The opening month of Premier League fixtures are ideal for Newcastle United.
Home to Southampton then away trips to Swansea and Manchester United, before back to Arsenal at St James Park.
(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])
That will take us up to the end of August, into the international break, and the end of the summer transfer window.
The dates of the matches:
Newcastle v Southampton – 8 August (almost certain to change as the Saints play a Europa League match on 6 August)
Swansea v Newcastle – 15 August
Man Utd v Newcastle – 22 August
Newcastle v Arsenal – 29 Aug
Of course all four matches could end up moved by a day or two, with the Premier League revealing fans will find out about the first lot of live TV games by next Wednesday (24 June).
You might think what benefits there are in playing four of last season’s top eight in the opening month?
Well, it is true that Newcastle only collected one point (2-2 draw at Swansea) from twelve in the corresponding fixtures last season, but there is method to my madness.
Obviously you have to play everybody home and away sometime and to be honest I’d rather have this insurance of tough matches so early.
If the team pick up points then great, but if they struggle then you would have to hope that Mike Ashley will do a bit of late panic buying before the transfer window closes on 1 September, if he has left the squad short of numbers and quality yet again.
If we’d had a couple of easyish home matches against less fancied teams then it could have created false expectations of the team/squad.
With 51 days until the Premier League kicks off, we all hope that the funeral like silence so far from the club is hiding some dynamic transfer activity behind the scenes.
Belatedly the club have agreed to host the latest Fans Forum meeting in only 18 days time on Monday 6 July, so surely they must have plans for significant transfer action before then…