Newcastle fans haven’t had it easy this season.
A chaotic and disappointing summer as Mike Ashley totally undermined Rafa Benitez, made even worse by the tough open set of fixtures.
The worst fears then justified as the Newcastle fans had to wait until November for the first victory.
There has been one extra contributing factor as to why you might have felt particularly fed up with Newcastle United and football in general, though it hasn’t really been talked about that much.
It is bad enough not winning matches but when you are given even longer to suffer in the gaps between games, it makes it all the worse.
It is really shocking how club fans have been messed about this season, with Newcastle fans surely top of that list.
These are the games that have been played since Newcastle lost at Man City on 1 September:
Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2 (Sat 15 September)
Palace 0 Newcastle 0 (Sat 22 September)
Newcastle 0 Leicester 2 (Sat 29 September)
Man Utd 3 Newcastle 2 (Sat 6 October)
Newcastle 0 Brighton 1 (Sat 20 October)
Southampton 0 Newcastle 0 (Sat 27 October)
Newcastle 1 Watford 0 (Sat 3 November)
Newcastle 2 Bournemouth 1 (Sat 10 November)
That’s right, eight games, Newcastle winning two, drawing two and losing four.
In the 85 days in between that Man City defeat and Newcastle taking on Burnley this coming Monday, only eight matches.
I don’t know about you but it has driven me to distraction.
International breaks taking out two weeks in each of September, October and November, and all for what?
I don’t go for all this Nations League hype either, yes I prefer England to win but in reality they are just endless friendlies, more than ever before. Plus pretty much any half decent team/country is set to qualify anyway in these next Euros.
More importantly, I think the disruption for club football is completely unacceptable on this scale.
When you support a club like Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United where regular European football is only a distant memory, and serious lack of investment makes it impossible to have a go at the cups (out of League Cup before reaching September once again), it makes it all the worse.
So now coming to an end of a three month period where matches have been on average once every 11 days or so, we now go to the other extreme of a game every four days on average, Newcastle set to play 10 times in 41 days, starting with Burnley on Monday.
Burnley v Newcastle (Monday 26 November 8pm – Live on Sky)
Newcastle v West Ham (Saturday 1 December 3pm)
Everton v Newcastle (Wednesday 5 December 7.45pm)
Newcastle v Wolves (Sunday 9 December 4pm – Live on Sky)
Huddersfield v Newcastle (Saturday 15 December 3pm)
Newcastle v Fulham (Saturday 22 December 3pm)
Liverpool v Newcastle (Wednesday 26 December 3pm)
Watford v Newcastle (Saturday 29 December 3pm)
Newcastle v Man Utd (Wednesday 2 January 8pm – Live on Sky)
Newcastle v ??? (Weekend of Saturday 5 January – FA Cup 3rd round) The draw for the 3rd round is made on Monday 3 December.
For clubs with such a small squad as Newcastle have, this is a massive test for Rafa Benitez as he tries to build on consecutive home wins.
Obviously I’m hoping that we win more than we lose in this 41 day period (and beyond) but I’m just grateful we have our football back, rather than yet more meaningless international games and far too much time to think, and worry, about Newcastle United…