Newcastle compared to last season after 14 matches
Interesting to have a look at how Newcastle are doing this year compared to the same stage last season.
Whilst this season has seen real extremes in terms of runs of not winning and then winning, like last year Newcastle have had a great November this time around.
Overall though, this is how the two seasons compare after fourteen matches;
2013/14 W7 D2 L5 Points 23 GF19 GA21
2014/15 W5 D5 L4 Points 20 GF15 GA17
Newcastle were three points better off at the same time last season.
Looking at it more closely I would take two big pointers when comparing the two seasons.
(To feature like John, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
I think that Newcastle have made themselves a bit harder to beat this season which suggests a more defensive approach, with four goals less conceced.
However, the same difference also applies in terms of goals scored and you have to think that missing Cabaye and Remy has led to both less goals scored and the more defensive approach.
Last year, the next four matches saw United pick up 10 points and after Boxing Day United were riding high in fifth, though ultimately the only difference those points made was to ensure Newcastle didn’t get involved in a relegation fight. The selling of Cabaye and no new players brought in, ensuring United crumbled and had a dismal last five months of the season.
If Newcastle had continued that form of 33 points in the first 18 matches, then it would have seen them in a Europa League place ahead of Tottenham who finished sixth.
United’s next four Premier League matches are Chelsea (H), Arsenal (A), Sunderland (H) and Manchester United (A). Needless to say it looks a tough run but if Newcastle are to build on the recent winning run then they need points on the board from these games.
Cynics will say that Mike Ashley will be more than happy with reaching halfway (20 points) to safety (40 points) after only 14 matches, so maybe for him if Newcastle can pick up 3 points or more from the four games then he’ll see things as ahead of schedule.
If you broaden this out and take into account we also have the Spurs quarter final and the third round of the FA Cup (plus two more PL matches against Everton (H) and Burnley (H)) within the next four and a bit weeks, then once again our hopes are packed into a very short space of time.
Alan Pardew has to ensure that he puts out a team capable of scoring goals because in this run of games it is difficult to see United keeping many clean sheets.
Ambition has to be there in both the Premier League and the Cups, then add some players in January.
It was criminal how the first half of last season was wasted, this time around Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley will be under the closest scrutiny to see how they react to what has unfolded in front of them.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]