Let’s keep the morale up until our big names return

The big guns will be back
It has occurred to me that ever since the defeat to Fulham, a lot of the optimism shown in the previous week after has evaporated.

While our second half performance against Fulham was shocking, I don’t feel the need to push the panic button just yet.

There is obviously room for improvement in the depth of our squad, but we cannot realistically expect to change from a newly promoted team to Champions League challengers in the space of two seasons. Most of us knew this January period was going to be a difficult one, missing the likes of Steven Taylor (injured), Sylvain Marveaux (injured), Yohan Cabaye (playing through injury) and Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba and now Papiss Demba Cisse who are all involved in the African Cup of Nations.

Not even the huge squads of Man United, Chelsea and Man City would not feel some kind of effect from missing five or six of their best players.

Can you imagine Arsenal being the same force without Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie, Gervinho, Alex Song, and Jack Wilshere? Or Man United without Wayne Rooney, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Valenca and Patrice Evra?

The majority of these players will in all likelihood be missing up until we play Wolves on Saturday, February 25th. So perhaps we need to lower our expectations a little for that period?

Alan Pardew has already stated that IF we can maintain our top seven position until these players return, then we have a realistic chance of pushing for Europe, meaning he himself isn’t expecting fireworks while we have that amount of quality missing.

Our fixtures until these players return are as follows:

Saturday, January 28: Brighton (away)

Wednesday, February 1: Blackburn (away)

Sunday, February 5: Aston Villa (home)

Saturday, February 11: Spurs (away)

Now, while despite our current depleted squad, I would expect us to beat Brighton. To get four points from those three Premier League fixtures would be a good return, and three points would be far from devastating.

The nearest team to catching us up in our top seven position is Stoke who are still six points adrift, with fixtures against Man United (away), Sunderland (home) and Fulham (away) coming up. Meaning that if we we to pick up three points, and they would need to win all three of those fixtures to be equal to us on points.

Basically, we will be looking pretty in at least seventh position, with a quality squad at our disposal to attack a Europa League place and mount a serious FA Cup challenge come the end of February.

Would any of you have expected this at the start of the season? The next couple weeks could be rough, but what is key, is for the supporters not to start heaping added pressure on our team by expecting flawless performances.

I find it ridiculous that after one poor performance, the likes of Mike Williamson, Danny Guthrie, Leon Best, Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson have all been described as inadequate, when they have all played a decent part in contributing to our successful season and have been solid enough for most of the season.

Then players like Obertan and Santon, who again have only just arrived at the club are also now being put under the cosh. I can understand the disappointment in having to watch Shola Ameobi slumber around the field, disrupting every attacking move and watching like a bored spectator as the game gets played around him, because he has been poor for 12 years now.

All I’m saying, is let’s not expect too much over the next two weeks, and when our big names return and perhaps the addition of some good defensive cover, lets not let them return to a support base that has let what could be a couple of rough weeks put a dampener on a remarkable season!

About JJ

Toon supporter since 1993. Living in South Africa. I've been following Newcastle since the days of Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley. Despite all the turmoil recently, the passion only grows with time.

103 thoughts on “Let’s keep the morale up until our big names return

  1. I just remembered I forgave Tenerife when I found a hotel bar showing the 5-1 game and it was just my rabid family and two die-hard soap-dodgers in the place. It was hell for them. Now I can get over the Fulham mess by just closing my eyes and remembering….remembering…wavy image starts to form accompanied by harp strings 🙂


  2. Richie, there’s a whole new world opening for you there then 😉

    Tsunki, I’ve spent a lot of time in Spain, but have always avoided the fat tits, puke and broken bottles. I fucking hate ‘resorts’.

    Gimmy them wonderous moontins awa white buildings, anyday.


  3. Tsunki, I was there when we got relegated, we watched it in a bar with a rooftop terrace and when we went in I told wor lass that if we got relegated and anyone took the piss they’d be going over the side…luckily no one did, mind I was curled up in a ball on the floor bubbling like a lass 😆


  4. Rodz….a man after my own heart, I like to get off the beaten track and see the “proper” country, not some “made for tourists” crap.


  5. This will be a real girl-fest if we start talking about where were you when…. I’m sure it’s been done before.

    AWWwww what the hell…… I was in a Walkabout bar stuffed with the crappest Leeds fans who had only turned up to see our demise and were richly rewarded by duffers suicidal backpass, cheering villa etc. What a rotten day.


  6. Richie, the nearest I think I’ve ever been to a resort in Spain was one day in Fuengirola. Mind yee, that was after 3 months travelling by bike with tent, so it was a culture shock but also a strange reminder of England, and I personally don’t want that shit when I’m away from home.

    …and mi hair was doon te mi arse as well at the time as well, proper rock me like.

    ….skineed again noo like. Hev been foyeers.

    Aye, the wilderness is canny these days like. Always wanted to go to Australia. Always loved the bush.


  7. Aye, it was feckin horrendous…but on that horrible memory, it’s gone 1am here so time to hit the sack. later lads.


  8. …Tsunki, is that ‘girl-fest’ as in female; or were ye just taakin in Geordie?

    …porsnli, a oftin refor te futbahl games wi lots iv girls in as ‘girl-fests’.

    If anli Sherla cud score more girls.


  9. Reet, I’ve just been on the blower to JJ (writer of this post), and he can concur, the conclusion of this evening’s debate, is to reduce the length of Shola Ameobi’s legs by approx. 14inches.
    This would not only give him a lower sense of gravity, but also position his knees closer to the ground, providing ‘Optimum Leap Springability’ (OLS *TM)

    And it’d look pretty funny as well.


  10. Rodzilla

    January 23, 2012 at 23:04

    DJG, as much as I like the sound of that, I think we’re missing Tiote more. And unfortunately for us they look like they’re going the distance.’


    If you said to me, ‘right you can choose between Tiote replacing Guthrie OR Demba Ba replacing Ameobi and Pappis Cisse replacing Leon Best for Blackburn away I sure as hell know what I would choose. 😛


  11. You’re twisting my worms.
    I guess that’s all down to which formation you’d choose JJ.

    For me, I’d rather we had Tiote and Cabaye in CM, with Best and, well, whoever upfront – someone who can run though, preferably.
    Basically I would never start Shola.
    Not these days.
    What with inflation and all that.

    Guthrie, as much as I like him as a player, he’s a fkn dwaaaaaf.

    Too small to be a combative DM, and not skillful enough to be a prolific AM.


  12. Howay Rodz you coming, me and Batty are on a mish to pinch sum lead from Liddel’s Lonnen. Hows yur back these days it’s a bit heavy like thats the only bova. Yee bring sum kets and Batty’s got sum Marlbros and a pack of candy tebs should keep our energy up like. We’ll take it doon cash converters 2moz like, Ive got a wheel barrow but the tires flat like yee got a puncture repair kit marra?


  13. aye mate, coontizin. Am just eating mi bait noo like tho, been on the rob since a gorup at 3. Oot agen in a bit fo club kickinoot time, easy pickings.


  14. True or False:

    Robin Van Persie was once convicted for a drive-by handbag snatch in his 1989 Sherpa van. 😯


  15. (I’d personally go for ‘or’ everytime, mind yee, I always priford ‘n’ from Salt ‘n’ Pepa)

    Goodnight Ladies.


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