Let’s say you’re Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, a man coming off a tumultuous season that saw his team rise to European contention before getting whooped for a solid two months.
Let’s say that losing streak included you head butting an opposing player from your technical area, and that during the transfer window your notoriously-stingy owner backed you with the millions needed to reinforce your vision.
And let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that the one area you’ve arguably failed was to bring in a dynamic out-and-out striker, and that you let creative whiz kid Hatem Ben Arfa go on loan to Hull City basically because you don’t like him.
How would you feel if your best hope for silencing your credits has been condemned to the shelf for “months” just after reports leaked that you had as little as two games to save your job?
You’d feel bad thoughts. Really bad thoughts. From the Associated Press:
Newcastle says it will likely be without Siem de Jong for a “number of months” after the Netherlands playmaker injured his right thigh in training with the Premier League side this week.
Pardew is the second-longest tenured manager in the Premier League, but it’s starting to feel like his days are absolutely numbered (or at least as numbered as they should’ve been after last year’s garbage tornado). Newcastle’s fans are hungry for a return to Europe after a few years away, and whether that comes via league placement or actual commitment to a cup competition matters not.
De Jong’s injury hurts both, obviously, and now even more weight goes onto relatively unproven attackers Facundo Ferreyra, Ayoze Perez and Emmanuel Riviere. The relatively-easy stretch of matches after the opener against Manchester City now feel a lot tighter for the Magpies.