Friday, 25 September 2015

EDITORIAL: Newysports EPL News (Week 7)

A New Low For Newcastle United:

Newcastle United's start to the Premier League season has been embarrassing. There's no sugarcoating that fact and with a humiliating cup exit at the hands of second-division side Sheffield Wednesday during the week, things have gone from bad to worse for the Magpies.

How did it come to be this way for a club that was once one of the biggest and best in England? In fact you could argue it still is one of the biggest but the fact is the club are in all sorts of a mess at the moment. Owner Mike Ashley is despised by the club's fanbase and it's becoming increasingly obvious with each passing year that he is not going to be able to turn fortunes around.

Back onto that horror loss to Wednesday, again another former powerhouse in English football. They are struggling in the Championship, sitting 14th which isn't spectacular and they fielded a mostly second-string side at St James' Park...that's right, Newcastle lost to Sheffield Wednesday's reserves.

The side is stacked full of foreigners (Jack Colback is the lone Englishman in the starting squad) and for a side like Newcastle it's simply not good enough. Buying cheap Frenchmen and then selling them when they improve is not going to help the club get anywhere. It's common sense really.

They lack a real leader. Club captain Fabricio Coloccini is out of form, out of confidence and is nothing compared to a natural leader like the legendary Alan Shearer. Even a more recent leader like Kevin Nolan would have done better. 

Coloccini sat on the bench for the club's shock loss to Wednesday and then instead of himself, the club captain facing the scrutiny of the English media, the club sent out debutant Kevin Mbabu. I know what you're thinking, who's Kevin Mbabu. The 20-year old Swiss defender is off-contract at the end of the season and was simply a sacrificial lamb.

There are 92 teams in the English football league system and not one of them have scored less goals than Newcastle United in the opening stages of the 2015/16 season. In a strange move, the club named a side without a recognised striker in the lineup for the mid-week clash with Wednesday. Amazing.

What's to blame, is it the new coach Steve McClaren. Personally I saw the job McClaren did at Derby County and luck let him and the Rams down over the last few seasons. I'm sure he'd be the first to admit that it's simply not working at Newcastle. He has failed to gel the players together and the season is spiralling out of control at a rapid rate.

In my opinion a clean out is needed. Mike Ashley needs to go as owner...that's the top priority. The club have failed their fans for a few years now and their performances in cup competitions have been lacklustre at best. For a club that used to called a 'cup team' they're certainly failing to live up to that moniker nowadays.

A complete change in vision is needed and it's not something that'll come overnight. Culture is a word that's thrown around a lot these days and the culture at Newcastle United is one that is going to most likely see them relegated to the Championship next season. I can't see how they'll turn it around.

With Newcastle falling rapidly towards possible relegation, neighbours Sunderland are also seeing a slow start to the season. The Black Cats under Dick Advocaat escaped relegation last season but find themselves in the same old battle this time round. It's not all bad for football in the North East though as Middlesbrough are 2nd in the Championship and on track for a promotion push at the end of the season.


Liverpool's Rodgers Facing More Uncertainty:

Brendan Rodgers' time as Liverpool manager may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. To be fair, it's not that Rodgers' has done that bad of a job but improvement is needed and it's simply not coming. With rumours swirling over former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp ending his break from coaching, it seems as though Rodgers is fast running out of time to keep his spot.

I said after the weekend that the Reds needed to blast a few past League Two outfit Carlisle United to re-install confidence and they failed to do that, in fact Liverpool were almost ousted from the League Cup at the hands of the lowly Cumbrians. Penalties were needed and Liverpool went through. Who would have thought beating a fourth division side would be so hard!

It's a key game for Liverpool this weekend as they host Aston Villa. If they happen to lose to the Villians at Anfield they may finish the week as low as 16th. Here's a fun fact; Villa have won two of their last four at Anfield (including a 1-0 win last season) and haven't lost there in four outings.


Leicester City Flying High:

Leicester's latest outing saw them win a thrilling extra time tie in the Capital One Cup against fellow high-flyers West Ham United. The Foxes handed the hammer their first away loss of the campaign and moved forward to the next round of the English League Cup.

Leicester will face second-tier Hull City in the Round of 16 and surely they'll like their chances in that one. It could be a big cup run ahead for the Foxes.


Do Or Die For Mourinho's Men:

Tottenham v Man City will headline the Barclay's Premier League fixtures this weekend but an away trip for a Diego Costa-less Chelsea to struggling Newcastle could prove to be the key match of the round. The Magpies' are in strife (as mentioned in the first article) and will be doing all in their power to pull off what would be the upset of the season.

Mark my words, if Chelsea happen to lose to Newcastle they can kiss their title hopes goodbye. They've got no business competing for the title if they lose to a struggling Newcastle side. It should be a win (even without star striker Costa) for the Blues and it should see them climb into the top half of the table.

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