At the end of the game against Aston Villa yesterday we were frustrated more at the result than the way our players actually played the game – it was just a game we should have won and we simply missed too many of our chances.
A fantastic goal from Jordan Ayew didn’t help either, as Villa got only their 4th point in the last 16 league games played – four draws.
Papiss Cisse missed a good chance in the first half and then seemed to injure himself as he fell, so it looks like he’s got a hamstring problem – the fifth one we have at the moment at Newcastle – and he will therefore be missing a few games.
Papiss Cisse – injured against Aston Villa
That will give a chance for Aleksandar Mitrovic to start against Everton on Boxing Day and the Serbian had a very good header well saved by Brad Guzon in the first half yesterday after he came on.
Maybe Steve McClaren will give Siem de Jong one more start next Saturday, but he did miss the opportunity of the game yesterday when he somehow missed a header from a couple of yards out that he should have scored with.
Siem held his head in his hands after the glaring miss that could have won us the game – but it just wasn’t to be.
Mitrovic’ physical play should help Siem but it’s starting to look like he could even fail on Tyneside like his younger brother did last year when on loan.
Newcastle played quite well and compact yesterday and deserved more than just one point out of the game.
Certainly we have played well in the last three games after the two disasters against Leicester City and Crystal Palace who won again yesterday, beating Stoke 2-1 on the road.
Alan Pardew’s side goes joint 4th top with Tottenham and Manchester United on 29 points – 13 points more than Newcastle.
If Crystal Palace can challenge for a top six position why can’t Newcastle United?
It does seem that Newcastle are an improving side, but it’s a slow business and we certainly don’t want to see any more collapses like we saw against Leicester City and Palace recently.
If we can become a lot more consistent the likelihood is that we can get quite a few points during the second half of the season – and hopefully pull away from the bottom three.
The good news is that we are now 5 points above Sunderland and 10 points above Aston Villa as those two clubs may be in danger of losing contact with the rest of the league.
We also need to get at least three (very) good players in next month so we leave nothing to chance.
We cannot do nothing next month like we did last January and that – along with other things – almost caused us to be relegated in May.
The last thing Mike Ashley will want is another relegation with all that money being paid out starting next June for Premier League clubs with the new three year £5B TV rights deal.