Newcastle Focus - Pardew hoping for strong first performance as Arsenal bid for Cabaye
With Newcastle being the first Monday night kick off of the Premier League season they will have had the chance to assess their rivals before they have even kicked a ball. The Magpies are facing title chasing Manchester City, their only potential top six opposition until October, and a strong performance may be enough to buoy fans even if they do not come away with any points.
However reports have emerged from Sky Sports that Arsenal have made an offer to bring star midfielder Yohan Cabaye to north London. The Frenchman has been linked with many clubs this summer, with the likes of PSG and Premier League rivals Tottenham and Manchester United credited with an interest. But it seems Arsene Wenger has made the first move for the former Lille playmaker.
The North East outfit have had a lacklustre transfer window so far, only recruiting French striker Loic Remy on a season long loan from Queens Park Rangers. While this is a striker the club has openly stated they needed, many felt at least two more players were needed to boost a squad that was ravaged by injuries last term. And this could go some way to influence the midfielder’s decision whether or not to stay if the bid is accepted.
Transfer activity aside, manager Alan Pardew is hoping for his side to put in a positive performance in Manchester. Pardew told Sky Sports: “It's a psychological game for us in terms of putting ourselves in the minds of everybody with a really strong performance and hopefully we'll get some points out of it. City have invested heavily again and obviously they will be one of the top contenders for the title, so it is going to be a tough game but it is one we are more than ready for.”
It is a tough ask to go to Manchester City and come away with the points for any side, especially with new manager Manuel Pellegrini wanting to prove a point to fans and rivals alike. His club has once again invested heavily and expectations will be high for the blue side of Manchester. However, Pardew believes his side are looking the best prepared since he took over in three years ago come December.
Pardew added: “There is always that special feeling when the Premier League is kicking off and I think we've worked hard on pre-season and got the group in fantastic condition. You can never read too much into pre-season - two years ago we lost to Leeds in our final pre-season game and were all over the place, but we went on to finish fifth. What I do know is the guys are fitter than they've ever been under my management and they're ready to go.”
With their first team squad fit and last year’s injuries clearing up, Newcastle will want to improve on a disappointing showing last season. While City will be favourites anything can happen on the opening game of the season.
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