In what should have been a monumental season for Newcastle, the Magpies have declined in both performance, results and league positions. Progression from the incredible season Newcastle encountered last year is perhaps a huge ask for the team that got promoted just two years ago. But, perhaps Alan Pardew’s men have suffered this season due to continuous absences from injuries and suspensions. Newcastle have, for the most part, contained a depleted squad in most areas and results have felt the affect.
The Magpies defied the odds last season and finished in 5th place qualifying for Europa League football, above European Champions Chelsea. Alan Pardew, the Newcastle United manager, reaped the plaudits last season, but has come under severe scrutiny this season, with poor results overshadowing the 51 year old’s two year anniversary at the club. An anniversary which should be celebrated to the highest degree, considering the Toon Army’s season last year.
In a club which has lacked stability throughout the years, Pardew has brought some collectivity to gain a stable forefront of St. James Park. The unity between fans and board has previously been hanging on a thread, but, for the first time in years everyone appears to be on the same page, for now. The partnership of Demba Ba and Papisse Cisse, has been a strange one, but has resulted in goals from at least one of them throughout their tandem. For example, Demba Ba has scored 33 Premier League goals since his debut in February 2011. Only Robin van Persie & Wayne Rooney have more in that period. Cisse’s form was red hot at the end of last year, even garnering the coveted Goal of the Season award.
Injuries to Steven Taylor, Hatem Ben Arfa, Fabricio Coloccini, Tim Krul and many, many more have hampered any chance of progression from last season. Not to mention the addition of European football on a Thursday evening to add to an already depleted squad’s woes. It is this writer’s belief that safety from relegation is key this season for Alan Pardew’s men. At time, you have to bite the bullet, wait until the following season and move on from there. Avoid relegation, get all players fit and hungry, and Newcastle can only move onwards and upwards and compete with the very best of them.