I love Newcastle United, I truly do, but I think we’re kind of kidding ourselves as to the reasons why we’re not performing this season.  I see the odd interview with experts and fans on Sky trying to analyse the situation and I just shout at the screen, it’s all a load of excuses!!!

All I hear about our current run of form is a load of excuses;  we have too many injuries, the Europa League is a burden, Cisse and Ba can’t play together etc etc…

I don’t agree, even at the start of the season before Europe, when we had a full squad, we weren’t performing.  The fact of the matter is we have too many players who aren’t playing well and are living off last year’s success.

I don’t see the pace and the determination there to win matches, I see a group of players who expect things to happen around them instead of pulling their socks up and making it happen.

I see a group of players who are lazy in their passes and don’t chase back when the ball is lost.

I see a midfield who don’t support the front men or overlap, or get to the edge of the box enough,  I see too much linear play and banks of 442 that are rigid and lack fluidity.

I see wingers who can’t cross a ball or beat the front man – if they do, it invariably beats everyone in the box and the far edge of the penalty area.

The strikers make the same runs (forward and back) and it takes a pinpoint accurate pass for them to latch onto and score. If they don’t get the ball, there is no midfield in a 2nd wave going for the second ball, we don’t press high enough up the pitch.

I don’t see the strikers playing the channels and bringing the midfield into play,  I don’t see hold up play and 1-2s with the midfield.

We don’t shoot enough and the shots we do try are 90% wayward.

Let’s start looking at some of these areas before we start to blame injuries and the Europa league!!