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Opinion

Newcastle United fans aiming for safety…but safe from what?

5 months ago
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Newcastle United, another relegation battle.

At least Mike Ashley is consistent, the majority of these 14 years under this owner spent either battling against relegation from the Premier League, or trying to get back into the top tier.

This time it looks as though Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce are going to dodge a bullet.

Despite only winning two of their last twenty one games (all competitions) these past four months, Newcastle United remain just outside the bottom three.

Quite remarkable that Newcastle United can have performed so badly and yet magically have managed to never drop into the relegation zone.

This has been of course purely due to Fulham refusing to save ourselves.

With Sheffield United and West Brom long gone, Scott Parker and his players have become intent on making that third relegation spot their own.

The race for safety is truly one where it has all the hallmarks of a classic Snail v Sloth sprint to the finishing line.

If these positions were reversed, I would literally give Newcastle United zero chance of staying up, three points clear and two games in hand.

I look back at that game in December and think now that it was the match that saved Newcastle United this season.

Fulham battered Newcastle United, were a goal up and cruising, the only positive for Newcastle was that they weren’t already 3-0 or 4-0 down. The Gods then smiling on Steve Bruce, as midway through the second half, the referee gave Newcastle a penalty and a red card to Fulham. Even though a man down, Fulham still looked the most adventurous team and most likely scorers.

If Fulham had deservedly won that game, it would have gave them two more points, one less for Newcastle. Enough for Fulham to now be ahead of Newcastle United. To be honest, I think if Fulham had ever climbed out of the bottom three, that would have given them the confidence to pull clear of trouble. I think they have a mental block, having been in the relegation zone so long, losing belief and confidence that they can get the goals and points.

As for Newcastle United though, people talk about us reaching safety but exactly what are we going to be safe from?

Yes the odds now are on getting enough points to stay up…but to be honest, I haven’t feared relegation for some time.

At some clubs, indeed at Newcastle United in the past (Keegan in 1992 especially), you can find yourself battling against the drop, knowing full well that if surviving there is every chance of so much better ahead.

However, at NUFC, under Mike Ashley it is a case of ‘winning’ a relegation fight simply buys you a ticket to do it all yet again next time.

So when people talk about Newcastle United and the fans reaching safety, it makes me think of somebody who can’t swim, getting plucked from the water after falling in, only to then after being ‘saved’ getting chucked back in the water for the whole lifesaving drama needing to be repeated, hopefully.

Obviously, the hope is that new owners can come in and tick all the boxes. Everybody able to look up, rather than basing everything around the fears of the worst happening.

Speaking of which, when it comes to my worst nightmares, it would honestly be that if I had a crystal ball and saw for sure that the next ten years would see both Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce remaining at St James Park.

Honestly, I would take any number of relegations for us to be ‘safe’ from that.

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