Newcastle players have a tendency to discover ‘tight hamstrings’ and ‘sore backs’ when the pressure is on.
That is the view of former United midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
Referring back to his time at St James Park, Jenas says that the pleasure of playing in front of fifty thousand Geordies is then matched equally by the pressure of playing in front of that crowd, if/when things go badly.
Talking about the mentality of players facing up to the responsibility of doing their bit, Jermaine Jenas says that in his time you ‘could quite easily lose a few players to tight hamstrings and sore backs’.
In the last few years Newcastle have struggled on the pitch and had one of the worst injury records at the same time, including many hamstring problems and no doubt the odd sore back.
Undoubtedly Jermaine Jenas is intimating that the current players are most definitely at risk of suffering from these mystery ailments but only those inside the club will know who the guilty parties are presumed to be.
Jermaine Jenas talking to Yahoo Sport:
‘When things are good at Newcastle..and I was at the club during some very good times when we were playing in the Champions League.
It is a special place and there is nowhere better to play football…but I also had a taste of when things were bad, then it becomes a very tough place to play. The pressure that mounts on you from the fans is the equivalent of the huge support you get when things are great, but in reverse.
I remember I went to QPR when they were fighting relegation and before I joined, a couple of their players warned me that the fans can get on top of you at Loftus Road when things are bad.
I remember thinking it couldn’t be anything like Newcastle and it wasn’t. When I was on Tyneside during tough periods, you could quite easily lose a few players to tight hamstrings and sore backs, the kind of things they could have probably played through in different circumstances.
Playing at home in front of 52,000 unhappy Geordies is not easy and there is no hiding place. It’s the easiest excuse for players to not play well, or in some cases not play at all.
This is the kind of environment Newcastle’s squad, many of them inexperienced in the Premier League, have found themselves in, but Wijnaldum has stood tall.’