Newcastle Focus – Shaky cup performance heaps more worry on Magpies

Newcastle have not had a good start to their 2013-14 campaign – they had a dreadful time away to Manchester City and were less than convincing against West Ham. To make matters worse, they needed late goals from the Ameobi brothers to overcome League Two side Morecombe after a poor display.

Dan Gosling twice cleared off the line during that game and Newcastle were lucky to not find themselves on the end of an upset. Fans are growing more disgruntled with the club because of the lack of transfers this window, especially with Monday’s deadline looming. As it stands Loic Remy is the only target they have acquired, missing out on the likes of Darren Bent and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. The lack of fire power is plain to see – the club has managed just one shot on target in the two league games played.

What will be an even bigger worry is the absence of Yohan Cabaye. It is clear to see the Frenchman’s influence on the midfield, and if he were to leave this late into the transfer window would leave the club in all sorts of trouble. Manager Alan Pardew has hinted the unsettled Cabaye may feature this weekend but Newcastle will need the French midfielder to be focussed for more than just one game to turn around the slump at the club.

Two years ago the Magpies finished fifth before finding themselves in the bottom five last season. This worrying trend needs to be halted, but the club does have the personnel to change this worrying sequence – they have failed to score in three consecutive Premier League games, and havent failed to score in four since January 2008. The likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko need to recapture their best form, while there are still lingering injuries to players like Cheick Tiote.

Their problems circulate back to their weak striking unit. Papiss Cisse hasn’t scored a league goal since April, and Pardew is well aware of this problem. “Looking at the team, I am really looking to try to help Papiss a little bit more in terms of his service, and it’s something we will be working on,” Pardew told Sky Sports.

And the Newcastle manager also lamented the transfer window, admitting he was looking forward to its end. Pardew added: “If I had been asked during the summer what would pre-season be like, I would have suggested not too dissimilar to how it’s been. We had a tough start in terms of Manchester City away with a new manager, and also you could almost sense that one or two of our players would be involved in this window, so I kind of sensed it was coming.

But that doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t been difficult, because it has. It has been a very difficult period and if we can get a win on Saturday and get through to Monday with one or two additions, I will be very, very pleased.

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