We were all very happy to get back into Europe again this season, after six seasons in the wilderness, but when you do not have the squad to cope with the extra games what happens? The Europa League simply affects our Premier League form, because we simply cannot cope with the extra games, and what the European games have seemed to give us this season is nothing but injuries.
Papiss Cisse – out with a thigh injury after last night’s game
We now have nine first team players out with injury – Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling, James Perch, Yohan Cabaye, Gabby Obertan, Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi – and for Sunday’s game at Southampton we we also have Fabricio Coloccini suspended.
Newcastle are in 12th place in the league table at the moment, and our trip to second bottom Southampton on Sunday will be tough – and certainly Southampton will be happy to meet Newcastle at a time with our squad is so decimated.
So we’re not sure the Europa League has given us much so far this season that is very positive, because there’s not much money to be made from the tournament either – unless you can can go through to the final.
It will be hard to qualify for Europe next season, but given our travails this season, that may not be too bad and before we enter Europe again, the powers that be at the club have to ensure we have a squad equipped to handle the additional games.
As a reminder – last summer we brought in just one senior first team player – Vurnon Anita – and it was hardly enough to fortify the squad.
The likelihood is that next season we’ll not have the additional European games, but we will be able to concentrate on the Premier League, and we could do quite well again – as we did last season.
The Newcastle squad needs to be strengthened and that’s been the case ever since we were promoted a couple of years ago, and if you don;t do that what happens is toue squad is quite quickly decimated.
That’s what’s happened to Newcastle this season – in a nutshell.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com