Tim Krul has filled in well for the injured Steven Harper. How will Sol Campbell fare as a defensive replacement?
Photo credit unknown
Photo credit unknown
Mike Williamson's appeal was denied by the FA, meaning he will be suspended for 3 matches. (The Chronicle) A brief word: I have seen a lot of anger towards the FA since Joey Barton and now Williamson have been handed retroactive punishments due to video evidence. The fact that Nigel de Jong was not retroactively punished for his egregious tackle on Hatem ben Arfa seems to show some inconsistency, and I can certainly understand why some may be angry about it. However, I'm not on board with those who would seem to suggest that two (or three) wrongs would somehow make everything right. The FA should have reviewed the de Jong tackle; the fact that they didn't shouldn't somehow mean that they should not in the future. I happen to disagree with this particular decision - Williamson's actions didn't seem particularly egregious nor purposeful - but I think the FA was right to review it. I'll certainly be calling for a review the next time a referee misses a violent act that happens against one of our players.
Because Williamson and Coloccini will both be out for Sunday's game (and the two after that), Chris Hughton will call on Sol Campbell and Steven Taylor to start in the backfield (no word on Joey Barton's replacement this week - I'm hoping for Wayne Routledge). (Stuart Rayner, The Chronicle) Taylor says he is ready to put his contract dispute with the club behind him and play with Campbell. (Simon Bird, MirrorFootball)
There is talk that Newcastle may want to go ahead and make Hatem ben Arfa's deal permanent. You may remember that ben Arfa was brought over on a loan from Marseille, with the condition that if he played in 25 or more games the transfer would become an outright buy. Following ben Arfa's injury (which guaranteed that HBA would play in well under 25 matches), Marseille announced that they would be open to Newcastle buying ben Arfa permanently anyway. The latest report comes from News of the World, and the article in question is behind a paywall. I refuse to buy into that organization following the ridiculous accusations of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll hosting a drug-fueled orgy at Nolan's house, so here is a secondary source. (Ed Harrison, nufcblog.com)
Kevin Nolan is not worried about what formation Newcastle plays in on Sunday...he just wants to win. (Stuart Rayner, The Chronicle)
John Gibson of The Chronicle has a terrific feature on Tim Krul.