Newcastle United: Injuries to Key Players Causing Lack of Form

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Newcastle player Hatem Ben Arfa in action  during the UEFA Europa League Group  match between Newcastle United FC and CS Maritimo at St James' Park on November 22, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Newcastle United were one of the most surprising sides in the English Premier League last season.

After their fifth place finish in the EPL last season, the Magpies generated plenty of excitement around the club in the preseason but have failed to impress with the same form from last season to begin the 2012-13 campaign.

One of the main causes to the club's poor form this season has been injuries to the top players in Alan Pardew's squad.

Newcastle are sitting in 12th place with 14 points and have just one win in their last six EPL matches.

The latest injuries at the club came on Thursday during their 1-1 draw with Maritimo in the Europa League.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse were both taken off the pitch because of injuries on Thursday.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Ben Arfa's hamstring injury is the more serious of the two with the French midfielder being out for a few weeks while Cisse could be in the squad to play Southampton on Sunday in the EPL.

Ben Arfa has been one of the best players for Pardew's club this season and has started in all 12 EPL matches this season.

Not only will Pardew have to fill the void left by Ben Arfa in the midfield, he is also dealing with the loss of Yohan Cabaye to injury.

Cabaye will be out until January with a groin injury that he suffered while he was on international duty with France last week.

Cabaye was an integral part of the Newcastle squad last season in the center of the midfield alongside Cheik Tiote, and it looks as though the two will not play in the starting 11 together until February with Tiote going to play in the African Cup of Nations in January for the Ivory Coast.

Other players that are on the injury list for Newcastle include Jonas Gutierrez, James Perch, Sammy Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic.

Both Taylor and Vuckic are out with ACL injuries and are helping each other in the recovery process, but neither are expected back in the lineup anytime soon.

The other players have injuries that are not as severe, but they will miss the trip to the St. Mary's Stadium on Sunday.

Very few positives have come out of the club during the last month, but they did advance to the knockout stage of the Europa League with their draw on Thursday. They still possess one of the top goal scoring threats in the EPL in Demba Ba, who has eight goals this season.

 Regardless of who is healthy to take the pitch for the Magpies in the next few weeks, Pardew will have to put a lineup together that needs to start winning starting with Sunday's road trip to Southampton.