Would six wins in a row ‘guarantee’ Newcastle Premier League top four?
With Newcastle one step away from winning a remarkable six out of six in the Premier League, the question has been posed as to whether any team has achieved this feat and still failed to make the top four in the Premier League era.
The basis of this is I would guess, if a team is good enough to go on that kind of run, can it really be just a flash in the pan that doesn’t then equal a finish in those top spots.The question was posed to Martin Tyler in his Sky Sports column by Newcastle fan Rich Gallagher and the answer was quite surprising.
It turns out that this has already happened nine times, with Newcastle United themselves being responsible for twice winning six matches on the bounce but still finishing outside the top four at the end of the season.
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The most recent example is the 2011/12 season when late on Newcastle really clicked into gear with the following run;
Norwich 1-0 (H)
West Brom 3-1 (A)
Liverpool 2-0 (H)
Swansea 2-0 (A)
Bolton 2-0 (H)
Stoke 3-0 (H)
That run was halted by a horrible 4-0 collapse at Wigan and United eventually finished fifth.
The other occasion was under Kevin Keegan back in 1994/95, starting with the first day of the season at Leicester;
Leicester 3-1 (A)
Coventry 4-0 (H)
Southampton 5-1 (H)
West Ham 3-1 (A)
Chelsea 4-2 (H)
Arsenal 3-2 (A)
That run ended with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool and Newcastle really fell away, ending with the mid-season shock of Andy Cole being sold to Manchester United. As well all know though, Kevin Keegan was the man with the plan and Les Ferdinand, David Ginola et al arrived in the summer and almost won the title.
United finished that 94/95 season in sixth, two points outside the top four.
Though of course the top four wasn’t really the ‘top four’ as we know it these days, only the Champions qualified for the Champions League in those days..imagine that – only the Champions going into the CHAMPIONS League!
So an isolated run during a season is no guarantee of longer term success but I’d like to think after West Ham we are looking into the stats of whether a team with seven in a row has ever missed out…
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