Reality – Newcastle Better Than Palace But Not Up To Southampton and Stoke
Watch out in the coming hours and days for our king of spin, Alan Pardew, coming up with various claims as to why this season was actually a great success based on very selective statistics.
One that the manager has been very keen to use recently is that Newcastle had won as many matches as Southampton.
Very convenient then to selectively pick a team to measure yourself against that no fans or pundits would have been matching up against Newcastle United, in terms of potential and the levels where certain clubs should be aiming for.
The final day kept parity between the two clubs and both Southampton and Newcastle ended on 15 wins each. Though Newcastle fans might wonder why Alan Pardew wasn’t measuring United against the likes of Everton and Spurs (generally said to have had a poor/average season) who both finished on 21 wins.
It is funny though how Pardew doesn’t then talk about how many matches teams have lost and compare them. Newcastle’s total of 19 defeats scarcely better than Sunderland with 20 who have been useless for most of the season.
Relegated Norwich had 21 defeats and West Brom who finished only one place above relegation, had 16 defeats, 3 less than Alan Pardew’s Newcastle.
Of course, after 38 matches there is only one true defining statistic and that is the Premier League table.
What that tells us all is that Newcastle (49 points) aren’t as good as Stoke (50) and Southampton (56), though we were a little better than Crystal Palace (45). Though once you start factoring in things such as if Tony Pulis had taken over earlier and Newcastle starting next season without by far and away our best two players this season (Remy and Cabaye), then the mere statistics start to look a whole lot bleaker.
Newcastle finished 30 points off the Champions League placings and 16 off relegation, I don’t think it is too difficult to find more than 16 points that Cabaye & Remy delivered over the season.
The second half of the season says Newcastle are a team in decline and the underlying reality of the club matches that, both off the pitch and in terms of the playing squad generally.
Is there any desire from Mike Ashley to recognise the reality and do something of substance about it? I have a feeling sadly that the league table won’t be lying next season where Newcastle United are concerned.
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