Getting to pretty much all the Newcastle United away games as well as the home matches, my mind began to wander on the way back from the welcome, but bizarre, win at Bournemouth.
I tried to think of happy memories in recent months and finding I was coming up a bit short, thought I’d check the stats when I got a chance.
Going back over the last 38 Premier League matches, I was actually quite relieved at how many we’d won, I thought it was less than seven!
Yes, we have won two Premier League matches out of the 12 this season and five of the last 26 last season.
The full record for the last 38 matches is:
2014/15 P26 W5 D5 L16 Goals For 26 Goals Against 40
2015/16 P12 W2 D4 L6 Goals For 13 Goals Against 22
Total P38 W7 D9 L22 GF39 GA62
That would mean this full season (38 games) would have produced 30 points and a goal difference of -23.
As a comparison, this is how fellow strugglers Villa and the Mackems have performed over their last 38 PL games:
Aston Villa P38 W8 D7 L23 Points 31
Sunderland P38 W6 D13 L19 Points 31
(The quicker ones amongst you might have already realised that of the 6 games Sunderland have won out of the last 38, 3 of them were against Newcastle…)
As an example of how this would have played out last season, these were the bottom four of the proper full 2014/15 season:
Villa 38 points GD -26
Hull 35 points GD -18
Burnley 33 points GD -25
QPR 30 points GD -31
We would have been level on points with bottom club QPR but just ahead on goal difference.
Needless to say, in the Premier League era nobody has stayed up with only 30 points.
These are the fabulous seven wins you could have seen in the last 12 months:
Newcastle 2 Chelsea 1
Newcastle 3 Everton 2
Hull 0 Newcastle 3
Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 0
Newcastle 2 West Ham 0
Newcastle 6 Norwich 2
Bournemouth 0 Newcastle 1
Many times, clubs that finish a season badly often end up carrying that forward to the following one, a fair proportion ending in relegation/disaster.
There is still time for Newcastle, and the three points at Bournemouth was essential, but with eight games coming up in a six week period that ends with Arsenal (A) on 2 January 2016 – where United find themselves at the end of that run will surely tell us whether this first third of the season was just growing pains.
(To feature like John, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)