The state of Newcastle United is perfectly summed up by the words of Gini Wijnaldum reflecting on the latest defeat at Southampton.
Wijnaldum bemoans…’It looks like they don’t even have to try their best to score a goal’ and ‘Why not give your best and try to change things? That’s something I don’t understand’.
With pretty much all of the Newcastle players you get this feeling that they all think that it is everybody else that is letting the side down, not them.
They might at times say that they are to blame as much as anybody but their body language usually suggests something else.
Wijnaldum, along with others such as Sissoko in particular, don’t seem to see that it is their responsibility to try and take the games by the scruff of their neck. To make a personal statement that they are going to grab the ball and make things happen.
Instead we see the usual pattern of passing the buck – only Townsend tries to take anybody on, while Shelvey is willing to keep the ball and try to find the right ball – which is quite tricky when nobody but Townsend wants it and makes himself available.
The fact Sissoko hasn’t scored a single goal this season tells you everything, while I can’t remember an assist from him since that Norwich 6-2 match.
Which brings us back to Wijnaldum, since scoring his four goals against Norwich six months ago, he has only scored two more and he also got the assist for Mitrovic against Sunderland.
However, he hasn’t scored a goal away from home all season and much worse, I honestly don’t know what he actually does in matches.
I would love to see a camera follow him all game as it is quote remarkable how little he is involved.
This isn’t making Wijnaldum a scapegoat but more the fact that he typifies out current team.
I am left with only two thoughts: either he is very good, or he is a decent player who should be contributing so much more and taking responsibility.
“I don’t understand why we’re nervous, we know if we play without confidence, and if you’re nervous, it’s not going to be good – you are going to play bad.
“Why not give your best and try to change things? That’s something I don’t understand.
“It’s not the first game that this has happened and it is difficult to win a game in this situation.
“The way they make the goals, it doesn’t look like they have to try their best to score. It’s very disappointing. It’s always disappointing if you lose a game, but we lost it without confidence.”
“We conceded in the fourth minute and that’s not good – the way we are giving the goals away is not good.
“If you start the game well, it will give you confidence but we are in a situation now where it is difficult to change the game, especially when you go behind.
“We did it against a lot of teams but now it is a difficult situation – there is no confidence and you’re nervous. If you go behind in the fourth minute, it’s hard to change it.
“It looks like they don’t even have to try their best to score a goal.”