In some of the articles we’ve written since yesterday’s defeat in Manchester, we’ve said that we cannot allow the Europa League to get in the way of our Premier League survival.
Alan Pardew – the Europa League has cost us
And the Premier League must be the priority – and that it would be a tragedy if Newcastle were relegated this season – and don’t tell us that cannot happen, after what happened four years ago.
And a number of our readers simply don’t agree with our too conservative approach to the Europa League.
Our view is based on Newcastle’s precarious position, just 3 points from safety, with just seven games to play, the injuries we have.
But after Alan Pardew had said after the 4-2 win over Southampton, that we were safe in the league, and he would prioritize the Europa League – the Newcastle manager seems to have taken almost a 180 degrees about turn after yesterday’s trouncing by Manchester City.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the Daily Mirror:
“We’ve lost bodies in our European campaign.” “It’s cost us points and without a shadow of a doubt we would not be in this position if we were not in the Europa League.
“There are too many games in that competition. I’m never going to change my opinion on that, even if we win the bloody thing.” “It needs to be looked at. We’ve lost too many players through injury.”
That sounds too much like moaning and groaning to us, but why have we had so many injuries is a good question.
Yes, we have had more games to play than since back in 2007, but we now have seven of some of our top players out injured, and only last week Cheick Tiote returned from World Cup duty fit and well – but he then got crocked in training.
We’ve had players injured while on International duty including Fab Coloccini twice, Tim Krul and Davide Santon – and on physioroom.com we have 9 injuries and second only to Aston Villa with 10 and third are Wigan with just six.
We used to be top of the injury league when Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder were managing the club, and you could even argue they both lost their job because our better players were out injured, and of course in our relegation season, players like Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith were out injured for most of that calamitous season.
To be fair to Alan Pardew, he’s always said there are just too many games in the Europa League, and we never had the squad at the beginning of the season to challenge in both leagues.
But the team yesterday should have done a lot better than they did, and that side was still a lot stronger than it was before the five Frenchmen arrived in late January.
What Newcastle need to do is to make sure we survive in the Premier League and do the best we can in the Europa League.
We certainly don’t want to hear the Europa League being used as an excuse if we are relegated.
That would be ridiculous.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org