The St James’ Park outfit played out a 0-0 draw against West Ham yesterday in an unconvincing performance that will worry the fans.
Following on from the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in their first game of the season, Newcastle were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham yesterday in a frustrating day for the home side’s supporters.
In truth it was the visitors that had the better chances to win the match and the lack of potency in front of goal will have Magpies’ fans worried that a tough season could well be ahead.
Yoan Gouffran’s miss from three yards in the dying minutes of the game epitomised the feeling around the North East club at the moment, as Alan Pardew’s men lack a cutting edge to win games.
Most of the frustration of the Newcastle fans was aimed at newly appointed director of football Joe Kinnear, who has been brought to the club to coordinate transfer business.
To date, only an injured Loic Remy has been brought to the club on loan from Championship side QPR. Newcastle fans have every right to question what exactly Kinnear is doing to earn a wage and bolster the club’s chances of a positive campaign.
There are three key reasons that showcase why Newcastle must sign new players before the end of the window. Firstly, and most importantly, Yohan Cabaye has been absent for both of the club’s opening matches and looks almost certain to have played his last game for the club. Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain lie in wait, with the France international likely to depart this week.
Cabaye’s departure is a real blow for the Tyneside club, as the former Lille maestro has been the driving force in the side’s midfield over the last two seasons. Moussa Sissoko and Vernon Anita are solid players capable of improving, but Newcastle need a quality replacement for the outgoing man.
Secondly, in two Premier League games the club have scored no goals and only had one shot on target. The brief at the start of the summer was to replace Demba Ba, bring in a couple of strikers to help Papiss Cisse and get the Magpies back to being an attacking threat.
Remy’s addition could be a solid one, but it alone is not enough. A deal for Bafetimbi Gomis fell through and there were rumours about Darren Bent – who has now joined Fulham. Newcastle need a new striker, or two, before it is too late.
Lastly, when Newcastle needed to change things up yesterday against West Ham, Alan Pardew must have despaired when he looked at his bench. The club really lacks strength-in-depth and need players of quality to challenge the first team. Yesterday’s substitutes were Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Gael Bigirimana, Rob Elliot, Haris Vuckic and Paul Dummett. Newcastle need more players.
Newcastle fans will be discouraged by the fact that the team that fielded the pitch against the Hammers had no Englishmen in it, but right now the club need points. After a disappointing season last term, Newcastle really need to make a concerted effort to sign a couple of players before the end of the transfer window, or another campaign with the threat of relegation may well be upon them.
The ball is in your court Mr. Kinnear.
image: © mickyb59