It is easy to forget that as recently as the second half at home to Benfica and the first half at the Hawthorns, you would have found it hard to fault the team – aside from not putting the ball in the net a few more times.
Alan Pardew has once again hit back at the accusations thrown at his squad this week. While the manager was prepared to accept criticism of the performance of his team against Liverpool, he has reacted angrily to accusations of splits within the squad.
Both Debuchy and Mapou had played earlier this season in the Champions League but it is Mapou who got the nod, a move which was always on the cards as Alan Pardew will be desperate to give him game time with Coloccini and Taylor currently back on top form in the Premier League.
The only players that seem willing to stay are the ones that aren’t really fit to wear the shirt, with the exception of Cabaye and new boy Debuchy, but it’s not going to take much for Cabaye to have his head turned is it?
The reality though is that for starters you are hardly ever going to have all of your best players fit together and while clearly Alan Pardew would be much better off if we had Cabaye, Jonas, Tiote, Ben Arfa and Steven Taylor fit, we would still need extra players to be bought in.
Premier League players should follow their man not the ball. In fact I’d get a row if I didn’t do that properly with my five-a-side team. Danny Simpson was very guilty of it yesterday as Coloccini has been too – Stoke away being the worst example for him.
After a delay thanks to snow at Newcastle airport, Alan Pardew’s squad took off for Bordeaux earlier today. As expected, the squad that travelled is missing a lot of big names and has a youthful look to it.
Another defeat, another three points gone, before what promises to be a very testing December. This is proving to be a serious test of the players, manager and fans alike. By the looks of things, nobody is rising to the occasion.