It’s not what we wanted to hear but Newcastle now have several more players injured, which we have found out after the 4-1 mauling at Cardiff on Saturday, with Ben Arfa definitely out and injury concerns with Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote, and Yohan Cabaye is struggling to be match-fit for Tottenham.
The expression – it never rains but it pours – comes to mind.
Ben Arfa – in action against Hartlepool – out at least two weeks
It seems that Fabricio Coloccini will be OK but he will join up with the rest of the Argentine squad this week for their game in Germany, but Ben Arfa is out and Cheick Tiote is doubtful with a calf problem.
Yohan Cabaye is obviously short of match fitness, while Papiss Cisse has a hamstring problem and Demba Ba has a shin problem, and they are all having treatment.
With Shola Ameobi in such good form, he could even play on Saturday in place of one of the Senegal strikers, and it would be a good opportunity for Shola to show what he can still do in black and white shirt.
We have a feeling that Cheick isn’t as badly injured as it first appeared, but Newcastle will be hoping to keep him from traveling with the Ivory Coast squad to Moscow, for an International in Fabio Capello’s first game in charge as the new manager of Russia.
It turns out that Ben Arfa will also miss the first leg of Newcastle’s Europa League qualifier against Atromitos next Thurday, although Newcatskle are still hoping to bring that tie forward by a day or two.
This is what Alan Pardew said about the injuries today in the local press:
“Ben Arfa has a slight knee problem, which I think definitely keeps him out of the first week.” “Papiss has got a slight hamstring – we think he’ll recover by Tuesday or Wednesday – and Demba has a shin injury, which he’s carried for a week or so.”
“Yohan Cabaye is not right in terms of work he’s done. We are hoping to get him up to speed and get him involved on Saturday.” “Everybody else is OK, apart from the knocks we got at Cardiff.”
“Cheik has got a calf problem.” “We’ll have to see. I don’t think he’ll travel by the way (to Moscow).” “Colo looked like he was struggling after 20 minutes, which worries me. Colo didn’t want to come off, being captain.”
“I wasn’t sure if he was injured or not, so he might have played too long.” “We were a bit sleepy and at half-time the damage was done – in the second-half, we were better.”
If we can get Cheick fit to start on Saturday, and if Yohan Cabaye can maybe play 45 minutes against Tottenham, we should be in fairly good shape – we hope.