Newcastle fans can now at last believe doing the dream double is possible this season
It is now second stage of the season for Rafa Benitez, his players, and the Newcastle fans.
The early Premier League matches are essential for promoted clubs to pick up points. If you don’t get that early platform then a season of struggle is all but certain.
Realistically, if Newcastle averaged better than a point per game from these opening 10 matches most supporters would have been more than happy, To have 14 points and average 1.4 per game, is definitely better than could have been expected.
It would have been an excellent bonus if it had proved to be that the other promoted clubs ended up being cannon fodder and looking certainties to fill two of the bottom three places. However, that was never likely to be, with both Huddersfield and Brighton having net summer spending in excess of £40m, some £30m or higher than Newcastle.
Both David Wagner and Chris Hughton are standing on 12 points and whilst neither early points or money spent can be taken as meaning sure safety, along with Newcastle there is no denying they have also given themselves a great platform for the rest of this season.
Moving to the other end of the campaign, the final 10 games or so are the time for frantic battling from those struggling, with often unpredictable results possible as the relegation candidates meet teams in the middle with little to play for.
In between, we have this period between November and February, when the 18 matches played will be the meat in the sandwich for most clubs.
Ironically, Newcastle face Bournemouth at home in the first November game, then play them again in the final fixture of February.
Adrenaline and the momentum of promotion can often help carry players/teams through the early stages but after the clocks go back, those that have come up have to make sure they don’t do the same.
This is where hopefully we will feel the full force of Rafa Benitez’ experience and expertise, managing the team match to match, success to disappointment and vice-versa.
We often say that it is a pivotal season at Newcastle United but this really does feel like it is the real deal.
Safety on the pitch and new ambitious owners, that would be some double for Newcastle fans after the nonsense endured in recent years.
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