The Newcastle players have achieved their ultimate goal this season, which was to survive in the Premier League.
They did this by putting together an excellent string of results, including winning four in a row from the end of March to the middle of April. Since then, however, we have lost three in a row and the spirit and quality has been severely lacking.
With just two games remaining; Spurs away and Chelsea at home, Newcastle could be in danger of ending the season with five defeats in a row. This would be a shame as it would put a black mark on what has otherwise been a positive season.
The first half against Watford was easily one of the worst we have played all season, and but for Dubravka, it could easily have been four or five by half-time.
Second-half was better but not enough to get us any points against a bang average Watford side. The previous games against West Brom and Everton were also poor defeats, as the level of intensity which had allowed us to win those other four games was severely lacking. The West Brom game also saw Slimani kick out at Dawson off the ball, resulting in a three-match ban, thus bringing an end to his loan spell which has to be deemed as unsuccessful.
The real shame over the last few games is that Shelvey, actually had a chance of getting into the England World Cup Squad, but his last three performances have been weak. So now I cannot see any chance of him going to the World Cup, despite the fact he is England’s most creative passer, and we could do with his ability on the ball.
Other players who had recently stepped up such as Dummett and Diame, have in the last few games entirely dropped off. Dummett in particular, who has been generally excellent since returning from injury, was awful against Watford and was caught out of position, as well as giving the first goal away and a penalty.
Perez seems to be the only one who has maintained some e level of performance, though even he against Everton and West Brom was poor.
In the last two games I am not expecting any points…but the Newcastle players owe us some performances at least.
They have achieved our goal a lot earlier than any critic thought was going to happen but the last few performances have been unacceptable. Clearly not all of the Newcastle players have been giving all they can, which has irritated Rafa, and it certainly has annoyed me.
So the hope/expectation is that against Spurs and Chelsea, Newcastle United at the very least give them both a game and attempt to end the season on a positive note.