Newcastle have been woeful in defense for over two years now but we didn´t strengthen last month by bringing in defenders, but manager Steve McClaren is now saying it wasn´t for the want of trying …….. they just failed.
Just less than a year ago John Carver was complaining of being short of players – especially at left back – but we get injuries every single year – and we are always top of the injury league – so why don´t Newcastle admit that and plan for it?
Steve McClaren – short of left backs – again
It´s nothing short of embarrassing that Newcastle are so short of players for today´s vital game against West Brom – where a defeat would take us ever closer to relegation this season.
Here´s what McClaren has said when asked why no defensive cover was brought in last month:
“It certainly wasn’t through a lack of effort and wanting,” “Going out there and seeing suitability, not being available. But believe you, me, in terms of centre-back we had four.”
“Priorities were elsewhere. We were always looking for a left-back, as cover, short-term.”
“Believe you, me, I think five or six were tried at the weekend but for various reasons it didn’t work out for us.”
“Dummett had trained for five or six games, Haidara could possibly be right for Stoke,.”
“We’ll have that 18-day break to get people back into the squad. It wasn’t the case to think we’d get three injuries in one game. That’s crazy.”
“I can’t sit here and be positive about the injury list and I can’t sit here and be positive about losing three defenders and all that happened on Wednesday.”
“You generally try to keep upbeat, but it’s difficult with the amount of injuries. The only thing to be positive about is that in three weeks we’ve got about five important players coming back.”
The problem wasn´t losing three defenders on Wednesday – the problem was specifically losing Paul Dummett, because we have no cover for him.
We suppose the players we went after were Atletico Madrid´s Guilherme Siqueira and Valencia’s Lucas Orban but they went elsewhere.
There were also rumors we were after former left-backs Jose Enrique and Davide Santon who we sold a year ago.
So we tried to get in a left back well that´s nice but means nothing.
We are reminded of what the ghost of Christmas Past said in Dickens’ Christmas Carol – almost doesn´t count.
The other question we should ask is why weren´t defenders brought in last summer when only Chancel Mbemba was added to the squad.
We were short of a left back a year ago under John Carver when both Haidara and Dummett were injured after we had effectively sold Davide Santon to Inter-Milan – so there´s a history to this – it hasn´t suddenly come about this season.
Steve McClaren has to get results now – we have heard all the excuses – now it´s injuries – but it has to be about getting points on the board before too many more games go by.
And playing well and losing is still zero points.
And if we lose against West Brom and Chelsea we could see that 18 day break be time for a new manager to be bedding in at Newcastle.
This game today is that serious for Newcastle United and for Steve McClaren – but he doesn´t seem to realize the seriousness of the situation.
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