One thing that I think can’t be forgotten is that we are missing arguably our 2 best players in HBA and Colo; they would be making a big difference on the pitch and to our options on the bench. With just a few injuries our squad just isn’t strong enough yet.
It’s a sad example of player power winning over and it shouldn’t have been allowed to get this far. But then imagine the fan revolt if, in the summer, Pardew had said to Ba he should play where he is told and then Ba jumps ship?
Ashley missed a huge opportunity to take this team to the next level in the summer, a few signings could have made a huge difference. We punched above to finish 5th last season but it’s true that the potential was there to kick on and challenge for the top 4 this season.