By Daniel Abela
We are six games into the Barclay’s Premier League season. It has not been as exciting as we would have hoped for, but it has not been a bad start either. Facing Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham is never an easy task. With nine points on board and sitting 10th in the league, three points away from 3rd place; it is not as bad as some Toon fans think.
The most frequent questions I have been asking are:
1. Can our performances improve?
2. What could be the cause for the dip in our early season form compared to last season?
The first question is rhetorical, I know and everyone knows that Newcastle can up a level and improve. No supporter has forgot last season’s great team performances, Cabaye’s vision, Ba and Cisse’s eye for goal, Coloccini’s calming influence and Krul’s saves.
This season we still haven’t managed to muster a truly great 90 minutes in the league, it has always been the case of grinding out results, mainly with the influence of our two inform players; Ba and Ben Arfa.
Answering the second question could be quite easy in my opinion. Injuries are the main reason for our dip in form compared to the previous campaign. Last season Newcastle managed to keep the same back five until December. This season we have lost Simpson, Coloccini, S.Taylor, R.Taylor and Krul. We keep changing personnel at the back, with players like Perch and Anita, deputising in various positions.
Pardew has managed the team’s rotation for cup competitions quite well, with a host of youngsters getting their chances. He has managed to reduce player fatigue to a minimum.
Continuity and stability are key for our team. As soon as our key players are back from injury and Cisse manages a goal in the league we will be back to our best, and in my opinion, in better shape and condition than last season.
Let me know what you think? Can Newcastle recapture last season’s league form?
Author: Daniel Abela is a 30-year old Newcastle fan living in Balzan, Malta. He has been a supporter of the Black & White since 1992. His favourite memory is Craig Bellamy’s late goal against Feyenoord in the Champions League.