Banging Your Head Against A Door Or NUFC Consistency?
It is fair to say that Newcastle United are a team that any gambling man should steer well clear of, for when it comes to making predictions for upcoming games – the task is anything but black and white.
This Saturday we return to the old-school 3pm kick-off as we welcome Chris Hughton and Norwich City to St. James’ Park.
The smart thing to assume is that a team looking for a third win in a row after back-to-back victories at home to Chelsea and away to Tottenham, shouldn’t find it too tricky to overcome a struggling Norwich side with only the solitary win in their last 5 games.
The concerning thing from our point of view is that the win was in their latest game at home to West Ham, in which the relief and reignited belief from The Canaries’ players and fans was clear to see.
But like I said, Newcastle are on the back of two very impressive victories, and now face what has to go down as a standard, more-than-doable task. We should all be fully confident of nothing less than another 3 points come Saturday evening, correct?
Wrong. As it is, we are Newcastle United supporters – and we’re programmed a little differently.
Inconsistency is a word that could not possibly sum up our club any better, and this season more than anything it has come as a massive kick in the teeth for the Toon faithful.
Earlier in the season we broke down a Fulham side yet to concede a goal and nicked a 1-0 win to send SJP into raptures, before the following week travelled to Birmingham to overcome an Aston Villa side brimming with confidence on the back of two very impressive displays away at Arsenal and Chelsea. The follow-up? A 2-3 home defeat to Hull City.
Overconfidence certainly got the better of me after we took an early lead and I saw it as a chance to balance out our goal difference after the opening weekend trip to The Etihad. Apparently it was unfair of me to expect us to hold on to a lead at home to Hull…
Last month we entertained league leaders Liverpool and their red hot SAS strikeforce, earning a very creditable 2-2 draw despite playing over half of the game with 10 men and 1 outright centre-back on the field. The follow up? A derby defeat away to (at the time) winless Sunderland.
The lads have certainly began to pay back for the lack of spirit and determination shown in the derby, and the XI on the pitch Mr. Pardew is adopting seems to be working wonders. Sissoko and Debuchy appear reborn on the right hand side, Cabaye and Tiote are showing the same sides of their game that had them talked about as one of the league’s best CM partnerships a couple of years ago, Remy is regularly finding the net and Gouffran has been a breath of fresh air with not only his effort and energy, but ability also.
I expect a similar team to start the game against Norwich, all but identical apart from the suspension of Debuchy. If we keep our heads screwed on and accept that Norwich are still a good, good side that WILL require hard work to get past, things could be looking very positive indeed. But for Saturday at least, focus MUST be maintained for the entire 90 minutes.
I have no idea what to predict for the game, but if it turns out that we do in fact manage to lose to Norwich immediately after overcoming Chelsea and Tottenham, I’m going to be spending a considerable amount of time afterwards gently banging my head against the nearest available door.
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