It looks like the relegation race could be very close now between which two clubs from Sunderland, Norwich and Newcastle will be relegated next month along with Aston Villa – and we now seem to have a better chance of survival – at least better than after the terrible Southampton loss.
Newcastle have picked up four points in their last two games at home and the form of the team plus the passion and fight shown by our players gives us some hope, but the truth is we are still favorites to take the drop and we needed the 3 points last night against Manchester City.
And while the local papers have reported Rafa Benitez may stay even if we are relegated, that may in part be some wishful thinking and Rafa could get some big clubs coming in for him this summer.
Time is up for Fabricio Coloccini
Whether Rafa stays or goes and whether we stay in the Premier League or not, these players are out of contract in the summer and will be released:
In addition to these five players Remy Cabella will be sold to Marseilles for something like £6M and we expect Manu Riviere to be sold too and Seydou Doumbia to return to Roma from his loan spell, which hasn’t worked out.
If we do take the drop then we expect Gini Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend to leave the club and we could pick up close to £50M for those players and then bring in players more suited to the Championship with a portion of those funds.
Getting those 12 players above out of the club if we go down should help the wage bill significantly – and it will need to be reduced because of the much lower revenues in the second division.
Aston Villa announced yesterday they will be laying off 500 non-playing employees of the club to cut running costs so some of that will need to happen at Newcastle too.
That’s one of the human costs of relegation and our players not giving 100% all season and Lee Charnley and company hiring second-rate coaches.
On the positive side, if we stay up Rafa will probably want to keep Sissoko, Janmaat and Townsend although Gini Wijnaldum was dropped last night.
But Rafa can still get the Dutchman playing well and improve the player should he save us from relegation.
So whatever happens next month expect eight players – Taylor, Obertan, Ameobi, Vuckic, Marveaux, Cabella, Riviere and Doumbia – to leave the club.
And we’ll add one more player to that list, who just happens to be Newcastle’s highest paid player – captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Whether we stay up or go down it looks like time is up for Colo – especially since Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles are playing so well in these important games for the club – credit to both of them – they are ones for the future.
And since Colo has one year left on his contract maybe Alan Pardew would be willing to pay £2M for him?
Time to bring in at least one good center-back in the summer, whichever division we are in and fix that shocking defense once and for all – something we should have done long ago and we wouldn’t be in this perilous position in the league.
Let’s hope Rafa can save us!