Now a 17 day deadline counting down for Newcastle United to buy players for relegation struggle
Newcastle United are in fifteenth place now, five points ahead of the relegation spots.
However, it is a bit like those 400m running races when you are in one of the outside lanes, you start off the race looking like you are comfortably in the lead but know that as the stagger unwinds, things will automatically get tougher…
The way the fixtures have worked out, Newcastle’s past 10 games have all been against clubs outside the top six.
A contributing factor in helping Rafa’s team to pick up 15 points from the last nine matches, with four wins, three draws, and only the two defeats.
Now though, Newcastle United face six of the top seven in their next seven matches (see below), taking us up to Tottenham away on Saturday 2 February, after which there will only be 13 Premier League matches remaining.
Newcastle fans don’t expect, but they are hoping, that the January transfer window can provide some essential valuable assistance.
Window after window Rafa has been let down, in terms of the resources he has been denied AND not being able to make decisions quickly with the relative pittance he has had available.
Time after time the Newcastle manager has had deals set up to press the button at the very start of transfer windows, only for Mike Ashley to block them.
Last January (2018) NUFC were deep in relegation trouble and it was claimed that Rafa Benitez was going to be backed properly this time after a farce of a window in summer 2017.
However, not only was he stopped from buying any players, the loan deals he was allowed, weren’t finalised until 22 January (Kenedy), 30 January (Dubravka) and 31 January (Slimani).
This simply can’t be allowed to happen again.
Rafa Benitez needs to be told what budget he has available and be able to press the button(s) as soon as possible.
The home match with Cardiff on Saturday 19 January stands out like a sore thumb amongst these next seven fixtures, very much like the away game at Cardiff did back in August.
Back then Rafa Benitez was massively handicapped by a lack of spend in the summer and the fact key signings such as Salomon Rondon arrived so late and had little or no pre-season preparation.
Newcastle were lucky to get a point that day at Cardiff, the only point they got from the first five games, only two points from first nine.
As it stands, Rafa and his squad need to be in the very best position to win that game in 27 days time against Cardiff.
I think the reality is that for any new signings to be properly bedded in and prepared to play by then, they need a minimum of 10 days settling in time.
The clock is ticking, signings must be made by the Wednesday 9 January, in 17 days time, if Rafa and his squad are to be given their best chance of getting through this season without a third relegation under Mike Ashley’s watch…
Current Premier League table after Saturday 22 December results:
The complete NUFC PL schedule now confirmed so far, until end 2 February 2019:
Wednesday 26 December 2018
Liverpool v Newcastle (3pm)
Saturday 29 December 2018
Watford v Newcastle (3pm)
Wednesday 2 January 2019 (Sky Sports)
Newcastle v Man Utd (8pm)
Saturday 5 January 2019 (Overseas Live TV – Not UK)
Newcastle v Blackburn (5.30pm)
Saturday 12 January 2019 (BT Sport)
Chelsea v Newcastle (5.30pm)
Saturday 19 January 2019
Newcastle v Cardiff (3pm)
Tuesday 29 January 2019 (BT Sport)
Newcastle v Man City (8pm)
Saturday 2 February 2019 (Sky Sports)
Tottenham v Newcastle (12.30pm)
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