Newcastle United return to St James’ Park following their fruitful journey away to Aston Villa last weekend, which resulted in a sweetly earned 3 points. Today United take on a Hull City side managed by one of our own, in the guise of Steve Bruce. The former Sunderland manager has Hull City looking pretty decent in their first few games and this game could prove to be trickier than a lot would anticipate.
I watched Hull in their first game of the season against Chelsea, and while they were sloppy defensively for the goals, they tightened up after a rollicking from Bruce and looked very assured in possession in the 2nd half. They followed that game up with a win over former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton’s Norwich side, and were extremely unlucky not to come away from the Etihad with a result against Manchester City, as their general performance really merited it. Following last week’s tense early season 6 pointer against Cardiff, where they drew 1-1 at home, Hull sit in 16th with 4 points, 3 points behind Newcastle United who are 8th with 7 points.
My advice to Alan Pardew would be this; don’t do a thing! Don’t change a single player that started last weekend’s win against Villa. If we come out of the traps this week as quickly as we did last week, we could nick the all important early goal and force Hull to open up. If Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy are in the same form they found themselves to be in last weekend, then this game would certainly be well within our capabilities of winning. This is how I think we should line out:
The one thing that I would encourage Pardew to try and do is to push on if we score a goal. When we scored last weekend, we retreated, which allowed Villa into the game, something that they had not done for the entirety of the time before we scored. Let’s not hand the opposition a foothold in the game, if we get a chance to kill this game off, then let’s do it. God knows, the tired and troubled soul of your everyday Newcastle United fan could do with a lift.
Secondly, why do we still look like a 1 half team? Our team display in the 1st half of last weekend’s game was balanced, it was fluid and it was everything we wanted to see. We pressed high, hard and as a unit. In the 2nd half, save for the heroics of Ben Arfa, we might not have got the 3 points. We need to play as a team for the full 90 mins. There’s my list of demands Alan Pardew, if you can manage the win this weekend, play some decent football in the process and go for the jugular, you just might buy yourself another week in my eyes.
What do you think? How do you think we will do today against newly promoted Hull City? Will Pardew stick with the team that got the result last weekend?
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