Newcastle had lots of games last season and we suffered lots of injuries because of the 14 extra games we played in the Europa League, and that was put down by some as the major reason Newcastle struggled in the league..
Fab Coloccini – injured and out for over seven weeks for second season running
And through the season we had long term injuries to Coloccini, Cabaye, Steven Taylor and others, and we struggled in the Premier League and only just avoided relegation.
With no European competition this season, and with Faye Downey as the new Fitness Director, things have been a lot better with very few injuries this season, and until recently we had been doing very well in the league.
But that was until we picked up injuries to Coloccini, Gouffran, and more recently to Tiote and Debuchy, and of course we’ve also had Debuchy and Remy banned for three games after they were sent off.
And what’s happened is much like last season, we’ve gone into a slump, and that doesn’t reflect well on the strength of the squad – especially when the manager says we’ll do better only when the injured players return.
But if we are ever to become a great side again (we’re still hoping as you can see), strength in depth is what we need, so that when Colo and others are out – we don’t automatically go on a bad run – like we are in at the moment – and Newcastle have failed to score in six of our last seven league game and collected only 4 points in the process.
West Ham have gained 9 points on us since we beat them 3-1 at Upton Park, and now they are only 9 points behind Newcastle, after beating Norwich 2-0 at home last night for their third win in a row.
So if Newcastle don’t pick up points soon, we could even be caught by some of the 11 teams fighting relegation, and Southampton, after being 5 points behind us a couple of weeks ago are now two points ahead of us in 8th place after their 1-0 win at Hull last night.
And Alan Pardew has used some of the fringe players in the cup games over the last few years, and that doesn’t reflect well on the squad either.
And in 5 FA Cup ties as one example, we’ve lost four, since Pardew has been the manager on Tyneside, and we haven’t progressed in the League Cup much either.
So as well as bringing in four good new players this summer, Newcastle will need to look at who can do the job at Newcastle and who cannot, and we could see a major clear-out in the summer, and to do that the sooner Newcastle appoint a competent Director of Football the better.
It’s disappointing that for the second season running our strength in depth does not look good.
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