It is now 435 minutes….7 hours 15 minutes, without a goal.

On Saturday, despite having a decent amount of possession and some ok approach play in the first two thirds of the pitch, Newcastle could have played all week and never scored a goal.

The roll call of honour has seen them fail to score in the final 56 minutes of the Aston Villa match and then four total blanks:

56 Aston Villa

94 Everton

95 West Brom

95 Arsenal

95 Watford

Making a grand total of 435 minutes where Newcastle’s players have failed to find the net.

When Steve McClaren and his players talk of the last few matches, they tend to make two points.

Firstly that it is just bad luck they aren’t finishing the claimed bucket load of chances they are supposedly creating, then secondly the insinuation is that losing 1-0 in each of the last four matches somehow suggests the defence is sorting itself out.

Not quite sure how conceding every match equals any kind of confidence in the defending and you have to go back seven matches for the last clean sheet.

In fact United have only kept four clean sheets out of 23 matches this season and that includes conceding at home against both Northampton and Sheffield Wednesday reserves in the League Cup.

Whilst a commanding centre-back to play alongside Chancel Mbemba is still an essential need, those 435 minutes without a goal have to be addressed now.

Already we are at the 10 days gone point of the transfer window and have lost to Arsenal in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup in that time period.

Obviously there will be no new signing featuring against Manchester United and even if we had a surprise signing of a striker today, the odds are that they wouldn’t be able to feature, or at least not start, on Saturday against West Ham.

The apparent lack of urgency is frightening in terms of bringing in a striker and as well as McClaren; Charnley, Carr and Ashley all appear to be clinging to this belief that everything else is ok and once the floodgates open, goals won’t be a problem.

Reality is that Newcastle are in the relegation zone and once we get past the West Ham match, there are only seven home matches left.

The clock is continuing to tick but Mike Ashley and his minions are still managing to sleep, despite the alarm bells ringing loudly for the rest of us.

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