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Watch Out for Newcastle’s Upcoming Slide Down The Table

Even if we discount the fact that they have now named their stadium after a company that their owner runs, throwing almost 120 years of history into the gutter, Newcastle United have been hitting the headlines a lot more than usual this season.

After 11 games they sit third in the table, just a point behind Manchester United and three points ahead of Chelsea in fourth. This is a position which not even the most seasoned and cynical pundit would have predicted.

However they undoubtedly deserve a lot of credit for the start of the season, But the fact is they have only picked up two points in games against the so called Big Six. Drawing 2-2 with Tottenham on October 16th and 0-0 with Arsenal way back on the first day of the season when the Gunners began that abysmal run of form.

Though those results deserve some credit, until they start winning those sorts of matches the Magpies will not become genuine top six contenders.

As heartening as it is to see another team up there mixing it with the big boys, I feel that by Christmas Newcastle will have run out of steam and dropped back down into a top ten place which realistically is their best hope for this season.

When you look at their next three fixtures, they have Manchester City away, Manchester United away and then Chelsea at home on December 3rd, even the most ardent Newcastle fan wont be expecting much more than to maybe mirror their earlier results against top London sides and take a point off Chelsea at the start of December.

To be honest, as much as I would love to see the big Manchester clubs inflicted with a bloody nose by the lads from the North East, the amount of talent from both clubs should produce an easy home win on both occasions.

Chelsea at home is a different matter entirely. With the crowd behind them and Demba Ba on form, it’s not entirely unrealistic that Newcastle could snatch something from the game.

The squad the Magpies have to pick from isn’t without talent, but it lacks the depth of a top six side. Ba is in great form, but the injury prone front man doesn’t yet have the credibility of a goal scorer like Torres, van Persie or Rooney.

Leon Best has a lot of potential and at 25 he still has some years to mature and Shola Ameobi is only a player of average calibre. Peter Lovenkrands shone for Rangers but he is 31 now and past his prime. Danny Guthrie is an excellent young midfielder and Argentinean Jonas Gutierrez has produced flashes of brilliance but has lacked consistency.

All in all, as sad as it may be, I firmly believe Newcastle’s great start to the season will falter and they will fall away from their current lofty perch and drift back into mid table mediocrity, starting with defeats against Man City, Man United and in all probability Chelsea.

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  1. JunWei

    November 19, 2011 at 4:37 am

    ‘the injury prone front man doesn’t yet have the credibility of a goal scorer like TORRES’

  2. Malcolm

    November 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

    It’s all about beating the lower placed teams consistently. That’s what Newcastle have done and that’s why they deserve their position in the league table. Liverpool have struggled to beat lesser opposition and look where they are? It’s all about consistency and winning against lesser opposition. That’s why United win the title so often. They don’t drop points against lesser opposition easily.

    Newcastle fans should be worried if their team begins dropping points against lesser opposition, not aginst the top teams like City, United, Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal. From what I’ve seen so far of Newcastle they will be among the top 6 teams for quite sometime.

  3. dan

    November 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    When we were a “top six” side, we would always drop points against the likes of Derby, Wigan and Southampton, and pull off the occasional result against one of the top 4. Now we have won the kind of games that would have established ourselves as champions league contenders for more than one season every 5 years or at least kept us in the premier league, we are being slagged off for not playing Chelsea or Man U?

    I don’t expect or really want a euro place as we are (especially not a europa league spot) given that we have rebuilding to do, but I am over the moon at the way we are playing and the fact that the days of Newcastle dropping points against clubs we really should have done better against means that we are establishing a solid premier league side. I would take a beating off City if it meant taking 3 points off Stoke and Blackpool at home, unlike last year when, despite great results against Liverpool and Villa we failed to put points on the board against the teams we should have beaten.

    Long may it continue.

  4. Jason

    November 16, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    To say that Newcastle are going to begin their slide down the table assumes that the other teams around them are going to get much better results during the same period. With the exception of City who are playing very well and who have a deep enough squad to cope with injuries, all of the other teams are capable of losing points.

    As long as Newcastle continue to win games against teams outside the top 5 or 6 they will be in very good shape. Given Liverpool’s problems and Arsenal’s inconsistency this season could well see a team like Newcastle stay in the top 6 throughout the season.

  5. ToonToon

    November 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Whatever bro I’m just enjoying the ride when was the last time the Newcastle-City fixture was bigger than the Chelsea-Liverpool fixture?

  6. Sean

    November 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Manchester United won the league last season, and here are some results:

    Man City Away – Draw
    Tottenham Away – Draw
    Chelsea Away – Lost
    Liverpool Away – Lost
    Arsenal Away – lost
    Newcastle Away – Draw

    True their home form was phenominal, but shows you dont have to win every game against the big teams.

  7. Harold

    November 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Is the Man United v Newcastle game not being shown? It isn’t listed on your schedule for Nov 26th. It seems strange that Chelsea v Wolves and West Brom v Spurs would be chosen over that fixture, I can only imagine it will be switched nearer the time

    • The Gaffer

      November 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      It hasn’t been announced yet which channel it’ll be shown on. It could end up being shown on ESPN. We’ll update the schedule as soon as we know for sure. Thanks Harold.

      The Gaffer

      • John R

        November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

        Gaffer, the espn fixture list shows the ManU/Newcastle game will be shown on ESPN2. not sure how official that is though.

  8. John R

    November 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    the one thing that has somewhat been mentioned already that is the huge difference from last year is that Newcastle is beating the teams they should be beating. no more giving up last minute goals for a draw (or loss). That right there is a good sign of their improvement. Sure, they havent played the manchester clubs or chelsea yet, but they are getting all the points they reasonably can. i dont think they are a top team yet (yes, im a huge newcastle supporter), but the evidence shows they are well on their way. i do however, think they have a great chance of going to the Europa league. and id rather have a year in the europa to get some european experience before making the huge jump to the champions league.

  9. Brad

    November 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t see how not beating teams in the top six means NUFC aren’t top six contenders? We’ve picked up two from six from then, If we don’t drop points to teams around us (or below us now), then we’ll definitely be around the top six all season, no one else is doing that. Not saying it will happen, but winning games against the top teams doesn’t mean we can’t end up there. I would assume though, some points are picked up from those games (Liverpool home and Chelsea home should be draws at least.)

  10. SoccerLimey

    November 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    For me, I think Pardew has done a surprisingly good job so far at St James’s ( or whatever we’re calling it now). I was one of the harshest critics when Hughton was unceremoniously dumped and doubted the wisdom of Pardew’s appointment, but Newcastle seem to be a solid unit that can play some football.

    My concern, and please don’t accuse me of Southern bias because I lived in NorthWest for the first 25 years of my life and now live in Chicago, is that they haven’t been tested by the top teams yet. Those games will be acid test for the Geordies but to their credit, they have done all they can up to now and that is to beat what is in front of them.

    Remember, there are no easy games in the Premier League these days.

  11. Adam

    November 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I have to echo some of the sentiment above. If Newcastle can “only take a point” from City, I would call that a fantastic result. Just ask Manchester United and Tottenham. The same applies for matches against Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool; if Newcaslte they win the other matches with the other teams in the league, Newcastle would be sitting just about where they are now. Further still, when was the last time a ‘big six team’ went to Stoke and won? Basically your logic and premise of the article are not correct.

  12. rob

    November 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Another example of biased southern journalism…just waiting and hoping that a Northern team are going to slip up….leave Newcastle alone, Pardew has done a great job considering who our chairman is and it’s the media who blow things out of proportion and cause unrest etc etc for players and teams.
    I do hope that Newcastle prove you wrong, the parasitic leech that you are.

  13. A.R.T

    November 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Anyone who says that Newcastle have had it easy getting into third are doing a great disservice to the premier league. Probably one of the most used phrases in the league last year was ‘there are no easy games in the premier league’.

    Also I haven’t seen anyone taking 3 points from stoke at home.

  14. David

    November 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Also consider that a win against every single “little 13” (whats left after Newcastle and the “big 6” are taken out) is still 78 points. I don’t think that not getting points off the best teams can even be considered a sign of their position in the table as being tenuous. To close the season last year Arsenal had problems against teams in the bottom of the table, points are points and it doesn’t matter who or where you get them from.

  15. MF

    November 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

    “But the fact is they have only picked up two points in games against the so called Big Six. Drawing 2-2 with Tottenham”. What’s your point? 2 points from 2 games against the ‘big six’: Arsenal was Newcastle’s first game of the season with a half-new team; Newcastle are the only team to take anything of Spurs for months…..

  16. AF

    November 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I think for the last several years (excluding last year) Everton, Aston Villa and Tottenham were genuine top 6 contenders without producing stunning results from their matches against the top four….

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