Just a few days ago we were able to report—on the basis of Eddie Howe’s own words about the situation—that Kieran Trippier was this close to making it back to a Premier League football pitch. Trippier himself, as is often the case these days, went on to announce his return with a post on Instagram that put everyone on notice.
Howe took no time in calming the lads down a bit saying that last Saturday against Liverpool might be a little bit of a rushed timeline for Trips to make his comeback, though that could very well happen this weekend against, well, no less than his former club Manchester City—who never played for as a member of the senior squad—at the Etihad.
Next in line: Callum Wilson. You had forgotten about him, uh!? Well, turns out IG has become the no. 1 source of insider information these days, so of course, Callum had to use it himself to pump the Geordies up and put the fanbase hype above the sky leading up to this weekend’s massive showdown between the Magpies and the Citizens.
Actually, all Wilson did write to go with the video in his IG publication was a couple of emojis, a fully-charged battery, and an hourglass—notice the little detail, it’s a done hourglass. Talk about cryptic messages, folks. Of course, popular wisdom has those two icons as figures of readiness, anticipation, and the passage of time.
Not to enter any sort of philosophic realm, but things are quite clear if you ask me. Wilson suffered a calf injury against Manchester United in late December and has yet to appear in a game for Newcastle in the 2022 calendar year. That, simply put, sucks. Sucks because Wilson enjoyed all of one victory from August to the end of December while playing at the starting striker position for the Magpies. Then, all of a sudden, the tide took a 180-degree turn and Newcastle became an absolute, unstoppable force of nature.
Wilson dumped six goals in his 15 games (started 14 of those, and played just 12 minutes in the one in which he came off the bench). As ridiculous as it sounds, Wilson is still the top goalscorer of the Toon in the Premier League, followed by Allan Saint-Maximin with five goals to his name. Now, remember, Newcastle is sitting at the top half of the PL table even with such a paltry goalscoring from all of their players. I can’t help but dream how this season would have turned out with Wilson around. Yikes.
With only three more games on the schedule (two toughies against City and Arsenal, and a beauty finale against Burnley), Wilson should come back at some point through the next couple of weeks. That won’t change a thing for the Magpies' short-term future with the team already safe and out of relegation threat but also out of contention for European football in 2022-23.
But I bet every single member of the Toon Army would love to see all of Wilson, Joelinton, Bruno, et al. doing it at the same time on the same pitch, whether that is away in Manchester or Burnley, or at home turf in St James’ Park on May 16.