We are now seven weeks into season for Newcastle United and still looking for that elusive first victory.
Defeat at Forest in the League Cup and six Premier League matches that have yielded only two points.
A draw against Palace away from home isn’t a bad result on paper but how are things looking as we move forward to Leicester City at home and beyond?
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives following last weekend.
In our games against the weaker teams in the division so far this season (Crystal Palace and Cardiff), Newcastle have yet to concede a goal.
To be honest, although Newcastle were up against it for most of the game, the defence coped reasonably well. Both full-backs kept Zaha and Townsend relatively quiet.
Lascelles and Fernandez look like they have the potential to be just as good a duo as the captain did next to Lejeune.
I am obviously clutching at straws with positives here but the organisation of the team in regards to the defensive side of things is something it seems almost guaranteed under Benitez.
More media attention
All press is good press right? Maybe not. However, it is has been a busy week in the spotlight, even by Newcastle United standards.
The advance extracts that are coming out from Kevin Keegan’s book are proving to be damning in regards to Mike Ashley, and Dennis Wise too.
While the idiots at talksport have let their mouths run again, with ‘Moose’ – arguably the worst ‘journalist’ in the game, talking down Newcastle as a city, has shown the radio station up nationally in my opinion.
Throw in the interview in The Times with Tony Jimenez, and I think that more and more outsiders are becoming aware of just how absurd the lies peddled about the club are.
The other teams around Newcastle United
Probably the most damming ‘positive’ of them all, is that I think our best chance this season, is the hope that the other teams around us are worse than us.
In this instance, I think it is most likely that we are relying on ourselves to be better than Cardiff, Huddersfield and Brighton, maybe I would include Fulham in that too.
Newcastle have one of the weakest squads in the division, that is for sure.
In most games, home and away, this season, we will be the side that likely concedes possession or control of the game. That is a given. I haven’t though met one Newcastle fan who insists they ‘attack attack attack’, or even go ‘gung-ho’. However, that doesn’t mean what we are being served up at the moment is necessarily ok.
There is a big difference between setting up solidly and defensively, compared with fielding a side that shows absolutely no intent to get forward when they have the ball and make something happen. This was the case against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
In the second half the team made no serious attempt to win the game. Of course Benitez has his hands tied behind his back, and he has a weak squad there, but I still don’t see that as an excuse for just how negative the team is set up.
When fans are travelling long distances and paying large sums of money, you have to do more to at least try and play a little bit of football, and try and win the game… especially against Crystal Palace.
In my lifetime, Newcastle fans have generally been fantastic. I can probably count on one hand the amount of fights I have seen, or instances in which NUFC fans have been bang out of order in their behaviour.
One idiot on Saturday let the whole side down, and he should be promptly found and banned.
Sadly, the be all and end all is that Newcastle have had a difficult start to the season but they are winless, are in the relegation zone, and have two difficult games coming up next.
I personally cannot see us getting more than a point from Leicester and Man United. It does make grim reading at the moment, and even grimmer, I can’t see an end to it.
Something needs to give.
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