone deserved the financial backing they have now it’s them, but when you read a headline like this one it makes you wonder if City fans actually believe this rubbish – hopefully not.

    Good luck for the season, sunday apart, i would love you to finish above the red half!!

  4. Helen 01/10/2010 at 7:19 pm #

    “…his reply certainly sums up the attitude of many a Geordie…”

    NO IT DOESN’T. I watched that TV interview and Graeme Swann was kidding. You said it yourself, that the comment was tongue in cheek, and then ignored that fact completely!

    And View from a Blue if you think aiming for the champion’s league is the same as being happy with a top half finish, then why were Man City so disappointed last season?

    The truth is the media focus on the premise that Newcastle fans are deluded, which is at best lazy journalism. And ill informed commentators like this gobble it up and regurgitate it. We will be very happy to survive in the Premier League, anything else will be a nice unexpected bonus. PLEASE take note of this viewpoint (it is the vast majority of our fan’s viewpoint) and think before writing such ill judged articles again.

  5. CC 01/10/2010 at 10:24 pm #

    “Odd that, I just spoke to one who wanted a top half finish.”

    Oh well then that cut and dried then isnt it as one person obviously speaks for hundreds of thousands.

    What a prick…

  6. Aidan Dunphy 01/10/2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Just to back up the others, I don’t know a single toon fan who isn’t saying that the target this season is 17th place. Of course we would love to finish in the top half, but nobody is stupid enough to think we can make the CL. And another thing – stop trying to suggest that Hughton is under pressure: again, don’t know a single toon fan who has anything bad to say about him. Rumour and supposition masquerading as journalism yet again. Sigh, after a pleasant season in the Championship I’d forgotten we would have to put up with all this “deluded” crap 😦

  7. Aidan Dunphy 01/10/2010 at 11:18 pm #

    …and another thing, you can’t have been watching NUFC very closely if you think that Ben Arfa has been a “revelation”, or Coloccini an “adept performer”. The former has scored a screamer and done very little else, the latter has us crapping ourselves every time the ball comes near him!

  8. View From A Blue 01/10/2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Interesting. So much criticism aimed in my direction from an article, which read carefully, actually praises Newcastle! Of course, as any blogger or journalist would do, I’ve taken the stereotype of a Newcastle supporter, and possibly, for extra emphasies, expanded slightly on it, but by no means am I denouncing all Newcastle fans as overoptimistic fools. In fact ‘many a Geordie’ conveys a completely different message to that of ‘most Geordies’.

    Let’s take some quotes from the article and analyse just what I think about Newcastle:

    “it’s fair to say that a Geordie always views the glass as half full.” – VERY COMPLIMENTARY

    “In Hughton, they have a manager regarded as one of the most genuine in the business, someone who guided them back into the Premier League against all odds, and has now set about re-establishing them among the elite.” – VERY COMPLIMENTARY TOWARDS THE MANAGER

    “I hope they stick with Hughton and can remain in the Premier League this season” – VERY COMPLIMENTARY

    “They do possess some high quality players however so in no way, shape or form is the result of this fixture a foregone conclusion. In Andy Carroll, they have a striker on the verge of a call-up to the national side, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa has been a revelation in a creative midfield role. Kevin Nolan and former Blue, Joey Barton, are no walkovers, whilst Fabricio Coloccini is an adept performer at the back. ” – PRAISING MANY OF YOUR PLAYERS!!!!!!

    So, all in all, a fairly positive reflection on Newcastle, their fans and their manager. Obviously, not everyone will agree with my views, but that is what football is about. Hopefully, you can understand that opposition fans have always noted your undoubted enthusiasm but perhaps in recent times, that optimism has been taken a step too far.

  9. Mal 02/10/2010 at 12:38 am #

    ‘Hopefully, you can understand that opposition fans have always noted your undoubted enthusiasm but perhaps in recent times, that optimism has been taken a step too far.’

    Enthusiasm doesn’t mean that we think we will be in the champions league. Your extracts you quote are complimentary but unfortunately you omit the ones reflected in your headline. You are just peddling the myths put forward by southern journalists who think those interviewed on sky sports are typical supporters. As someone said above it’s just lazy journalism. The reality is that the vast majority of us will be happy to stay up this year.
    Incidentally I’m glad city are doing well. I’ve always thought they are a proper manchester club with a mainly locally based support (unlike your neighbours) although no doubt your new found success will attract the trophy hunters. Good luck – I hope you do well, but not on Sunday please. You could be right about the key battle.

  10. Ricky 02/10/2010 at 2:25 pm #

    I can honestly say that i’ve not seen an article cause so much arguments in a long time.

    CC – If you wish to disagree with “View”‘s views (sorry for that), then might I suggest that you write your own blog. It is clear that much effort goes into View’s work and it shows. Oh, less of the “prick” please – we do like to have a little decorum on this site.

    As for the game, I honestly can’t see Newcastle troubling us too much – however you never know. Having played so well in patches in the last couple of games, it would be a shame not to step things up this weekend.

    I would have thought that it would be every fan’s hope that their team would, at the very least, appear in the top 4 at the end of the season. Hoping for 17th really will not get you anywhere.

  11. Plattsy 02/10/2010 at 3:17 pm #

    ‘entertaining draw with Juventus’ – were we watching the same game? Other than the second half of the first half it was awful!

    Very controversial preview – I think in many ways Manchester City and Newcastle fans are similar as regards stereotypes, being innately ambitious and optimistic to the point of delusion, but as a city fan I know that this label isn’t true at all in the majority of cases – I can therefore understand why the Geordies above resent this tag. But I’ve always had a soft spot for Newcastle, and I hope that they do stay up this year – I think they should do comfortably.

    It will be interesting to see Barton again – solely with regards his performances on the pitch, he was one of my pre-revolution favourites due to his passion and work rate. Lets see what he does tomorrow!

  12. Cormac Keeley 03/10/2010 at 11:35 pm #

    I watched the Game today Newcastle v Man City . Firsty De Jong should be banned from Football,Ben Arfa was left sprawled out on the pitch following a strong challenge from Nigel De Jong. This guy was a disgrace in the World Cup. my second point .Things then went from bad to worse as Mike Williamson’s challenge on the advancing Carlos Tevez was deemed to be a foul – although the defender looked to make contact with the ball before his opponent,+ it was outside the box then after Ameobi had his legs swiped from under him by Joleon Lescott in the box and no peno.the ref had no bottle and What i watched today was a disgrace

  13. Ricky 04/10/2010 at 10:42 am #

    Oh boo hoo.

    Nigel De Jong’s challenges are far from dirty (possibly with the exception of that one in the World Cup Final), they are just strong, fair challenges. You made the point yourself, it was STRONG challenge, not dirty.

    What you watched yesterday was not a discrace, it was a man making decisions that he thought were correct. There were 48,000 referees in that stadium yesterday and countless more elsewhere, however, only one of them made the decisions that mattered.

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