You don’t have must win games at this stage but Newcastle v Bournemouth is a…must win
Next up it is Newcastle v Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe up against his old club, the one he took from the brink of dropping into non-league, right through all divisions and into the Premier League.
If you recall, when Eddie Howe landed at St James’ Park ten months ago, his first couple of home matches were branded as ‘must win’ games, if Newcastle United were going to feasibly have a chance of avoiding relegation.
They were the 12th and 14th Premier League games of the season respectively, a 3-3 draw against Brentford and 1-1 when Norwich visited. In between, a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in the 13th games of the season.
A third ‘must win’ home match swiftly followed, with a 1-0 against Burnley in the 15th PL game of the 2021/22 season. That was only light relief though, as we managed to make it 20 PL games with only one win, as a 1-1 draw at home to Watford in game week 20 was yet another….and this time, really a ‘must win’ match for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United.
We all know of course the story of what then happened, only Liverpool and Man City with better form as Eddie Howe’s NUFC hoovered up 37 points in the final 18 games.
Moving forward to the present day, next up it is Newcastle v Bournemouth.
This is very much a ‘must win’ game for me.
Let me explain.
This isn’t about a ‘must win’ to avoid relegation, as was the case for so long last season, as Eddie Howe and the new owners dealt with the mess left behind by Bruce and Ashley.
Saturday I feel is a ‘must win’ if we are going to see Newcastle United now put together the kind of run I think they need to, if NUFC are to do anything of significance this season.
Eddie Howe was served up a shocker of an opening sequence of matches and the team played really well in the opening five games, deserving more points than the six they did get.
With Palace last time out, it was never going to be an easy match BUT it was one where I think we needed to and expected to win, if we are going to have aspirations.
As it happened, totally deserved to win it but Palace keeper, match officials etc somehow denied Newcastle the three points.
So that leaves the Premier League table looking like this:
I think there is real opportunity to attack the top six this season, especially with the lack of time to fit in games, this especially so for the clubs with European games on top.
To do this, Newcastle need to be beating Palace at home and the same when Bournemouth come to town.
Palace got lucky but we can’t allow Bournemouth to do the same.
Look at these nine games below, before the break for the World Cup happens.
Starting on Saturday, I think we need to beat Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton and Villa at home. Then pick up points at both Southampton and Fulham.
That leaves games against Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd.
To get competitive by the time we get to 15 Premier League matches played, I would say we need to pick up 14 points minimum from the first six games grouped above, then another minimum of three points from the ‘big six’ clubs.
That would give us at least 24 points from 15 matches, an average of 1.6 points per game played, which if keeping up that average, would work out at 60 points.
I think 60 points is the minimum for me, if we are going to have a real go this season.
Newcastle v Bournemouth has to be the start of this.
Newcastle United match and live TV schedule confirmed up to when Premier League breaks for World Cup in November / December 2022:
Saturday 17 September – Newcastle v Bournemouth (3pm)
Saturday 1 October – Fulham v Newcastle (3pm)
Saturday 8 October – Newcastle v Brentford (3pm)
Sunday 16 October – Man Utd v Newcastle (2pm)
Wednesday 19 October – Newcastle v Everton (7.30pm)
Sunday 23 October – Tottenham v Newcastle (4.30pm)
Saturday 29 October – Newcastle v Aston Villa (3pm)
Sunday 6 November – Southampton v Newcastle (2pm)
Saturday 12 November – Newcastle v Chelsea (5.30pm)
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