In the last number of days we have been fed with the notion that our season is up and running and we will finally kick on and ‘attack the top of the table’ as our manager himself was quoted as saying. However, one topic of conversation that has also crept in this week is one of who will replace Debuchy following his 5th yellow card of the season forcing him to miss out in our next game, at home to Norwich following the international break.
Mathieu Debuchy has enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks after suffering from a rather sluggish start to life in the North East of England, and has proven to be one of our key performers in the excellent victories against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs. Debuchy’s absence leaves a gaping hole in our back four and the question as to who will fill that hole is not easily answered. Why? Because there is no other natural right back in our entire squad.
That’s right people. A Premier League team, with millions of pounds at its disposal can only afford one player who can play right back. We have Anita who can play at full back, but he is much more adept at playing in central midfield, and given how well he has played this season, surely deserves a run out in his favoured position? We have Santon who can switch from left back to right back, but frankly, the quicker we see Santon shifted from left back to the bench the better. We also have M’biwa who could shift over and plug one of the full-back slots and allow Coloccini back into the side, but M’biwa and Williamson have formed a solid pairing and it would be a shame to tinker with that.
This is where any positives from Newcastle United on the field, are being undone by mediocrity off the field. With a properly equipped squad we would have someone – either a fringe player like James Perch or a proficient youngster – ready to step into the breach and do a job. Instead, we could see a severe weakening of our defence which stood so firm against two of the top sides in the league. Surely our defence, even minus Debuchy should be able to withstand anything Norwich City have to offer but my point is that we shouldn’t be taking these sorts of chances.
We have been rather fortunate with regards injuries, with only Remy at the start of the season, and Coloccini in recent weeks being two of the major first team casualties to effect us this season. However, if we were to see an accumulation of injuries or suspensions in either defence of attack, we would be in quite serious trouble.
Personally, I was delighted with the two wins in the last couple of weeks, mainly as they offset some shocking results earlier in the season and has put us really where I expected we would be. However, given how the club has next to no interest in actually pushing for European football, silverware or anything that a fan would call ‘success’, supporting this club has become increasingly futile. Let’s just hope some of our better players don’t start feeling the same.
Should I be more bouncy and optimistic? After all, it’s only Norwich City. Santon isn’t that bad, he’s a tricky footballer, and is better than I make out. Williamson has come on leaps and bounds and is now good enough for Newcastle United. Who needs more strikers, we have Remy on a loan deal and when that runs out, then let us worry about it then.
If you find yourself entertaining any of the above excuses, then I do feel sorry for you.