It has already been a very ‘interesting’ season for Newcastle United, both on and off the pitch.
Monday saw Rafa Benitez give a dire warning about the state of the squad due to lack of investment in the summer, which was then followed last night with reports of a second bidder allegedly in talks with the club as a rival to the Amanda Staveley bid. Just another Monday at Newcastle United.
There isn’t much comfort to be taken from these last four games/defeats but at least when you look before that, Rafa’s players have at least managed to beat the ‘right’ teams.
Looking at the Premier League table as it stands before the game at West Brom, it is a reminder of how small the margins are.
As you can see, Newcastle may have won only four matches but they include all of the bottom three.
It is generally agreed that this trio are all having nightmare starts but it is a sobering fact that if West Ham or Swansea had beaten Newcastle then they would have been above the Magpies, whilst Palace who have been seen as an absolute joke, would have ended up now level on points with Newcastle, if they had taken the three points at St James Park – which could easily have happened on a day when both teams were poor.
Of the six clubs currently below Newcastle, Rafa Benitez’ team also beat the only other one they have played so far, defeating Stoke 2-1 in a game they tried to throw away after playing so well in the first half.
So it looks like there is no secret as to why Newcastle managed to beat these teams, as with a third of the season now gone, those defeated clubs are proving to be amongst the very weakest.
Looking ahead to the next five fixtures and two stand out for me, the two clubs below NUFC that they are still yet to play.
Both of them have struggled and at the moment haven’t even got a manager.
Bottom line for me is that firstly, we can’t afford to get beat by either West Brom or Everton.
Secondly, if Newcastle could win both games, it would immediately get Rafa Benitez up to his 20 points halfway target and go a long way towards safety this season (Hull were third bottom last season with 34 points), putting a respectable points total on the board whilst at the same time keeping both Everton and West Brom down there.
Obviously never say never but I have already written off the games at Arsenal and Chelsea, whilst even Leicester, they are looking far better in recent matches and I would definitely see a point as a massive bonus in that match.
A freak win at Chelsea but defeats to Everton and West Brom would be a bit of a nightmare, no matter how much I would enjoy beating the cockneys.
These are the next five matches:
West Brom v Newcastle – Tuesday 28 November (8pm)
Chelsea v Newcastle – Saturday 2 December (12.30pm)
Newcastle v Leicester – Saturday 9 December (5.30pm)
Newcastle v Everton – Wednesday 13 December (7.45pm)
Arsenal v Newcastle – Saturday 16 December (3pm)