I must say I have been shocked and surprised at how bad a season Newcastle has had so far.
The Magpies currently sit just two points above the relegation zone, after being the surprise package of last season.
Newcastle’s biggest and worse problem this season has been injuries.
Boss Alan Pardew has rarely had the opportunity to put out his strongest team this season and they simply don’t have the strength in-depth to replace the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa when they are injured.
The injury situation is clearing up slightly with Cabaye in the squad that faced Norwich, but the Magpies are nowhere full-strength just yet and they need to get them injured players back as soon as possible.
The speculation about some of their key players moving elsewhere hasn’t helped Alan Pardew. Centre-back Fabricio Coloccini is believed to be looking for a move back to Argentina, because of personal reasons.
Argentina top flight side San Lorenzo have shown an interest in signing the defender, but have admitted they can’t afford Coloccini. Then there is mercurial playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa being linked with a move to French nouvre riche outfit PSG.
There is always going to be rumours about players moving on, but when teams are struggling that speculation seems to affect performances. The speculation about players leaving won’t help morale in the dressing room.
The January transfer window has been a very mixed one so far for Newcastle. The Magpies lost star player and top scorer Demba Ba to Chelsea for a knockdown price and the striker will be difficult to replace.
They did manage to sign long-target Mathieu Debuchy, who arrived from Lille for £5million though. The French international full-back should be another solid addition to the Newcastle team. Alan Pardew thought he had found a replacement for Demba Ba in Marseille striker Loic Remy.
According to Sky Sports reports the two clubs had agreed a fee and Remy was set to fly to England to discuss personal terms. There are now reports that QPR are now leading the race for the France international striker and are in discussions over personal terms.
Losing the signature of Remy could be a big blow to Newcastle, although his scoring rate this season has hardly been prolific, with just one goal registered in Ligue One for the campaign.
Pardew may have to set his sights elsewhere for a striker. One of the players that is being touted as a possible signing is Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo. The Spanish international has recently revealed that he would like to play in the Premier League and his style of play would fit well with the English top flight.
Negredo is rated in the £15million price bracket and is also believed to be interesting Arsenal and Tottenham. He is a far more prolific option than Remy, even if he will cost more money.
Having watched a lot of Spanish in recent I know that Negredo is a very good striker and I have no doubts that he would score goals in the Premier League. He would be a very good signing for the Magpies if they willing to meet his price tag.
No doubt about it Newcastle are in the relegation dogfight this season. The Magpies kicked the season off with such high hopes and the team and management have disappointed the fans.
Alan Pardew being given an eight-year contract has coincided with Newcastle’s slump. No doubt they overachieved last season, but this season they are underachieving for a combination of reasons.
Newcastle are definitely not too good to go down, but with a few shrewd signings in the January transfer window I’m sure they will climb away from trouble. Newcastle still has enough quality in their squad to survive, when everybody is fit.
I don’t think Newcastle fans will be panicking just yet, but the Magpies recent history tells you that anything can happen at St James Park and the Toon Army won’t be resting on their laurels until their team are safe.
Is it time for Newcastle fans to start panicking?
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