I’ve thought for a good few months now that this will be Fabian Schar’s last season at St James’ Park, and what I saw on Sunday night only reinforced that feeling.
I know what you’re thinking…”he makes one error for the penalty and now you want rid of him”. That’s not the case at all here. There’s more to it than that as I will attempt to explain below.
Schar is a very talented footballer and someone who could be an asset to most teams in the Premier League when he’s fit, fired up and used in the correct way, however he’s been none of those things of late – hence my belief this is the beginning of the end for him on Tyneside.
His crazy push on Jesus aside – which displayed his petulance, ability to make rash decisions and the reason why he’s slipped behind the more reliable Lascelles and Fernandez in the pecking order – I’ve noticed he’s cut a frustrated figure during many of his recent cameos, looking half hearted and bordering on uninterested.
This was particularly evident in the away win at Oxford a few months back, with me writing the following in my player ratings piece:
“Considering he needs to be busting a gut and playing at his best to win his place back in the side over Federico Fernandez, I didn’t think he did enough here.
“A little half-hearted and casual at times and didn’t always show the quality on the ball we come expect from the classy Swiss international.“
As I say above, he’s needed to really show what he’s made of and give Bruce something to think about in a bid to win his place back ahead of Fernandez, however his performances of late have actually had the opposite effect – they’ve made Bruce’s mind up!
Just look at this clip of him waltzing back into position and barely putting a toe in to block Sterling’s decisive second in Sunday’s game:
If this is him when he’s been recalled for an FA Cup quarter final and a chance to get his club to Wembley, you have to start asking questions.
Is his head or heart in it anymore? Is he someone who Bruce has never fancied or a player who became disillusioned as soon as Benitez and Co left last summer? Am I overreacting?
Maybe the latter is correct and I’ve got a little carried away here, but this was a rare chance for him to stake a claim when Bruce moves back to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation for the rest of the season and he blew it BIG time.
He was already slipping down the pecking order, however his ridiculous push to concede the penalty, his half hearted tracking back and his careless passing makes me wonder if his reaction to being dropped by Bruce is flight not fight.
I may be wrong, and a part of me hopes I am based on his undoubted quality when he’s on it, but I think he’ll be moved on this summer based on what I’ve seen from him over the past 6 months.
A very good footballer when he wants to be and even better looking bloke, however it’s time he either sorted his act out of moved on after Sunday’s unacceptable effort.