The 4-2 defeat against Norwich at the weekend continued our winless streak and extended it to four games.
Admittedly three of those games were against the likes of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, plus those results failed to reflect the course of each game. I’m still convinced that the the Chelsea game deserved less than the 3-0 result it yielded.
Anyway, it is the last game of the four that has been the source of panic and concern amongst some Newcastle fans. I’ve even read a few comments (on here and on other sites) suggesting that the wheels are falling off what was previously a fairly steady wagon. Is that the case though? Or is this just a temporary blip?
The first thing to do is to look at what can be learned from these games. The vast majority have been bemoaning a thin squad since the start of the season, particularly in defence, so it’s comes as no surprise that we struggled when our first three, or only three by the looks of it, central defenders suffered injury setbacks.
The good thing about that is that it can rectified. Fabricio Coloccini is likely to return for the match against Swansea at the weekend plus we’ll have Mike Williamson fit to feature depending on how he does in the reserves in midweek although admittedly, as Alan Pardew says, that may be a “long shot”. Whilst he’s not ideal in the eyes of some, he is certainly more ideal than playing a full-back in the middle of defence.
We may also have Cheik Tiote back in the ranks, which will be a welcome boost as our midfield options look to be running a bit thin on the ground after the sending off of Dan Gosling at the weekend. When you take this, plus the potential boost to our defence, into account then we could line up against Swansea as a very different proposition to what we were against Norwich.
So is it a blip or have the wheels fallen off? I think that depends on the result against Swansea at the weekend. A win and we can start to look up again. It won’t change our thin squad or our vulnerability to injuries, but it will ease some of the anxiety that is flying about at the moment.
Lose, or even draw considering we’re at home, and things start to look darker ahead of a packed festive fixture list. The mood will get darker and there will be little festive cheer amongst fans in terms of the football team.
However I’m confident that this is just a blip and that we are good enough to nail a top seven spot. I’ve seen enough, even in defeat, to know that we’ll turn a corner soon enough, and what better way to do that than at home in front of our own fans? The work rate is there, we still look dangerous going forward and we have a striker in form. Bring it on I say.
Howay the lads!