Obviously it isn’t everybody but I am seeing an increasing minority of Newcastle fans who have admirable levels of optimism.

Others would maybe describe it as delusion.

Nobody can dispute that Rafa and his players had a tough start to the season.

Bad enough Mike Ashley taking liberties, yet again, but when the fixtures were announced in June it just felt somebody was having a laugh with them.

In the first five games, to get four of last season’s top six, was pretty cruel.

The match at Cardiff could have gone either way but fears have been realised with the other four, 2-1 defeats to Man City, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Some reasons for optimism in each of those defeats but nowhere near enough to suggest Newcastle deserved to win any of them, possibly maybe deserving of a point or two, but no more than that.

One point from the opening five games is a really poor foundation to build from and yet I am seeing these Newcastle fans who are believing that automatically things will improve, now that NUFC are playing the ‘lesser’ sides.

Yes, no reason why Newcastle can’t attack these matches but to think that there are any easy/guaranteed points, is naivety in the extreme.

Here are the next six matches and the scores in these fixtures from last season, in brackets is the date we play them in the next two months:

Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1 (Sat 22 Sept)

Newcastle 2 Leicester 3 (Sat 29 Sept)

Man Utd 4 Newcastle 1 (Sat 6 Oct)

Newcastle 0 Brighton 0 (Sat 20 Oct)

Southampton 2 Newcastle 2 (Sat 27 Oct)

Newcastle 0 Watford 3 (Sat 3 Nov)

It makes pretty grim reading, three points from eighteen last season in these six matches.

If repeated, that would give us four points from the first 11 games and into the second week of November. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

I honestly though before this weekend that we had more chance of getting something off Arsenal than we do at Palace I reckon home to Leicester is about on the same level as Arsenal in terms of chances of getting anything.

Any complacency as to just how dire the situation is at Newcastle, must be quickly brushed away.

I honestly think staying up this season will be almost as big a challenge as getting Mike Ashley to sell up.

Of the other 19 clubs, only Cardiff have a worse team/squad than Newcastle, yet very worryingly, NUFC were no better than them.

Huddersfield are pretty much on a similar level to Newcastle in terms of quality of squad etc but after that…?

Everybody else improved and invested in the summer, Newcastle made a £20m+ profit and at best the team/squad stood still, or as I see it, went backwards.

Looking at those next six fixtures I get the horrible feeling that so many Newcastle fans will be thinking nine points minimum, I see it as six points would be a massive positive.

It isn’t impossible that Newcastle could pick up three victories but with so few decent creative players and goalscorers in the Newcastle team/squad, I see it as far more likely we could see 0-0 and 1-1 hard fought draws, maybe an odd goal win.

Every point will have to be fought for and when you see the atmosphere as bad as it was against Arsenal and in other matches, plus yet another home game not sold out, I worry that a demoralised Newcastle could be facing Watford in front of forty five thousand or so, desperately needing a win to give us something to cling onto.

This is what happens when a squad is repeatedly not properly invested in.

It says it all when we see our possible salvation largely reliant on two loan players, Rondon and Kenedy, who Newcastle/Ashley have no intention of signing permanently.

As every other club tries to progress, Mike Ashley simply has Newcastle digging itself an ever bigger hole that is increasingly tougher to climb out of.

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  • East Durham Mag

    It wouldn’t matter if we won the next 6 ” easier” games 10 – 0 Newcastle United needs to be rid of the cancer of Fatty that is sucking the lifeblood out the entire club.

    • Ron

      Well said, straight to the point of our problem.

  • Kenny

    there are no easy games in this league, can you see where our 1st win is coming from, because i can’t

    • Jezza

      I can’t even see where our next draw is coming from.

      • Kenny

        Desperate times Jezza

        • Ron

          I know what you mean Kenny, but “desperate” doesn’t even come close.

          • Kenny

            true

      • Ron

        We count a loss by 1 goal a success for Heaven’s sake!

  • Jezza

    Very valid point. Our results against those so called lesser teams were poor last season and after the summer window, those teams are all stronger now while we’re even weaker.

    • Steven05

      Plus when you consider we actually beat some of the teams last season that have already beat us this season – it doesn’t make much sense to think we can beat the teams this season that beat us last season

  • Waxi

    We used to say it would not matter how good a manager is if he has not got the quality players he will fail. We said it through MaClaren Pardew etc and now we have a quality manager that point will be proved. Fatty did not invest so we will pay it’s business in it’s simple form and fatty knows it. No investment leaves you behind the competition.

    • Carverlier football

      I tend to go with the view that an average squad with a good manager will do better than a good squad with an average manager; and the outlay on a great manager is always way better value than the same outlay on a player. Trouble is, great managers expect a certain standard which MA is most definitely not up to…

  • Carverlier football

    However easy or difficult you think these fixtures are in isolation, they’re all automatically more difficult because the players have had all the confidence knocked out of them by the tough start. Add to that their knowledge that Rafa will be on his way (which almost always affects performances), if he keeps us up this season I reckon it’ll be his most impressive achievement in management.

    • Derek

      more impressive then winning the champions league in his first season at Liverpool?! don’t be silly now.

  • Ashley-out

    the deluded are the ones that hold season tickets & think that next year it will get better, well that will not happen as long as the parasite owns the club

    • Waxi

      I own a season ticket in fact two as my son sits with me but i’m also not deluded as i think the next 10 years are going to be pretty tuff and guess what i thought that at the back end of the 70’s as well but still went home and away most weeks. Fatty to me is another Westwood Mckeag and Hall and it is the latter that has dropped us right in it selling OUR beloved club to fatty. I would consider myself to be a supporter nothing more and nothing less and expect to be knocking at the top table sometime in the 2030’s so it is the folk who either go to games or the folk who sit at home and expect we will be rid of fatty by this time next year that are delusional. It’s going to be a long slog and i fully expect to be relegated and possibly worse league one before thing get any better.

      • Ashley-out

        you put up with it, fair enough then do not complain about him

        • Waxi

          Who is complaining. I like everyone else am entitled to an opinion and thought i would respond to the fact you tar all season ticket holders with the same brush as your comment stated we are deluded which i am certainly not.

          • Kenny

            i was a season ticket holder from the age of 10 i chucked it because of Ashley he`s taking the p1$$ out of you and the other 50,000, delude, to f##king right you are

      • Ram Kishore

        So how can Hall know about Ashley being a incompetent..
        U can’t expect everyone to have a crystal ball and be a fortune teller. I really don’t understand

        • Waxi

          That is another argument that has gone on for years and the way in which he sold his shares behind the back of shepherd. This could have been so different had Shepherd not been in hospital at the time.

          • Ram Kishore

            But still man.. whether he sold it or not, he would have never known about Ashley right?. Its impossible for anyone to know about that.. not a thing to take a swipe at hall. If u say something that was a mistake during his ownership like sacking Bobby Robson or many other that’s understandable ..

      • JohnnyH

        All that Westwood, McKeag and Hall and Ashley have in common is their ‘ownership’ of the club, at various points in the history of NUFC.

        Westwood and McKeag you could argue with some justification owned the club in a era when club ownership probably made them a tidy living. Football wasn’t awash with TV money though. They also shared a total lack of ambition.

        Hall’s tenure gave us the Keegan years, but again you could argue his involvement was more due to opportunistic profiteering.

        However Ashley makes the previous owners look saintly by comparison.
        He has stripped this club of millions, in terms of cash and property. He has Decimated the club.

        He stands out for me as the darkest moment in the history of our club.

        He’s not just another bad owner.

        • Waxi

          Johnny they have all made money on the back of NUFC some more than others but whatever happens i will still have an opinion and i will still go to the match. It all changed when SLY took over football as it went awash with money and it is no longer the game it was.

          • JohnnyH

            Fair dos mate

          • Steven05

            If Ashley had done things differently, he’d actually be more rich

            Liverpool were bought for under £500m, they’ve just turned down a bid of £2 BILLION, because it’s estimated that they will soon be worth £3 billion

        • Steven05

          And a certain 6 in a row was under the fat cancer

  • Leicester Mag

    Einstein once defined insanity as trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. This team is far weaker than either the 2 previously relegated in arguably a stronger league. As shown one or 2 injuries and we are royally cattle trucked.

  • Cushty lad

    Well 16 year ago we were 2nd bottom with 4 pts after 5 games……….& finished 3rd!!! C’ mon Rafa get the whip cracked for next week. Rondon, Shelvey & Kennedy on from the start. Go for it.

    • Jezza

      We haven’t got anything like the kind of playing quality we had 16 years ago while the advent of huge television money since that time also means there are no longer any weaker teams in the Premiership either.

    • Ron

      Oh that’s the plan – history repeating itself.

      Cushty don’t hold your breath – Ashley has set us up so history won’t (sadly) be repeated.

  • LA toon

    Watching Wolves today, shows what we are up against when getting points off the “lesser teams”. Hopefully West Ham continue with zero points today. With many teams not putting together a run of wins, last season, helped us remain in the PL.( Many teams swappping the bottom 5 positions). Early days however I am not confident we can re-enact the Great Escape.

    • GToon

      Is there a worse team in the league than us? Or to put it another way, who exactly are we going to beat? West Ham? Maybe Cardiff at home. Maybe Burnley if they are still in Europe. Or perhaps another lesser team if we get very lucky. I feel so sorry for Rafa. To coin a phrase – “We could have been somebody”.

      • Albert Stubbins

        I thought Burnley’s European adventure was over already?

        • GToon

          So by the time they play us they will have picked up again. Oh dear.

          • Jimmy_toons

            You can bet that if they haven’t picked up before playing us, they certainly will have after playing us.

      • Jezza

        I’m beginning to wonder if there’s even a worse team than us in the Championship. Certainly not Notts Forest anyway.

  • GToon

    So out of our 125 year history we have been relegated 6 times, currently twice under the slobs tenure and now he is going for a third time. Wow. And if he succeeds he would have presided over 42% (3 out of 7) of our relegations despite having only been in charge of the club for just under 9% of its existence. And some people regard him as almost reasonable, almost decent, almost dare I say it a good owner. Don’t let the facts get in the way of opinions eh.
    Ashley out!

    • Leazes.

      Previously it was incompetence expounded by lack of ambition, with Ashley its seems deliberate to get at the fans, and for eleven years its been one nail going in after another….. it isn’t greed that he penny pinches everything…. its malevolence towards the club he can never really ‘Own’.

      • Kenny

        It is a deliberate spiteful act & the chron is already reporting there is no money for Rafa in January

        • Leazes.

          Rafa is leaving three months later, if they spend it’ll be to try and save themselves again….. so we can expect the attacks on Benitez to be ramped up by media and that includes the chronicle….. they constantly need a scapegoat to save Ashley!

          • Jezza

            Spot on. They won’t be talking about Ashley relegating us three times, they’ll twist it into Rafa taking us down twice.

      • Jezza

        While the over riding motivation for everything Ashey does to our club is insatiable monetary greed, I agree he harbours genuine malevolence towards the fans and never misses a chance to put the boot in. The timing of the announcement of the £90 million department shop takeover the morning after the transfer window closed was a perfect example of that.

    • Ron

      Just thank God – he can never reach 100% no matter how hard he tries.

  • magpiefifer

    We’ll get more idea after the next 5 games whether our chances of PL survival are good,bad or delusional.
    I have to say that my optimism is rock bottom at the moment, based on what I’ve seen of us and the other ‘weaker’ teams so far this season.
    If I was a betting man I would have wagers on us,Cardiff and Huddersfield to go down.I look at the likes of Wolves,Watford and Bournemouth – 3 clubs who are currently so much better than us – and see how much damage Ashley has done to NUFC.
    Ashley out.

    • Jezza

      I think you have to go down to the middle of the Championship to find genuinely weaker teams than us.

      • Chris-Chapple

        2 managers complained about lack of investment in the summer
        Newcastle and Burnley, West Ham are winning 3-1 at Everton so look at the table, seems those two managers were right

    • MadMag83

      Agreed. I said at the start of the season that I reckon the bottom three will be Newcastle, Huddersfield and Cardiff. All three struggle to score goals, don’t keep many clean sheets either.

      Give Rafa until February before the self proclaimed “elite manager” David Moyes is installed to take us all the way to League One with Sunderland.

  • Kenny

    Rafa won’t relegate us. The Fat Rats policy will

  • Chris-Chapple

    Rafa is running down his contract, some of the best players are injured, some have new arrivals to the family, many have lost form, put it all together & it spells major disaster and that is exactly what we are seeing.

  • Ba ba.

    There are no easy games in the epl

  • Alreet

    Come on…. weve played what should be 4 of the top 6 teams in the prem at the start of the season. Who will get many points from Spurs, Chelsea, Manc and arsenal this season.

    We aint been spanked in any games and weve struggled with players who either dont want to be here, have injuries, had children or have dropped form. In any other team that wouldnt have been a problem bur this is us and now.

    Get a grip on the big picture and see what happens in the next 5.

    • nufcslf

      It’s been sh*t, wake up.

  • nufcslf

    Very well written and will be accurate. There is f**k all to be optimistic about and the next six results will prove it. This really is as tacky as Shyt Direct itself. Cashley drop dead.

  • FatParosite

    We are in a relegation fight. Unarguably.

  • Vodkamagpie

    No games are easy in the premier league. We could easily win the next 6, and we could easily lose the the next 6, its football. Realistically with shelvey, rondon back, our attacking threat will improve, which in theory will improve the results. Rafa just has to get the players playing at their full capabilities.

  • MadMag83

    Can’t see us getting much out of Palace, Man Utd, or Watford. Maybe a draw against Leicester, plus a win against Southampton or Brighton.

    Overall I’ll be surprised if we take any more than 5 points from the next six matches.

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    It was a gamble, as we are owned by a gambler