Today Could Make Or Break Mapou & Williamson And Newcastle United’s Season
If Newcastle get most of their best eleven players on the pitch then I don’t have any doubt that the team has the individual ability but the question is, do they have the character?
Last season the team had a fragile nature and as the stats have shown, Newcastle are by far the worst team for conceding the most goals in matches where they concede.
This season has followed a similar trend with the Manchester City, Everton and Hull games seeing some dismal defending. There has been some mood for optimism on the trips to Cardiff and Villa where despite dominating for much of the games, Newcastle conceded second half and had to stand up to late pressure, which they did successfully on these two occasions.
Alan Pardew has spoken about today’s match, saying that it is a totally different situation because Newcastle went into last season’s six goal thrashing on the back of a three goal nightmare against Sunderland.
My big fear is that if Newcastle go a goal down this afternoon then any confidence could disappear and we then have the reverse of last season, this time going into the Mackem match on the back of a scouse thrashing.
That fragile nature Newcastle showed last season saw a run of fourteen Premier League matches with only two wins in the middle of the season, or three wins from eighteen if you ‘prefer’ that statistic. Three wins in what amounts to half a season is a shocker and for a number of those games Coloccini was missing injured.
Now we have our captain returning from international duty with a groin injury that keeps him out today and I start to worry exactly how long he could potentially be out for. Steven Taylor hasn’t even trained yet after his injury problems so his return could be some way off still and say what you like about Taylor but confidence is something he definitely doesn’t lack.
On the other hand both Mapou this season and Williamson at times in the past have very distinctly had the look of rabbits caught in the headlights, without Coloccini keeping them right they could be looking at each for leadership and inspiration.
If things go pear-shaped today and the pair of them in particular had a stinker, then we would be going into a run of Sunderland, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs with every chance that the two of them would have to battle through as a partnership with no alternative. James Perch wasn’t the greatest player in the world but why on earth he was sold for peanuts is a disgrace when they didn’t then sign anybody, I wouldn’t mind him marking Suarez today as he did successfully in that 2-0 win two season ago. That day Perch lined up alongside Williamson, can a Mapou/Williamson combination repeat that?
A win or draw with good personal performances from the centre-backs could be the making of them, at least in the short-term, but the alternative is a massive worry.
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