In the whole of last season Newcastle picked up only eight draws in the thirty eight matches and countless times we turned draws into wins, that extra quality bringing numerous extra points which makes the difference between mid-table obscurity and only missing out on top four on the last day of the season.
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This time around I don’t think you can doubt the character of the team but as Alan Pardew describes it, we are missing the ‘Rhythm’, or in other words the flow and quality we saw for much of last season.
The three draws Newcastle have managed so far could easily be seen as three bonus points as in total we came from behind five times in the three matches; once against Villa and twice against both Reading and Everton.
It shows that clearly this group of players have real depth of character but have also had to rely on top drawer pieces of inspiration from Ben Arfa and Ba to dig us out of sticky situations.
You can’t continue that over a season and if Newcastle can’t pick up last year’s thread then I can see a trend of possible wins sliding into draws and hard earned draws collapsing into defeats.
It is maybe stating the obvious but we desperately needed a few extra quality players in the summer as insurance against the injuries we largely avoided last season.
This time we haven’t been so lucky and the challenge is for this group of players to regain the thread, or rhythm, and a helping hand from above in the January transfer window.