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Opinion

Newcastle United set to make history tonight under Graeme Jones

3 weeks ago
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Newcastle United take on Brighton later today.

Graeme Jones fighting for three points but also battling to avoid a place in history.

The real culprits have of course fled the scene of their football crimes, pockets stuffed with money as they legged it to London and the North West respectively.

The fact remains though, that if Newcastle United don’t win today, it will be the worst ever start to a league season in the entire NUFC history.

Without a win in any of the ten Premier League games this season, after six defeats and four draws, if no three points at the Amex Stadium, it will be a record breaking eleven without a victory to kick off the campaign.

It would see Newcastle United going beyond what happened in 1898/99 and 2018/19 when in both cases, victory came in the eleventh league match.

However, those two seasons do both give reasons for real hope…

The 1898/99 season was Newcastle United’s first season in the top tier (First Division):

United started the season with the following ten results:

Newcastle 2 Wolves 4, Everton 3 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 1 Notts County 2, Stoke 0 Newcastle 0, Sheffield United 2 Newcastle 2, Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1, Burnley 2 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 1 Sheffield United 2, Bury 1 Newcastle 1, Preston 1 Newcastle 0

That run was ended in the eleventh game, when after six defeats and four draws, Newcastle beat Liverpool 3-0 at St James Park.

Remarkably, despite such an abysmal start to the season AND there only being 34 games (18 clubs in the First Division in 1898/99), Newcastle United finished the season in an almost respectable 13th place.

The 2018/19 season was to prove to be Newcastle United’s second and final Premier League season under Rafa Benitez:

United started the season with the following ten results:

Newcastle 1 Spurs 2, Cardiff 0 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2, Man City 2 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2, Palace 0 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 0 Leicester 2, Man Utd 3 Newcastle 2, Newcastle 0 Brighton 1, Southampton 0 Newcastle 0.

That run was ended in the eleventh game, when after seven defeats and three draws, Newcastle beat Watford 1-0 at St James Park.

That was at the start of November 2018 and Newcastle completed the month winning every match and Rafa Benitez receiving the Premier League manager of the month award.

There were only two more PL games for NUFC that month…but they won both. Salomon Rondon with his first two PL goals for Newcastle as they beat Bournemouth 2-1 at SJP, then a 2-1 victory at Burnley.

Remarkably, despite such an abysmal start to the season, Rafa Benitez and his players recovered to have the eight best form over the final 28 PL games of the season, with the fifth best form (and fifth highest number of goals) in the final 16 PL matches.

In 2018/19, Newcastle United also ended up 13th despite failing to win any of their opening ten games, just as was the case in 1898/99.

In 2021/22 we have had this opening ten game situation for Newcastle United:

Sunday 15 August 2pm – Newcastle 2 West Ham 4

Saturday 21 August 3pm – Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0

Saturday 28 August 3pm – Newcastle 2 Southampton 2

Saturday 11 September 3pm – Man Utd 4 Newcastle 1

Friday 17 September 8pm – Newcastle 1 Leeds 1

Saturday 25 September 3pm – Watford 1 Newcastle 1

Saturday 2 October 3pm – Wolves 2 Newcastle 1

Sunday 17 October 4.30pm – Newcastle 2 Spurs 3

Saturday 23 October 3pm – Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1

Saturday 30 October 3pm – Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3

Saturday 6 November 5.30pm – Brighton away

Without getting too much into the Rafa Benitez / Steve Bruce debate…BUT that 2018/19 season had seen Mike Ashley totally undermine Rafa in summer 2018. A profit of over £20m on transfers and even the loan signing of Rondon only allowed really late on, which still only happened because Benitez agreed for Gayle to go on loan to West Brom in the opposite direction.

The summer so messed around, Rondon only really getting fully fit around about when he helped Newcastle win those first three games in November 2018 and as detailed above, never really looking back after that. Plus, in their first seven games that season, Newcastle had five of the ‘big six’ as opposition.

Contrast that with Steve Bruce’s very easy looking start to this season in comparison, so many points that could and should have been picked up. Especially with the likes of Wilson, ASM, Almiron etc all available.

Anyway, Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley are now history.

So here’s to Graeme Jones and the players avoiding making history later today, a win would be massive, both in terms of history and more importantly, our current predicament…

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