Strange factor in Newcastle form this season
This isn’t necessarily a negative but I do think it is worth pointing out a strange factor in the Newcastle form this season.
Happily on this Sunday morning, United proudly stand fifth top – but how did they get there?
That is strange enough behaviour for any club but there is something else that is a very clear factor/quirk in United’s season so far.
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These are the matches Newcastle have played against teams currently in the top half of the season;
0-4 Southampton (A)
0-2 Manchester City (H)
2-2 Swansea (A)
0-1 Stoke (A)
Then these are the [intlink id=”191″ type=”page”]United fixtures[/intlink] against teams in the bottom half at the moment;
1-0 Liverpool (H)
2-1 Tottenham (A)
2-0 West Brom (A)
2-2 Hull (H)
0-0 Aston Villa (A)
1-0 Leicester (H)
3-3 Crystal Palace (H)
1-0 QPR (H)
In the four games against clubs now in the top half, United have got three defeats and a very fortunate draw against a Swansea team who should have comfortably won.
On the other hand, the other eight matches played against teams currently in the bottom ten, have seen Newcastle unbeaten – winning five and drawing three.
Obviously you would expect to generally do better against teams lower down, but not with this kind of dramatic split.
I said at the start of this article that this wasn’t necessarily a negative and I meant it. Beating the teams at the bottom is the key to finishing in a high spot in the league.
Week in week out beating the likes of QPR and Leicester (and Liverpool and Spurs!!) is how you end up near the top, beating Chelsea, Manchester City etc regularly is a far bigger ask.
The question of course is whether Newcastle United have now improved sufficiently to take on the better or in-form teams and keep this run going – not necessarily winning every game but at least avoiding defeat and keeping the momentum going.
The next ten [intlink id=”191″ type=”page”]Newcastle fixtures[/intlink] see United play against seven clubs currently in the top nine. While the other three matches are a derby game with the mackems and a double header against Burnley who have suddenly found some form with consecutive wins.
A tough period ahead and we could do with a few of the injured back, can Alan Pardew and his players prove there is something more substantial in this run of wins?
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