Jack Colback has been reflecting on Newcastle United recent performances and whilst he felt they were unlucky and didn’t deserve to lose four games 1-0 in consecutive matches, he thinks the team were good value for the four points in the last week.

The Geordie midfielder has also welcomed new team-mate Jonjo Shelvey into the club, crediting him for his role in the win over West Ham and also saying that he appreciates having him in the same team, having had  ‘a few little run-ins’ when up against the ENgland international in the past.

However, Jack Colback has also inadvertently flagged up what has arguably been Newcastle’s biggest problem this season and indeed for a number of years.

The former Sunderland player saying that the Newcastle players know that ‘The competition is there and you know you have got to perform, otherwise there’s someone there to step in’.

Errrr, who exactly is this competition?

On Saturday the Newcastle United bench was:

Darlow, Aarons, Lascelles, Gouffran, Saivet, Riviere, Toney

Apart from the hopeless Yoan Gouffran and striker Emmanuel Riviere (one Premier League goal in his entire first season at Newcastle), Karl Darlow is the only one of these players to ever start a Premier League match before and he looked a bag of nerves against West Brom, conceding a really poor goal that turned out to be the winner.

Obviously we all hope that Henri Saivet is going to prove the exception to the rule and come in from Ligue 1 and show he can do it in the Premier League (unlike Marveaux, Obertan, Haidara, Gouffran, Riviere, Thauvin, Cabella etc)….but exactly which Newcastle players were worried about losing their place against West Ham?

Did Mbemba think Lascelles was going to come in, or Wijnaldum looking over his shoulder at Gouffran, Mitrovic worried about Riviere?

With Mike Ashley having allowed the Newcastle squad to be increasingly weakened ever since that fifth place finish in 2011/12, the first team has pretty much picked itself – week after week, season after season.

You can’t help but think that this was a massive factor in players such as Coloccini, Sissoko and Papiss Cisse falling way below the standards we know they are/were capable of.

The amoount of money spent in the summer was bigger than ever before but it did only bring in four first team players and of those, we currently stand at two big successes, a work in progress (Mitrovic) and a disaster so far (Thauvin).

So bringing in players such as Shelvey and Saivet aren’t luxuries, they are absolute necessities and more are needed.

Imagine if at Watford on Saturday, Newcastle had to call on two or three of those substitutes that were on duty against West Ham?

Yes Newcastle have had injuries but exactly who are the players we are desperately missing that would match the current eleven, or even be half-decent replacements?

Steven Taylor – erratic form and always due his next injury, Siem de Jong – shown absolutely nothing yet, Tim Krul – the exception but Rob Elliot playing better than he was early this season, Mike Williamson – self-explanatory, Papiss Cisse – totally unreliable.

Whatever happens this month, if Newcastle can survive this season they need at least another five players to come into the matchday 18 who are good enough to play for the first team and CHALLENGE for a spot in that first eleven.

Still massive work to be done on the squad and that is if/when we stay up.

Jack Colback

“The competition is there and you know you have got to perform, otherwise there is someone there to step in – all you can concentrate on doing is your own job.

“It (new signing) always gives everybody around the club a lift and Jonjo was instrumental for the two goals, credit to him as it was a great start and Henri came on as well.

“We (Colback/Shelvey) have had a few little run-ins and he is a competitor on the pitch, it’s good to have someone like that on the team.

“He’s a good player and you are only as good as the team you are in, he adds a lot to this team.

“Morale has been good to be fair, we lost four games 1-0 but we could easily have won one of those games, so we were confident.

“We came back against Manchester United to draw the game and it was a good point, and good to get a win (on Saturday).”

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