Michael Owen confident Newcastle United can complete the double
Michael Owen has been looking ahead to Wednesday night at St James Park.
Despite successive defeats for Newcastle, Michael Owen insists Steve Bruce deserves credit because the team are ‘two points better off than at this stage last season’ under Rafa Benitez.
With nothing else of real importance resting on these next three games, maybe the most intriguing / amusing thing will be seeing how the pundits and journalists react to Newcastle’s final points total and league placing.
Last season, Rafa Benitez was starved of funds once again by Mike Ashley, having to rely in summer 2018 on budget buys and loan deals. By the end of the season it was 13th place and 45 points for Newcastle.
With a couple of wins after restart the journalists and pundits were taking it for granted and already writing the headlines about how Steve Bruce had done ‘better’ than Rafa Benitez in terms of points and / or league position.
Not that I want Newcastle to lose any of these remaining games against Spurs, Brighton and Liverpool BUT I would be intrigued to see how they would spin it if United end up with less points and / or lower position than happened in 2018/19 under Rafa. Does anybody honestly believe they would then headline it as Steve Bruce having done a worse job and / or Rafa Benitez having done better???
Currently on the same league position (13th) as last time, Newcastle are still two points short of last season’s total.
Michael Owen predicts Steve Bruce and NUFC will smash that with a 1-0 win against Spurs, doing the double, going beyond Rafa’s total and beyond our wildest dreams…or maybe not. Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last six matches and indeed have the seventh worst goals against total, whereas it was seventh best in both Rafa PL seasons.
If indeed Newcastle did do the double over Spurs it would be quite a remarkable stat, as it would mean 12 wins from 36 PL games but include doubles over Southampton, Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Spurs. With four wins in 28 games against all of the other clubs, those four wins being against Chelsea, Man Utd, West Ham and Palace.
Michael Owen talking to BetVictor:
“Steve Bruce would have been disappointed that his side couldn’t hold on to a one-nil lead against Watford last time out.
“Although he clearly wasn’t happy at what he described as “two soft penalties”.
“United are now two points better off than at this stage last season and credit should be given to the manager on the job he is doing under difficult circumstances.
“Spurs have certainly got their quest for a Europa League berth right back on track with home wins against Everton and Arsenal in recent matches but their away form is much less impressive.
“The last four matches between the sides have been decided by just one goal and I can see the Magpies bagging all three points with a repeat score-line of the reverse fixture, 1-0.”
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