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Opinion

Delusions of safety at Newcastle United

5 months ago
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We are witnessing truly dire times at Newcastle United.

With 25 Premier League matchdays gone and a squad that has had a net spend of £100m+ these past 19 months, Newcastle United are sat three points above the relegation places.

With Fulham playing some really good football and getting results, and West Brom recruiting decently in January, the chances of a third relegation in 12 years have increased reasonably.

Unfortunately, Burnley and Brighton above us seem to have the ability to grind out draws from tough games, whilst Palace should surely overcome their inconsistencies to finish at least in 15th.

This leaves us, Newcastle United, as one of two teams (Sheffield United being the other) playing the poorest football in the bottom six.

I watched the NUFC games against Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester United and I’ll tell you.

Against a Southampton side that was diabolically bereft of ideas on the day, we were still extremely fortunate to come away with a win, especially with the red card disadvantage.

Next, Chelsea have not been world-beaters this season by any standards, and even after two goals, they were playing poorly. We should have got a result that day.

Manchester United yesterday were actually there for the taking but we couldn’t put two passes together or utilise our best assets against them.

Therefore, the opinion that Newcastle United shouldn’t have expected anything from the last two games is merely based on the status of those clubs and not current form. We got three points out of a possible nine, whereas I believe we could have got five.

Now we move ahead to the seemingly winnable games.

Most of you, I believe, are talking up our chances purely out of love for the club.

In reality, I can’t see us getting nine points from our next three fixtures (Wolves home, West Brom away, Villa home).

On the bright side, we finally have a tactic: Almiron, ASM and whichever centre forward is chosen to play the flank, rush at the opposition in an isolated press and hope for an error (don’t know if anyone else noticed how easily Man Utd beat the “press”).

On the dark side, Mike Ashley and his latest minion Steve Bruce are at the helm of our affairs.

The only question now is… Can Newcastle United come up instantly for a third time?

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