Many reasons why Newcastle have descended into a shambles in the last month and it can’t be claimed the Jak Alnwick situation hasn’t been one of the factors.
We all sympathise with the young goalkeeper being thrown in at the deep end and Alan Pardew & the club are far more to blame.
While both Pardew and the club hierarchy end up putting themselves in a position whereby they had a third choice goalkeeper they had no faith in who was counting down the days to his contract ending, plus an out on loan keeper at Forest in Karl Darlow, meaning they couldn’t bring in an emergency replacement.
It isn’t a case of blaming Jak Alnwick, more the fact that we shouldn’t ignore the fact that sadly he has been way short of what was needed in this last month, as League Cup hopes were smashed and any Premier League momentum ground to a halt.
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More importantly, while John Carver has talked of Tim Krul returning to training next week, if there is any doubts as to his fitness for Chelsea and beyond, then United should 100% take a loan keeper when the window opens this Saturday – which is too late for somebody to play against Leicester in the FA Cup as players had to be registered by noon today to play on Saturday.
Back to Jak Alnwick.
These are the Premier League matches Jak Alnwick has started, with the number of shots on target (according to BBC Sport) he has faced in each match in brackets;
Arsenal 4 Newcastle 1 (4)
Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1 (3)
Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 1 (4)
Newcastle 3 Everton 2 (2)
Newcastle 3 Burnley 3 (4)
Five starts and he has conceded 13 goals from the 17 shots that were on target.
The Spurs cup game actually improves his figures slightly despite letting in 4! He faced 10 shots on target that dismal night.
The fact Newcastle held out for a win against Chelsea helped to cover up the fact that while Alnwick did some decent stuff when he came on, he was terrible for the Drogba goal as he came out and jumped with his eyes closed – hoping for the best. If that had altered the result then he would have been subject to instant scrutiny but the result papered over that blunder.
Against Burnley I have a feeling that Tim Krul would have possibly conceded none of the three goals that Alnwick conceded and things could have got really messy if the woodwork hadn’t saved the keeper and his teammates four times.
Two positions you cannot mess about with are your centre-forward and your goalkeeper – yesterday both those positions were a complete and utter mess.
In Cisse’s absence Emmanuel Riviere was about as likely to score as Alnwick himself. Little wonder that the goals came from a corner and a thirty yard wonder striker when the Frenchman was on the pitch.
A lack of professionalism on and off the pitch, throughout the club, has led to another wasted season.
When combined with a chronic lack of investment in the squad it brings us to where we are now.
A small squad severely lacking in quality and numbers, no manager, and fans dreading the opening of the transfer window with no expectation of reinforcements and major fears of players such as Moussa Sissoko leaving.