Tired Toon

Newcastle United are most definitely struggling to match their performances from last season when they finished 5th in the Premier League and earned themselves a spot in the Europa League for this season.

Newcastle’s European travels could be one of the reasons for their struggles this season in addition to a long list of injured players and some of last season’s top performers unable to recapture the same form as the last campaign that made The Toon the surprise package of 2011/12.

The Magpies’ squad is so thin on the ground this season that Alan Pardew has found himself calling up previously unknown youngsters to the first team to compensate for the injuy pile-up at St James’ Park.

At this moment in time there are eight Newcastle players to be found in the treatment room including Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez, who all played pivotal parts last season.

Alan Pardew has prioritised the Premier League over the Europa League but with such a weakened squad Pardew has relied on a nucleus players that are now struggling with fatigue. After the 7-3 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday Pardew admitted his squad are starting to feel the strain of playing Thursday and Sunday earlier in the season, “The last 15-20 minutes was a fresh team against a tired team and perhaps a bit of inexperience on our bench resulted in the scoreline.

“We’re just so disappointed that we didn’t get something out of it before then.

“The goals we conceded before then were not, not good and that’s been our problem.

“For 70 minutes it was pretty tight, I thought we were giving a good account of ourselves but their freshness and the brightness towards the end of the game was just too much for us and we couldn’t cope.”


Sam Jewell