Newcastle could be in Champions League spot after next match
Thanks to Mag reader John Stephenson who posed the following…’Has anyone else spotted that we could be in a Champions League position after the next set of fixtures?’
Now I knew (obviously) that we had won the four Premier League matches on the bounce and had surged out of the relegation zone into a comfortable mid-table/eighth but….surely what John was suggesting was pie in the sky.
However, hilariously it is true, if Newcastle win and a few other results have their most likely outcomes, then we could have the very very amusing position of Newcastle United suddenly in a Champions League qualifying slot.
These are the fixtures in the next round of Premier League matches;
Saturday 22nd November
Chelsea v West Brom 3pm
Everton v West Ham 3pm
Leicester v Sunderland 3pm
Man City v Swansea 3pm
Newcastle v QPR 3pm
Stoke v Burnley 3pm
Arsenal v Man Utd 5.30pm
Sunday 23rd November
Crystal Palace v Liverpool 1.30pm
Hull v Tottenham 4pm
Monday 24th November
Aston Villa v Southampton 8pm
Newcastle are currently on 16 points with Manchester United also on 16 points but better goal difference, then Arsenal on 17 and both Swansea & West Ham on 18.
Both Everton and Manchester City are odds on to beat West Ham and Swansea respectively. While Arsenal v Manchester United has draw written all over it.
So if those three results went United’s way, then Newcastle would surge into fourth with a win over QPR – just how mad is that?
If this scenario takes place then I wonder just how long Mike Ashley will have to lie down for as he panics about us getting into Europe again, or who will he then put in the shop window for January to make sure we get back into the safety of mid-table?
On the other hand if we somehow fluked this through the difficult December and remained somewhere close to that fourth spot, would he see the light and have a real go unlike last December when everything then fell apart?
There may be only eleven matches gone but we are allowed to dream, aren’t we? Or do we have to ask the national media’s permission to do that as well?
You only need to look at Southampton’s excellent early efforts to see what can happen if you have a right go AND use the TV money to buy quality and ensure a squad strong enough to cope.
The Saints spent decent money of around £40m on four strikers/attacking midfielders as well as ex-Newcastle keeper for £10m. The result is that they currently have the best defensive record and an excellent range of attacking options.
Under Mike Ashley, he never seems to allow Newcastle to go all the way in terms of having a squad that can compete, meaning injuries in key areas leave us scraping the barrel.
I know people like Perez, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Aarons and Abeid have stepped in and done well but I don’t think, for various reasons, we could expect them to sustain the good things they’ve done over a longer period.
Just imagine though if in January Ashley did allow the purchase of a real up and coming quality striker and centre-back, such as the likes of Serbian forward Mitrovic who was linked with Newcastle this morning.
This season strongly suggests that there has never been a more open year in the Premier League, can Newcastle United and Mike Ashley be brave enough to take the opportunity if it is on offer?
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