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‘Newcastle United simply bought their way out of trouble’ is as daft as saying the spend didn’t help…

1 month ago
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Newcastle United reached safety with still five games and some five weeks of the Premier League season still remaining.

The 20 April 2022 seeing Miguel Almiron score his first goal in 14 months which brought a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and NUFC moving on to 40 points.

This past weekend’s results mean that 39 points or better will guarantee Premier League safety for sure this season.

To reach safety with five games still remaining was quite remarkable / ridiculous, when you consider Newcastle United had no wins in their first 14 games as they entered December 2021 and were rock bottom and written off by pretty much everyone, yet only 19 games later had reached a points total that was more than good enough for survival.

So what / who can you credit with his Premier League era breaking records turn around?

Listen to the trolls and it has been Newcastle United simply buying their way out of trouble. Which to me is as daft as saying the January 2022 spend didn’t help NUFC get to safety.

If money was simply the answer, then how come Everton have spent ridiculous amounts to assemble their current squad and yet with six days to go of the season, they could still be relegated? Or what about Man Utd, they have spent more on wages and transfer fees than any other club and yet are 32 points off the top of the table.

Eddie Howe has been asked about Newcastle United supposedly just buying themselves out of trouble…

“The easy thing is to talk about money but it is not what has (solely) got us here.

“January helped massively and the money helped the team and the players who came in made a huge difference, BUT I don’t think it was ‘the’ reason why we did so well.

“I want the players to get the credit for their performances.

“The team have come together and fought for every point and I don’t think money gives you that.

“You look at the St James Park atmosphere and a crowd where they are proud of the team (once again) and seeing a team giving their everything to try and win.

“It has been great to see and experience, it’s been electric and the crowd have helped us get the points.

“A key point for the future is to try and keep that dynamic as strong as it is now.

“It will be amazing to see the club in a few years’ time because the potential here is enormous.”

I think to answer the trolls, it is simply a case of asking (and answering) yourself certain questions.

What we do know as fact, is that Eddie Howe, with the help of around £90m spent in January 2022 on players of his choosing, has kept Newcastle United up. Of course he has achieved far more than that but reaching safety was the first step.

So now we are in hypotheticals, what would have happened if circumstances had been different?

If Steve Bruce had remained as Newcastle United Head Coach but not had any money to spend in January 2022? This for me would have been a 100% guarantee that NUFC would have been relegated.

If Steve Bruce had remained as Newcastle United Head Coach and had been allowed to spend £90m on players of his choice,  in January 2022? This for me would also have 100% guaranteed that NUFC would have gone down.

If Eddie Howe had replaced Steve Bruce but in January 2022 hadn’t been allowed any money to spend? This is where it gets potentially interesting.

The reality is that Howe took over such a dire situation thanks to Mike Ashley’s wilful neglect and Steve Bruce’s incompetence, it would have been a huge task to reach safety without any money to spend in January 2022.

However, despite the shambles he took over, Eddie Howe was making significant strides before we got to January. He had managed to get the team far fitter and more focused, much better team performances generally, however, undermined by individual errors at key moments in matches, though Eddie Howe gradually realising which players he could rely on.

In the first 19 games that went by in 2021, Newcastle United picked up only 11 points.

As things stand now, Leeds have only 35 points with only one game remaining, Burnley on 34 points with two games left, whilst Everton have 36 points and also two matches to go.

I think every chance that 36 points will have been enough for safety once these remaining games are played out, so Eddie Howe would have needed another 25 points in the last 19 games.

We are talking about around seven wins along with a few draws, I think it would have been very tight but just about Eddie Howe could have pulled it off. He has / had markedly improved the performances of the likes of Joelinton, Shelvey, Willock, Krafth, Fraser and so on. So I think fair to say that with no new January signings, Eddie Howe would have then been forced to play other players in more games, such as Gayle, Almiron, Dummett, Manquillo and others, no reason why he couldn’t have improved their contribution as well.

I don’t think there would have been even a remote chance of reaching 43 points with still four games left BUT hitting mid-thirties in terms of points could have still been possible.

In the real world, even small backing from the new owners could / would have still probably guaranteed survival under Eddie Howe, when you consider that Dan Burn and Matt Targett have arguably been the biggest contributors to this turn around and for a total outlay of only around £13m for the pair of them.

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