There has been a lot of debate recently about some fans slagging players off, booing at the matches and general disagreement about who if anybody deserves stick.

A lot of fans seem to find it hard to see any difference between booing players at St.James’ Park compared to in the cold light of day saying ‘if we want the team to do anything then X, Y and Z aren’t up to the job’.

I used to wear rose-tinted glasses and hated anybody criticising our players, unfortunately it is called reality and some of our first team squad players are way below the level of ability needed to prosper in the right half of the Premier League table.

That doesn’t equal a need to boo them in the meantime, you can accept they are not good enough but also support them when wearing black and white and appreciate them giving 100%. A team of triers without the necessary ability, will sooner rather than later get you relegated.

If next season we regularly played with Elliot (instead of Krul), Williamson (instead of Coloccini), Perch and Guthrie (instead of Cabaye and Tiote), Best and Shola (instead of Cissé and Ba), Newcastle United would almost certainly be relegated. Bear in mind these six replacements are first team squad members and regular fixtures on the bench.

The bottom line is that our very best players are very good and our not so best players are not very good.

You can close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and make strange noises but it won’t alter the fact that much of our first team squad isn’t good enough and has been massively carried by our best players.

  • TPD

    But isn’t that true for just about everyone? I can’t think of many sides in the league that wouldn’t suffer seriously (maybe not to the extent of relegation, but still a hell of a lot) if you stripped out their six best players and didn’t replace them. And the fact is that we do have those players…

    I agree with your point that players shouldn’t be above sensible criticism though – there are players in the team who aren’t quite the class that they would need to be if we were to really hit the heights. It’s rare to find a team that doesn’t have its share of some unglamorous players though, and tough to say they aren’t doing a decent job in a team that’s performed as well as we have this year. A lot better than some previous occupants we’ve had in those roles too. Until we can gradually improve on them (which I absolutely think we should), they’ll do for me…

  • Mal

    Presumably if you’d written this a year or so ago you would have said we would be relegated if we sold carroll, enrique, nolan and barton. Hopefully we don’t sell any of our key players but that seems unlikely since Llambias as good as invited bids for Tiote. It would be nice if, for once, we adopted the attitude Spurs did with Modric rather than take the view that it’s inevitable that we have to sell if a bid comes in.
    There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be outgoings but your article is based on the assumption that we don’t replace any of them which I think is also unlikely.
    We aren’t Man City or Chelsea so we can’t have top players for every position. We have to have the squad players and just hope we don’t have to play too many at the same time. We do however take the penny pinching too far – not signing another central defender will possibly cost us in the end.
    In the meantime we have to support those on the pitch. All the players you mention (apart from Elliott who hasn’t really had a chance) have done a reasonable job at various times during the season.

  • Ron Tron

    What about if we got rid of the whole first team squad and played with the U18s?  We’d be in League 1 in no time

  • Nufc_mad

    Dear Sam Hepworth! 
    What about a boy without a dick, would he become a girl? Very interested in your expert opinion!

  • tattyheed

    i rather think that its all down to the fact that the premier league isnt 25% as good as it thinks it is. remember – ITS A TEAM GAME – we wont ever have 11 great players in the same team unfortunately – i cant ever recall a team that has had – any team – not just us