Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Imagine How Good United Will Be with Everyone Fit

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Imagine How Good United Will Be with Everyone Fit

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil Cameron Sports Writer twitter: @NeilCameron5

IS it OK for Newcastle United fans to get excited now? Alan Pardew thinks so and not just because his side are level on points with Manchester United's PS200m squad and just two off the top four.

It's also not because the team have recorded five wins in a row, four in the Premier League, and that their next game is at home to struggling QPR.

Well it is. But his optimism is not just for these reasons.

Pardew, you see, believes there is so much more to come from his group of players. This isn't the best they can play. Not by a long shot.

After the 2-0 win at West Brom, right at the end of his Press conference, Pardew started to talk about a player who has hardly had much of a chance, Adam Armstrong, but who he mentions all the time.

Clearly, the manager believes the 17-year-old has something about him and when he began to talk up the striker, he said: "We have some nice little surprises to come.

"The young players were great again. I am genuinely buoyed by the younger players in particular.

"The senior players have been great. However, the younger players have given us a real excitement that we haven't had since Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy went at the start of last year."

So does Pardew have a point? Well, yes he does, at it happens.

Never mind the players who have served him so well over these last two months. What about those who Pardew has either not been able to use at all, or who he has only been able to select sporadically, Davide Santon, the first-choice leftback, has not kicked a ball this season. More than once there has been not a single defender on the substitute's bench. That's how short the squad is in terms of that position.

Cheick Tiote has been in and out of the team. Same goes for Papiss Cisse.

Of the new signings, Siem de Jong has been out for three months and still has a bit to go before he is fit again.

Gabriel Obertan had transformed himself from being a nobody, if that doesn't sound too harsh, to being one of his team's most potent weapons. He's now out for four months at least. …

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