Newcastle United on Saturday put behind them the disappointment of Liverpool and the last 10 minutes at Bournemouth, by comfortably beating Southampton 3-0 at home.
Whilst at the same time West Ham imploded at home, West Brom were battered, and Southampton themselves looked like a team lacking character – coupled with the fact the manager appears useless (and sacked finally on Monday night).
These three teams at the moment seem very good bets for relegation, so ultimately, to stay up Newcastle United merely have to be better than this trio.
Newcastle United this season, though not the most talented team in the league, are well organised and work very hard for each other.
As well as these factors, Rafa seems to have finally found his best side and barring injuries, and maybe when Slimani finally comes back from injury, it is hard to see this team changing.
Starting at the back, Dubravaka has been a revelation since joining in January, and if we do stay up seems a certainty to be signed permanently. He has proven to be an excellent shot stopper as well as a commanding presence in the box, the defence and crowd seem to have full confidence in him, which can only be a good thing.
Lascelles and Lejeune seem to have formed an excellent partnership, both seem to get better each game. Yedlin as well has improved massively and even when he is caught out, he is quick enough to recover.
It is, however, the local lad Paul Dummett who has stood out in recent weeks putting in a series of excellent performances, his positioning is top notch, the tackling hard and committed. It is clear to see now that when he was injured we missed him greatly, he certainly deserved the new contract that will keep him here for his best years.
Moving onto the midfield and Shelvey & Diame have improved dramatically recently, and both deserve praise for their performances, which have been a combination of hard work and excellent distribution of the ball. Diame complements Shelvey perfectly by winning the ball back and giving to Shelvey, who then has used his vision and passing range to propel the team forward. I have been critical of Shelvey’s end product all season but Saturday saw him register two assists, so hopefully he can get a few more from now until the end of the season.
On the wings, Kennedy has proved to be an inspired signing, scoring two goals as well as an assist. He just represents a step up in quality from our other wingers and has already endeared himself to the St James Park faithful with a string of excellent performances, which has made our left side of midfield a genuine threat.
Matt Ritchie has dragged himself out of the slump which he was in. The goal he scored against Manchester United has naturally reignited his confidence and he looks much more like the Ritchie of last season. The goal which he scored against Southampton was an excellent finish, and hopefully, he can also score a few more from now until the end of the season.
Up front is undoubtedly our weakest area with Gayle our top goal scorer on five but he also has three assists, so has contributed to the team in other ways. He also seems to have his confidence back, so hopefully, we will see the Gayle of last season return.
Ayoze Perez is probably the man most at threat when Slimani comes back, because although there are flashes of brilliance, that is all they are, two Premier League goals and three assists for our number 10 is not good enough.
Overall though, this Newcastle team playing the way it is, should stay up over the likes of West Brom, who appear to have accepted relegation and are merely playing out the rest of their games.
West Ham who after the fiasco on Saturday will likely be terrified of playing in front of their fans again and who have a squad full of players who were good five years ago but not now.
Southampton who were dreadful on Saturday and appeared to have given up on their manager as well as each other. The Southampton squad also seems to lack any form of character, the players look to be thinking of moves away already.
They remind me of the Newcastle squad which went down two years ago; luckily this current Newcastle United groupis a refreshing change to what we saw back in 2015/16.