For really the first time in Alan Pardew’s reign on Tyneside, Newcastle are in a bit of a slump and in 12th place in the league table, which is really not where we want to be, after finishing 5th in the Premier League last season, and qualifying for the Europa League.
Alan Pardew on Saturday at St. James’ Park
But it’s also true that the Europa League has helped to decimate the squad this season, with lots of injuries being picked up as well, and two red cards picked up by Coloccini and Tiote in the league, and they have both been suspended for three league games.
Alan Pardew tried to put things in perspective, given we’ve had so many injuries this season:
“We have been unlucky this year.” “We have lost Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic for more or less the season. One is bad and to lose two is tough to take and we have had suspensions.”
“I can only think of one occasion when I have had everyone to pick and that was at Sunderland when I had all my senior players. I know that is what we need to do. We need our best players back.”
“I am not going to fault the development of these young players or criticize them in any way.” “It is a learning curve, sometimes you learn more as a young player in defeat and we go on to Maritimo.”
“We are stretched this week and we have two big games and really that squad is going to be aided by Jonas Gutierrez.” “We didn’t have any time this week.” “We didn’t have Shola at all and trained with Papiss to play because we felt we hadn’t done anything wrong.”
“And we expected to get a positive answer back.” “He happened to be in good form and it was a blow he couldn’t play.”
There’s no doubt that the next two games are important ones for Newcastle, but there’s also no doubt now that the Premier League must be the priority this season.
We hardly want to do well in Europe at the expense of the Premier League, especially when we are now starting to slump in the league, with so many games this season compared to last.
The simple answer is that Newcastle’s squad is just not big enough for the club to be participating in Europe, that’s one lesson to be learned from this season, and if we ever make it back into Europe – the squad just has to be strengthened if we are going to compete on two fronts.
What do you think?
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