So, no need to panic with at Newcastle United then. No really, I’m not being sarcastic, there really isn’t any need to panic- Yet!

After three league games and Wednesday night’s misadventure in the League Cup, we can now say the season is up and running after the near disaster that was the summer transfer window. We all know the manager was severely undermined by our absent owner and clueless Managing Director, which has left the squad woefully short of quantity and more importantly, quality.

We all know that Mike Ashley likes a gamble as he has provided to us on numerous occasions over the last eleven years. But this summer was the one where all the stops has to be pulled out and genuine quality brought into the club.

The Premier League is awash with money, even Championship sides are spending big sums to try and get onboard the gravy train that is the top flight. The response at Newcastle? Net profit. Thanks Mike! At least that balance sheet will look good when we’re facing a third relegation in 12 years.

If this policy of getting the club on a sound footing with regards to a future sale then great, I’m all for it. I’ll take another year of paucity if we can get someone in to run the club like a football club and not a business. The trouble is, it’s one hell of a gamble to take if the owner is looking for that magical £400m bid to come in.

So far this season we have played four games in all competitions and each side we’ve played has spent more (net) than we have – and I include Nottingham Forest in that. That’s shameful, and has left the manager fighting an uphill battle to keep us in the league, rather than the more optimistic crack at improving on 10th place and maybe a push for Europe. That would’ve been a far more interesting gamble to make.

Last season the gamble paid off with that tenth place finish, but only after a season where we had next to no injuries, minimal suspensions and a rescue package of Martin Dubravka and Kenedy in the transfer window. Funny what happens when you allow the manager to get a bit of quality in Mike. Is that balance sheet still looking good?

The gamble this season isn’t quite going according to the script. We’ve lost a good centre half for most/all of he season (Lejeune), our playmaker is out for a few weeks (Shelvey), the captain has a knock and he’s been at odds with our workaholic right winger on the training ground whilst allegedly questioning the manager’s tactics. Still, that balance sheet’s looking great isn’t it?

It’s not looking the best of situations, but it’s not irretrievable. A quick glance at seasons past and you can see that it regularly take us a while to get out of the starting blocks. On quite a few occasions it has taken us a few games to register a first win.

In 98/99 we won at the fifth attempt and the following season it took us an incredible eight games to register a first win. In 03/04 (when we were supposed to have a good team) it took seven tries to get a win, 04/05 it was the fifth game and the next season it was the sixth.

In more recent times, it took Alan Pardew’s team in 2014/15 eight games to get three points from a match for the first time and the following season it took an astounding nine games. Now granted we got relegated in that last one, but the point is, we need not panic just yet. There are some beatable teams in this league, after all we are one of them, but we need to get some points racked up as soon as possible.

In the later seasons I’ve highlighted, we didn’t have a manager with any sense of tactical nous, in Rafa Benitez we do. That’s why I’m not too worried- yet. We need to get the weekend game out of the way as no matter which personnel or formation or attitude we adopt, we are dead certs to come a cropper and probably by some goals in the against column.

After the fortnight’s break we need to start picking up points, preferably against Arsenal and Man Utd, but more realistically against the likes of Leicester and Brighton who are going to be in our mini-league of teams we actually can compete with on the field, if not financially.

I always like to see where we are in the season once we get to ten points as I see that as a decent base to kick on and see what we can actually do in a season. Push for Europe, concentrate on a cup run, or start sweating over our league status. The trick is to get to 10 points as quickly as possible.

We have two home games in Watford and Bournemouth in bonfire week in November, by which time we will have played 12 games, and will have faced a more fairer mix of fixtures. If we are still sitting on single figures in the points tally by then, we can then start to legitimately panic with good cause.

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  • John D Williams

    9 Points by the end of October, anything more would be a massive bonus.

  • 52k

    Panic?? No… Mike deserves relegation, and deserves to stay down. Its ain’t my club. Hasn’t been for a long time

    • Dave Pattinson

      Dead right , 52k, its not our club. But until supporters confront this realty and stop giving Ashley their cash & thereby tacit support, things will simply carry on the way they are. Trouble is, the easy thing is to turn up and keep Fatboy’s stadium full for tv.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    If it had not been for the ref’s and bad luck would have been on five points. Even in the cup the ref was against us.

    • gordon

      lol is there anyone in the world you want to blame rather than the rotund [email protected] we all know to be the culprit

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Was Chelsea’s penalty fair was Perez not fouled with all due respect we have have not had the rub of the green.

    • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

      what a load of absolute rubbish

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        So was it not a penalty against Perez at Forest and was Chelsea , penalty fair. I know you hate Newcastle your parents worked in the back page and the AA call centre support Celtic and Argentina. Keep on slagging off the club but not Celtic.

  • 8prestondave

    Near disaster Paul.? It was and is a disaster. We will now reap the benefits of lack of quality.

  • Sickandtired

    Aye, we won’t be having Keys etc stating how Forest have spent more than we have or signed a single player who cost around 30% more than we signed!

    • Ben Jones

      Do you want him like? Joao Carvalho? You think we’ve missed out on a top player that forest have signed from under our noses?

      Or have they paid over the odds for an average player that wouldn’t make our squad?

      • Kenny

        paying over the odds for average players is our forte

  • Carverlier football

    The difficult start alone and I’d maybe agree with you. Combined with the players being at odds with the owner in the summer, being left in no doubt as to the club’s ambitions, and knowing Rafa is off at the end of the season, I worry that morale and confidence will be so low by the time we get to the “winnable” games we’ll struggle in them too. Rafa did a great job finishing 10th last season; if he keeps us up this season it’ll be a miraculous job

  • Ron

    You said “So far this season we have played four games in all competitions and
    each side we’ve played has spent more (net) than we have – and I include
    Nottingham Forest in that.”
    In which game do you think we’ll play a team that hasn’t got a net spend more than us?

    • Kneebotherm8

      Fair point..

  • mactoon

    Of the games we have coming we have to be fairly confident we will get points out of the majority of them apart from Man City, Arsenal, and Man United don’t you think?

    Manchester City
    Arsenal
    Crystal Palace
    Leicester City
    Manchester United
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    Southampton
    Watford
    AFC Bournemouth
    Burnley

    • fistsofsteel2

      Only confident we might get something off Southampton and Burnley. We’ll struggle to get anything from the rest of those games with Rafa’s tactics.

      • mactoon

        I doubt the flat back nine and boot it up to rondon tactics will be used for every game. Outside the top three or four teams I would think our play will be more expansive and open. It would be suicide to play for a point in every game as it would guarantee a bottom three position. Rafa isn’t that daft

  • Jonas

    Nothing to panic about at all really, in the bigger picture.
    Being in the PL is miserable and futile with this owner.
    he’s made promotion and relegation redundant to me.x

  • Down Under Mag

    The best we can hope for is for Ashey to pocket the summer transfer profit and the TV money, wipe the debt off and start asking a sensible figure for the club from prospective buyers and get out of the club. He won’t though. He will hang on for as long as possible until it stops being profitable or the F.A. start and hit him with fines because of ground disrepair/safety violations (surely the state of the toilets alone is a health code violation??). I’m fairly certain that he will run the club into the ground so much that any would be owners in the future will be put off by not ony havign to repair the on-field problems, but have to repair the ground, training facilites and anythign else der Fuhrer has failed to upkeep in an ever present cost cutting exercise. Wouldn’t surprise me if there are unbreakable links to still funnel things through SD written in that new owners will be unable to get out of. I suspect if he had his way then he will do his best to sabotage any new owner so he can claim the old “see, I WAS good for your club you ungrateful Geordies” while he slinks away to swim in his money pit made out of his ill gotten gains from the club over the years.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Utter rubbish. He only profits when he sells, if he takes the loans back he’s no better off as if we say the club & debt is sold for £344m then he gets £200m for the shares and his £144m back .if he repays himself the £144m first, he still only sells the shares later for £200m unless there is a change in the overall value.

      As for the disrepair of SJP. Where do you get this from, when were you last at the stadium? The GalliwgaGa has a roof now.

      • Angelswithdirtyfaces

        More total b***ox. He is profiting now – care to take a look at our transfers

  • mactoon

    I agree this was the time we needed to bring quality players due to the massive investment of other clubs around and below us but less inclined to agree that policy of getting the club on a sound footing with regards to preparing for a future sale. I don’t think he’s planning for a sale at all. Why would you sell the goose that continues to lay the golden egg in terms of free advertising