NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul (r) and James Perch celebrate on the final whistle during the Barclays Premier league game between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on January 4, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
If you hadn't nailed it to the [James] Perch, it would be pushing up the daisies!
Today's links include some discussion on James Perch as a temporary Coloccini replacement, a fascinating outsider's look at Pardew's use of the 4-3-3 against West Bromwich Albion, and two essential pieces of reading on Newcastle's chances of qualifying for Europe. Jump!
Perch to answer Toon SOS | Sky Sports
James Perch will fill in for Fabricio Coloccini this Sunday. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm more worried about Williamson than I am Perch. The Toon Army is already coming around on Perchinho, but if he can keep Andy Carroll in check, he'll be nearing cult hero status. Ahem. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Michael Richardson set to stake a place on bench | ChronicleLive
The reserves are playing against West Brom right now...behind closed doors. Michael Richardson and Phil Airey are the "big" names playing in this one.
Gosling told to become the Platt of Tyneside | The Northern Echo
Dan Gosling says he doesn't want to leave, which I think is great. He's a great depth piece, if they would only use him.
Remie Streete: I will be back stronger next season | ChronicleLive
This summer when we're all decrying the lack of center back options coming to Tyneside, don't forget that we have an internal candidate to make the squad in Remie Streete, who is recovering from injury.
The State of Newcastle
This system and line up allowed Newcastle to break with pace, which they have never been able to do this season (before the weekend they had managed just one goal from a counter attack). They were a constant danger on Sunday though; Ba is no slouch but Cisse and Ben Arfa are lightning quick, and West Brom simply couldnt handle the fluidity and pace of the attack. This was summed up in the second goal, Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Cisse combining beautifully with one touch passing and moving to hit West Brom and leave themselves with a 3 v 2 on goal. Cisse layed the ball off for Ben Arfa, who was allowed onto his favoured left foot to finish calmly past Foster.
Miserable Kenny Dalglish never stood a chance in Toon | Blog On the Tyne
A fascinating look back at the Dalglish era on Tyneside - if you can read it without getting a headache, you win 100 internet points.
The Complicated Road to Europe | Leazes Terraces
How many Premier League teams will qualify for European competition? It's not an easy answer, but this guide will help you sort it out. Basically, we don't win Everton to do well in the cup.
A Statistical Look at the Race for European Qualification in the EPL | A Beautiful Numbers Game
This is brilliant stuff, and it includes a chart called "Chance Team Will Finish the Season at Postion."
Around the League
Belief is a Strange thing..... | Pie Eaters Footie
SBN's Wigan Athletic blog breaks down their remaining fixtures as they fight to stay alive in the Premier League. The outlook isn't good, but I'm rooting for these guys.
2012 Premier League Table | MirrorFootball.co.uk
While I'm cheering for Wigan, HeapyLatic is straight up wrong about Newcastle in the article above. He states that the Magpies have scuttled since Christmas, which is just not true. Here's what the table would look like if the season started on January 1, and oh look - Newcastle in 5th, with a game in hand over the team above them. But they haven't played anybody yet...
Mario Götze, Borussia Dortmund Agree Extension | SBNation.com
Wait, how did this get here? Oh well...