If they haven’t already, Newcastle are in real danger of slipping into the anonymous football abyss this season.
Out of both cups, eight points off a Europa League place they probably don’t want anyway and nine clear of the bottom half of the table, Alan Pardew’s men are destined for a distinctly beige finish in the Premier League.
While there is no cause for concern as far as relegation goes – they are 150/1 shots for the drop – having nothing to play for at the opposite end of the table is as equally harmful as going down.
The problem for sides stuck on the roundabout of mediocrity, is that the slightest bit of attention for their best players turns their head. As Yohan Cabaye proved, once that happens it is tough to remedy.
Cabaye’s eventual departure has set tongues wagging like a dog’s tail after stumbling across an open bag of treats over the future of most of Newcastle’s number.
Right-back Mathieu Debuchy is the latest to have his plans scrutinised and responded in typical footballer fashion when asked about his plans next season.
“I am here until the end of the season and for next year, I do not know,” Debuchy told the French media after being informed of interest from both Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich.
It’s pretty obvious that either of those clubs would be an attractive move for the 28-year-old, who is expected to feature for Newcastle against Aston Villa at the weekend with the Magpies 21/20 to win.
Alan Pardew is thought to be considering a squad overhaul having grown frustrated with a number of his players, but whether Debuchy, who has made 23 starts for the grey-haired boss in an impressive season, would be one of them.
Either way keeping Debuchy may be out of Pardew’s hands as two of the continent’s best teams push their interest further, forcing the Frenchman to engineer a move away from the north east.
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