Jermaine Jenas has found one big positive for Newcastle to hang onto as they attempt to cling onto their Premier League lives.
However, typical of United’s season so far, this positive has little to do with them…
Jermaine Jenas says that Newcastle United could still have a survival route, ‘purely on the basis’ that Norwich and Sunderland might not win any of their remaining matches.
With Crystal Palace picking up a point on Wednesday night against Everton, to add to their fortunate win over Norwich on Saturday, it means they are now 13 points ahead of Newcastle and have ensured that this relegation fight is purely between the Canaries and the north east pair (as well as Villa who are already down of course).
As to the reasons for Newcastle United’s demise…?
Jermaine Jenas thought that Newcastle had pulled it out of the bag with their January signings, thinking that in Shelvey and Townsend they’d done the best of the struggling teams.
However, Jenas points to the way Norwich’s team spirit and retaining confidence has seen them now look favourites to stay up.
As highlighted on The Mag yesterday, Newcastle’s resistance to buying experienced and proven older ‘busy’ players such as Shane Long and Steven Naismith could cost them dear – the Scottish attacking midfielder a key figure in Norwich’s mini revival – whilst Shane Long did his usual hatchet job on United at the weekend.
Jermaine Jenas writing for Yahoo Sport:
“Newcastle aren’t completely out of it, purely on the basis that the teams above them still could go the whole rest of the season without winning a game.
“It’s possible, although it’s wishful thinking from the Magpies’ perspective.
“The strange thing is that when I saw the transfer business these three teams did in the January window, I was most impressed with Newcastle’s signings and least so with Norwich’s.
“But the fact they have edged it since then is a testament to Alex Neil’s quality and also to the team spirit he has managed to maintain at the club.
“They have a never-say-die attitude and they can score goals, especially at home, whereas confidence seems to drain from Newcastle and Sunderland the moment they concede.
“Newcastle, in particular, have only come from behind to win once in the last 18 months (against Tottenham at White Hart Lane this season, somewhat bizarrely) and that tends to tell you a lot about a team, unfortunately.”