It seems that WBA was just 1 game too far for our lot. Over the festive period, changes to the team have been kept to a minimum, and we wondered whether the lads could make it through 1 more game before changes could be made vs. Cardiff. So many of the team looked shot yesterday. Cabaye, Sissoko, Remy, Gouffran, Santon all stood out as being below par, the unfortunate thing is, that despite looking off the pace, we would probably have sneaked a point, had Debuchy not had a moment of madness.
So, we move on to Cardiff City and the FA cup 3rd round. Given that we already have 33 points on the board, which is genuinely considered to be 7 away from the safety target, then there’s no reason why we can’t have a real go at this competition.
I think it’s a good thing, that English football has 2 cup competitions that offer Wembley Finals and entries into European football, however, I do understand why the scheduling of them cause conflicting views with clubs/managers and fans. When the League Cup gets under way in August, clubs are not only trying to blend in new players, but the focus is absolutely all about getting points on the board in the league. There’s a temptation to use reserve/youth players whilst the focus is on getting league points added. However, by the time the FA cup appears, in January, those clubs who have 30 plus points on the board are fairly confident of survival and can have a good crack at the cup, those that are struggling, usually sacrifice the cup as they know time is running out to survive. There are the odd exception where clubs think a cup run will kick start their league form, but if we see Wigan as an example, then it’s a high risk strategy, once fixtures start piling up.
To that extent, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cardiff were to ditch the FA cup at the first attempt. Should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be named the new manager by then, then he may wish to have a look at players in this competition.
The media are touting that Tan is prepared to splash cash in January, however I think trying to second guess this crazy bastard is a waste of time.
They’ve won away from home only once in the league, that was at Fulham (1-0), however, they did win away in the league cup, at Accrington Stanley (2-0) before bowing out at West Ham in the next round (3-2).
In their last away game, they deployed a 4-5-1. With Campbell the lone striker, they did exactly the same in their home game vs. Sunderland. Craig Bellamy, has been missing with a knee injury, Mutch, Taylor and Theophile-Catherine are also injury doubts. They have no suspensions.
Fraizer Campbell and Jordon Mutch both have 4 goals to date.
Mathieu Debuchy will have a 3 game suspension to see through now and skipper, Coloccini may now be missing for 4-6 weeks!
If ever there was a right time to freshen up the squad with changes then this is it. Should we get through, then I don’t see why we can’t put out full strength teams in future rounds, but, right now, this lot need a rest.
The manager, has loads of options in all areas of the team. Elliot, Haidara, Dummett, Steven Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sammy Ameobi, Anita, Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Cisse and Jonas Gutierrez must all be chomping at the bit. I’d include Obertan, but I think he’s blotted his copybook on Sunday…… and he’s fucking shit.
Ryan Taylor – Knee – not expected back this season
Fabricio Coloccini – Knee – 4-6 weeks
Mathieu Debuchy – 3 games
Possible Team (4-2-3-1)
1.Rob Elliot: 2. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, 5. Paul Dummett, 6.Steven Taylor, 3. Massadio Haidara: 8. Jonas Gutierrez, 4. Vurnon Anita: 7. Hatem Ben Arfa, 10. Sylvain Marveaux, 11. Sammy Ameobi: 9. Papiss Cisse:
Jak Alnwick, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Curtis Good, Mike Williamson, Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi
Referee: Anthony Taylor
League History in the FA Cup 3rd Round at SJP
1985/86 Lost 0-2 to Brighton & Hove Albion. A Magpies side containing both Beardsley and Gascoigne crashed out of the competition at the first opportunity to the 2nd Division Seagulls. Attendance, 25,112
1986/87 Won 2-1 vs. Northampton Town. With United hovering precariously above the relegation zone, all eyes turned to the FA cup, Andy Thomas and Paul Goddard squeezed us past the 4th Division side. Attendance, 23,177.
1987/88 Won 1-0 Vs. Crystal Palace, Once again we were struggling in the league, but Paul Gascoigne would inspire a surge up the league, and it was that man who seen off the Eagles in front of 20,415
1988/89 Drew 0-0 with Watford in what would turn out to be a saga, losing in a 3 rd replay 1-0 AET to the 2nd division club. It was the 2nd cup they’d knocked us out of that season having turfed us out of the Simod cup too. Attendance 24,217.
1990/91 Won 1-0 vs. Derby County. If you’re ever wondering just how strange the game of football is, then you really needed to see the moment, Mark Stimson, (our chronically, woeful left back) who had scored an OG at Oldham a few days prior, fired an unstoppable goal past England GK, Peter Shilton as we knocked out the Division 1 side in front of 19,748.
1992/93 We were going up under KK, but had came into a sticky run of form whilst trying to fit in Anglo-Italian cup fixtures, but 2 Gavin Peacock goals, and a goal each for Kevin Sheedy and Rob Lee seen us into the 4th round draw. Attendance, 29,873.
1993-94 Won 2-0 vs. Coventry City. Enjoying life back in the top flight, United despatched the Sky Blues with the minimum of fuss thanks to the Cole and Beardsley combination, Attendance, 35,444
1994/95. Drew 1-1. This was Cole and Beardsley vs. Shearer and Sutton. When Chris Sutton had but the visitors into the lead it required a Rob Lee rocket to earn us a replay. Attendance, 31,721
Rob Lee’s goal, 3 mins 34 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn-b5q2wrRk
1998/99 Beat Crystal Palace 2-1. Shearer returned to goal scoring form with a second half winner. With Given being sent off after 15 mins, United recovered from 1-0 down, through Speed and Shearer. We’d end up at Wembley in the cup final. Attendance, 36,536
Shearer’s goal 5mins 16 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkfzH7A8Ow
Speed;s 15 seconds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S_oZjEBl5U
2000/01 Drew 1-1 vs. Aston Villa Having trailed to a Steve Stone goal, Nobby Solano equalised. Attendance, 37,862.
Solano’s goal is here after 3 mins 5 secs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiDQmUDudRY
2001/02 Won 2-0 vs. Crystal Palace Lower league opposition put to the sword at SJP. Shearer had put us in front with a rocket of a free kick and Acuna wrapped up the game in the 2nd half. Attendance, 38,089.
Shearer’s free kick, 13 mins 30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkfzH7A8Ow
2005/06 Won 1-0 vs. Mansfield Town Landmark goal for Alan Shearer. Number 200 and level with Milburn. Attendance, 41,459.
Shearer’s 200th goal for Newcastle, 25 mins 20 secs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkfzH7A8Ow
2011/12 Beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1. This match will really only be remembered for Hatem Ben Arfa’s brilliant goal. The rest of it was pretty shite. Attendance, 30,876.
Cardiff City Fanzines
Bobbing Along http://freespace.virgin.net/bobbing.cardiffcity/
A bit of a message board thingy http://www.cardiffcityforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18669
I still expect a makeshift side to get through. 2-0 to us.