Ivory Coast or Senegal? - The Newcastle Fan’s Choice

September 11, 2012 in International, Premier League

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Undoubtedly, the international tie between Ivory Coast and Senegal this past week has been the most crucial regarding Newcastle United’s future. Obviously, there were three of United’s best players featured in this tie, Cheick Tiote, Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé. I’m now going to run you through the ramifications of what could potentially happen.

From the first leg, Ivory Coast are leading 4-2, which I believe is very beneficial to Newcastle, seeing as if they lose Ba and Cissé, they only have Shola Ameobi, Xisco (less said about him the better), or young talent such as Haris Vuckic and Adam Campbell. I believe losing Tiote is a bit easier on them in the long run, seeing as they have a pretty hard schedule, with the Europa League group stages having them play six more matches, and travelling all over western Europe. If Newcastle lose Tiote, they have Anita as immediate cover, along with Gosling, and after that, players such as Bigirimana or Abeid could make the step up. As long as Newcastle can avoid an injury scare with Cabaye, they should be fine during the African Cup of Nations if Tiote goes.

However, say Senegal come back, say they win 2-0 and go through on aggregate - after all, I’ve seen crazier thing happen in the world of football! Last season, Ba and Cisse got a combined 29 goals for the club, which is over 50% of the goals Newcastle scored all season. So you lose that pairing for roughly one month, and any team would be in serious trouble. Imagine Chelsea losing Mata and Hazard. Or Man Utd losing Rooney and van Persie. Not a pretty thought, is it? Well, this is what Newcastle face if Senegal go through. And if they do qualify, and Alan Pardew doesn’t sign someone literally as soon as the transfer window opens, they’ll have to rely on super Shola! Admittedly, I like Shola, as he is the Mackem Slayer, but against teams other than Sunderland, he doesn’t score as many goals as I would like him to.

The African Cup of Nations comes at a particularly bad time for Newcastle as well, considering the fixtures they have. Away trips to Aston Villa and Spurs will be tricky, based on what I have seen so far this season, and the home game with Chelsea is definitely going to be hard, seeing as the West Londoners have been firing on all cylinders so far!

At the end of the day, losing one player is always better than losing two, but it’s really a lose-lose situation for Newcastle, as all three players are absolutely top quality. I suppose it’s better to have them face each other rather than all three leave the team for one month, but still, I would rather this tournament took place in the summer, so that no teams had to suffer losing their players.

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