How Does Pardew’s Newcastle Team Measure Up To Robson & Keegan’s
You have all your statistics available today as to how far players have ran and touched the ball but you then end up with Swansea’s Leon Brittain as the best midfielder in Europe because he does a hundred five yard passes every match!
Comparing players of different eras is maybe even more difficult but what about teams?
Cup runs can often be down to luck (bad luck usually in our case!) but surely how a team does over a league season must be a pretty good indicator of how good Newcastle United were in any particular year.
So how does Alan Pardew’s current team measure up to those in our previous campaigns in the Premier League?
Below I’ve listed the season, the points total and the finishing place in the League (In 1993/94 and 1994/5 the actual points totals were 77 and 72 respectively but as there were 42 matches in those seasons I’ve averaged the points as though it was a 38 match season so we can compare).
1993/94 69 3rd
1994/95 65 6th
1995/96 78 2nd
1996/97 68 2nd
2001/02 71 4th
2002/03 69 3rd
2003/04 56 5th
2005/06 58 7th
2011/12 62 4th (4 matches remaining)
Surely the most useful comparison is how many points rather than league placings because as you can see, in 1996/97 a total of 68 points got second place but 71 points in 2001/02 only got 4th.
Our two (relatively) great teams of the modern era were the Keegan and Robson ones and they built great foundations for lasting success but were sadly undermined by the club owners. They both established the top four/six and then it was thrown away. Only when Glenn Roeder teamed up with Alan Shearer in 2005/06 did we achieve anything approaching the Keegan/Robson points totals.
For what has happened this season to mean anything, two things have to happen. This season has to be seen off in a similar fashion to what has gone on over the previous 34 matches, then most importantly the squad has to be retained and built on to make it a lasting success.
Having got into this position I believe that reaching 70 points would be an achievement to put Pardew towards a similar footing to KK and Sir Bobby, both reaching 70 (over 38 matches) or more points only once.
For that to happen we need eight or more points from these final four matches, win at Wigan and it is a win and two draws from our final three games.
I’m not suggesting an open top bus if we finish on 70 or more points but the manager and players would have earned a massive pat on the back.
By happy coincidence I think reaching that 70 points mark would also bring Champions League football, that could really lay some foundations for lasting success.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]