Alan Shearer believes Callum Wilson is now the club’s “best player”, rueing the thought of going up to eight weeks without our top scorer.
Our club legend told Premier League Productions that the loss of our £20m striker is “a huge problem”, doubting Dwight Gayle, Joelinton and Andy Carroll’s ability to deliver the goods in his absence.
Here is what he said following our 2-0 loss to Chelsea on Monday:
“I think a huge problem for Newcastle is losing Callum Wilson, he’s their best player.
“He gives them an outlet.
“When they had the ball (at Chelsea), they were devoid of any ideas going forward. Now, with him in the team, they’ve got pace, they’ve got someone to come short and then go in behind.
“With Gayle, with Joelinton and with Andy Carroll, I know they stayed up with those guys last season but they haven’t offered near enough in that forward position this season when they have been in the team.”
Shearer also had some unfavourable words to say about his former boss Mike Ashley, insisting that our failed club owner won’t be flustered for as long as we remain outside the relegation zone – something that could change before long if Fulham win at Burnley tonight and close the gap to just four points.
“The owner at Newcastle is only bothered about one thing and that’s keeping Newcastle United in the Premier League.
“They’re not bothered if they finish fourth bottom or fifth bottom so long as they stay in the Premier League so I don’t see them panicking as yet.
“That is a tough game Fulham have at Burnley away in their next game, but I thought Newcastle’s performance was poor. I thought it was weak.
“They were never really in the game at all and, from a Chelsea point of view, it was just a matter of how many they were going to get and they saw the game out.
“I would expect it will be tough at Old Trafford – it always is.
“I don’t think Man United are that good a team but, certainly, Newcastle have to show more intent against Man United than they did because if they go into that game with the same sort of attitude, there’s only going to be one outcome.”
Wilson is a huge loss and his impact for us this season has been transformative, but we need to get over his injury fast and a find a solution now he’s set to be absent until April.
We are in the thick of a relegation battle, so the coaching staff need to persevere what we have and conjure up a plan in the meantime that can ensure our Premier League survival.
As for Mike Ashley, there has never been a man with such high power at our club that held so little regard for our fortunes on the field. Big Al is right, 17th place is considered a success for him and reality will only smack him in the face when we endure the third relegation of his tenure.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again; this greedy chancer is gambling on the future of our entire club.