This Newcastle United season rests on a toss of the coin
The season started with no wins in ten Premier League matches for Newcastle United.
Only one win now in the last nine Premier League matches for Rafa’s team.
Sandwiched in the middle of those two horrendous runs was a perfect November that gave Newcastle three wins in three games and Rafa Benitez a manager of the month award.
Difficult to explain where that three game winning run came from, apart from luck running Newcastle’s way and a little bit of confidence and momentum created.
Looking back, a very credible draw at Everton followed in the first week of December and then on another day the Magpies could and should have beat Wolves.
Downhill really from there though as the victory at Huddersfield came about through dogged defending for 90 minutes against the worst team in the division and a breakaway goal.
Whilst the goalless home draw with Fulham was even worse.
The conclusion has to be not that the situation is hopeless but that this is a very limited group of players, with Rafa Benitez having to use a very limited style of football if they are to stand a chance of getting the points to avoid relegation.
Each transfer window we keep saying spending the money on a quality goalscorer and number ten could transform the team. However, this won’t be that window either.
The bookies make Newcastle United exactly an even money shot to beat Cardiff City on Saturday, heads you win and tails you lose (or draw). Though in reality surely losing and drawing would be much the same thing, as it would almost certainly keep Newcastle in the relegation zone with Man City at home then Spurs and Wolves away.
It does feel as though toughing out a win this afternoon is pivotal to the survival chances, especially with the likes of Cardiff bringing in a couple of strikers, including one costing the best part of £20m.
A win for Newcastle would at least ensure they kept relatively in touch until more winnable games kick off again in late February, starting with Huddersfield and Burnley at home.
Failing to win against Cardiff could see Newcastle one of the teams cut adrift and simply too much pressure once we reach the 12 games remaining point, when Huddersfield visit.
The concept of those who help themselves deserving the luck that comes their way is a powerful one, just how much of a lift would it give everybody at Newcastle if it was Rafa Benitez being backed to bring in a couple of attacking players, including a £20m striker?
As Rio Ferdinand said though, you could buy a couple of players for £30m each and then they could both get inured, which would then mean the £60m had been wasted (according to Rio).
With that kind of attitude you might as well never buy anybody of substance and just rely on loans, free transfers and forcing the manager to constantly try and find bargains.
At least now we know where Mike Ashley has been getting his expert football advice from…
Newcastle v Cardiff Match Betting:
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