FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 28: Ryan Taylor (2nd R) of Newcastle United celebrates with his teammates after scoring during a pre-Season friendly match between Newcastle United and SC Braga on July 28, 2012 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
I'm not one of those people that puts a lot of stock into preseason results, but if I were Newcastle's loss to Cardiff City might be a result that would make me sit up and take notice. It wasn't so much the scoreline (4-1 in favor of Cardiff) as the fact that the scoreline came against Newcastle's first-choice defence.
Sure, this was a Newcastle side that didn't feature most of it's attacking talent, but a back four of Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, and Davide Santon is about as good as it gets for the Magpies and they conceeded three goals in the space of ten minutes against a Cardiff side that, on paper, looked pretty underwhelming.
Last season the defense was one of Newcastle's strong suits, but with basically no changes made to the squad, especially at the obviously weak fullback positions it will be interesting to see if Alan Pardew's side can replicate last season's success. Spurs still don't have a striker that any team should fear, but the attacking prowess of the Tottenham midfield could give a less than sharp Newcastle attack fits. Particularly if that defense is without Chiek Tiote.