You may have read the small bit of good news we had about Siem de Jong returning to training (he's like a NEW SIGNING!). The reality is, however, that time will not stand still and allow us to enjoy the small bit of good cheer that the de Jong news might create within us. There is the small matter of a match this weekend against Arsenal. Arsenal are very much better at not being bad than we are even under normal circumstances. Throw in the fact that Fabricio Coloccini has taken a 3-match vacation, Steven Taylor is injured, and we are saying to each other with a straight face that Paul Dummett is a viable center back option and we've got a recipe for something that could go pear shaped with an alarming quickness.
All indications suggest that Daryl Janmaat will be the man to which Working Class John Carver™ will turn to plug the hole left by Coloccini's absence. This is all well and good, save for two little matters. First off, by Daryl's own admission:
If the team needs me there, I am confident I can do well there, even though I have not played as a central defender in the whole of my career.
So there's that little matter. Of course, the alternative is throwing Lubo Satka to the wolves with the very real potential of destroying any sort of confidence he may have in the future – let's be honest, if Carver's oft-quoted views about the bringing along of Freddie Woodman ever had any true bearing, it would certainly apply here –while hoping against hope that Newcastle can avoid another confidence shattering defeat to Arsenal. The second matter is that it's likely that we will need now to rely upon Vurnon Anita as the makeshift replacement for the man who is the makeshift replacement at center back. For a club who are not notoriously solid at the back and whose issues often lie in positional awareness between players, starting two players out of position is less than encouraging. Consider this your resumption of normal Newcastle United service.