Leon Best: The Worst News
Newcastle United notched a key home victory Sunday against Aston Villa. The win launched the Toon into fifth place, just one point behind Chelsea for fourth place and the key Champions League place. But Sunday was not all good for Newcastle, as the Toon suffered two key injuries that will make the task of Saturday's trip to White Hart Lane that much harder.
Perhaps the most key injury was to midfielder Ryan Taylor, who has suffered ankle damage and now looks a major doubt for the weekend's tie. Filling in at both left back and right midfield, Taylor has had a breakout Premiership season after appearing only five times in 2010-11. Taylor has been a main supply line with his excellent crosses for Demba Ba, and former Manchester United player Gabriel Obertan looks the main candidate to fill in.
Newcastle received bad news on striker Leon Best, whose early departure Sunday has been ruled MCL damage, which should keep the striker out at least six weeks. Best, the team's second leading striker, has worked well partnering with star striker Ba. The injury is especially damaging to Best's international prospects, as the Irishman has been fighting to make the squad for Euro 2012.
Best's injury puts new signing Papiss Demba Cisse. Ba's Sengalese teammate, Cisse will be looked on to live up to his believed £10 million price tag, highest spent in England this transfer window. Cisse had a sterling debut against Villa, but the Senegalese duo of Ba and Cisse will have to prove they can form a partnerships better than the one that saw Senegal exit the African Cup of Nations in the group stage just a few weeks ago.