PARDEW PROUD OF FANS

Alan Pardew has said that the fans of Newcastle United deserve a special price for standing by the club at through thick and thin. Many expected that Newcastle United will not be able to return straight back into the Premier League after their relegation to the championship a few seasons ago.

However, spurred on by their frantic support, Newcastle United have been able to come back into the Premier League. Even better is the fact that they are now capable of challenging for the European places, and manager Alan Pardew reckons that one of the main reasons for it is due to the support of the crowds.

Newcastle are now at the lowest they have ever been on the Premier league betting indexes, and their fans are widely acknowledged to be the passionate crowd amongst the various Premier League teams.

One of the best examples of their support team in the recent match against Swansea city. Even though Newcastle United struggled to break down the newly promoted Swansea city, there was no disgruntle amongst the fans. This, according to Alan Pardew, was one of the main reasons Newcastle United were able to avoid defeat against Swansea city. Alan Pardew says that he will be repaying their faith by leading the team to victory in the match against West Bromwich Albion tonight.

“I thanked them for their patience on Saturday. No one wants to see a 0-0, especially when it’s freezing cold. The one thing I do know about Wednesday night is that we’ll have the floodlights on. It creates a special atmosphere, and that’ll be an advantage for us,” Alan Pardew said ahead of the match with West Brom.

Newcastle United can claim back into the top six with a victory over West Brom, but it is easier said than done, as West Brom will be looking for victory after last week’s defeat to Wigan. Newcastle face Manchester United in the New Year, and will need their fans to be at their best to help them overcome the Red Devils like Blackburn Rovers did.

Ba talks up Newcastle

Newcastle striker Demba Ba believes his current side have a lot in common with the Hoffenheim team which shook up the Bundesliga in the 2008-09 season.

The German club were newly promoted but led the league at the halfway point of the season before cementing a seventh place finish, which was still beyond their expectations.

Ba’s personal contribution was 14 goals in 35 games and although Newcastle’s precise circumstances are not identical to those of Hoffenheim, he believes that there are a lot of common factors.

“What I saw in Hoffenheim is the same thing here,” Ba told BBC Newcastle.

“We have a young manager who knows how to manage and the team is similar, good footballers, good with the ball.”

As with his spell at Hoffenheim, Ba has been instrumental in Newcastle’s good fortunes this season, clocking up an impressive 11 goals in 16 games. Those tracking the African Cup of Nations betting will have been very impressed by his efforts.

His goals helped ensure Newcastle were unbeaten until they faced league-leaders Manchester City and a penalty against Manchester United in their next game saw the side grab a valuable point from a tough fixture.

He was back among the goals during the side’s trip to Norwich City, but his fantastic brace was in vein as defensive frailties saw Newcastle ship four goals to go down 4-2.

The Magpies may end up paying the price of Ba’s fine form though, with a call up for the African Cup of Nations looking almost certain for the Senegal striker and he could miss up to eight Premier League games if his national side go all the way.

NEWCASTLE START TO DREAM

Even though Newcastle United were going into a tough run of fixtures – which included the teams like Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea – Newcastle have been able to maintain their strong run of form, and keep their position in the top four.

Even though they lost their unbeaten record against Manchester City, they did extremely well against Man Utd to come away with a draw. Whilst the penalty that led to the equaliser was highly disputable, Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa believes that there should be no reason why Newcastle shouldn’t challenge for the title. This comes as quite strong statement because Newcastle United were only promoted last season!

The Premier League has been won by just four clubs since its inception in 1992. Even though there may be a case for a change at the top of the helm, it is nothing but extremely tough to see Newcastle United going even close to winning the title. The 1-1 draw with Man Utd may have given them a great deal of confidence, but they need to be winning regularly right up until the end of the season.

Speaking after the win against Manchester United, Hatem Ben Arfa said “I think that if we gain in confidence, we can go far, and why not challenge for the title? I think the only thing that makes a difference is confidence. We really have great footballers here now, and if we carry on like this, then we can do something.”

Having completed almost a third of the campaign, Newcastle United are nine points behind leaders Manchester City.

BA SAYS HE CAN GET BETTER

Newcastle United striker scored a hatrick against Stoke City, but believes that there is much more to come from him.

A penalty in the 81st minute completed Demba’s hatrick, and won all three points for the Magpies, which helped them up to 3rd in the Premier League table. After 10 matches they are one of just two unbeaten teams in the league, and are on course to win a place in Europe next season.

Newcasle United fans are falling over themselves to meet Ba, who has only been at the club for a matter of months but has slotted in effortlessly. He believes that when he has fully settled, he will be able to score even more goals.

“I am playing at a good level but I can still get better, that is for sure. I am going to just continue working hard.”

“It’s going to be very tough to stay up where we are in the league, but at the moment we’re really enjoying it. I’m happy for the fans and for the club.”

NEWCASTLE SIGN MIDFIELDER

Newcastle have signed midfielder Sylvain Marveaux from French club Rennes in a major coup for the north-east club. The 25-year-old left-sided player had also been linked with Liverpool but will complete a move to St James’ Park for an undisclosed fee on 1 July.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew said: “It’s a coup to have signed Sylvain, who has had interest from a number of clubs.

“He may not be well known to many of our fans, but he is a player we have been keeping an eye on for some time.”

BARTON COULD DEPART NEWCASTLE

Joey Barton looks set to depart the Magpies at the end of the season, according to the Free Bets website. The 28-year-old, who has a year to run on his present contract, was unable to agree terms on a new deal.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew has been quoted as wanting to retain Barton, who joined Newcastle from Manchester City in July 2007 for £5.8m.

Huyton-born Barton has scored eight goals in 82 appearances at Newcastle.

Barton has previously stated his happiness at Newcastle, and was even quoted as wanting to extend the contract in February of this year.

BEN ARFA RULED OUT

Hatem Ben Arfa’s return from injury will be delayed after a new set-back according to Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

The 23-year-old had hoped to make his comeback from a double leg-break against Wolves next month.

But Pardew admits the forward, who sustained the injury against Manchester City following a horror tackle from midfielder Nigel De Jong, will not be rushed back too soon and may miss out the rest of the campaign.
‘I am going to protect him. I can’t just throw him in,’ said Pardew, confirming that the player’s rehabilitaion – most of which has been spent in Paris – will continue over the forthcoming weeks.

‘The Wolves game sound optimistic, even though I’m sure, in his own mind, he has set that as his target.

NEWCASTLE HURTS MARTIN

Former Newcastle star Obafemi Martins has said that the exit from Newcastle is hurting him till now. Birmingham signed Martins, 26, on a six-month loan from Rubin Kazan and the striker made his Blues debut during the 1-0 win against Stoke on Saturday. The Nigerian forward is likely to feature in Tuesday’s Premier League clash against his former club Newcastle, and the player, who left the Magpies for German club Wolfsburg in a £9 million deal in 2009, has confessed he is still coming to terms with his St James’ Park departure. “The only bad memory we had was when we got relegated,” he said in the Daily Telegraph. “It was normal when I left because they couldn’t afford the money, that’s why they asked me to go. I have good memories of there with the fans and the players.

BORO INTERESTED IN XISCO

Middlesbrough are interested in signing Newcastle United striker Xisco in this transfer window. The 24-year-old, who cost £5.7m from Deportivo La Coruna when he signed in August 2008, has made just 11 appearances for United, scoring once.

He spent much of last season on loan at La Liga side Racing Santander, scoring three goals in 23 games.

Boro are also believed to be keen on Hibernian winger Merouane Zemmama.

NEWCASTLE HOLD CARROLL HOPE

Newcastle United are hoping that Andy Carroll will be fit for the club’s next match on Sunday. Carroll has missed the last three games with a thigh injury but could make his return at the Stadium of Light.

“If we put him in, and he breaks down again, we could lose him for four or five weeks,” Newcastle skipper Nolan told BBC Look North.

“But we want our best players available because, if we do, we feel we can take on any team in the Premier League.”

The Liverpool-born midfielder was a hat-trick hero in the last derby game, the 5-1 win at St James’ Park in October.

Newcastle have meanwhile bee linked to new players in the January transfer window, including William Gallas and Nicklas Bendtner.