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Opinion

Club philosophy of simply trying to find three teams worse than ourselves still rings very true

1 week ago
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So that’s another distinctly average side Newcastle United have made to look like world beaters.

The defeat against Aston Villa last night was another glaring example of how Newcastle United will struggle this season.

Aston Villa have very little about them, that they beat us with two similar free kicks was even more galling but aside from the goals, the two teams were hardly putting on a half decent spectacle for the Sky cameras either.

Put simply, we aren’t beating the sides that we need to in order to stay in this league. All the teams in the bottom half of the league are poor, that’s more obvious this season than in recent history and we need to start beating more of them.

There are two sides that have loitered in the wrong half of the league this season in Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur but both are now upwardly mobile and looking at the top six rather than the bottom six. Isn’t it strange that we’ve beaten both of them this season?

With six of our 15 points to date coming against the so called ‘Big Boys’ we can’t get too carried away and think we’re automatically going to be safe because of this and neither should Steve Bruce.

Norwich City’s early season optimism has faded and they have slipped to where they were expected to be before a ball was kicked, yet they murdered us at Carrow Road. Watford have been awful this season and Brighton not much better but both are teams we struggled to pick up a draw against on our own patch earlier in the season. Alarm bells should be ringing.

Take last nights opponents Villa, who were on a run of three straight defeats before the game, yet despite their victory they remain below us in the table. Things are not looking good.

Victories over West Ham and Bournemouth, as prized as they were, have papered over some almighty big cracks. West Ham in particular are a terrible side and while it’s not our concern, their fans should be really worried at how they are doing.

Saturdays game against Manchester City can be written off as I can’t see the season defining moment that last season’s fixture provided, materialising this time round. In previous seasons, wins against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United provided hope, a hope that we could collect enough points from elsewhere to beat the drop. This time around, I’m not sure we will collect points on our own merit but merely stay up by default.

Directly below us, I expect improvement from Everton and West Ham, with both clubs’ managers sweating on their positions at the moment, you can bet one or both will buck up their ideas either with or without new management. That aside there are plenty teams worse than we are but if any of them get their act together then we need to be worried.

With all that said, I STILL expect us to survive this season as there is so much dross in the lower reaches of the Premier League. The obvious club philosophy of finding three teams worse than ourselves still rings very true. This season I suspect those teams will be Southampton, Watford and Norwich and with the home game on 8th December against Southampton pending, we’ve beaten none of them.

It’s all well and good beating teams like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and no doubt Steve Bruce will cling on to those wins for dear life, but failure to win games against the lesser sides in this division will be our undoing.

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