Newcastle have now progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League thanks to Thursday’s hard fought 1-1 draw with Portuguese opponent’s Maritimo.
However, there was bad news coming in the shape of fresh injuries to both Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse, who join a now lengthy list of absentees at St James’. Couple that with the team now being winless in five outings, things aren’t as rosy as Newcastle fans would have wished for at the start of the season. But, is there another ray of sunshine to come out of Thursday night’s events?
Sylvain Marveaux managed to get his first goal for the club in the draw, bagging the opening goal after brilliantly finishing a pass from Ben Arfa with his left foot. It’s been a long time coming, and the Frenchman has certainly suffering an indifferent start to his Newcastle career after signing last Summer on a five-year deal from Rennes.
Having only made ten appearances in all competitions, it was underwhelming to say the least. However, he has already now made ten appearances this time around before Christmas, and has shown glimpses of the talent that clearly persuaded Newcastle to sign him. Thursday’s goal should give him the confidence to take forward into any future games.
There have been many flashes of this talent, and Marveaux clearly has the potential to be a star in the North East. Liverpool and West Ham were rumoured to also be interested in the player during his career in France, and he has 11 U21 caps for the French national team to his name with four goals.
No mean feat, but injuries and inconsistency have blighted him. His final season in the French league was heavily interrupted by a groin injury, something that kept him out well into 2011. Perhaps this is a reason for his slow start at Newcastle, but he can now look forward to making his mark for the Magpies.
Newcastle have not started well, that’s for sure. With the injury situation as bad as it currently is, they will have to start relying on squad players such as Marveaux to step up and perform in the Premiership. If the injury sustained by Ben Arfa is serious, this weekend could be the time for him to begin. And the signs are very promising.
Newcastle’s Injured Men:
Yohan Cayabe (groin)
Ryan Taylor (knee)
Dan Gosling (knee)
Shola Ameobi (groin)
Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring)
Papiss Cisee (thigh)
Haris Vuckic (knee)
James Perch (thigh)
Jonas Gutierrez (knee)
Adam Campbell (neck)
What role can you see Marveaux playing at the club this season? Do Newcastle need to strengthen in January of can they rely on their squad players to serve them well? Let us know your views by getting involved in the debate on the site of through finding us on Twitter.
By Harry Aitkenhead