Lee Ryder of the Evening Chronicle reports today that Celestine Babayaro suffered yet another injury setback ahead of the seasonâ€™s opener at Bolton on August 11th.
Sam Allardyce admitted today he is unlikely to be ready for the season opener. It seems to us such a pity that Babayaro is always injured â€“ especially when he could have done himself a lot of good with the new Boss who has been searching all over for an established left-back.
Babayaro and Emre – injury prone but why?
Looks like Sam is also unlikely to get Turkish midfielder Emre back in time for the season start with the player still out with an ankle problem. Emre too has missed far too many games in the two seasons he has been at the club.
For the record in the last two season we have played almost exactly 100 first class games. Babayaro has just over half of these with 55 appearances. Emre has played in 63 of these games with 5 goals. So between the two of them they have appeared on average in 60% of our games. Compare this with James Milner last year who appeared in 53 of Newcastle’s 56 games. A player’s contribution has to be measured by the number of games he plays for the team and an injury prone player isn’t as valuable as one who says plays every game. Very pedantic but very true.
Babayaro of course may have left the club already if he hadn’t been injured, but now with the left back position so weak there’s probably no way that Sam can sell Babayaro â€“ unless he can sign two competent left backs before the end of August which is unlikely or perhaps though a part exchange.
Sam was asked if he thought Emre and Babayaro would be ready for the first game of the season â€“ this is what Sam told the Evening Chronicle:
â€œNo. I think they might be fit, but I wouldnâ€™t think theyâ€™ll be physically and mentally ready for the start of the Premiership.â€
â€œHopefully, theyâ€™re free from their injuries and then we can introduce them slowly from then on.â€
â€œBabayaroâ€™s back and starting rehabilitation.â€ â€œHeâ€™s working with the physiotherapists after seven or so days in Germany.â€
â€œHopefully weâ€™ll see some quick improvement in their fitness.â€
We really like hearing that from Sam because he wants to understand the reasons behind the injuries. That’s one reason we think his injury record is so good and another reason why we still think our injury record will be vastly improved this season â€“ even though we’ve made rather an auspicious start.
Sam went on:
â€œBaba trains well, but all of a sudden he gets another little tweak.â€
“It might be something in his make-up as to how the muscle reacts to fatigue. If we can cure that, we might cure his problems.â€
â€œI donâ€™t think heâ€™s ever had someone look at it like that before.â€
Newcastle right now lead the infamous Premier League table for injuries on the website physioroom.com, with nine players on the board, headed by Babayaro, who has no return date. We should keep a check on how we are doing on this web site. We have to aim to be bottom of this league if we are going to get anywhere near the top of the Premiership league.
â€œWeâ€™ve had problems this pre-season where heâ€™s never been able to maintain more than three or four days training on the trot.â€
â€œIf not a groin, itâ€™s a hamstring then a thigh and a calf.â€
If Sam can get Babayaro fit and in the right mind set, he can become a much better player than he has shown in the last two and a half years at the club. While he’s never going to be a star left-back he can still do a job for the club over the next couple of years. That’s one frustrating thing about his current injury â€“ just like Sam has got players like N’Zogbia, Ramage and others playing well, we think he could do the same thing with Celestine. Since Babayaro still has two years left on his contract he may still be able to be a solid member of our squad â€“ if only he can stay fit.
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