The opinion being spread by Newcastle United’s spin doctors in chief, is that we are currently dominating the opposition and the wins will eventually come.
But how confident are you of Newcastle turning things around right now?
I am certainly not confident at all and don’t buy into the tale being spread by the club.
Take this past weekend’s match against Stoke. Were we the better side overall? Yes, we were. However, we were at home against a poor Stoke side who specialise in defending this season.
Stoke have now kept clean sheets in three of their four league matches and only Watford have conceded less in the bottom half of the table. They have also scored the fewest goals in the league. They defend, that’s how they set up for every match.
So maintaining the lion’s share of possession is hardly a reason to brag when playing against poor quality opposition that are set up to defend so heavily. Let’s also not forget that they came closest to scoring when Rob Elliot had to make a top save to keep out Jonathan Walters.
Before that we had a 3-0 loss against Sunderland. A difficult match given the incorrect sending off of Coloccini. However, before that, while we did maintain the majority of possession, did we really create many/any clear-cut chances?
The Norwich game did give some hope because that was a dominant win but Norwich are a side falling to pieces and conceding goals from everywhere. The win shouldn’t be ignored for the good result it was, but we shouldn’t overestimate it.
Before the Norwich game, well the less said the better. A draw at home against Chelsea doesn’t seem like something to shout about right now, does it?
We maintain possession because we are set up to pass the ball around and do so a lot in our own half. An example of this is against Stoke, we had more possession and more passes, but Stoke had more passes in the final third to us. So it’s not like we are all over them.
I personally don’t see it coming together right now. We look better because we are facing weaker opposition than we did at the start of the season, not because we are improving. Ultimately we are just not winning whoever we play. With the weaknesses we have in the squad, and in the coaching staff, it’s not going to suddenly magically change either.
The two teams below us in the league have made their attempts to try and fix things by replacing their manager.
We don’t look likely to and based on previous experiences with Pardew, the club are not going to. That leaves us struggling to the January window and trying to fix some of the obvious deficiencies in the squad.
If we are not careful things could be beyond repair by that point and Ashley will be sat fiddling while he watches Rome burn.
(To feature like Dan, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)