Warning to Newcastle fans: ‘We are failing to compete, even though the standard of play by other teams is the lowest that it has been for the past 10 years.’
In an effort to find reasons to be cheerful, I decided to trawl through the premier league statistics to see if there were any rays of NUFC sunshine that could be gleaned from historical data.
I wish I hadn’t, because what I learned was this:
In previous seasons, if NUFC had a goal difference of -12 and a mere 10 points from 13 matches (as they do now), Table 1 below shows where NUFC would have been in the table after 13 matches in those seasons.
The second column in the table adds up all of the points earned by the bottom 5 clubs after 13 matches. This tally is a reflection of the standard of the clubs at the bottom of the table in those seasons.
* Yes I know…
As you can see, although equalled in the 2007/08 season, based upon points earned, this season’s bottom 5 clubs have the distinction of being the lowest standard performers for the past 10 years!
In 8 out of the 10 previous seasons we would have currently been in the relegation zone after 13 games, and on 3 occasions actually bottom.
What we can say from looking at Table 1, is that the only reason that we are not currently in the relegation zone, or actually bottom, is that there are teams that are far worse than us.
That, to a certain extent is stating the bleeding obvious, but what the stats show is that had we performed like this for 13 games in previous seasons we would be in a far worse position than we are now.
We are therefore extremely fortunate that the likes of Sunderland, Bournemouth and Aston Villa are keeping the standard so low! What is of concern is how quickly a short run of good form by any one of those 3 teams could push us to the bottom of the table.
The most alarming conclusion to be drawn from these statistics is this:
We are failing to compete, even though the standard of play by other teams is the lowest that it has been for the past 10 years.
Some more statistics that are best ignored
If a team is in the bottom 4 after 13 matches what does history tell us about the likelihood of that team eventually being relegated? The last 10 years looks like this:
*After 13 matches
As you can see over 10 years there is no particular pattern to this, other than we can say that there is always one! The average is two. The more recent trend is higher than 2. History, (as opposed to statistical fact) therefore tells us that out of NUFC, Bournemouth, Sunderland and Aston Villa, two of these teams will be relegated in May 2016.
The pessimism for NUFC in Table 2 only becomes a reality if one or more of the other 3 clubs recovers form, and has a good run. Unfortunately Table 1, and any casual appraisal, shows us that we are not on form, and there is not much reason to believe that that will change anytime soon.
I am not a doom merchant, and my cup is always half full, so why would I want to dwell on depressing statistics?
The answer is simply that we need to demonstrate that something has to change. We need that change to be dramatic and we need it to be done quickly.
Steve McClaren could start by sitting down with Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, and the whole squad, and watch the City v Liverpool game last week. They should then watch the NUFC v Leicester game.
Liverpool demonstrated what happens when your players want to win, even against stiff opposition. NUFC demonstrated the polar opposite.
I am now going to try and find some optimistic statistics…
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