Back at the end of January before the Blackburn match I looked at the possibility of Newcastle grabbing a Champions League spot.

As a rough guide I used last season’s number of points as a pointer and Arsenal finished in fourth with 68 points. So my question was, with United at that time standing on 36 points,  whether it was possible for Newcastle to pick up 32 points from their final 16 matches?

The answer was yes as I went through each match and my predictions came out at exactly 32 points.

In January I was ridiculed by some but 14 matches into this sequence and with only 2 remaining, thanks to the outstanding win at Chelsea cancelling out the dire defeat at Wigan, Newcastle United are 1 point ahead of schedule.

So only three short of the sixty eight points that were needed last season, Newcastle have two matches to get three points and our ‘predictor’ sees United getting four more.

With Norwich doing the business at Arsenal, if Newcastle can beat Manchester City then on the final weekend 68 points would be enough to put Newcastle top four if Arsenal failed to get anything at West Brom.

Predictions below with outcome in Italics where I got the result wrong….

Blackburn (A) – DRAW (won), Aston Villa (H)  – WIN, Spurs (A) – DEFEAT, Wolves (H) – WIN (draw)

Mackems (H) – WIN (draw), Arsenal (A) – DRAW (lost), Norwich City (H) – WIN, WBA (A) – DRAW (won)

Liverpool (H) – WIN, Swansea (A) – DRAW (won), Bolton (H) – WIN, Chelsea (A) – DEFEAT (WON!)

Stoke City (H) – WIN, Wigan (A) – WIN (lost), Man. City (H) – DRAW, Everton  (A) –  WIN

18 comments
nufcdc
nufcdc 5pts

I agree with "on hols". I think Austin would have been a good buy *not in excess of 15 mil* but I think Mitrovic looks a very similar build, and overall player. We need to compliment that type of player with a speedy, skillful partner and with balls played the box. That's how Austin scored many of his 18 at QPR and how Mitrovic scored at Anderlecht (including his cracking header at arsenal **campions league experience**). Overall, I'd be content with the attacking options we've brought in, if we signed a couple of quality defenders!!

On hols
On hols 5pts

There's better out there! Far to similar to mitrovic. I personally think we should play a faster more skillful player off our new big striker, leave Austin where he is. Buy Hernandez? Or play cisse/perez off the shoulder of mitrovic.

mactoon
mactoon 5pts

Good call but I don't think they want players they need money hence the fee and the reason why no exchange deal will work

Artie Fufkin
Artie Fufkin 5pts

Good piece, Villa have signed a striker today and is likely to get Adebeyor too. Austin may not have as many options as he hoped. 

ArtyH
ArtyH 5pts

£10m cash and take your pick from Williamson, Gouffran, Abeid, or Obertan , can't get fairer than that, take it or leave it, answer by next Saturday.

Kazie23
Kazie23 5pts

£10million plus Vuckic will be the deal

mactoon
mactoon 5pts

Following his shoulder injury (dislocation which is highly fixable) in September 2010 he went on to score 17 in 27 games during 2010/11


In 2013 he failed a medical due to issues with his knee which haven't affected him before it happened or since. Before the Feb 2015 fixture between Hull and QPR Steve Bruce admitted he made a huge mistake in not signing him as he too had failed a medical due to a knee injury but still got signed by Man U without any more problems. Austin went on to score 20 in 31 games during 13/14 and 18 in 35 during 14/15


Do the board have injury concerns or are they predictably using it as an excuse to get a lower price?


Just pay the damn £15 million for a proven goalscorer with huge potential.



v0ices
v0ices 5pts

@mactoon and add a pl experienced cb too, does not have to be a world beater solid and reliable will do.

mactoon
mactoon 5pts

@v0ices @mactoon  definately. Willo, Collo and Taylor are just not good enough and we need a proven CB to raise the bar to make them fight for a place, historically all three have been woeful due to the lack of competition and if we buy a proven CB to play alongside Mbemba these three will be on the bench at best. Too long have we had players lacking the quality required playing because of the squad lacking the quality required.

Mal44
Mal44 5pts

I'm with the posters below who are saying CB is the priority. It's very quiet and calm on that front; hopefully Charnley is paddling like hell under the surface.

yeahweekes
yeahweekes 5pts

Its actually really clever business from Cashley to be fair. Austin's contract expires in a year, meaning that he would leave for free.... which would be a disaster for QPR.... they will be forced to let him go for around £10m or less if we can hold out for the last few days of the window..... 

1957
1957 5pts

With the current contractual situation he's not worth £15m, he's good but not an exceptional player that would command that fee with only a years contract left. I also agree the first club to blink and offer the reported fee will be kept waiting in case a better offer comes in, by QPR and Austin.

For me spend the money on defenders, we are in greater need of not conceding than scoring, at the moment whatever we score the opposition can get the same or one more.

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

Good read, and shows exactly why clubs can’t just go in waving the price QPR have put on him as a benchmark, and the deal will be done…I think this will go on until late in the window, and possibly any action held off until an offer can be made that is too late in the day for QPR/Austin to knock it back, and also too late for any other club to come in and trump it… 


...If any interested party threw in the £15m now it would just raise the bar.


...Don’t know how much faith can be placed on the injury history…seeing as he got through 36 games last season, and that’s generally a good guide to show that there’s no recurring damage!!

DownUnderMag
DownUnderMag 5pts

I don't see any other clubs lining up to pay that fee either.  I suspect a deal could be done closer to the window closing and with Mitrovic on board already and no sign of Cisse leaving just yet, Newcastle can actually play hard ball on this one.

What is more concerning is the lack of apparent activity on any more defenders.  If the heirarchy think what we currently have will be good enough then we are in for another long season, unless Colo finds form again and Mbemba turns out to be the next big thing in centre halves.

IainElrick
IainElrick 5pts

He's 12mil max if he wasn't British he's be around 9mil

Dubaiexpat
Dubaiexpat 5pts

I think the fact that no club has met the 15m valuation tells you it's not just NUFC who think he is overpriced.


There are clearly genuine concerns overs his medical fitness and personally I think we're right to be cautious with this one. 


Would I want him at St James - absolutely. Would I pay 15million for him - not so sure. 


Personally think we have more pressing priorities in defence.