If Rafa Benitez can save us now from relegation then it will qualify as a real miracle – the second of his career after what happened in Istanbul in 2005 – with the distressing news tonight that Rob Elliot has sustained a knee injury playing for Ireland and the injury looks a bad one.
People at Newcastle will say we were just unlucky, but we could see this coming ever since Tim Krul was injured back in October and Rob was the only experienced goalkeeper available – and therefore what would happen if he was injured – and he has a history of thigh injuries.
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley
Once again the Newcastle Board made no attempt to bring in a an experienced goalkeeper with only Karl Darlow and 18 year-old Freddie Woodman available if Rob was to be injured.
An easy solution after Tim was injured was to sign up former goalkeeper Steven Harper who was a free agent, but Sunderland have signed him up – so he’s not available.
Management is responsible for planning plan for things that may happen and if you believe in Murphy’s Law – then if something bad can happen it will – and at the worst possible time.
And that’s what seems to be what has happened with Rob Elliot – but we don’t yet know the extent of the injury – but it didn’t look good as he was stretched off tonight.
The Board have spent £82M in transfer fees this season, yet we don’t have a fit left back and still don’t have a Premier League goalscorer after they refused to sign Charlie Austin either last summer or in January.
They appointed Steve McClaren in the summer only days after he had been fired by Derby County and that followed the disastrous appointment of John Carver – both of whom were nowhere near good enough to manage Newcastle – and the results proved that.
So you don’t have to look too far to know why Newcastle are second bottom of the league without a recognized left-back available for several weeks and a goalkeeper – Karl Darlow – who will come in with just one Premier League appearance to his name for the final eight critical games of the season.
As we said earlier – if Rafa can save us now – this will be a bone fide miracle – a real miracle.
And to finish on a positive note – which is difficult – it’s a great opportunity for Karl Darlow to be a hero for Newcastle this season and he will certainly get lots and lots of support from the fans.