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Opinion

Newcastle United could have been Everton

1 month ago
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Everton were a club going nowhere.

Plenty of money spent on the team but without a manager who knew what he was doing.

Everton fans not convinced by Marco Silva and he was sacked by the blue scousers in December 2019.

Carlo Ancelotti was convinced to come, Everton at last getting a top drawer manager, when he took charge of his first game there were 19 points on the board from their first 18 Premier League games of the season.

In comparison, Newcastle United were on 25 points by then, fans bewildered how Steve Bruce had stumbled to this collection of points, incredible luck seeing NUFC pick up points in so many games where all logic and stats said they didn’t deserve any.

Carlo Ancelotti’s first match was a 1-0 home win over Burnley on Boxing Day and his first away game two days later, a 2-1 victory at St James Park that was far more comfortable than it sounds.

Fast forwarding to the present day and this is how the Premier League table currently looks…

As you can see, Everton making the running right at the top of the Premier League, whilst Newcastle United are down in 14th, which will become 15th if Man Utd win their game in hand against Burnley.

Which begs the question, just what difference can having a top manager make?

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Well, since Ancelotti took over, Everton have played 26 games and with 43 points, they have the fifth highest number of accumulated points since Christmas 2019, of the 17 clubs who were in the PL last season and in this current one.

In comparison, Newcastle United under Steve Bruce have the second worst form, only 27 points from their last 26 PL games.

The Everton boss has only been in charge 10 months, five months less than Steve Bruce at Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce who keeps saying he needs a lot more time to get Newcastle United playing better / differently, still saying it after 15 months…

Steve Bruce has had a net spend of over £100m, Carlo Ancelotti less than that.

Yet you don’t hear the Everton boss moaning about needing more time and making excuse after excuse.

He has taken over a decent base of a team and spent some decent money bringing in quality players, players that his presence has helped attract for sure.

I have to say it, Newcastle United could have been Everton.

Before Mike Ashley forced him out, on a very tight budget Rafa Benitez had turned things around, his final 28 games were the eighth best form in the Premier League in 2018/19.

Rafa’s final 16 games that season, with the help of at last some realistic spent on Miguel Almiron on 31 January 2019, those final 16 games saw Newcastle with the fifth best form in the Premier League and the fifth highest total of goals scored.

Just imagine, if at that point, Mike Ashley had said to himself: ‘You know what, this Rafa (Champions League winner, double Europa League winner, double La Liga winner etc) Benitez might just know something about this football lark.’

Then imagine if he (Ashley) had got Rafa to sign a new contract and made the commitments necessary, including a £100m net spend in the next three transfer windows…

I 100% believe that Newcastle United would have finished at least top eight last season under Rafa Benitez and this season be aiming for top six and who knows in these strange times, maybe top four.

Instead we have Steve Bruce and his weekly excuses.

Thank you for that Mike Ashley and also thank you for still holding on to my full 2020/21 season ticket payment that you took by direct debit over seven months ago.

I’m very grateful sir. Us deluded Geordies really shouldn’t expect any more.

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