We have Papiss Cisse left at home because he won't wear the shirt; four players out and none in; Cabaye wanting to sign for Man Utd; we were wallowing in the pride of finishing 5th and playing in Europe (while this summer we are happy to have avoided relegation!).
But . let's not forget . we have brought in the Messiah . JOE KINNEAR!
Alan Pardew: “It’s been a fantastic week. I honestly could not have asked more from the players. The attitude and work we’ve put in means that without question we are stronger than we were this time last year.
“We will continue that through pre-season because we need to be really, really ready to make our mark when the season begins.
“I am more confident than I was a year ago when I felt apprehensive about the Europa League because it was a leap into the unknown, and little did I know that we would suffer injuries as well that compounded our problem.
“But this year, without that distraction, it feels as if there is no mystery to the season. We know what we’ve got in front of us.
“We got Premier League games, a League Cup programme and a FA Cup programme and we can cope with that easily with the squad we have.
“We are going to play a very strong team. Pacos de Ferreira are a Champions League side and we can’t take them lightly. We will still be entering the game in fatigue, so we will take and make a lot of substitutions.
“Collo (Fabricio Coloccini) will play, as will Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye will get another game as well.
“We have worked them really hard over here and especially today (yesterday). But in terms of the international players, they are all ready to show their hand, so to speak.”
WE TELL IT AS IT IS - NO BULLSHIT!
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Pacos Ferreira (A) July 23Blackpool (A) July 29St Mirren (A) July 31Rangers (A) August 6Braga (H) August 10
RIO AVE 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi)
Alnwick (Elliot, 46); Santon (Williamson, 70), S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Cabaye (Tiote, 46), Anita (Campbell, 76); Marveaux (Obertan, 46), Vuckic (Sissoko, 46), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi, 46); Gouffran (Shola Ameobi, 62).
MOTHERWELL 2 NEWCASTLE 4 (Vuckic, Gouffran, Sissoko, Marveaux)
Elliot; Tavernier, Williamson (S Taylor, 46), Yanga-Mbiwa (Streete, 82), Dummett; Sissoko (Abeid, 68), Anita (Amalfitano, 82); Obertan (Ferguson, 74), Vuckic (Marveaux, 46), Sammy Ameobi (Richardson, 82), Gouffran (Campbell, 58). Sub not used: Alnwick.
Source: Newcastle United Mad