Friday, August 12, 2011

Pardew expects playback not payback tomorrow

Newcastle united manager Alan Pardew believes his team of freshers have what it takes to ensure Arsenal and her supporters return from St. James Park, empty-handed tomorrow.

The Gunners surrendered what was initially believed to be an unassailable lead six months ago, in the same fixture and venue last season. It is on the backdrop of the greatest come-back in Premier League history, that Pardew believes his team's highly anticipated encounter with Arsenal will potentially live up to the fans lofty expectations.

The manager told his club's official website: "I'm looking forward to the first game. It is a huge test for us, of course."

"We are looking forward to what will be a cracking game. Last year's fixture was perhaps the best game in the Premier League and if it's anything like that then we are in for a treat.

"It will be nice to get the action on the pitch, and hopefully people will start talking about that, and that we've got a good, young side and good energy.

"We have a group who are motivated to put on a performance against Arsenal. We know what to expect and we are looking forward to it.

"There is always change at football clubs - that's life. Some people don't like change but it has never bothered me.

"This is a new team, we get on with it, and the one thing I do know is that my staff and my players will be prepared. Physically we are better than we were last year and hopefully we will get a strong result."

Meanwhile, speculation is rife at North London with regards to the departures and arrivals department of the club. That not withstanding, Arsene Wenger is more than ready to parade the best starting eleven available for selection - irrespective of the lingering transfer situation involving his captain Cesc Fabregas, out of favour right-back Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner and Samir Nasri.