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Opinion

Newcastle United fans need to keep grip on reality rather than this media spin – Fine margins

4 days ago
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Newcastle United fans have experienced a bit of light relief these last few weeks.

A shoddy season of uninspiring football and Steve Bruce dragging us down into a relegation battle and feeble cup exits, with a desperate run of only two wins in twenty one matches.

Then April coming along and along with a bit of sunshine and pub beer gardens reopening, we have seen Newcastle United finally picking up the couple of wins needed to all but make them safe from relegation.

However, some of the media coverage has been absolute mad, if not predictable.

Talking about Steve Bruce performing miracles, brilliant recent form and football, all good in the world again if you are Newcastle United fans.

Yes, we all like it when results go our way, BUT the over the top reporting and goading from the usual suspects (Keys, Sutton, Savage…) is vomit inducing.

Their message is that this proves that they (Steve Bruce’s media fan club) have been proved to have been right all along, with the recent NUFC matches and results proof of that.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (Last nine Premier League matches)

Man Utd 3 Newcastle United 1 (21 February 2021)

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1

West Brom 0 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1

Brighton 3 Newcastle 0

Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2

Newcastle 3 West Ham 2

Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 (24 April 2021)

That is nine weeks of Newcastle matches and you could spin it as either only two wins in nine games or only two defeats in nine matches.

The reality is that it has been eleven points from nine games, not brilliant but ok (and better than what had gone before!) and looking to be enough to have seen Newcastle crawl towards survival.

Of course Keys and Savage will say, yes, but look at the last four Newcastle matches.

Eight points from four games has been a very good return BUT anybody trying to make out that there has been some massive explosion of excellent football and totally convincing performances, is very much kidding themselves.

Against Tottenham we played ok early on but going 2-1 down after just half an hour looked to have killed off the game, only an 85th goal from sub Joe Willock saved the game.

Woeful against Burnley, they should have had the game win and not just being one ahead, sub ASM comes on and singlehandedly turns it around in seven minutes, creating a goal and scoring one.

Played decent in first half against West Ham, the Hammers on top of that gifting two goals and a man advantage. Steve Bruce and his team then going ultra defensive against ten men for entire second half, they score two to equalise and only an 82nd minute goal from sub Joe Willock getting the win.

On Saturday, much the same story, Newcastle playing ok up to a point, creating a few chances, but reality is that Liverpool dominated and had around five times as many clear chances which they wasted one after another, despite Salah showing how it is done after only three minutes. A goal from sub Joe Willock in the 95th minute winning an unlikely point.

These games showed there was nothing wrong with the spirit of the team and we saw at times brief periods of better play BUT talk about fine margins. In reality Newcastle could have ended up losing all four matches very easily, yes even the West Ham one against ten men, due to Bruce handing them all the control and momentum. The other three matches we were losing them all until help came off the bench, substitutes scoring in all four of these games summing up just how on the edge all the matches were.

After looking at Newcastle’s last four matches, what about one of our relegation rival’s last quartet of games.

FULHAM (Last four Premier League matches)

Fulham 1 Leeds 2

Aston Villa 3 Fulham 1

Fulham 0 Wolves 1

Arsenal 1 Fulham 1

Fulham were leading against Arsenal until conceding in the 97th minute, leading against Villa until conceding three goals in the final 12 minutes.

They lost a point against Wolves when conceding on 92 minutes, whilst even the Leeds match they were drawing until conceding the winner on 58 minutes.

It is pretty much a case of the luck and fine margins that have gone Newcastle’s way in their last four games, going exactly the other way for Fulham.

This is how the Premier League table looked on Sunday morning:

As you can see, the eight points in four games making all the difference to Newcastle, without them they would be only one point ahead of Fulham.

However, even despite Newcastle picking up these points, IF at the same time Fulham hadn’t thrown away the six points late on against Villa, Arsenal and Wolves, they would be on 33 points and only three points behind Newcastle – with that final day clash at Craven Cottage still to come.

So basically, Steve Bruce needed to get the luck flowing these last four games AND Fulham finding ways to not pick up points, to have reached relative safety now.

A bit better football but in reality massive luck on top of that has made the difference.

We might not be so lucky again if Steve Bruce is allowed to blunder on, wasting what isn’t that bad a squad.

We have been warned.

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