Paul Merson says ‘I fear for’ Newcastle United – Explains why they could be relegated this season
Paul Merson likes talking about Newcastle United, a lot.
Quite often it makes zero sense.
This is yet another of those times.
A number of times Paul Merson has already warned Newcastle’s imminent new owners that they must keep Steve Bruce if they wanted to stay safe. Very bizarrely claiming that if they replaced Bruce with somebody like Mauricio Pochettino and bought better players and tried to play better football, they would very likely be relegated.
Now Paul Merson has returned to the subject of Newcastle United and relegation BUT says that it could happen this season.
However, if it did happen this season, Merson doesn’t think it would be Steve Bruce to blame.
Instead, Paul Merson says that Newcastle are in danger of being relegated because they will play their home matches behind closed doors.
The Sky Sports pundit declaring: ‘I fear for Newcastle the most because they might struggle without 50,000 unbelievable fans behind them at home.’
Surely it is the same for every club…not according to Paul Merson it isn’t, adding: ‘Those fans keep your concentration levels high. They help you. With no crowd, you lose focus. And Newcastle might feel that more than anyone else.’
So do Paul Merson’s claims have any more truth / reality in them than they normally do?
Well at the moment Newcastle are in 13th place and have picked up 21 points at home and 14 points away.
Like most clubs generally do, picking up more points home compared to away.
However, when you compare and contrast to the rest of the Premier League, you find that Newcastle have the 13th best home form in the league AND also the 13th best away form in the division.
In other words, this season’s stats tell you that certainly under Steve Bruce, Newcastle have benefited no more than any other club from playing in front of their own fans.
Paul Merson speaking to The Star:
‘Whoever hits the ground running when the season restarts is going to have a massive advantage when the season restarts.
There will be so many games coming thick and fast that your whole situation could flip in a week.
I think there’s more than six teams involved in the relegation battle now. I think anyone with less than 40 points is still at risk.
(This is how the Premier League table currently stand before the restart:
That means teams like Newcastle, Southampton, Everton, Crystal Palace and Burnley can’t relax.
One or two wins and most of them should be okay. But lose your first two games back and it could be very hard to recover. The pressure will be on.
Before, if you had a bad game, you’d have a week to put it right and prepare for the next one. Now it’s just going to be play, rest, play. No time to work on things.
If you don’t hit the ground running you could be in the bottom three very quickly. That’s an advantage for the teams who are chasing. It’s easier to make up ground quickly.
I fear for Newcastle the most because they might struggle without 50,000 unbelievable fans behind them at home.
Those fans keep your concentration levels high. They help you. With no crowd, you lose focus. And Newcastle might feel that more than anyone else.’
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