This one is important. If you've never played for that badge, lads, tomorrow is the day!
On the heels of yesterday's "excuse me" links post (5 links? really?) I was feeling pretty bad. But then yesterday ended up being huge with the 5 Points, Cheik update, Three Question Thursday! and Fer-ga-lic-ious so I guess it worked out. Today will be another huge day, I don't doubt, but it will not start with a slow links post. Apparently there was a little bit of mid-week logjam for Newcastle news, and it has all broken free for today. Also, today includes my first ABSOLUTE MASSIVE READ THIS IF YOU NEVER READ ANYTHING EVER AGAIN CAN'T MISS LINK! Jump!
ABSOLUTE MASSIVE READ THIS IF YOU NEVER READ ANYTHING EVER AGAIN CAN'T MISS LINK!
The first few times I played for Newcastle, I went forward and then I'd look back and see a big hole and say: 'Whoa, look there, there is a problem.' For the fans to watch, English football is the best in the world. For a defender, if you had a choice, it would be Italian or Spanish football. But I prefer it here.
The Mail divided Captain Colo's Newcastle career into three parts, then asked Fabricio to provide three words that described his feelings about each of the three stages. The result was epic. If you click no other link out of this post, click this one.
Non-Chelsea Links (Joey Barton, Unwashed, Scott Brown)
Like it or not, this rumor is looking very real. Willie Donachie was at Parkhead recently scouting Scott Brown.
I really didn't want to perpetuate this thing, but it's heavier on the AP side than any other, and decent stuff from Alan anyway. Sliding it through.
Ordinarily, that would apply to Sunderland. Both successful predecessors Peter Reid and Roy Keane suffered damaging defeats to Newcastle United yet went on to banish those memories in the goodness of time. They enjoyed several advantages which never applied to Bruce though. Neither were from Tyneside, both went on to beat the Magpies and most crucially, never suffered the humiliation of the heaviest defeat against Sunderland’s arch-rivals in 54 years. Bruce’s black and white heritage has been over-played in recent weeks, perhaps inevitably with the chanting delivered towards the 50-year-old last weekend.
Not much to say here, except for Thank you, #AgentBruce. You have met the enemy and they were yours. Also, it is an interesting observation about Bruce's Geordie roots being largely irrelevant until the unwashed needed a reason to flog the guy.
Many Many Words Regarding Newcastle United, Chelsea And The Upcoming Clash at St. James' Park
Speaking before Speed’s tragic passing, Krul said: "We have classic support at away games, and, of course, at home – it shows with a full house against Chelsea on Saturday. "What a game that’s going to be. It’ll definitely push Chelsea all the way, and I think we’ll probably get something out of the game as well. "Hopefully, we’re going back to the good old days. It’s a fantastic feeling for players, but the fans deserve this so much as well. "We’ve been working hard for this, and it’s there now for us if we want it."
Compliments of the fans are a dime a dozen these days, and that's not a complaint. The thing is that many of these quotes aren't canned, which really gives them a genuine edge to them, and I love reading them. I love the last line in particular. I. Love. This. Team.
When I was in Hoffenheim, we had a good team – we chased everything," added Ba. "We worked so hard for each other and ran around the pitch. "We did our best to win every game, and we have the same attitude at Newcastle. "We are fourth in the league because we deserve to be there – we haven’t stolen anything from anybody, and we haven’t cheated anybody. "We have just worked hard, and got what we deserved."
I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I really love when this squad talks. "We haven't stolen anything from anybody, and we haven't cheated anybody." Perfect.
Assistant boss John Carver, who worked with Speed during his time as number two to Sir Bobby Robson, and players Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor, all knew him well, and Pardew knows he and the rest of his staff will have a job to do before kick-off with Carver having been hit particularly hard. He said: "He's going to take part...he's not okay, he's very, very upset. He was very close to Gary and he's going to find it probably more difficult than anyone on Saturday. "I will put my arm around him and get him right for the game because he's very important to us. "I don't think the players will have a problem to respond once the ball is kicked and competitive action starts, but there will certainly be one or two players in that line-up who will be very, very upset, for sure. I will make sure my coaching team will go round and get them right for the game."
The Gary Speed tragedy has many more layers than I think we could potentially understand. I have faith that Pardew and company will have everyone right for the match and all... but if somehow the wheels come off, it's going to be understandable how it could have happened. Not expecting that at all, mind.
Multiple levels. I feel like the team is going to come out emotionally charged yet tempered with the mental strength they've shown through the season thus far. I feel a positive result is out there.
The Strange Case Of Cheik Tiote
'There is no complication. It is just a little nagging injury which we just can’t get over the line at the moment. 'We certainly do not feel there is a need for an op or to go back to square one. He has not really had a setback. It is just time and it is taking a little bit longer than we had hoped.'
I was all set to dump this in here, complain about "WHERE IS THIS GROIN INJURY COMING FROM?! I THOUGHT IT WAS AN MCL!!11!!!1ONE!!!" and go on, but then from last night to this morning, this happened:
However, responding to fans’ fears that Tiote’s injury is linked with a transfer window exit in January, Pardew told the Chronicle: "I want to apologise to them. That’s my fault, in a way. "It’s a niggling injury. He hasn’t had a setback. It’s not his groin, and there’s nothing else going on."
There is weirdness in this Tiote situation. Like Bermuda Triangle weirdness.... like weird things happen that might or might not be explicable but you can't tell for sure so it might be real or it might not be real type weird things. Time will tell, but December is going to be rife with unease regarding our favorite Ivorian's status.
Newcastle United- The Honey Badger of the Premier League?
"When Blackpool were in the top half last season they were all delighted. "They were happy to see a team that aren’t usually up there doing well then. For us, it seems different. "We are up there anyway and we deserve to be up there. "We’re playing better and better every game. "I was at Man U and you can say they had chances to score or they outplayed us – but they didn’t beat us.
Interesting comparison with Blackpool from last year. Everyone was so tickled about 'pool being up there and playing such attractive football and whatnot... to be fair, we have played a pretty attractive brand of football as well (removing the City match as an outlier). We have not gone in anywhere with the negative bunkering tactics we were afraid of pre-season. Although there has not been a lack of love per se, it has been a begrudging love from the media for this squad. But as the Honely Badger, Quoth Leon "We Don't Care"
Ryan Taylor had revealed: "The manager asked us to imagine what a great feeling it would be to still be in the top four on Christmas Day when we sit down for our dinners."
Really, if this was wrapped up and under my Christmas tree... I'd stop there and pass on all my other gifts. Not that 4th place is the end-all-be-all... there is an impending move on my horizon and I don't need more stuff to move... but still, it would be awesome to have that wrapped up and delivered for Christmas.
"It is when Mata doesn’t get on the ball that Chelsea haven’t been at their best this year so the more they get him the ball the more dangerous they will be and I am sure they will recognise this in their team as they have so much experience. "Jonas Gutierrez would relish the challenge of cutting off the supply lines to Mata but he is suspended, which is a shame for Newcastle because he has been excellent this year. "Some people reckon it would be a hell of a risk to put in young Sammy Ameobi but knowing the Ameobis as I know them I can say with a fair degree of certainty that taking on Mata will not faze him.
Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that controlling Mata could be important tomorrow. (/puts horn away) Of course I'm not the one who signed Tim Krul from Den Haag, so Roeder has that going for him. Nice matchup piece here with loads of good quotes from Glenn.
1 day closer to the conclusion of the #StretchOfDoom. Let's go get 3, lads! HTL!