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Krul – Sidelined

A training ground injury is set to rule Newcastle’s shot stopper Tim Krul out for up to a month, just in time for the busy Winter schedule.

Newcastle’s defence has been on top form over the last 6 games, conceding just once in all six wins and hopefully Rob Elliot can step in to upkeep United’s solid defensive record.

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Elliot last featured for Newcastle in a historic 0-2 win over Manchester City which resulted in the premier league Champions being knocked out of the League Cup.

The Irishman is set to face teams including West Ham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Sunderland in Krul’s absence over the next month.

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NUFC – Injury Update

At the point of Ryan Taylor’s withdrawal against Queen Park Rangers, Newcastle United had 12 players missing. R Taylor joined S Taylor along with Abeid, Riviere, Coloccini, Aarons, Obertan, Tiote, de Jong, Santon, Good and Jonas on the list.

News from Pardew’s press conference ahead of the weekend trip to West Ham is that players are starting to return to training.

Considering the lengthy list it is a testament to the players and the manager that we have managed to win six games on the spin in all competitions.

Coloccini, Tiote, Steven Taylor and Riviere are all in with a chance of playing a part on Saturday- the question is, should they?

Coloccini as captain and in excellent form before missing last weeks game should come back in. He is the best defender at the club.

Steven Taylor played well before his injury but Dummett’s form at centre back means that Taylor will probably be back on bench duty at the weekend.

If it weren’t for the injury Abeid suffered on international duty Tiote would not be walking back in to the team. I would even suggest that if Raylor had not been injured Tiote wouldn’t be straight back in.

Riviere started the season as the club’s first choice striker but in his absence, Cissé and in particular Ayoze have performed brilliantly and have seen the Frenchmen drop down the pecking order.

When a club is on a run of form as good as Newcastle United at the moment players have to earn their places in the team; be it through appearances as subs or taking advantage of injuries and suspensions like those players who have stepped up during the last six or seven weeks. You can’t have enough good footballers at the club though and this new found depth can only be a positive for the busy winter period.

 

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Sober Trip To West Ham

Newcastle face a trip to the Capital this weekend to face Ex NUFC manager, Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United, but those travelling fans expecting to have an alcoholic drink will be disappointed to find out that East Coast Rail have slapped an alcohol ban on their trains leaving Tyneside for London.

Troubled sparked between both sets of fans during the “Schalke Cup” pre season tournament where both English clubs were competing over in Germany.
Local police arrested 21 West Ham and Newcastle United supporters after verbal arguments led to violent clashes in Dusseldorf’s old town resulting in 100 police officers being deployed to the area to calm matters.

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Later in the Tournament both sets of supporters clashed once again as Newcastle fans were pinned into the away stands as a section of West Ham “hooligans” burst through an exit door approaching NUFC fans in an aggressive manner. This time the travelling toon fans didn’t retaliate and left security and police officers to resolve the situation.

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Now it seems that Newcastle fans are being targeted by the British Authorities despite them not really giving two flying f*cks about West Ham or their fans.
Alcohol will not be permitted on the trip down to London, and the same rule applies inside Upton Park.
Let’s face it, we don’t really need to get absolutely hammered every away game to enjoy ourselves but if I wanted to unwind and have a drink along with friends after a hard week at work I should be able to.

The chances of trouble reigniting between both sets of fans on Saturday was always slim to none but now I fear that the Police and East Coast have only added fuel to the fire which had long gone out.

“You want some? We’ll give it ya”

Gary Speed

Gary Speed – RIP

Three years ago today I had to check that one of my work colleagues wasn’t winding me up when he told me the terrible and shocking news that Gary Speed had died. I really didn’t want to and I couldn’t believe it. Dashing upstairs to check the television in the staff canteen I went weak at the knees as I stared at the breaking news on the screen.

Although I didn’t get the pleasure of meeting the great man he was always one of my favourite players when I began watching Newcastle United back in the late 1990′s. In fact, he was the first player I ever saw score a goal live at St James’ Park in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur- a memory that will live with me forever.

Speedo joined Newcastle United in 1998, under then manager Kenny Dalglish, and enjoyed six great years on Tynside. Appearing in two FA Cup finals and being a part of the side that embarked on a Champions League adventure with Sir Bobby Robson. Appearing 285 times for the United scoring 40 times, an impressive return for any midfielder.

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It is hardly surprising when you ask people to name their greatest Newcastle United XI that the Welsh midfielders name crops up more often than not. A leader on the pitch, even when not wearing the armband, he was a player you could always rely on.

Thinking back to when the news broke, seeing the images of Shay Given in tears before he played that day, you knew he was a well respected and liked person within the game.

The day Newcastle United paid tribute to their former player a few weeks later, fittingly against Welsh outfit Swansea City, brought tears to my eyes as “Bread of Heaven” echoed around St James’ Park.

Newcastle fans are often falsely accused of not taking too kindly to those “foreign” to the region but Gary Speed is yet another player that warmed the hearts of the Geordie nation despite not being born and raised on Tyneside.

RIP Speedo x

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Colback – “Always Confident”

Jack Colback has stated that the players in the Newcastle changing room were always confident that they could win games despite a poor start to the 2014/15 season.

After a disappointing start to a fairly kind run of fixtures at the beginning of the season Alan Pardew faced growing pressure from fans after failing to win any of United’s opening seven games. Losing 3 and 4 draws resulting in just 4 points from a possible 21.

However Newcastle have hit a remarkable run of form which started with a 1-0 home win v premier league new boys Leicester City followed by an away win v Premier league champions Manchester City in the cup. United continued by picking up all three points against Spurs, Liverpool, West Brom, and QPR.

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Colback who crossed the North East borders from Sunderland to Newcastle earlier this year told reporters:

“People may doubt this but I think everyone in the dressing room knew we could do something like this.

“We were playing well at the start of the season just not quite winning the games. But confidence was still there among the players & staff. Finally we are now getting the points we should be.

“There have been a lot of players come in because of injury and they have all done fantastically well. This is a big club with high expectations and we should be up there challenging within the top eight.”

Colback arrived on Tyneside with a lot of making up to do with Geordie fans after his “shushing” gesture when celebrating his goal in the Tyne & Wear derby 13/14 angered the majority of the home fans. But since his arrival the Killingworth born midfielder has never failed to impress and has firmly secured his spot as a key player for United. His performances throughout the season have been outstanding especially when the chance to form a regular central midfield partnership due to a run of injuries throughout the Toon Army’s midfield players.
If Colback keeps impressing the Premier League with his ability surely an England call up must be on the cards, well that’s if Roy remembers that the English border doesn’t stop at Manchester.