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Opinion

Disturbing stats that Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce can’t explain away

2 weeks ago
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It appears that we are stuck with Mike Ashley for the foreseeable.

Presumably that also means we will be stuck with Steve Bruce as well, Mike Ashley not one for swiftly getting rid of those who strictly follow his orders, whatever the results…

However, there are certain things that even Ashley can’t (shouldn’t) be ignoring.

This is the form table from match 19 to match 38 of the 2019/20 Premier League season:

As you can see, the top four are actually exactly the same as in the final full Premier League table.

However, when you look toward the bottom of this Premier League form table, you will see Newcastle United in relegation form over the past seven months. Only Norwich winning fewer (two) matches than Newcastle (four) in that time period.

When you add in the fact that two of those four wins came against Southampton and Sheffield United and the matches were goalless in both, until the opposition had a man sent off, it should make you worry even more.

I understand all of his pundit and journalist mates wanting to talk him up but how can they fail to mention this abysmal record when talking about Steve Bruce?

The thing is, it so often happens that the clubs with worst end of season form in the Premier League, end up carrying it through to the following season with predictable consequences. After all, if you have a manager and team who are failing / fading badly, why is anything likely to dramatically change, unless you make dramatic changes.

Here is a table (form tables via transfermarkt) showing the final months of the previous (2018/19) season:

If you look at the bottom six who had the worst form in the final 16 PL matches of 2018/19, you have Cardiff, Huddersfield and Cardiff who went down.

However, you also in that bottom six have Bournemouth and Watford who continued their poor form and went down the following (2019/20) season.

Brighton changed things dramatically with a new manager who plays a totally different game / tactics to under Chris Hughton and they have improved to an extent, 17th (2018/19) to 19th (2019/20).

As for Newcastle United, as you can see from last 16 match form table in 2018/19, they were very much in the ascendancy. Ending the season with the fifth best form in terms of points AND fifth best total of goals in these 16 games.

Only an idiot would force out such a manager and appoint somebody from the Championship who has no success on his CV…

In 2019/20, Newcastle’s season showed two wins in the first ten games of the season, with then the abysmal final 20 match run of only four wins.

What kept NUFC up this season when luck really flowed and Steve Bruce’s team picked up five wins from eight between late October and late December – wins over West Ham, Bournemouth, Southampton and Palace all by the odd goal, as well as the smash and grab 2-0 at Sheffield United.

Newcastle United have been in relegation form since Christmas 2019 and I can see very little chance of anything changing with that, if we are relying on Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce.

Something needs to radically change and all I am hearing is the same owner, same head coach and pretty much, exactly the same players.

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