Some decidedly bad news on the injury front at Newcastle United this morning.
Jose Enrique – out of the Stoke game
The news from the Tyneside club this morning is that Newcastle trio Steven Taylor, Peter Lovenkrands and Jose Enrique have all been ruled out of the Stoke City game on Saturday.
We knew Peter wouldn’t make it, but we had hoped Steven Taylor would be back and now it’s the first we’ve heard that Enrique was even injured, never mind missing the game on Saturday.
Steven Taylor was always struggling with the bruised ankle problem he sustained against Arsenal last month, but we had hoped that would have cleared up before now. How bad can a bruised ankle be – with all the modern day recovery mechanisms at the club’s disposal these days?
And now we understand that Jose Enrique has picked up a knee injury in training, and will not be available against Stoke City, and with Charles N’Zogbia having moved on, it’s anybody’s guess who will be left full-back on Saturday.
Part of good management is good planning – planning for things that may happen,, and it must be over 18 months now that we’ve said we’ve needed a back-up to Jose Enrique at left back – and what have we done – sold Charles N’Zogbia to Wigan Athletic, who was our best left back other than Jose.
We’ve brought on a lot of our own problems this season by just hopeless and inept planning in the squad – both last summer and in the January transfer window – and it’s just not good enough.
We suppose Ryan Taylor can play at left-back and we’ll have to rely on young David Edgar presumably at right back, but there’s little doubt the defense will now be weakened from last Saturday – and it wasn’t too good then.
This is hardly good news to be getting just a couple of days before the Stoke City game, and the injury problems at Newcastle are now seemingly getting beyond a joke.
We were told Sebastien Bassong was 90% fit last Saturday, so we have to assume that he’ll be fit for the game at the Britannia Stadium, but he’s still to resume full training this week.
The absence of Taylor and Enrique will considerably weaken the Newcastle defense, which has always been lacking this season, for the next crucial game – which we still think is a must-win game – that’s if we are to survive this season.
This is hardly looking too encouraging for Saturday.