It’s not exactly a crisis at Newcastle, but with Norwich beating Manchester United at Carrow Road over the weekend, they now have 11 points from their last five games and only conceded one goal in that period under Chris Hughton, and are now level on points with Newcastle, and Sunderland managed to score three times yesterday to get a good 3-1 win at Fulham, and they are now only 2 points behind the Magpies.
Mike Williamson – a team meeting held last week
The big worry at Newcastle is that we have a lot of our best players out at the moment, and news yesterday was that Yohan Cabaye probably needs surgery on his groin, and that would put him out until early January, and we also have Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling and James Perch all out injured, and Coloccini still suspended for one more league game, and the team is not playing well.
Surprisingly Newcastle are not scoring goals, although we are still creating the chances, and if Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba can recapture some of their form from last season, we could start winning at any time.
Mike Williamson has said there was a meeting of the players last week to try to come to grips with the position we are in, but we lost again on Saturday at home, and in the last three league games, in which Alan Pardew expected to pick up quite a few points, the opposite has happened, and we have just a single point.
This is what Mike said in the local press this morning:
“The lads had a meeting during the week and everyone has put their thoughts across, and it’s just about continuing to work hard and carrying on and sticking together as a group.” “Everyone will go through tough periods in a season and this one is ours.”
“It’s no secret our form and the results aren’t and haven’t been what we’d hoped.” “The fact is we’re looking at things, ways of improving, any different areas where we can progress, from the management to the players.” “That’s what we’re doing. “
“We’re pulling together and that’s what you have to do when go through a difficult period.” “I think it could be a factor in some ways.” “People have worked certain things out, like who our danger men are.” “There are certain times when there are two or three players on Hatem Ben Arfa, for example.”
“It’s like a puzzle we all have to work out.” “The fact is we need to utilise our big players to the best of their ability, create different ways of attacking and work on being solid, too, because at the moment, we’re struggling to score goals and we’re leaking at the other end.”
“So it’s not great, but it’s something everyone is working on extremely hard behind the scenes to try and correct.” “It has been tough so far and the last two results have been disappointing.” “It’s time to dig deep, you know, show our character, work hard on the training ground.”
“We just continue what we’re doing and I’m sure the belief will come back.” “It’s only a matter of time because it’s not as if we’re doing anything different.” “It’s just that the results aren’t clicking at the minute, so we have to find the right formula like we did last year.”
Newcastle have a game against Maritimo in the Europa league on Thursday night, and that’s really another distraction for the league game at Southampton on Sunday afternoon, and that could be a tricky one with the Saints probably full of confidence from their excellent display at QPR on Saturday where they won that crunch game 3-1.
There’s a good chance we can beat Maritimo on Thursday night and qualify for the knock-out rounds of the Europa league, but that will fall completely flat if we cannot get something at St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org