Reading through forums and blogs, I’ve noticed that fans seem to be split as to whether this team at it’s present time is to be commended or condemned.
I’m referring to Newcastle fans as a whole on all forums by the way and not any particular one. I just thought I’d get that point across.
Now what I mean by this is, we appear to have mixed views among fans as to how our season is panning out and as to how certain players are coping, whether it’s first team regulars or fringe players coming in and doing a sort of utility job, like James Perch for example or Ryan Taylor for example.
What I’ve noticed is that a fair share of our players have come in for what I believe is unfair stick. As in regular stick, not just the odd indifferent game.
On the whole, it cannot be denied that some players haven’t quite got to grips as of yet. Players like Gabriel Obertan spring to mind. Shola Ameobi is another who has came in for a hell of a lot of stick and has been labelled as a complete waste of space by a section of fans, but on the flip side he’s also been praised for bringing some much needed hold up play and the occasional point-grabbing supersub appearances for us.
I’d be deluded if I tried to make anyone believe that we have some kind of super squad or super team and obviously, as much as I’m ever the optimist, I also understand the need for improvement, over time, to make this team capable of achieving what ALL of us want, which is ultimately silverware and success.
Now obviously, we aren’t going to achieve this with the team/squad that we have at any stage as we all know, but the ingredients are there to give us a better than ever chance of moving towards that by tinkering and fine tuning.
The bare facts are there for all to see as in what we have at this present time and what we can realistically achieve in this season, which is at best a Europa League place and at worst a very very respectable finish, based on earlier predictions by all and sundry, which mostly were a contentment of mid table, to a down right depressing struggle, which some had predicted.
Many fans have us down as OVER achieving this season as it stands and yet, too many also appear to question the capabilities of almost all of our players, yet those same players have got us to this stage of the season.
It’s got to the stage where even Cheik Tiote was getting questioned as not being good enough by some. Now Yohan Cabaye is getting the very same questions asked and even Captain Colo and his leadershipof the team is being called into question. Danny Simpson has been a virtual ever present and yet many fans are calling him garbage and worse, saying he’s not good enough for this team. Some are even citing that the reason he’s garbage is because he loves himself, or he thinks he’s better than he actually is?
All I see, is a committed right back who isn’t quite the finished article but is able and willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure we can compete with what we come up against and for most of the season he, as well as the rest of the team, have all played their part in ensuring that indeed, we can compete.
Naturally throughout any season, a player will underperform and ultimately over the course of the season, some will perform better than others and the odd one’s will simply be not good enough to command a regular starting slot.
Now considering we are a club that is smack bang in the middle of transition, I would say that we’re treading a path. Although hard and torturous at times, we are ploughing through and making the right inroads.
How far we have come as a club and a team, in terms of basically re-inventing ourselves can be evaluated from the point of the season we were relegated.
We had players that were trying to find their feet in an underachieving team that boasted players who had the potential to afford us a very respectable finish to that season but as we all know, when things don’t go as planned, some players go missing and some lose confidence and before long, the inevitable happens – relegation.
Getting back to now though, regardless of certain players not supposedly being up to standard, we are sitting 6th even after a dodgy run of games and we are not there by luck. We are there because we have a team/squad, that want what we want regardless of some not being as gifted as others.
Remember one thing!
All those players who have started for us, have all played their part in the good of the season as well as the indifferent part and as a unit, that’s what we need and that’s why we are where we are.
I know it’s all about opinions, good, bad or indifferent, but as anyone can see, if they take a step back and have a really good think about the situation we WERE in, to the situation we find ourselves in NOW…I think praise for the team/squad as a whole unit is more in order than singling out certain players for the chopping block for now because we have to remember that a lot of these players have either been here for less than one season, or have been thrust into the team from being a sort of fringe player, used as utility players, for example, Ryan Taylor and have and will take time to fully adjust.
Some players naturally will leave for different reasons; contracts up, don’t fit into our pattern or are simply swayed by bigger clubs and Champions League football, and we know this will happen as it always does and it’s about replacing those players with equal or better.
In a nutshell, I think we have done admirably this season considering. And for me, I can only commend each and every player for their contribution to a season of 6th place up to now, what many would have laughed and scoffed at before it kicked off.
What’s your thoughts lads and lasses?