If this is Plan B….No wonder Newcastle United are sticking to plan A!
I am in a state of flux. Following on from my article re the FA Cup debacle and the so called need to prioritise the league, after last night’s Newcastle United game I ended up asking myself the following questions:
Do we really have the best squad/team in the league?
If we do, why are we so negative at times [well most of the time]?
Why oh why is Lascelles playing, never mind making the lad captain?
Has Ashley thrown a spanner in the works re transfers and spending?
Will Rafa stay if the last point is indeed the case?
Is there any point getting promoted if we are to aim at finishing 17th?
And believe me I have a number of other questions and queries racing through my head..
To try to get answers to my questions is never easy and as they say, being a Mag is a roller coaster, even at the best of times.
Personally speaking, I do think we have as good a squad as anyone else ‘on paper’ but unsure at this moment in time we have the best team.
Whilst I don’t believe there is a real good team amongst our Championship rivals, results are showing that teams within the top six are churning out results, week on week, with many of them coming back from one or two goals down to win matches, something we find very challenging.
Rafa’s choice of teams, to say the least, baffles me on most occasions. A couple of games spring to mind.
Upon walking down to Ewood Park at New Year, hearing Anita is in the team just states that we are happy with a draw, as it results in limiting our forward play down the wings. Regarding last night’s game with Perez in the team, in my opinion it beggar’s belief. He just simply can’t play in this league! Also, keeping Lascelles in the team, when it’s obvious to everyone his confidence is shot and can’t play a ball forward to save his life.
The age old argument of one or two up front? For me it’s two, especially at home. More times than not we break with one to aim at [Gayle], with Gouf strolling and holding his line in the middle of the park. I am sure in playing a more attacking format, if indeed we do have the best [or at least as good as] team in the league, we cement leads and win more than we are, certainly over the last couple of months.
Do we really have a plan B?
If taking Murphy off and plonking Gouf up front as your number nine is now the plan, no wonder we are sticking to plan A!
As for Ashley. For me there is no smoke without fire. It seems plain as day that Rafa is not controlling the comings and goings, although surely he has a say? But to state on TV that he does not know why signings weren’t made is alarming. Whether Townsend is worth £15m is up for debate but it is obvious we need width and creativity in midfield [heaven forbid Jonjo gets injured/suspended again].
If the goalposts have moved yet again [if indeed they ever moved in first place] then I for one can’t see Rafa staying. Why would you.
It all gets back to competing at every game, to the best of your ability, and if gambling on limited resources in the hope we have enough, and believe me we have nowhere near enough if promotion is gained, then it will be another horror season.
However, “we” will have cash in the bank – hooray!!
Whilst getting this off my chest has probably just raised more questions than answers, I think we need a change of approach in style and first team selection for the remainder of the season.
Let’s go for it at SJP – away teams seem to have the appetite for it now when they head up north.
I understand, to a degree, the more cautious approach away from home, but only against the ‘better’ teams.
We have some massive games coming up, so fingers crossed it all goes to plan!
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]