Taylor injury exposes Magpies Achilles heel

by admin

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
 

It was all going so well, Newcastle United had just earned a fantastic point at Old Trafford and were in confident mood ahead of their clash with Chelsea.

However, things change quickly in Football and Alan Pardew’s side are now facing an injury crisis that threatens to derail their fine start to the Premier League season after Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners at St James’ Park, a score line which very much flattered Andre Villas-Boas’ charges.

The defeat should not be difficult for Newcastle to shrug off, they have proven themselves to be a spirited side throughout this campaign, however, the loss of Steven Taylor for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon will surely be a massive blow to a team that has prided itself on its defensive strength.

Newcastle’s captain Fabricio Coloccini was also forced off with a thigh strain during the clash with Chelsea and is a major doubt for the Magpies’ trip to Norwich City this weekend.

The possible absence of both their first choice centre backs would pose Pardew with a major dilemma, as their only other experienced central defender, Mike Williamson is still recovering from a long-term injury suffered in the Carling Cup at Scunthorpe, leaving  James Perch as the only senior option at the position.

Pardew now must carefully reshuffle his pack for the clash at Carrow Road, 21-year-old Hungarian Tamas Kadar could well be called up to the lineup, while full backs Danny Simpson and Davide Santon have some experience of moving into the centre of defence.

The crisis has exposed what is perhaps Newcastle’s biggest fallibility, lack of squad depth, and they will now face a tricky trip to East Anglia to face a Norwich side that have built their team around the considerable aerial presence of striker Grant Holt.

Regardless of what happens on Saturday, the decimation of Newcastle’s first choice defence will surely prompt Pardew to push owner Mike Ashley to release more funds in order to add reinforcements in the January transfer window. Whether the unpredictable Ashley will grant this wish is another matter entirely.

 

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