The theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking, was called in by Newcastle United to investigate a baffling set of events.
Arguably Britain’s greatest brain, sadly even Stephen Hawking has said that working out NUFC can wait until he completes a few of the easier jobs on his list, such as the secrets of the universe and the meaning of life.
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Between 29 December 2013 and 4 October 2014, Newcastle United won 5 Premier League matches out of 27.
They then proceeded to win five out of five in the league (plus beat Manchester City away in the League Cup, a club who have beaten United on the last 11 times they’ve played them in the Premier League).
Then from 29 Novembet 2014 to 25 March (present day), Newcastle have then won 4 out of 19 Premier League matches.
It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Using a Stephen Hawking type analogy, maybe for that five match winning run, the stars weere simply all perfectly aligned…never to be repeated?
You could maybe argue that home games against QPR and Leicester are the easiest of the season but away wins at West Brom and Spurs, plus beating Liverpool at home were hardly the most predictable.
Especially taking into account what had gone before and what has happened since…
Newcastle are currently 10 points off the relegation zone and it doesn’t take a genius to work out where we would be if this miraculous winning run hadn’t appeared out of the ether.
When he is knocking back his lager tops, Mike Ashley must be laughing his (cheap and nasty five for a quid SPorts Direct) socks off at his luck.
If that October/November five match run hadn’t appeared then we would almost certainly have seen Ashley’s pdgy hands reaching into his deep Newcastle United pockets.
He would surely have had to sack Pardew which would have cost a few million in compensation (instead of selling him to Palace for around £3m!) and surely he would have had no option but to repeat January 2013 and spend £20m or more along with wages to try and ensure survival on the Prenier League gravy train.
Mike Ashley truly has the luck of the…devil.
Looking back at the season when he did manage to get Newcastle relegated, it was a monumental effort by him with outrageous decision after decision leading to United going down and a point on the last day would still have saved us!
Undermining Keegan, selling Milner, employing Wise, taking on JFK, selling Given and N’Zogbia at the halfway point…the list is endless and if he’d refrained from a single one of those things then Newcastle would have stayed up.
The extra TV money though has upset the equation and now Mike Ashley is playing with fire if he refuses to allow a major part of the TV riches to be spent on the squad.
Every team now has access to tens of millions they can spend on transfers and wages every season.
In time, (football) historians may look back and see that five match winning streak in one of two ways.
Either, the lucky wake up call that convinced Ashley he had to change his ways, or simply that this five game run that saved the 2014/15 season was simply delaying the inevitable.