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Different season, same old injuries

By Lee Ryder on Jul 23, 07 08:19 AM

So just two games in and we are currently without Michael Owen (again) and Joey Barton with a damaged foot.

Oh, and just for good measure James Milner got injured in the warm-up at Carlisle and Shay Given and Shola Ameobi also have niggles already.

Thankfully - Barton aside - most of United's players are being left out as a precaution but that won't stop Toon fans saying: "Here we go again" as we head into the new season with fresh injury grief.

With over 20 new backroom staff at Newcastle this season, hopes were high that the injury crisis that cost both Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder their jobs - along with several other dodgy decisions - was about to clear up.

Hopefully these early problems are just teething problems for Big Sam but that's no consolation for the 3,000 fans that made the journey to Carlisle and got soaked just to watch a below par Newcastle United performance.

It wasn't good enough for them was it?

But despite the fact United fans have waited since 1969, that's all of a lot of people's supporting life, to get a bit of joy, it looks that we have to keep waiting for now.

Phrases such as "results aren't important" and "it's all about fitness at the minute" are always going to get rolled out at this stage of the season.

But if last pre-season is anything to go by, let's hope Newcastle can pick it up and quickly.

Twelve months ago we were taught a football lesson by PSV and if that was an omen for the season ahead, it wasn't a good one.

There is a danger something similar could happen in up and coming games like Juventus and Sampdoria and of course Celtic - the team that does take friendlies very seriously indeed.

Good to be back?

23 Comments

gav said:

we cant expect things to change overnight can we ? and if we all expect that we are kidding ourselves and may as well give it up right now things are changing at st james park and for the better but we are still suffering from the sounes roeder era , and its gonna take time for that wound to heal so lets not pin all our expectations on the team getting it right straight away support them and it will change , lets face it it cant get any worse than last season , can it ?

Anonymous said:

with the mackems talking to baines, and we didnt even bid for nugent...

i fear with sam in charge that we will end up with some 33 yr old spaniard at LB or babayaro/carr

when it all goes pear shaped and fat sams dads army need dismantling, its gonna be a hell of a job for the new manager next season

JAS said:

I expected a lot more this close season. I expected a major overhaul of the playing staff with proven quality being brought in in every department. With the Ashley take over I hoped we would become major players in the transfer market. But so far the signings we have made have been financed by the sale of Scott Parker. Sunderland or close to spending over £20 million and are looking far more ambitious than we are (Even though some of the prices and quality are questionable). We are desperate for a left back like Leighton Baines and should be blowing Sunderland out of the water in an attempt to sign him but they appear to have more financial muscle than us. Deco and Ronandinho - don't make me laugh. We'll end up with another Sibierski at this rate. We'll do no better than last season and may even get relegated.

Michael said:

Slightly off topic, but I dont understand how Barton merits the captaincy before we have kicked a ball in anger. Like everyone else I hope he is that calibre of player but surely its a bit premature. Taylor or Butt must be a better choice during a period of transition, especially when the lad has an assualt case hanging over him.

Sid said:

Its a shame this blog has become a sounding board for people with perverse negativism - I'll take any money off anyone that we won't be relegated next season, so no more comments like that please, it reads like a 5 year old's viewpoint. Also, why would not buying Nugent be a mistake if the Top 5 haven't either? The same goes for Baines. We need to lose our 'laughing stock' tag by having a decent, if unspectacular season, prove we are moving in the right direction, then the big players (not those talking to Portsmouth and Sunderland) might see a reason to move here.

JAS said:

Message for SID - get in the real world mate. Of the none relegated teams last year we only finished above Man City, West Ham, Fulham and Wigan. Man City have a load of money available and West Ham and Fulham have already strengthed significantly. So what makes you think we won't be down near the bottom. Derby, Birmingham and Wigan will struggle but then I see us the next in line unless we get our act together. The squad is wafer thin and so with any injuries we will struggle big time. Until Big Sam is backed with serious money we will be struggling. I'd only keep Given, Taylor, Barton and Milner. The rest can go.

Mike Smith said:

Been supporting United since 1962, I do wish people wouldn't keep moaning.
They haven't seen a bad team.
We must give Sam a chance.
Mackems haven't signed anyone of real quality yet. And players are leaving the Smoggies.

Ronnie Lambert said:

''Steady lads, steady ( quote from the big Welsh colour sergeant at Rourke's Drift, from the movie Zulu ), they're not even 'ere yet.'' Or perhaps Roy C. Nesbitt,'' Keep a heed, keep a heed.'' We've got no shortage of good captains in Solano, Butt, Owen and Given or young Taylor so that's one worry taken care of. Yes there must be a few additions to the squad but Sam's got many contacts probably busying themselves about right now, it can't possibly be as bad as last time, and isn't. Think positively, what a player we'll have back in six weeks time in Barton. Nobby's already volunteered to hold the fort and he plays well through the middle, and scores more goals from there. What's the panic ? There's still that promised £50,000,000 war-chest, isn't there ?

Ronnie Lambert said:

''Steady lads, steady ( quote from the big Welsh colour sergeant at Rourke's Drift, from the movie Zulu ), they're not even 'ere yet.'' Or perhaps Roy C. Nesbitt,'' Keep a heed, keep a heed.'' We've got no shortage of good captains in Solano, Butt, Owen and Given or young Taylor so that's one worry taken care of. Yes there must be a few additions to the squad but Sam's got many contacts probably busying themselves about right now, it can't possibly be as bad as last time, and isn't. Think positively, what a player we'll have back in six weeks time in Barton. Nobby's already volunteered to hold the fort and he plays well through the middle, and scores more goals from there. What's the panic ? There's still that promised £50,000,000 war-chest, isn't there ?

Ronnie Lambert said:

''Steady lads, steady ( quote from the big Welsh colour sergeant at Rourke's Drift, from the movie Zulu ), they're not even 'ere yet.'' Or perhaps Roy C. Nesbitt,'' Keep a heed, keep a heed.'' We've got no shortage of good captains in Solano, Butt, Owen and Given or young Taylor so that's one worry taken care of. Yes there must be a few additions to the squad but Sam's got many contacts probably busying themselves about right now, it can't possibly be as bad as last time, and isn't. Think positively, what a player we'll have back in six weeks time in Barton. Nobby's already volunteered to hold the fort and he plays well through the middle, and scores more goals from there, plus his ability to put slide-rule passes through to our pacey forwards. What's the panic ? There's still that promised £50,000,000 war-chest, isn't there ?

Ronnie Lambert said:

''Steady lads, steady ( quote from the big Welsh colour sergeant at Rourke's Drift, from the movie Zulu ), they're not even 'ere yet.'' Or perhaps Roy C. Nesbitt,'' Keep a heed, keep a heed.'' We've got no shortage of good captains in Solano, Butt, Owen and Given or young Taylor so that's one worry taken care of. Yes there must be a few additions to the squad but Sam's got many contacts probably busying themselves about right now, it can't possibly be as bad as last time, and isn't. Think positively, what a player we'll have back in six weeks time in Barton. Nobby's already volunteered to hold the fort and he plays well through the middle, and scores more goals from there. What's the panic ? There's still that promised £50,000,000 war-chest, isn't there ?

andy s said:

I am a strong beleiver in the idea if you keep on saying something peolpe will belive it.The defence needs to be sorted out.He knows that. That will also stop the pundits main line of attack. They wont be able to criticise the forward line. How could they with Owen in it.( you know the pundits I mean ) It will give the other teams something to look at as well. The improvement in deffence will have a knock on affect. Yes buy to make midfield better, if the right peolpe are available, but if not , dont buy for sake of it. He must get good players in who can play regularly and be able to use the ball in the defence.
Can the local press stop stirring the muck please. Unsettle other teams players by all means . The Dire affair has not come into the main line of speculation until the Owen then Martins speculation fell away.

RAY WILSON said:

Hi Lee. Well forgive me for feeling a bit curious but I am beginning to wonder if Sam has one hand tied behind his back in the transfer market. Looks like the Mackems are the ones with a mega rich owner and we are the ones with crumbling aspirations. Just look at the way the rest of the premiership is splashing the cash. So far we have only bought Joey Barton--The rest are all on frees,and did Parkers money not finance the Joey move .Forgive me for having some doubts about where we are going,but come on ,we all know the team last year was not good enough. The replacements are sound on paper but it still leaves us looking like a hard up small spending club.No matter how its dressed up thats the reality so far,I mean is that one of the reasons Sam may sell Dyer,the player dressed up as wanting to go,but in reality being sold so as Sam can finance another purchase?. If there is soon no statement of intent by splashing the cash to take us to another level then Sam may find his life is not that much different to when he was at Bolton. So far it certainly looks that way. Howay our new owner we the geordie public are not easily fooled--Go on Mike convince me.

Trav said:

Things may be starting to get a bit hairy considering the need for 3 or 4 defenders, particularly to replace the redundant babayaro for whom in my opinion is the one remaining player that needs to be shown the exit door at SJP. yes, it would be desirable that we get at least one if not 2 or 3 defenders from within the premiership and yes it would seem that we have the money available for price inflated players from within the premiership. but we are forgetting two things, one is that it is true at the moment that we dont provide the same attraction that a club of smilar size and in europe like spurs does for example, i just want players who can do the job and want to come to the club, secondly, as big sam has said himself he feels a bit frustrated by the slow response for funds he is getting from the new management, and as he put it this is because of the takeover just being completed with all the formailities, either way the management need to support Sam in the market the same way the top dogs at villa or west ham have, these guys must surely realise that transfer activity is more required than ever at SJP and Sam can spot a good buy, just look at his signings thus far, personally i dont see the problem with baines at LB, but i dont know who else Sam has in mind for the 2 CB's wee still need, Wes Brown or Sami? if a foregnier is brought in lets just make SURE he proves to be class. But the main thing is that we dont get too negative before the season has started, let Sam do his thing, he does no who and what we need and there is still time, im particulary interested in how we perform in the upcoming friendlies, but we still cant read too much into them either lee...

Rob from Baku Azerbaijan said:

It just seems a problem with our club at present in that we pick up bad injuries at the start of the last few seasons, but we have to get on with it and if Big Sam gets the war chest promissed by Big Mike then maybe he can lure the players he sees as being good class PL and more importantly NUFC players, so lets not get down and out just yet as i am sure things are developing behind the scenes as we speak.
Keep the Faith

John said:

i have got to say, i'm very disappointed with the lack of activity at SJP. We keep hearing this and that, Sam's working hard, without reward in getting the players. we basically have spent nothing, parkers 7m+ covers what we have spent, and still we lack depth, the young lad from wigan, baines, would be a great signing, are we going to let sunderland take him, what a waste, Sam should get moving, people say he can attract the names, can he?, they say he did at Bolton, but where these not guys looking for a pay day, and no one else wanted them?

Ryder's reply: I think the lack of activity has been noted by more than just you John, and for many it's starting to be a bit of a worry.
But until it's 11:59 on August 31st nobody judge Big Sam's work in the transfer market.
Waiting up late to see Seppe Rossi and Antoine Sibierski was the theme almost 12 months ago!

Sid said:

Jas - I am in the real world...Given Taylor, Milner, Barton are all you would keep? You ask me to get in the real world - ok, a team with Viduka, Owen and Martins up front compared to Martins on his own last season is bound to fair better. There is over a month to go to buy players, Sam could probably sign five decent players tomorrow, but the ones he really wants probably require a lot of hard work with clubs and agents. I suspect that is the real world, not one where people predict our relegation long before the transfer window closes, given we have a new frontline of 3 proven Premiership golascorers already in place....

Dan said:

Ah after all the excitement of new appointments and takeovers it's back to reality at SJP, and thats a good thing. We can stop harping on about qualifying for the champions league and winning trophies to concentrate on what really matters to NUFC this season, rebuilding the squad and finishing higher than 13th. Its nice to think that we've got £50m to spend on big name players, but where has it got us before. Boumsong, Bramble, Owen & Luque(so far) came up to nearly £40m, but when you look at Butt(2m), Milner (3m) Taylor(nowt) it just shows that a price tag doesnt show quality. So why are people upset we haven't spent £50m? Lets look at what we've got, Geremi, a solid versatile defender who can score on free kicks, Viduka 10+ goals easily, Barton, a central midfielder who can actually score, my only worry is with Rozenhal but i'm sure he'll do ok. The main problem that we're are having are those injuries once again, which I believe are coming from the training ground, so heres the solution, take that £50m and either upgrade or build a new training ground with accomodation for all those scientific methods and rename it Big Sam's Laboratory. Also splash the cash on the Academy and school facilities so we can have an academy that rivals Middlebrough, West Ham and Liverpool so we can keep a nice set of home grown players as good as Gerrard, Lampard, Owen and Terry.

Mike said:

Come on let us all have a little patience.

Backroom changes do slow things down, its reality.

Let's not buy for buyings sake. Many of our youngsters who had good experinece last season are better than some who would sign for us.

Remember we are NOT in Europe and suffering because of Glen's mistakes in the tactical area during the last two months of last season.

Derek said:

Can't believe all the doom & gloom on here. Shepherd has finally gone (glory be - he's been an absolute disaster for nufc). Sam has got rid of 7 mediocre/non performers and brought in 4 top class proven replacements with still almost 3 wks left to kick off. He'll get his men and hopefully get rid of the last of the faint hearts (Dyer & Babayaro). I for one am really looking forward to a new start and a solid season.

JAS said:

SID - Yes it all looks nice on paper. Owen is always injured (its not a new thing he always had hamstring problems at Liverpool). Viduka is inconsistent and also has a suspect injury record. As for Martins he is one of the most over-rated players in the premier league. A couple of spectacular goals got him some headlines and I would gladly take £13 million off Arsenal for him. This team has so many cracks its untrue. If Sam does act soon all the good players will have gone, if they havn't already.

nico said:

It'll just be good to have a cracking start to the season and not be bottom or in the bottom 5 for once before building a head of steam. I want to see everyone guns blazing at the start and it may give the players a little confidence to carry it on.

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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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