I hope I am wrong but I think everything points to serious issues at the heart of Newcastle United.
Using the health/heart analogy, I get the feeling that everybody at the club has agreed to treat the diagnosis as though it shows indigestion, instead of the reality of cardiac arrest.
Yet again Steve McClaren has chosen to talk about how difficult the opening set of matches have been for Newcastle United but as we have played almost half of the clubs, does that not look all a bit feeble now.
The mantra has been that United had to face six of last season’s top eight in the opening set of matches but McClaren was bleating about this before Newcastle had even kicked a ball in anger.
What kind of mentality does it give your players when the manager/head coach is already half writing off your chances before a game has been played?
The reality is that there are no brilliant English teams, just look at the Champions League results this season and the past few years.
The TV money has helped to narrow the gap and when you have clubs such as Bournemouth and Watford spending £10m or more on a player then it is clear that you can’t expect any easy games now.
On the other hand, there shouldn’t be any games that are seen as impossible either.
We have already seen Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea (twice!) lose matches at home, plus a host of other results that have gone against the bookies’ odds.
Only at Newcastle do we appear to have this mentality of claiming that the opening two months were an all but impossible challenge but that now suddenly the team will start winning in ‘easy’ games.
West Ham were the only team as terrible as Newcastle in the second half of last season and yet they took Newcastle apart.
Watford with a new manager and 15 new players easily beat Newcastle at St James Park, whilst Sheffield Wednesday’s reserve team beat a Newcastle one that included seven full internationals, amongst them Wijnaldum, de Jong, Krul, Janmaat and Mbemba.
This though is what Steve McClaren has once again repeated, this time to the Chronicle:
“Six of the teams were in the top eight and we have now played all the top four, so it has been really, really tough, but it is something you have to go through.
Is it a train?:
“We can sometimes see light at the end of the tunnel but then it goes away, what we need is consistency and we have to build on each performance.”
I would like to think Newcastle are capable of picking up points in these next half dozen matches BUT I think they should have done the same in the first eight.
I have a horrible feeling that Steve McClaren has joined in the tendency at Newcastle under Mike Ashley to spin everything, apart from maybe two or three fixtures (at the very most) away against the best teams, United should go into every match thinking they can win.
However, just look at what the reality is of who we face in these easy matches that are now coming up:
Newcastle v Norwich
Lost against form team Leicester in their last game but before that they were unbeaten throughout September. Beating both West Brom & Bournemouth and drawing away at West Ham & Liverpool.
Sunderland v Newcastle
Hardly need to remind anybody that they have won the last five derbies.
Newcastle v Stoke
Stoke have won their last three matches against Villa, Bournemouth and Fulham (League Cup).
Bournemouth v Newcastle
Bournemouth are unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season and beat Sunderland 2-0, plus they won 4-3 away at West Ham.
Newcastle v Leicester
Currently fifth in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Currently fourth in the Premier League.
After this lot we are then in December and kick that month off with games against Liverpool (home) and Spurs (away), I honestly think we should be just as likely to get points off those two as the six above.
However, it will all come down to the mentality and attitude of coaching staff and players.
They need to be fighting in every game like it is their last and thinking they can win, anything less is just not good enough.
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