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Opinion

‘Newcastle United fans never happy – PL top 6 and last 8 of cup – What more do they want?’

3 weeks ago
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Yet again I was seeing the usual comments…’Newcastle United fans are never happy etc etc.’

This was in the aftermath of beating Burnley 3-1 on Saturday night.

The usual arguments then breaking out on social media and online generally.

The trolls, certain journalists, rival fans etc, pushing out this kind of general message: ‘What more do they want? Premier League top six and in last eight of the cup.’

This in response to many Newcastle United fans taking a more rounded view of what has happened and in particular, what they are actually watching.

Which is the point really.

The trolls, rival fans, journalists and so on, want to portray Newcastle United fans as always believing that we have some kind of divine right to competing and winning stuff. Which is pretty mental in itself, considering that only a relative handful of us have seen Newcastle win a domestic trophy, whilst the vast majority haven’t seen NUFC win anything.

You can also file this alongside anybody who calls any Newcastle United fans glory hunters. If indeed somebody from a far flung place started supporting Newcastle due to Shearer, Keegan or Sir Bobby, if they are still supporting us now then I think they deserve a medal after 14 seasons and counting of Mike Ashley, not anybody’s derision.

Anyway, back to this latest spat with journalists and rival fans.

Bottom line is that they say seven games played for Newcastle United so far, five wins and a draw, last eight in the Carabao Cup and top six (which became ninth once other clubs played on Sunday) of the Premier League, what exactly were you expecting…?

To be honest, I don’t think Newcastle fans had any expectations of this new season, instead I would say it was a case of realistic hopes of avoiding relegation and then after that, hoping that Callum Wilson would score a few goals and help out Allan Saint-Maximin, who last season was expected to be NUFC’s entire threat to the opposition.

If anybody had offered two wins and a draw from the opening four matches and getting through three rounds of the Carabao Cup in the first three weeks, we would all have taken that.

However, we have watched the matches as well…

My reading of the seven matches so far and how much Newcastle deserved to win (expressed as a percentage) each game is as follows:

West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 – 60%

A decent display and scored with only two shots on target, West Ham hit bar twice and had more possession, corners and shots on target.

Newcastle 1 Blackburn 0 – 20%

Fluked this one. Steve Bruce made 10 changes and won with only moment of quality and serious effort on target. Blackburn dominated with 65% possession and more shots on target and corners etc.

Newcastle 0 Brighton 3 – 0%

Woeful. Brighton better all around the pitch and lucky it was only three.

Morecambe 0 Newcastle 7 – 100%

United did everything asked of them. Up against very weak opposition (Morecambe finished 89th of 91 league clubs last season and were missing five first choice players), Newcastle totally dominated and as a bonus everything they tried from outside the box flew into the net, as Morecambe allowed them shooting practice from distance.

Tottenham 1 Newcastle 1 – 1%

Both embarrassing and hilarious at the same time. Ultra negative Bruce tactics saw Newcastle hardly cross the halfway line, Tottenham wasted chance after chance, hit woodwork twice, Kane could have had a double hat-trick, Darlow made most saves by a NUFC keeper in a match for seven years, not a single effort on target in 96 minutes, then that penalty decision gifted a point.

Newport 1 Newcastle 1 (won 5-4 on penalties) – 40%

Seven changes by Steve Bruce and the League Two side by far the better side in the first half, wasting a number of chances to make it two after the fifth minute lead courtesy of Gillespie’s mistake. Terrible tactics of Carroll up front and booting the ball up to him, continued into the second half. Wilson and Joelinton came off the bench and helped Newcastle dominate the later stages as Newport tired. The equaliser with only three minutes left and then toss of a coin penalty shoot-out, which looked bleak when Joelinton had a soft effort saves, but eventually crawled through.

Newcastle 3 Burnley 1 – 60%

Similar to the West Ham match, opposition poor on the day and allowing Newcastle to play. Despite being the better team didn’t create a lot and relied totally on magic from ASM to score the opening goal and then lay the second on a plate for Wilson. Deserved to win but had that wobble after half-time as Bruce went defensive and invited the opposition on for the equaliser.

So taking everything into consideration, Newcastle edged and deserved their wins over Burnley and West Ham, but were embarrassing against Tottenham and Brighton and of course deserved nothing, so massive undeserved bonus point from Spurs match.

Coasted against Morecambe but Blackburn definitely deserved to win and League Two Newport also marginally deserved a victory. So despite playing three lower league clubs, deserved to lose in two of the games.

The results are obviously what they are but as fans we can see that the performances without massive Steve Bruce luck, should have delivered a decent six points from twelve in the Premier League and an exit (twice!) from the Carabao Cup.

I’ll be happy if the outrageous Brucey luck continues this season but it has to be backed up by better performances as well, unless the aim is simply to crawl over the survival line.

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