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Newcastle United progress/success (or lack of it) this season – This is how you have to measure it

1 year ago
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A lot of talk in the summer about what would represent success this season for Newcastle United.

Whilst pundits, journalists wanted to portray NUFC supporters as expecting (feeling entitled to…) instant catapulting into the top four, or top six at worst.

Newcastle United fans repeatedly talked of top ten as the marker to aim for and seventh, best of the rest, as the most realistic when it came to potentially just how high / successful this 2022/23 season could turn out for Eddie Howe and his players.

Heading into this international break after the opening seven rounds of matches, this is how the Premier League table now looks:

Newcastle United are…top ten, but apparently for some fans this isn’t success, or even acceptable, supposedly.

The thing is, positions in the table aren’t always the most reliable guide to success or failure.

The number of points is very definitely the best guide to whether you are progressing…or regressing.

These are the Newcastle United points totals for the past 19 NUFC Premier League seasons:

71 – 2001/02

69 – 2002/03

56 – 2003/04

44 – 2004/05

58 – 2005/06

43 – 2006/07

43 – 2007/08

34 – 2008/09

Championship – 2009/10

46 – 2010/11

65 – 2011/12

41 – 2012/13

49 – 2013/14

39 – 2014/15

37 – 2015/16

Championship – 2016/17

44 – 2017/18

45 – 2018/19

44 – 2019/20

45 – 2020/21

49 – 2021/22

So as you can see, we had the final three Sir Bobby Robson seasons with points totals of  71, 69 and 56.

Graeme Souness then comes in and takes Newcastle United down to 44 points, then the following season he is going to take the team / club down even further, until he was belatedly sacked and Glenn Roeder (with Alan Shearer as his number two) produced a remarkable turnaround that ended up with a 58 points total.

Since 2006 it has been miserable stuff, only that freak 65 points Newcastle United total in 2011/12 lifting the gloom, as Mike Ashley did his thing.

Last season we of course saw another remarkable turnaround, similar to the Roeder / Shearer one of 2005/06, indeed even more remarkable I think most people would agree.

After only 12 points for Newcastle United in the first 20 Premier League games, Eddie Howe picking up 37 in the final 18 PL games.

A points total of 49 by the end of last season and fair to say that Eddie Howe had significantly raised fans’ hopes and indeed expectations, coming into this season.

Currently Newcastle United have eight points from seven games, averaging 1.14 points per match, over a full season of 38 games, that average points per game would give you 43 points.

To me, the target this season has to be to improve the points total and getting 50 points or more, would be only the second time since 2006, that 50+ points had been achieved. Every point above 50 would of course be a bonus.

Even our harshest critic would surely agree that based on the performances, Newcastle United have deserved more points in these opening seven games. People also surely accepting that Newcastle United have had more than their fair share of injuries to key players, plus poor refereeing / VAR decisions and just general bad luck.

To get to 50+ points, Eddie Howe and his players need to get 42 or more points from the remaining 31 PL games. That would take a minimum average of 1.35 points per game.

I think a realistic aim is for Newcastle United to average at least 1.5 points per match, which in simple terms would be achieved of NUFC won one / lost one, throughout the remaining games.

Averaging 1.5 points in these PL games to come would then give NUFC a final total of 54 or 55 points. In terms of league position, that would have given you eighth in the Premier League, West Ham then seventh on 56 points, with Man Utd sixth on 58 points.

Just a case of everybody holding their nerve, allowing Eddie Howe to get on with the job, get keys players available and I’m sure we will start to see results matching performances, with those performances improving as well.

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