I thought I had heard everything until I heard Alan Pardew have the nerve yesterday to describe Newcastle United as having an ‘injury crisis’ at the moment, especially as he then went on to say how he expects his squad to be in so much better shape next season.
Going into this Saturday’s match against Manchester United, Newcastle are missing two outfield players that are actually ours – Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko.
As well as those two we also have Tim Krul out, as well as Loic Remy who isn’t even a Newcastle player and clearly won’t be still here next season.
While Krul is undoubtedly a class keeper, despite falling short this season, last week at Southampton it showed with Elliot’s performance you can get away in the short-term without having your first choice keeper around. Plus it isn’t the keeper who dictates and controls the flow of play, that is down to your outfield players.
So if you discount Remy who is only borrowed, we are missing our right-back and somebody who has been turned into a jack of all trades in his short tie at Newcastle.
The likes of Arsenal & Spurs have eight injuries and Manchester United & Everton seven each according to the Physio Room latest injury league table.
They are showing Newcastle also with seven but that includes long-term casualty Ryan Taylor, plus Sammy Ameobi and Obertan who are nowhere near the first team.
In contrast, Manchester United are missing the likes of Giggs, Valencia, Van Persie, Evans, Smalling and Rafael.
While in terms of a club we are supposedly competing with, Everton have Barkley, Pienaar, Jagielka, Traore, Oviedo, Kone and Gibson all having missed recent matches and/or moving forward.
The top and bottom of Newcastle United’s problems is a ridiculously small squad that Mike Ashley has purposefully brought about to cut costs by letting squad players like Simpson, Perch and others leave without replacing them, plus frontline players like Cabaye and Ba.
Take the Ba situation, it is now going to be a minimum of eighteen months gone without him being replaced!
As for Debuchy, yes he is badly missed but only because we have nobody who can competently cover, as Mapou has so recently proved.
There is no ‘injury crisis’, what we have is a small squad crisis brought about through Mike Ashley’s greed and incompetence.
As for Alan Pardew’s claims of Newcastle being so much stronger next season…
At a minimum the squad is going to lose Loic Remy and I assume the woeful Shola Ameobi and Luuk De Jong. In addition, there looks every chance that Coloccini will eventually get his wish and leave, whilst speculation is mounting that Debuchy will follow hos best mate Cabaye out of the door.
Players such as Cisse and Ben Arfa have certainly lost the faith of the manager and in no realistic way can be considered as being able to be counted on to deliver next season.
By not investing sensibly in player in the last few years, Mike Ashley has brought his Newcastle squad to the brink of disaster and talk of a big spending spree bringing in four or five signings won’t even touch the sides.
I don’t even believe we will buy as many as four or five players and foresee a squad/team next season held together with string and sticky tape, with a handful of younger players such as Sammy Ameobi pushed up the squad despite showing nothing, whilst a minimum of 3 or 4 loan players arrive to try and get us through another season to deliver the broadcasting money to Mike Ashley, plus another year of free advertising and promotion to the rest of his empire.