Charles N’Zogbia became the 12th player to be added to Newcastle’s injury list, and it is a mark of the spirit at Newcastle that they’ve gone on their best spell of results this season in all this mess.
The 1-0 defeat to Chelsea was tough to bear, but Newcastle should be proud in the way they stretched Chelsea to the max and it took a lot of shuffling from Mourinho to manage the goal. Without Drogba on the pitch, it is quite possible that the match would have ended as a draw, pushing Newcastle into 13th spot and giving them a big boost ahead of the glut of Christmas fixtures.
Apart from N’Zogbia, Newcastle also have Parker, Dyer, Duff, Moore and Carr as short-term injuries – that’s 6 first-team players right there. And when you add Owen and Ameobi to the mix (both due to return after this season ends), you realise that Newcastle are damned lucky to be above Charlton and Watford this season, let alone the likes of Boro and Blackburn.
The replacements have done well, considering the extraordinary demands placed on them, and while it’s likely that Newcastle will reinforce during January I doubt that any ‘high-profile’ purchases will be made. Newcastle will try to get buy with one-two signings and a couple of loan deals. They need a quality defender and people are pointing to Wes Brown, but that’s almost impossible. United could loan out one or two of their returning defenders (Evans, Simpson or Bardsley), but they won’t let their bigger stars go.
Who do you think Newcastle will buy in January?