January transfer window hangover at Newcastle United
The ending of the January transfer window feels a bit like a Monday morning hangover.
You know the one, you get your arm twisted to go out on a Sunday evening for a couple and end up making a right night of it, even though you know work beckons the following morning…
Newcastle fans are waking up on Tuesday morning after a January transfer window which was easily the most hectic, ever since the last time relegation threatened at the halfway point in 2013.
Five players came in during that January 2013 window and the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran made their debuts in the win at Aston Villa, which kickstarted a run of three wins in four games, effectively those few weeks eventually keeping Newcastle up.
As well as that away win at Villa, Newcastle won a couple of thrilling home games 3-2 (Chelsea) and 4-2 (Southampton) with the new players playing key roles. That initial impetus/adrenaline eventually levelling/wearing off, as results again began to struggle and Newcastle ended up crawling over the survival line.
This time, after the excitement of the January transfer window and four new faces, the Newcastle players and fans have the hangover to face, a reality of a real relegation struggle and tough run of games straight up.
Henri Saivet came on as a sub in the West Ham game whilst Jonjo Shelvey made a real impact, their debut presence helping Newcastle to three valuable points, now though the real work begins.
The defeat at Watford reminded everybody that a lot more was needed and the work needs to start at Goodison Park with the new signings required to hit the ground running.
Newcastle face a real tough four game run and after that there will be only 11 matches left, without picking up a decent return of points out of these next 12, the Premier League table could make uncomfortable viewing.
The next four matches see away trips to Everton, Chelsea and Stoke, plus a home game with West Brom. Last season those three away matches saw three defeats and no Newcastle goals, whilst it was a 1-1 home draw against the Baggies.
A repeat of those results would be a disaster.
I imagine most fans will be like me, daydreaming that a point at Everton and defeat of West Brom is a reasonable expectation.
I have a horrible feeling that four points this week is an absolute minimum as I can’t see us getting anything at Stoke.
So it is time for you to stick your head under the cold tap, chuck a few paracetamol down the neck, grab a bacon sandwich and clear that hangover as quickly as possible.
Strengthening your team in January is encouraging but when you are fighting relegation, it is meaningless without an instant return on the investment.
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