If you thought Newcastle’s second half performance last night was pathetic – as we did – things are not going to get better anytime soon, because we now have Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi ruled out for the next few weeks of a very busy schedule for Newcastle.
Ben Arfa - has a hamstring injury
Ben Arfa brilliantly set up Sylvain Marveaux for his first goal for the club last night after 23 minutes, but then a hamstring problem had him leave the filed after 30 minutes, and the massive bet Alan Pardew had made by starting Ben Arfa in Europe for the first time had failed.
And then Cisse came off in the second half, and it wasn’t his back as first reported, but his thigh – and he seemed to limp off the field.
This is what Alan Pardew said after the game last night:
“It is a hamstring problem for Hatem Ben Arfa, so it will definitely keep him out on Sunday and probably next week. I don’t know from then on.”
“I don’t think it‘s a tear, according to the doctor, so it isn’t a long-term injury but it will keep him out for the immediate future. We’re just having blow after blow.”
“Cisse got a kick on the thigh and was starting to limp as it tightened up over half-time, so I had to take him off. With no striker on the bench – Demba Ba already on – it was proving problematic.”
“Shola looks doubtful for the next couple of weeks but I think Papiss has got a good chance for Sunday, hopefully we have done enough to protect him”.
And Shola Ameobi has another one of those groin problems that he has had throughout his career, and sat in the stands watching the game last night.
So we have Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling, James Perch, Yohan Cabaye, Gabby Obertan, Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi all ruled out of the game on Sunday, 9 first team players ruled out with injury – and Fabricio Coloccini is suspended – and we don’t know the status of Jonas Gutierrez – who did not participate at all last night.
The Newcastle squad has been absolutely decimated by the extra European games this season so far, and of course we are through to the knock-out rounds of the competition - and we ‘re not sure if that’s good or bad news.
This is what happens with poor preparation – when Alan Pardew was not given an enhanced and bigger squad to tackle Europe this season.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org