Despite successfully recording their first league win of the season in a stunning 3-2 victory against Norwich City last time out, the ever menacing threat of relegation still remains in place for Steve McClaren and his determined Newcastle United outfit.
The Magpies currently remain rooted in the bottom three with six points taken from a total of nine matches. Although a renewed sense of optimism has rightly been introduced in and around St. James’ Park after the team’s impressive performance last Sunday, each of Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sunderland still have major worries to contend with this season.
The smashing victory will nonetheless claim many of the sports headlines on Tyneside this week, subsequently placing Tim Krul’s latest injury news temporarily away from the spotlight. The Dutch keeper is expected to miss the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign due to a knee injury picked up on international duty, which will certainly come as a source of concern for the St. James’ faithful.
So then, without wanting to bring the negativity back within a club clearly enjoying a distinctive high at the moment, how big a miss will Tim Krul ultimately prove for Newcastle United this term?
The greatest problem surrounding this particular concern for Steve McClaren, undoubtedly arrives in the lack of strength in depth at his disposal within the Magpies’ goal-keeping department. Without their no. 1 choice solidly guarding the sticks at St. James’ this season, Newcastle must now turn to the largely unknown likes of Rob Elliot, Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow as back-up.
Each of the aforementioned names remain obviously inexperienced to fulfil such a role for their side this season, even if they may well possess a fair amount of potential that has got them this far in the first place. Who knows – young keepers certainly have to emerge from somewhere, and this is arguably as good a chance as any – but the timing of such a necessity nonetheless feels frustrating to say the least.
As previously mentioned, Newcastle Untied do still have a great deal to prove this season in order to avoid relegation back down to the Championship. Although there are most likely three worse sides on paper currently operating within the English top-flight, the Magpies have largely shown a distinct lack of quality so far this season, with the loss of Tim Krul only hampering the club’s current predicament.
Despite failing to produce his standard level of performance throughout large portions of the previous campaign, Holland’s 27-year-old shot-stopper is usually one of the most reliable names out on the field for Newcastle. He admittedly possesses a few major shortcomings to his overall game – such as his questionable distribution skill at times – but this is ultimately a player most Premier League teams would easily call their own.
The loss of his presence at the back for the Magpies could therefore spell disaster for Steve McClaren’ side. Yes, they performed well against the Canaries last time out in the attacking areas of the pitch – but defensively – Newcastle were just as shaky and worryingly vulnerable as they’ve ever been. Without Tim Krul in place to at least stable the ship somewhat, expect this team to continue leaking goals for a good while yet to come.
However, via the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez, Newcastle arguably still have enough to stay up this season…just. McClaren’s side a bound to score more goals this term after last Sunday’s fantastic offering – and that alone should be enough to strive off the threat of relegation for 2015/16.
If the January transfer window is able to produce a decent back up for Tim Krul should his respective injury eventually keep him out for the remainder of the season, then this specific issue could well be seen to in due time.
For now though, the loss of Krul is obviously bad news for the Magpies. It will be interesting to witness how Steve McClaren’s side react against rivals, Sunderland, next time out in the widely anticipated Tyne-Wear derby.
Newcastle United are currently 6/4 to be relegated with Bet 365
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