Re: Football Zone
If I was in Alan Pardew's shoes, I would be thinking that this was a decent opportunity to win both my first major trophy as a manager (he was seconds away from winning the 2006 FA Cup with West Ham), and Newcastle's first major trophy for 44 years.
Going back to Barcelona, I think it is a complete myth that they don't need an out and out striker and that having one would be bad for their system and results.
Their over-reliance on Messi for goals allows him to break record after record and regularly win the Pichichi. However it harmed the team in La Liga and the Champions League last year, and could have ruined their chances in this year's Champions League as well.
Messi is almost superhuman but he still has off days every once in a while which is to be expected and there will be times when the supply line to him is cut off. Having a profilic striker alongside him to share the goal scoring burden with him would help a lot in big matches.
In 2008/2009, the holy trinity of Messi, Eto'o and Henry scored 100 goals between them, which was far better for the team, than Messi scoring 60-75 goals himself and the other forwards not contributing with so many goals.