Whilst the start to the season has been, what’s the word? Oh yeah, immense, there is still a sense of waiting for the inevitable spanner to be thrown into the works.
In a queer kind of way it marks progress when the spanner in the works I mention is nothing to do with Mike Ashley!
Instead I’m talking about injuries, and in particular injuries to certain players, which will leave our squad exposed and could jeopardise the hard work that has been put in by the players so far.
Injuries are starting to mount up. Shola Ameobi is out for 4-6 weeks whilst Cheik Tiote and Steven Taylor look set to miss the game tonight and face a race against time to be fit for Stoke on Monday evening.
Now remember what I said about injuries to certain players? Of that list of three I reckon we could get away with losing Shola providing nobody else in the striking department falls over, and I even believe that Cheik Tiote can be covered. Not to his usual standards of course such is the quality of the man, but we do at least have some able backup in the central midfield area.
Steven Taylor is the one that worries me the most and highlights just how threadbare our defence is. Whilst many were irked over the summer over the lack of a new striker at St James’, I, along with a few others, was more concerned about the lack of cover in the centre of defence. Even more so with Mike Williamson struggling to return to fitness.
To me getting a defender in during the winter transfer window is an absolute must. In an ideal world we’d bring in someone like Liam Ridgewell or Erik Pieters who can cover a number of positions in the back line. Bringing in just one of them would add some much needed depth to the defence.
I’m not doom mongering or anything like that. This is a real concern for me and I’m sure it’s not the first time that it will have crossed the minds of many either. Yes we can always wait and see if we get any injuries in positions where we are light, but law of averages would seem to suggest that at some point we’ll get an injury in a position which could really hurt us.
Thankfully this current spate of injuries seems to be nothing really to worry and will only affect us for the game this evening,and I dare say that there was a chance of both Tiote and Taylor being rested anyway. However it should serve as a warning that highlights just how vulnerable we are to an injury or two.
Then again, is it any different to 90% of Premier League teams?