Newcastle badly missed Sebastien Bassong and Habib Beye in defense this afternoon, against a dominant Liverpool team, that went 3 points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier league with Fulham holding Chelsea 2-2 at Craven Cottage.
Sebastien Bassong – suspended for Liverpool game
There is some new news today, that right-back Habib Beye could be back with 4 weeks from his leg injury sustained at Wigan on Boxing Day. The initial prognosis was up to 6 weeks, so that sounds just a little bit sooner – maybe.
It was another horrific challenge by Wigan’s Lee Cattermole, who of course also put Joey Barton in the hospital with a similar reckless tackle earlier in the season.
But we must expect injuries and suspensions because that’s all part of the game, and Newcastle are now paying the price for their stupidity in the summer, when they failed to bring in enough players into the squad.
There are various rumors that more players were due to come in during the last couple of days, like 21 year-old central midfielder Per Ciljan Skjelbred from Rosenborg, Norway as one example, but Keegan didn’t want them, probably because he knew nothing about the players.
The Board and Joe must act as a more coordinated unit in January, because if we are to be safe in the league this year, we desperately need some additional players before the end of January.
We are again only 2 points above 3rd bottom and yet only 6 points off 7th top, so the Premier league teams are more packed together than at any time previously, and any one of 14 teams could be relegated this season.
And even today bottom team WBA beat Tottenham 2-0 for their second win in 3 games, and although still bottom with 18 points, they are within 10 points of 7th place.
And Wigan Athletic won again today, 1-0 at Bolton, to go into 7th position in the league, 6 points above Newcastle, and of course it shows how quickly things can change around, since before we played Wigan last Friday we were level on points.
Back to Habib Beye, and it seems that the full extent of Habib’s injury is still not fully known, and currently the Senegalese is on crutches and Joe Kinnear talked about the injury after the game today:
“Habib is on crutches and he could be out for a month.”
With Sebastien Bassong suspended, and left-back Jose Enrique (hamstring) substituted at half-time today against Liverpool, that meant three of Newcastle’s first choice back four were missing in the second half this afternoon.
And it showed, as we conceded another 3 goals to Liverpool, to go down 5-1, and our biggest defeat of the year.
“Before, we had a steady, settled back four and doing very well, but now we don’t know how long they are going to be out.”
“We’ve lost three of them and we have to start over again. Enrique is struggling with his hamstring but we had to play him.”
Let’s hope Enrique can be fit for Saturday’s FA Cup game at Hull City, but if he’s not we should probably play Charles N’Zogbia there, until Jose recovers completely.
And these injuries can no longer be excuses once February rolls around, because we just must strengthen by then, even if it means getting players in on loan.
There is a saying you can have the results or the reasons (otherwise known as excuses) – get rid of the reasons (like too small a squad) and we may just get some results next year – for a change.
Let’s get the job done in the transfer market this time around – please.