With Andy Carroll missing the next two games and possibly even more after that – Shola Ameobi, Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands are the players who can get the job done for Newcastle in Andy’s absence.
Peter Lovenkrands – big opportunity for Peter tomorrow
We should all hear back later today about just how bad (or not so bad) Andy’s injury is, and we have to hope he has not torn his thigh muscle, otherwise he’s out until early February.
And that would be a huge blow to Newcastle’s survival efforts in the Premier League this season – make no mistake about that.
Ameobi and Lovenkrands are two experienced strikers, and you have to think they can do a job for Newcastle, whereas Leon Best has never proved he’s Premier League class, although you cannot say he’s had much of a chance either.
Nile Ranger is an up-and-coming young and good striker, but again he’s not proved he can do the job, at his young age, and Spanish U21 striker Xisco never even seems to get a mention these days.
This is what Pardew said this morning about Carroll being missing:
“The focus for the team is not so much that Andy will be missing, it’s more about our tactical approach and the questions we have to answer in the immediate term.”
“It’s no good looking backwards or forwards, it’s all about the next game.”“Can Newcastle score without Andy Carroll? Yes, I think so.”
“We have enough in the group to suggest we can. Hopefully, he will not be out for too long, so I don’t want to harp on too much about it.”
“They are a big couple of games coming up and both teams are on decent runs. Their confidence has picked up.”
“When Wigan went down to ten men against Arsenal on Wednesday, they nicked a goal straight away from a set play and there was a real resilience.”
“When teams are on good form, they have that in them.”
These are two huge games for Alan Pardew, because if Newcastle don’t do well, there will be not a little unrest that Mike Ashley brought in Pardew and sacked Chris Hughton for no good reason. Why fix something that wasn’t broken?
And a new manager always changes things, and the players then have to adjust, and when that happens it’s a transition period, and not many teams get good results during that time.
Just look at Liverpool, West Ham, Aston Villa and Fulham – who all had new managers at the beginning of the season – not one of them is doing anything like as well as they were expected to do, when those managers were signed up.
And that, unfortunately, could be Newcastle in a couple of weeks time too.
But we have to look on the bright side, and hope the lads can get two wins – or at least 4 points from the next two games – to bring just a little bit more stability to the club.
If they can do that, we’ll all be happy this new year.