It has been an awful start to the season both on and off the pitch for Newcastle United this season, and although a Carling Cup win in midweek offered a small reprieve from the Tyneside depression - a win against Morecambe, you fear, will not dispel fan disillusion.
Last year The Magpies were involved in a shock relegation scrap, as the players who had pushed them to the brink of Champions League football a year earlier faltered in their complacency.
Injuries didn’t help but overall, the players simply did not perform.
Change was certainly needed this summer, but nobody expected Mike Ashley to bring in the dinosaur that is Joe Kinnear as the clubs director of football.
Alan Pardew has an almost impossible job on his hands at the moment, juggling the hierarchy, players and fans feelings in the air all at once.
But while much attention will descend on Yohan Cabaye today, expected to return after his ‘mini-strike’ over a proposed move to Arsenal, there will be another French international on the bench who could prove crucial.
The only player brought in this summer has been Loic Remy, a man who rejected the club for QPR in January, arriving on loan for the season. We doubt how much influence Kinnear had in this deal, considering it could have happened six months ago.
The connotations of Remy playing the hero today are vast. Against QPR’s London rivals, against Darren Bent - who chose Fulham over the Toon - and as a reminder that additions are needed in order to avoid a similar campaign to last year.
But do not expect to see him given much time to do so.
“We have some options that improve us after West Ham. Remy has got a good chance of being on the bench.
“I don’t want our fans chanting his name after half-time because, trust me, they won’t be seeing him too early – unless we need him.
“We might see him with about 10 minutes to go because that’s all he’s got at the moment.
“But don’t forget this game was won in the last minute last season so he might be important. So I don’t want to not have that option.”
Just be careful not to do a Yoann Gouffran if you get a chance Loic….
image: © mikebrown59