At his pre-Arsenal press conference, Steve McClaren had some ‘good’ news.

As well as claiming his team had played great and were simply unlucky in recent matches…McClaren revealed that two players were back in training.

Using the immortal word ‘like a new signing’ about Emmanuel Riviere’s return, more than a few Newcastle fans had their hackles raised.

Whilst the Head Coach also reported that winger Rolando Aarons was also ‘fit again’.

Steve McClaren:

“Papiss Cisse we are still waiting to hear on how long he’s going to be out….Emmanuel Riviere is back in training, so he’s like a new signing for us, buzzing around the training field, so that’s a plus.”

“Rolando Aarons is also back training with us, so that’s a plus too. So we have players from the present squad fit again.

Forgive me if I fail to get excited, I’d love to think this pair could make any potential difference to the team but I just don’t see it.

Riviere is simply hopeless. A cut price desperate buy from France, with no real pedigree or credible goalscoring record, brought in during summer 2014 because Mike Ashley wouldn’t allow the buying of the real credible striker we’ve been missing since Demba Ba walked away two and a half years ago.

Last season removed any doubts, one Premier League goal all season and that was a fluke, with Riviere hitting the ball with one foot and off the other, baffling the QPR keeper.

As for Rolando Aarons, he is either injured or sitting on the bench.

Neither Alan Pardew or Steve McClaren thought he was worth a start in the Premier League and he is now aged 20 with not a single league start to his name.

On top of this he hasn’t signed a new contract and I struggle to work up any enthusiasm for him whatsoever. Yes he clearly has some ability but I have no faith at all that he is the answer to any of our problems.

This is the heart of Newcastle’s current situation, for all it appears the club have had big injury problems this season, it really has just been superficial in terms of impacting on the first team.

The only automatic first choice player who is long-term injured is Tim Krul and ironically, his replacement Rob Elliot has played far better than the Dutch keeper has done in a long time.

The likes of Taylor, Tiote, Marveaux, Williamson, Good, Obertan, Haidara and yes…Riviere and Aarons, are not players we are desperately wishing to be back.

In actual fact Newcastle have been really lucky that none of our handful of quality players have picked up any kind of significant injuries, with Janmaat, Wijnaldum, Perez, Sissoko and Mbemba available week in week out.

Imagine of Mbemba, Sissoko and Wijnaldum were all injured???

The lack of any strength in the squad means we are all left looking at the January window but with so many squad players not up to the job, do we really think Mike Ashley is going to allow significant spending on more players to add to those not playing at the minute?

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