Walking wounded

By Lee Ryder on Dec 10, 06 02:02 PM


Newcastle United will be more than grateful for the three points picked up at Blackburn but boy have they come at a cost.

With the injury crisis at United already into double figures three more Toon players went off hurt during the 3-1 win.

Antoine Sibierski and Nobby Solano both went off but the knocks didn't look too serious but Emre left the ground on crutches after being stretchered off after a nasty challenge by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

The injury hit defence already has Solano playing out of position but the current situation is beyond belief.

Whether young debutant at Ewood Paul Huntington is the man to be thrown in at the deep end remains to be seen but Glenn Roeder may not have an option.

Yet with Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Craig Moore, Titus Bramble, Stephen Carr, Michael Owen, Shola Ameobi, Kieron Dyer, Oli Bernard (remember him?) and keepers Tim Krul and Steve Harper also out before yesterday you couldn't write a script for this.

It it cannot get much worse can it?

And if like at Blackburn, United come out on top in the face of adversity then nobody will be complaining.

It is against Chelsea but let's face it we never get anything down there with fully fit sides.

Does anyone out there believe this time is going to be any different?


Adam said:

Let's face it, we are going to get a pasting. It's just a question of damage limitation by fielding the best team we can. We will have to put players in unfamiliar positions no matter what we do, and there seem to be two possible selections.

First would be wing-backs, with Taylor, Huntington and Ramage in defence and Milner and N'Zogbia at wing-back. But then you only have Butt and Pattison for central midfield - you'd have to pick one of Luque and Rossi to fill the midfield, and that's dangerous given that they're both forwards!

The second option is therefore more plausible, I reckon. Back four of Huntington, Taylor, Ramage, N'Zogbia then midfield of Milner, Butt, Pattison, Luque and strikeforce of Rossi and Martins.

Is it mathematically possible for there to be another possible team selection?!

Ian Graham said:

Well can you believe it, things are looking up at last. I really feel the difference betweeen the Reading and Blackburn games, firstly was an improved performance from Babiyaro (he probably needed a game to get rid of the ring rust)and secondly not panicking defensively when conceding a goal as the defence did against Reading which most likely led to there second goal. It really was backs to the wall for a lot of the second half, but what pace OBI showed to rap it up.
As for Chelsea on Wednessday, I just watched the match yesterday with Arsenal and they were unlucky not get all 3 points the amount of chances they had. I would love to think Newcastle could do what they did at Arsenal and get a point (my heart)but my head says no chance with the amount of injuries we have. Let's get this one behind us and pick up 3 more points against Watford on Saturday.
South Africa

Rich said:

It was great result and a great performance by ALL of the lads who got on the field on Saturday.
What has Oba Martins done wrong?
Funny how even people like Matt Le Tissier were praising Martins performance and Le Tiss doesnt even like Newcastle.

Rich said:

Can i please just add that i thought Oba played brilliant and that i cant believe there are some people who would criticise the match winning 21/22 year old, brace goalscorer so heavily.

jackie w said:

just read adams team selection for the game on wed.And personally i would go with the first option and play roughly a 5-4-1 using taylor,huntington and ramage in the centre and zogs and milner as the wing backs.In the midfield i would play butt and pattison in the middle with luque on the left and rossi out on the right,leaving Martins up front(this is working on the theory Babs and Sib are out),which ever way we do end up playing i can see a backs to the wall performance with damage limitation being the key objective for the night.Chelsea have quality all over the pitch but there biggest strength is the midfield so by using wing backs who can push up to help out we may get the ball through to Martins who with his pace will leave Terry for dead,optimistic i know but whilst we have some one up front as quick as Oba we have always got a chance to nick a goal,and i honestly think we will grab one on the night,question is how many will they get? my heart says even with a patched up side we can nick a point due to the spirit we have shown over the last couple of games and the fact fringe players will be playing out of there skin to impress,but my head says 3-1 to the millionaires.Its a shame Lee Clark didnt register this season as we could have done with him along side Butt on Wed.I am off down the bookies for a £10 double on Oba first goal and final score to be 1-1 and if it comes in i will be in the punch and judy after the game if any one wants a drink,,heres hoping Jackie

oxboy said:

This is probably the best away game to have a long injury list!
Chances of us winning would be next to nil with a full strength team so what the odds. Hopefully those selected will do their best and see if we can come away with a result.
Why select Luque when you need a hard working, all hands to the pump type of approach?
Sounds like Martins is the man of the moment cos he has started doing what he should have done since day 1 -score goals, We'll see how the reactionaries go if he reverts to form.

Adam said:

Interesting point by jackie about Lee Clark - I had a feeling he did register for this season but claimed it was "only in case of emergencies" or something... have I got that wrong?

Rich said:

People need to stop making rash judgements on players over the space of a few games. Especially when those games are their first in english football and they are still young, and playing in a team which is perenily (spell?) underachieving.

If everyone wrote off players immeadiatly then Gary Speed wouldnt have made it at this club as he was pretty poor for the first 6 months and he had lots of premiership experience. Or what might have happened had we shown some faith in JD Tommasson?

I also wonder if certain fans would be so harsh on a 'local lad' with loads of potential who had came through our youth set up, making his debut season in the premiership, leading the line on his own, scoring some goals on the way?

I very much doubt that they would.

I'm not saying that Martins is the greatest player ever and im not saying that Martins wont cut it, but for crying out loud, if a player plays well, it should be acknowledged and encouraged not written off as a fluke.

What i will say is that there is absolutely no basis for any fan to write off Martins.

And as a question, how many goals did Alan Shearer have this time last season?


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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