ALAN Pardew insists reputations count for nothing at Newcastle United – and he will continue to pick his team on merit.
Marquee summer signing Remy Cabella has found himself on the bench in recent weeks, and has played just a bit-part role in the Magpies’ turnaround in form.
Instead, the likes of Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi and Rolando Aarons have come to the fore, while a number of youngsters impressed in Wednesday’s League Cup victory at Manchester City.
Pardew, whose side host Liverpool tomorrow (12.45pm kick-off) says the emergence of those players, particularly in wide positions, has eased the pressure somewhat on Cabella, who is still adjusting to the Premier League after his summer move from Montpellier.
And he is prepared to keep selecting perhaps less heralded names until Cabella gets fully up to speed, with the same applying to other more established players failing to hit top form.
He said: “When you pay a lot of money for players, the CV and the reputation and what they have done goes before them to a degree.
“(For example), Cabella, and Moussa (Sissoko) when he came, Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) to a degree.
“But it’s difficult to come from international football.
“Sometimes there’s an adjustment, and sometimes it works straight away like (Yohan) Cabaye did and Sissoko.
“I think Cabella is going to take a little bit of time, so therefore it is nice to have the option of one of two of those younger players.
“In my mind, I put the CVs in the drawer and I then go out on the training pitch and treat everybody the same, otherwise I shouldn’t be in this job, and I try to do that.
“Of course, I will take favour with players I know have the experience and have done it, like the (Fabricio) Coloccinis and Cheik Tiotes of this world.
“They will get a slightly more advantageous position when they have a poor game.”
Pardew has been buoyed by the increased competition for places, and he has a number of selection dilemmas ahead of tomorrow’s St James’s Park clash.
He has revealed that winger Obertan will start, but other than that, is happy to keep Brendan Rodgers and co guessing.
Pardew added: “The rest of them are very much trying to find the shirt, and I would put Aarons in that at the moment, Obertan in that – although I think we all know Obertan will play on Saturday.
“Cabella is in that (group) at the moment, (Emmanuel) Riviere.
“We have got a few fighting for a shirt regularly, and Sammy would be in there as well.
“I’m pretty confident I know what my team will be (tomorrow).
“I think Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling and Balotelli will be their offensive line; for Brendan, he’s probably not sure what I’m going to do, so that might give us a slight advantage.”