Once Ben Arfa Limped off and Remy was sent off, forgive me if I didn’t get too excited in the last ten or so minutes.
There was nearly a goal but unsurprisingly it was at our end, with only an excellent Krul save preventing the final indignity.
So why such low expectations in the closing stages?
The ten Newcastle players left on the pitch against Norwich were;
Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Santon, Anita, Tiote, Haidara, Sissoko, Shola
Collectively they have precisely 2 (two) Premier League goals between them this season; the Sissoko thunderbolt against West Brom and Debuchy (topically) against the mackems.
It gets worse though because if you include the other five players who were in the eighteen last night;
Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett, Gosling, Armstrong
They can only add one more, Dummett’s great finish against Liverpool.
This is obviously no reflection on players such as Elliot who after all is a goalkeeper(!), or Armstrong who is only sixteen and called up in desperation, it is simply a statement of fact. So 16 of our 18 players on duty last night had scored only 3 goals in the premier League this campaign.
Pardew has confirmed no appeal for Remy and so against Sunderland we’ll have to pray Hatem Ben Arfa is fit enough to start again, he currently has three goals from limited starts this season.
With Cabaye away, you are left looking at Gouffran who is currently on 6 and Cisse (1 penalty) as possibilities to come back from the treatment table.
Expecting De Jong to jump off a plane and instantly perform in a derby atmosphere is a big ask, plus he’s only played 72 substitute minutes in the Bundesliga all season, not starting any games and unsurprisingly not scoring a single goal.
It is all very well having a lot of hard working players in the team such as Tiote, Sissoko and Anita etc but if Newcastle United are to stand any chance at all of moving forward they have to add goals from a lot more positions than they have so far.
Remy’s suspension and Cabaye’s sale shouldn’t lead to a whole team firing blanks and a serious shortage of Newcastle goal scorers.
Rather than leave us all short-changed, Ashley has to use the Cabaye and TV money to invest in some semblance of a squad, relying on one (or two…) loan strikers is not a transfer strategy.