As we enter our penultimate home match of the season, seemingly the penny has finally dropped amongst our players about the perilous situation we find ourselves in. There’s been a lot of cynicism in relation to Coloccini’s statement and I suppose it’s understandable after 8 years of Mike Ashley that this is what we’ve all turned into, symptomatic behaviour of people who’ve been lied to year upon year. I’m willing to take the open letter at face value though, always been a strong believer that professional pride has to come into play for any athlete and I suppose it’s better late than never; this is their opportunity to prove it.
The fall-out from what happened down at Leicester has been played out in the open, it’s pretty much universally acknowledged that John Carver is hopelessly out of his depth; it looks as though even the club itself wanted to put him out of his misery over the Bank Holiday weekend. I can remember writing in TF in February that leaving the team without a proper manager and only 5 recognised defenders for the remainder of the season constituted Mike Ashley’s biggest gamble yet and whilst we may all feel a little shellshocked that it has came down to this, none of us can really be surprised that we have been so poor since these decisions were made; the team has been left to rot and stagnate in a similar manner to the previous year. There’s that saying “if you stand still in the Premier League you’ll move backwards” which certainly rings true, but Newcastle United are a club who are making a habit out of moving backwards then tumbling underneath the weight of an avalanche.
Again we come into a crucial match littered with injuries and suspensions most of which are our own doing, Williamson and Janmaat’s senseless sendings off at Leicester leave us with a likely centre half pairing of Coloccini and Dummett; Ryan Taylor and Jack Colback will probably play either side. Siem de Jong seems to have picked up another problem in training which is a great shame, I was looking at him to be a potential match winner; now we have to all hope and pray that SIssoko actually manages to get his arse out of bed for this one. Papiss Cisse is back but the best he can hope for is a place on the bench given his lack of training and sharpness, can we realistically stick with Riviere? We might well be forced into it.
West Brom come into this one having pretty much sealed their Premier League status with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, Tony Pulis’ teams always sit back and try and frustrate the opposition away from home but it will be interesting to see if that approach changes given our obvious vulnerabilities; if not then this could well be the right game at the right time for us. Let’s hope so anyway, we already have a Royal Baby and a Tory government; if this week ends with an impending relegation you lot might have to put me on suicide watch.
By Ryan Bell