After defeat to Leicester, Mikel Merino has attempted to reassure Newcastle fans that better times can be just around the corner.
I definitely agree with him when he says that ‘football is about momentum’, winning one match makes getting a result in the next one far more achievable, plus it obviously works the other way as well…
The 21 year old midfielder says ‘I am sure the moment we win one match then a lot more will follow’ and in relative terms I would agree.
Recent times were always likely to be tough because Newcastle had a run of games against better teams – the first nine games of the season seeing matches against seven of the current bottom half teams, whilst the next nine are the opposite – facing seven of the clubs in the top half.
Obviously the return of only one point from 21 has been more extreme than it should have been, the home defeat by Bournemouth a result that really undermined this period of games.
I have to give Mikel Merino the benefit of the doubt though that some of what he has said has been lost in translation (well, meaning anyway, as he speaking very good English), because to state: ‘Our squad is perfect for the Premier League. All the players here are capable. I believe in each one and that this team is a great team’, doesn’t really bear any kind of basic examination.
I am guessing what he really means is that these players, this team, this squad, are all capable of playing in the Premier League, to varying degrees, but the reality is surely that everything has to click to ensure survival.
We have seen that just the odd injury to the likes of Merino and Lascelles seriously weakens the team.
When Newcastle had their real run of form after the two opening matches, it is no coincidence that points were put on the board.
Rafa Benitez should have more or less a full squad to choose from on Wednesday night, so there will be no real excuses in the coming weeks if performances don’t pick up, with better results hopefully an automatic consequence of that.
“Our squad is perfect for the Premier League. All the players here are capable. I believe in each one and that this team is a great team.
“We know we have lost again and we are not going through a good period – but we have to make sure we don’t lose our minds.
“We have shown this season that we are a good team with good players when we were higher up the table. We don’t need to change everything because of five bad results, we have to be strong.
“It was a disappointing result for us (against Leicester), we have to think positive.
“We did a lot of good things and we managed the second half mostly with our possession and intensity – but we must keep improving and the results will come.
“The other teams can play, the other teams are good individually, we are making some mistakes in small things. The team did some good things but the goals we conceded weren’t perfect.
“We have to believe in ourselves and keep going. If we keep going with our efforts and the fans see that, again they saw a united team, a family playing football, and altogether we will do things.
“We are disappointed and we know that we could have won this game, we know we have to give more than we are giving.
“The good things is that we have the chances to do it, we have another match and we are all together and will carry on.
“It is hard sometimes, football is about momentum, you will have good periods of momentum and bad periods.
“Now we are in a difficult period but we have to carry on and I am sure the moment we win one match then a lot more will follow.
“We have another chance to be ourselves and we will do our best to win this next match (Everton).”