Newcastle Strength In Depth Is Still Poor

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..

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Newcastle United - Old Trafford

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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22 comments so far

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    Comment #1

    this is where pardew goes wrong with the kids

    he should blood them in our good periods, but he tends to throw them in at the deep end and asks them to carry the team,

    when the kid does not score, he will be tossed aside as prove there not good


  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #2

    But we can afford to have Jonas out on loan and have MYM, Cisse, Marveaux, Obertan etc all benched.

    I see pardew is being very smug and almost gloating about AVB and Laudrup getting sacked as they were ” Europa league victims”.

    Well Spurs were 6th when AVB got sacked and before last night Swansea were 10th, neither anywhere near 16th and yet Pardew is still here! How expectations have been lowered.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #3


    I like colo, but I do not think he has been anywhere near his best for us when he has played this season, and think MYM has looked more assured when he has played, but he has been rash a few times

    as for goofy, he may be a goal scorer, but it is a fact that he does not chase as much as people think, and I know that if you watch some of the goals we have conceded, he lets people run past him, I really don’t think he is suited to being on the wing, he should be more up front, he is better in the 18y box, in fact id go as far as to say remy and him should be swapped around, remy is far more comfortable coming in and shooting , goofy reacts better in the box, I also think remy and Sammy are more comfortable running at players

    regardless, we have a top 8 squad, so to finish 8th would be poor, to finish 9th, that would be failure, teams struggle in this league because they don’t have goal scorers, we have 2 proven premiership goal scorers in our team and now a dutch international,,

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #4


    not always on your side but comment 1 is exactly what i have been saying the past few days….100% agree

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #5


    We all have our reservations about ben Arfa, ie his lack of ability to know when to pass or take people on.

    However, he did win 5 league titles in france at 2 different clubs, so we can’t say he’s been a failure wherever he’s been.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #6

    I agree with that. It would be far easier for Arma/Campbell/Streete/Mbabu etc to be blooded one at a time when we are on a good run. Not all dumped in during a cup match, or putting them in to a side that is struggling for confidence and depleted.

    I hope he uses the kids sensibly for the rest of the season, giving them the odd game just to give them a bit of experience for next year. That is what the rest of this season should be about now.

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #7

    Transfer Sage

    I know you don’t 😉

    I don’t want the kids near the team when we are losing games, it will affect them

  • Ben3arfa

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Comment #8

    Thank you Mike Ashley

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #9

    But he wasn’t a regular starter at any of those clubs, and didn’t contribute large numbers of goals or assists. Not sure you can put the fact he was in a title winning side down to him.

    David May has several titles, so does Phil Neville, but they were hardly integral.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #10


    i’d say he has been…john o’shea has 5 league titles, is he a success or top player?

    ben arfa got them in weak leagues with the best teams, it’s a collective achievement, the lads goals and assists total are poor for somebody with his technical ability

    can forgive work rate if he wins games regularly but he doesn’t, he wastes way too much

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #11

    Rotonda heights

    and you can not say his attitude has been bad while he has been here, the boy has been a pro, and this has been his biggest problem at all his other clubs

  • geordieboy83

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #12


    As above I completely agree with you there mate. It’s a lot easier to introduce a youngster when you’re on a good run. That was kinda my point this morning with arma. A few of us are crying out for him to have a run but with a lot of doom and gloom around it’s a heavy atmosphere to carry on young shoulders . So it could either give ya the spark needed or go the other way and destroy him coz we are booing everything lol

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #13


    his attitude seems a lot better but he isn’t keeping in shape, he isn’t making good decisions on the pitch, he isn’t working hard in attack or defence

    our system might not help him, but he doesn’t help himself either

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #14

    Transfer Sage

    I have to ask

    the whole team shoots from stupid distances , why is it that only HBA is pulled up for this,

    it seems to be the teams ethos to do this, why should you single one guy out
    when you sit and work out shots/assists to goals ratio he is amongst our highest,
    our whole team shoots instead of passing, so this is a thing they are learning on the training ground, why be so hard on just one player ????

    I don’t get it

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #15


    ben arfa does it more than others, the lads wastes so much trying to beat people again or shooting when a good cross is on, he is a wide player in our team and as such should be assisting more…he doesn’t.

    others are wasteful too but he is by far the worst for it

  • catchy in norway

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #16

    Transfer Sage

    no, I think you notice it more because its highlighted , I think we all just expect more because we know he can.

    if we all notice it, pardew must notice it, and if pardew sees that he is doing it then he must see others doing the same,

    he never got dropped from other teams because he is greedy or lazy, it was always attitude,

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #17

    Well said Ed completely agree as I’v just mentioned a couple of threads back.

    When we are missing our big players we slip. It’s always the same.

    This is fact.

    Without Gouffy, Colo, Cabaye, Remy and Cisse to choose from. Aye Cisse, we could of did with him right now while Remy and Gouffy is out. Now Debuchy.

    That is enough to derail the side. We are lacking any sort of conviction. The quality as has been proved over the last handful of games has been poor. Inept performances. Lacking confidence in certain areas.

    Catchy I disagree that you do not think this is an injury crisis.

    It shouldn’t be, but it is for NUFC. Have you seen our bench lately? I wouldn’t like to turn to that bench to change a game, especially against superior opposition worth fortunes.

    The confidence and quality is not one of a Premier League football club when we have so many 1st teamers out and a bench that is lacking so much.

    It’s bed time for me have fun lads.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #18

    A big problem as I see it is that Pardew has no ability to get a team playing as more than the sum of its parts, as good managers do. He obviously doesn’t inspire players to play their hearts out for the team, and his tactics don’t seem to suit the players he has on the park too often. For Ashley’s “model” to do well – in the way that a team like Everton has without countless millions to spend – it requires a manager who is able to inspire a team and get the very best out of them. Pardew is not such a manager.

  • FinnBarr

    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #19

    I don’t think the depth of the squad is a major problem yet, it is the misuse of the available players in the squad by Pardew. Not cycling the squad, breaking up the MYM-Williamson partnership, making some head scratching moves like putting Strolla Ameobi in for a full 90 mins…. wrong formations in the wrong games at the wrong times. Selling Cabaye without a replacement is inexcusable, and injuries happen, but a manager needs to improvise and adapt and use the tools he has in the shed. I’m not a regular Pardew basher, but he has to prepare the squad better for these lean times.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #20


    So Ciaran’s like richard o brien. Hence I’m looking for a young, bald kid with attitude? An eccentric transgender specialising in sardonic put downs? If I see a collection bucket labelled pension pot I’ll know I’ve found my man.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #21

    Exactly right FinnBarr. Too many mistakes being made with a team that can ill afford them.

  • FinnBarr

    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #22

    Frenchman- you’re spot on as well. Inspiration is most definitely lacking…. might be made worse if all the strikers jump ship in the summer?


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