If you plan for everything that can happen, then in my experience those things just don’t happen – and it’s a bit like the converse of Murphy’s Law – which basically says if something can go wrong it will, and at the worst possible time.
Jak Alnwick being checked for his shoulder injury
Newcastle have only two experienced goalkeepers in their ranks this season, although officially we have five on professional contracts – Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow, Jak Alnwick and 17 year-old Freddie Woodman.
And once Tim Krul was out with an injury to his ankle – picked up in training – we were always worried in case Rob Elliot was injured.
And that happened in the Chelsea game – although he was apparently already carrying the thigh injury before that game – and since he had to leave that game at half time, Newcastle have conceded 9 goals in just two and a half games.
Jak Alnwick was untested when he came in at half time at Chelsea – which is why it was always a risk for Newcastle to not have more cover at goalkeeper.
And in retrospect, when we agreed the loan deal to Forest for Karl Darlow, we should have ensured he could have been recalled in the event that Tim and Rob were both injured.
But it looks like Newcastle never thought through what would happen if both Tim and Rob were injured at the same time – and what we find out now is we are in big trouble.
We feel very sorry for Jak Alnwick – let’s say that up front – and he’s been put in a difficult situation with millions and millions watching the games on TV – and the expression on his face at the end of last night’s game told it all – the lad looked devastated.
Newcastle will seek an emergency loan – but unless Jak Alnwick is really injured then we have no chance of persuading the powers that be that we should have an emergency goalkeeper brought in.
That being the case, the only thing we can do until January 1st is to play Jak or Freddie as goalkeeper – and as we saw last night that can cost Newcastle games and points.
Rob will be back first it seems, but not until mid-January at the earliest, so maybe we go out and get a loan deal for an experienced goalkeeper that can start on January 1st.
Here are the games we have to play – and we still have three games to play before January 1st.
December Sun 21 13:30 H Sunderland Fri 26 15:00 A Man Utd Sun 28 16:15 H Everton January Thu 01 15:00 H Burnley Sat 03 15:00 A Leicester - FA Cup Sat 10 15:00 A Chelsea Sat 17 17:30 H Southampton Sat 31 12:45 A Hull City
Notice that this all comes at the worst possible time, when we have a flood of fixtures in the holiday period, and it’s not only the Premier League games, but the Capital One Cup and FA Cup matches are also included when we don’t have an experienced goalkeeper.
We don’t know if it’s possible to bring in a goalkeeper on loan on January 1s, and then play him that day at home to Burnley, but he could play in the FA Cup two days later.
Doing that would at least restrict the games we don’t have an experienced goalie between the sticks to only three more games, but that includes the game at home to Sunderland – who must be thinking Christmas has come early because of Newcastle’s lack of foresight.
And that in a nutshell is what it is.
As we said earlier, when you don’t plan for something it usually happens – that’s something I found out during my years at IBM and I planned for most things when I was running the Network Consulting Group – just to make sure they would never happen. 😀
Lack of foresight can also be very costly, and since each place in the Premier League is now worth around £2M – Mike Ashley should be in the discussions about what to do – before Sunday’s game against Sunderland.
Note – the breaking news is that Jak Alnwick has been passed fit for the game against Sunderland on Sunday.
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