Loic Remy’s last gasp goal grasped Newcastle all 3 points and victory over Aston Villa. Remy’s goal, his 12th of the campaign was Newcastle’s first in their last 5, having been shut out against Norwich, Sunderland, Chelsea and Spurs previously, it’s a result that has given a glimmer of hope to Newcastle fans that there is in fact life after Cabaye, although poor form in recent weeks has ensured it’s too late for a push for a European spot.
Remy’s goals had dried up a bit, following a lightning fast start to life on Tyneside with 8 goals in first 10 games for the club, his goal on Sunday was his fourth in his last 6 games suggesting he has recovered his early season form.
Cisse looks devoid of any confidence, a stark contrast to the potent finisher he was when he first arrived at Newcastle. Even at times last season he popped up with important goals, this year when he was expected to step up to the mantle he has looked toothless. His future now hangs in the balance, he was linked with a move away in January, but that did not materialise, if he doesn’t start scoring soon, it’s not hard to see him playing elsewhere next year.
January reinforcement Luuk de Jong is still yet to score for the club, continuing his record from Germany. Presumably Pardew was hoping he’d score a few goals and then make a move for him in the summer, but he is yet to turn out a performance which would lead to Newcastle considering a permanent move for the player. Shola Ameobi is Newcastle’s only other experienced striker in the squad and he too has failed to score yet this season.
With Cabaye now enjoying life at PSG, the goal scoring onus has fallen to Remy, only Gouffran has managed more than 5 in the Newcastle squad now and he had been out until recently. Gouffran seems to be solely employed out wide, given that he is the only other Newcastle striker to score this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Pardew will pair him alongside Remy at some point. That would then allow Ben Arfa to come in on the right, providing some much needed creativity, and Sissoko to move across to the left. Gouffran considers himself a striker and he is most deserving of a chance to partner Remy up front if Newcastle persevere with a 4-4-2 system.
Remy’s red card in the game against Norwich handed him a three match ban, from which he only returned this weekend, you only have to see the lack of goals that was scored in his absence to see how important he is to Newcastle. Given that he is on loan from QPR he’s not guaranteed to be at the club next year, and his performances this season show he deserves to be playing at a higher level. That must be worrying for Newcastle, if Remy doesn’t return next season there is no natural replacement in the squad and some serious reinvestment will be needed.
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