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Opinion

Newcastle United three big positives and negatives as we march into 2022

2 weeks ago
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Well, what a year with Newcastle United!

For the best part of 10 months it was Groundhog Day every day, until that fantastic day in October.

Probably for the first time in all the years I have been writing for The Mag, it was easier to come up with positives than negatives.

So, here’s my three positives and three negatives moving into what I hope will be an exciting 2022 for all of us!

POSITIVES:

No more Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Steve Bruce or Sports Direct

The ultimate positive. Finally.

What more can you say?

Results or league position aside, seeing the back of Ashley, Charnley, Bruce and Sports Direct signs leaves Newcastle United in a far better position looking ahead to 2022.

I still can’t quite believe it happened.

It’s a pleasure to be able to watch your team with pride and joy again.

January Transfer Window

I can’t remember the last transfer window that we looked forward to with anticipation. Perhaps the summer of 2012? Although that turned into a huge anti-climax.

It looks like Trippier is on his way, but at the very least, it will be the first window in a long time in which Newcastle have gone out with intent to improve their squad.

It arguably happened only once under Ashley, in the summer of 2015…we got relegated at the end of the season. Here’s hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Performances under Eddie Howe

Getting rid of Ashley is the obvious one but this has been the biggest positive for me since the takeover. We have looked like a completely different side.

The results have arguably been similar, but anyone who has watched us knows that the performances on the pitch, the structure, the way we address games, is completely different. On the front foot, always trying to win the game and having a go.

That’s all you can ask for right?

NEGATIVES

League position

Obviously the biggest negative as we head into the new year.

Sure, we are only two points off 17th but Burnley have plenty of games (three) in hand, Leeds and Watford one each.

With the exception of Norwich, I don’t think the teams around us look THAT bad. You’d have to say so far this season that the likes of Watford, Burnley, Leeds and Brentford all look like better sides than us.

Conspiracy Theories… (or not)

Now I am usually the last person to come out with conspiracy theories…but you have to feel like the entire PL is against us right now.

The refereeing decisions have been nothing but scandalous, VAR in my opinion is fixed to suit the ‘big’ teams, we have not been allowed to introduce our sponsorship deals, it looks like PL clubs will be doing all they can to avoid selling to us in the short term… the list goes on.

I think the Premier League would love it if Newcastle went down… and I suspect them to be turning a blind eye to any foul play in the meantime.

Unrealistic expectations

I have already seen a few comments from fans saying that Amanda / PIF now must walk the walk.

I do fear that a minority are already getting way ahead of themselves in terms of expectations.

There is no doubt that the club will come up short more than once over the next month and mistakes will be made.

However, these guys need to be given the time and space to do what they deem right. Of course, if they make mistakes, they’ll be criticised for it… I just hope fans don’t go too far in their expectations of what is to come this month, or even in the summer if we stay up.

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonnyinsg

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