A very worrying statistic for Newcastle United…

Posted on December 22nd, 2011 | 41 Comments |

Pardew's party finally hits the buffers.
Pardew's party finally hits the buffers.
I think it would be fair to say that Newcastle United have had a rather poor run of results in our last six games.

Since our 2-1 defeat of Everton, we have picked up a mere two points in our last six games, 0.39 points per game. Despite our excellent start to the season which at one stage saw us in third place, if this form were to continue, we would only gain an extra 6.93 points between now and the end of the season, which would leave us with a total of only 33.93 points (OK 34 points) on the day of the last judgement in May after our final game with Everton. Dear reader, I probably don’t need to tell you that this was the same points total which saw us relegated at the end of the 2008/9 season, and that we would almost cartianly be staring relegation in the face once more if that were to happen again.

Of course, it is true that our recent bad run of form started with a terrible trio of fixtures against moneybags Man City, the current champions from the other side of Manchester, as well as moneybags Chelsea. However we also failed in a similar but less expected fashion against three other teams where we might have been expected to make up the ground lost in those previous three games, ie the Premiership minnows of Norwich City and Swansea City, and also the yo-yos of West Bromwich Albion most recently. Though we face another supposedly “easy” game against struggling Bolton next, we will then have two more clashes with big guns in the form of the leviathan of Liverpool, and then the mighty Manchester United once again.

This kind of thing has happened before, one recent example being Hull City in the season we were relegated (2008/9). In the last few days of October 2008, they were third in the Premiership after beating the likes of Arsenal an Tottenham, and of course, ourselves when the Keegangate imbroglio was at it’s height. There were even calls for Hull’s manager of the time, the orange hued Phil Brown, to be our next England manager. It then started to go decidedly pear shaped from that point. The “Tigers” of Hull were defeated 3-0 by Chelsea, as we were recently after our November downturn started, and after that, they only won two more Premiership games that season. They narrowly avoided relegation with only 36 points by the time the end of the season came. If we had managed to beat Aston Villa in our final game of that season, Hull would have been relegated, but at our expense they lived to fight another season, eventually making the drop back down to the Championship a year later. As I mentioned there have been other Premiership examples, perhaps a little less extreme such as Blackpool last season, who looked a good bet in the top ten in the earlier parts of the season, then eventually succumbing to relegation, and Leicester City in the 2000/1 season. They topped the League in October, eventually finishing in 13th. They were then relegated in last place the following season and so on…

I am not saying in a million years that Newcastle United will be relegated at the end of this season, or even that there is a very good chance of it, however some fans, and possibly even some owners have undeniably read far too much into a few good results at the beginning of a season. I am saying this partly because the January transfer window now looms large and some poor decisionmaking during this period could turn a mini drama into another large crisis for the Toon, especially with our current owner.

Though our current manager, Alan Pardew, is a man of roughly similar managerial abilties to Phil Brown in the Hull City example I cited above, our current squad should still be stronger than the one Brown had at his disposal. Basically it’s a mid table squad at the moment and if we finish in or around the European places, Pardew will have done a good job overall, and if we finish in or around the relegation zone, the opposite. However this can soon change in the course of a transfer window, especially with an owner who who is so unwilling to pay the going rate for players both in terms of transfer fees and wages, and also sets so much store by the resale value and profitabilty of both his current players and his transfer targets. It also goes without saying of course that some of our relatively poorly paid players will be targeted with far better offers by more ambitious clubs, not just the usual suspects at the top of the division, but also other more ambitious clubs such as QPR, Sunderland, Stoke et al, who are willing to offer far more generous contracts to players than we are currently.

So Ashley’s unwillingness to bid at the going rate for potential new players, combined with his unwillingness to offer existing players what they could get elsewhere when negotiating contract extensions can be a dangerous game. It can also have a domino effect, leading players who were previously happy to seek more security elsewhere when they see the contantly revolving door of players coming in and out of the club in order to secure the maximum financial advantage in the short term, rather than having the ambition to build a settled successful team which could secure a financial advantage in the long term.

Hopefully we will not see too many departures in the January transfer window, and hopefully we will see some new players too. However, the club should not be blinded by it’s good early season form, which is now seemingly a thing of the past. It should also seek to build a settled squad, and also, as recent injuries have proved, a squad of greater depth in some areas than the one we have currently.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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41 Responses

  1. Just saw that we’re bottom in the league for form. Bolton ahead of us with 1 more point in the last 6 games. Was also wondering how long it’s been since anyone other than Ba scored for us. Any news on the Santon injury?

  2. also an interesting stat between the 30-45 minutes we have conceded 8 goals, this is the highest amount of goal we have conceded over the 90 minutes over our last 17 games. so guess an inability to stay mentally strong until half time needs improving

  3. nufc337 says:
    December 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “so guess an inability to stay mentally strong until half time needs improving”

    Or physically strong, especially in the midfield area?

    Newcastle players such as Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor and ex player Joey Barton have regularly cropped up in “hardest working” (ie hardest running) stats for Premiership players. That frisky little pony, Jonas Gutierrez, gets around a bit too. Pardew’s style does involve quite a hit of huffing and puffing up and down the pitch.

  4. One thing I didn’t mention in the piece above is that we will also be losing Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote for the African Cup of Nations soon, and for a considerable period of time too.

    We’re doomed!

  5. Yeah thats why I was wondering where our goals are gonna come from. And conceding this many we really are gonna have to score alot!

  6. conceding this many we really are gonna have to score alot – its the Keegan style in reverse

  7. let’s be realistic we are 7th with 27 points
    we are not in the top 6 – fair enough cos we are nowhere near good enough yet

    but – we are top of the second 6 ahead of
    8 Stoke City 24
    9 Norwich City 21
    10 West Bromwich 21
    11 Everton 20
    12 Aston Villa 19

    and there is no reason why we can’t finish above that lot – they are as inconsistant as we are!

    when our injured/suspended lads come back, plus emerging players like Vuckic plus even only a couple of decent signings – we should finish better than last year with a pretty good team – what more can we expect?

    we have to accept reality


  8. Supermac says:
    December 23, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Supermac, they may be inconsistent, but we’ve been consistently good at picking up points, and more recently we’ve been consistently poor at picking up points, which is different.

    I am the Private Frazer of the NUFC Blog world. We’re doomed I tell yae, DOOMED! ;-)

  9. can also throw in nolan with the hard working midfield haha,be interesting if vuckic is in contention for starting again for such an impressive debut he might just see out cabaye for bolton.

  10. nufc337 says:
    December 23, 2011 at 2:35 am

    “be interesting if vuckic is in contention for starting again for such an impressive debut he might just see out cabaye for bolton.”

    I’ve been banging on about Vuckic ever since I saw him kick a ball around a few times, and just as importantly, watched him whilst he was off the ball too. I could see straight away that he had the poise and technique of a truly great footballer like Pedro (the Geordie one not the Barcelona one). He’s built like a Slovenian brick shithouse too!

    Poor Bowburn Mag wrote this about him once on here. He had exactly the same impression as I did, but he expressed it so well I may as well put it down here instead of my own words:

    “I might be alone in this but sometimes I watch someone on the park and make up my mind instantly that he’s either garbage or breathtakingly brilliant just by the way he carries himself on a pitch and by the body shape. To put it bluntly, some people just don’t look like footballers. This kid, however, despite my admission of not seeing much of him looks just like one. And a big, powerful, combative goal-scoring one that we’ve been crying out for. At 17 years old and 6ft 2, he looks well-built but despite being solid, his movements seem fluid and he’s graceful and skillful on the ball. In my opinon, this kid is destined for great things.”

  11. yes all very true great little piece

    wish i had that sort of build for a 17 year old he is doing mighty fine for himself, can see for replacements if tiote or cabaye get injured guthrie vuckic gosling abied and who ever comes next from our reserves and of course smith :). shame gosling is down the pecking order he has a good pass on him and shot he is yet to grow to his potential just like guthrie who is now flourishing.

  12. Well all I can say about Vuckic is…………you can all suck my duck now you have seen him play. I was very much the same as bowburn in my estimation of Vuckic you either have it or you don’t. I sometimes peer into the reserve league and I once saw a found Andy Carroll play against man u. He didn’t impress me much . But Vuckic has something he is very much similar as Carroll but faster and more skillful personaly Vuckic is the guy we are looking for up top. Why look any further. What more do you want in a center forward ? A rocket of a left foot and speed to go with it. At 6’2″ he has another year or two of growth . I can see a deeper sanctum in Vuckic I couldn’t see with Carroll . I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong about Carroll . The Carroll we had at Newcastle was good. But I’m right in my views in Carroll as the Carroll Liverpool got was just how I imagined him to be. So both of me are right in a way. Vuckic though is like a rocket. When he us near you he is right up behind you telling you he is there. And maybe just maybe the African cup of donations is a blessing in disguise. I think its time for these hidden gems to come out of the wood work and earn what their dreams are made of. Vuckic and shola. Or Vuckic and best can only make defenders and keepers quake in their boots. Heck Vuckic and benny would be some move in the right direction. Let’s savour what we know we have, not panic about what we have not. Relegation won’t happen. In my opinion too many games too soon the last 6 games have been too cramped to call them fair. After January when Christmas is over let us take head of what needs to be done and go out and do it.
    HOWAY the lads.

  13. Nah… compare the recent run of games to last season and you’ll see we’re only -1 point on those comparable games. It’s nothing to panic over just yet.

  14. hearing all the reports of jan Vertonghen as an addition but with 10 mill as a price tag looks a bit to much but im sure Newcastle scouts will dig deep to find some sort of clause or the traditional shot gun and rope for good measure ;). at least we are being linked with some good quality players that can get our season back on track but then again we have to sign em up first for that to happen.

  15. “Alan Pardew has admitted that although his side have suffered a dip in form, only small changes need to be made to get them back to winning ways”
    – which accounts for the renewed sightings of those UFOs over SJP as Pardew heads home to his parallel universe of Forfortoos for chrisie.

  16. Cabaye will be back, Tioti a bit fitter, Willo available, Vuckic on song, Ba unstopable, Krul solid – what’s the panic?
    At the start of the season, I bet every one of you would have said that 7th at christmas was out of reach
    – now a 7th finish at the end of the season is a fair and achievable target, and I’d settle for it = good progress and a better squad.


  17. Supermac says:
    December 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    ” – which accounts for the renewed sightings of those UFOs over SJP”

    Don’t be daft Supermac, that was Geordie Santa! :-)

  18. Looked to me that we left and are leaving the back door a bit to open, which seems to be a genetic marker for Toon teams over the past few years. I thought the defensive training by AP had got us past these failings, shouldn’t really matter who the defenders are!

    What we need is a Des Walker or Beckenbaur sweeping up these sort of attacks, I would have thought Cabaye could fill this role. 442 aint working, we need to be stifling the opposition (whoever it is) and counter attacking when and if we can. Better to garner points from draws than none at all and hope for the odd win.

    It could be a low relegation, points-wise, total this year, so all aint lost, yet!

    I think we still have a decent squad despite the injuries, providing none are sold off, 2 or 3 additions should see us ok. Providing our Dickens character owner has been visited by the ghosts of (recent) seasons past to remind him not to be too miserly.

  19. Incidently thats not a Ghost in the pic with Pard, is it?

    Or one of his parallel dimensional trialists. ;)

  20. The trouble here is that traditionally over the years the one thing you can predict about Newcastle United is their unpredictability!
    This is the biggest unpredictable club in the universe!! History tells us that Newcastle United are “daft enough” to go on and win the next 3 games, no problem!
    I hope we do! :o)

  21. I think I’d rather have an unpredictable team with the possibility of this years early season than a solid mid table side.

  22. this start to the season was always built on sand, even when we were winning some of our games, we could have also lost them.
    it was more down to a bit of team spirit, and a huge slice of good fortune, that we found ourselves among the higher echelons, of the league.

    there was always going to be a time, when this threadbare squad, would be tested to the max.
    i think even the most optimistic of fan, knew if we picked up a couple of injuries, we would be treading water.

    then there is the clubs so called transfer policy, to consider, is it really that good?
    granted marveux came on a free, but every man and his dog, knew the risks this kid brought with him.
    he gets inevitably injured, in the same area, which has dogged him, for the last couple of years.
    so we are left short in the wide areas again.

    then we have gabriel obertan, who imo is another headless chicken without an end product.
    another signing davide santon, who is known to have trouble with his knee, is out again with a knee injury.

    yohan cabaye has undoubted quality, but i think has been thrown into the deep end somewhat.
    the lad has shown in cameos, what he can do, but struggles with the pace of the prem at times.
    tiote was carrying him a bit, at the start of the season, i think it will be next season, before we see the best of him.
    i think it also shows the folly of letting joey barton walk out of the door without cover.

    we also should have brought in another centre half,at the start of the season, now we are going to be scratching around, looking for someone at the last minute.

    the only decent risk signing we have made is demba ba, this lad is the only player, that looks like scoring for us, and we’ll lose him in january.
    sorry to say but leon best and shola amoebi, will never hit the net on a regular basis, for newcastle.
    lovekrands also looks like a passenger, picking up his wages.

    we should have dumped at least one of these deadwood strikers, to bring in a quality marksman.
    it would be too easy though, for the fat disease which is running the club.
    fat ashley isn’t interested in building a side here, i’m convinced of this, because there is no way you would make the decisions he has, if you were serious about running a prem club.

    so we find ourselves yet again coming into a january window, at the mercy of “jabba the warehouse”, once again.
    you just dont know what he will do next, my money will be on him claiming back, more of his loan.
    knowing ashley, we’ll probably be worse off squad wise, when the window slams shut again.

    as for the grey haired supremo, give me a break, although he’s had a few good results, albeit some luck ones, the man is still a “long ball conman”, who’s tactics and non event substitutions are baffling to say the least.
    in reality this bloke is no better than his predessor,”chris hughton”, who was sacked because we won one game in five.
    alan pardew has won one game in six, so surely he must be looking over his shoulder.
    pardew is still a yes man, a friendly face front man, for this rotten regime;and an a**e crawler of the highest order.
    this start to the season will be his high point as newcastle manager, as he will be the next to fall victim to the filth in the boardroom.

    there is no way pardew can carry on being undermined and hung out to dry by ashley and co.
    you cannot expect miracles on a shoe string, which ashley wants, with his demands for a top ten finish.

    that’s why we will never have decent manager at this club, as long as ashley is here.
    decent managers will not work for these two pariah hucksters, i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again, the only guy who would suit ashley, and put up with this s**t, would be “dario gradi”.

    i’ve got zero faith in the future of this football club, under this regime.


    mike ahley is an extremley ugly b****d.

  23. Grumpy Old-Toon says: thats not a Ghost in the pic with Pard, is it? Or one of his parallel dimensional trialists.
    Grumpy – he thinks we can’t see him, which is why he’s got his left hand on his bum!

  24. Speaking of hands on bums!

    According to a well known magazine, there is a Jolly Fat Banker walking around this Xmas, who can be identified by his appearance. He apparently is 16 to 22 stones, very fat, has a skinhead with lots of tattoos and is often topless.

    If you are lucky enough to spot him, you should walk up to him and slap or pinch his bum. He will then give you a crisp tenner as a reward. This jolly act can be repeated as often as you wish.

    I’ve not seen him yet but am keeping my eyes peeled.

  25. How many points were actually expected from manc/manusa’chelsea?
    If we had been able to put the exact same team out v norwich/swansea/wba we’d probably have seen different results.
    But as the back 4 was mashed & then the midfield, what did anyone expect & why talk about the team as if nothing has changed personnel wise?

    If nowt had changed & we’d gone on this ‘run’, then fair enough, but to not take mitigating circumstances into consideration is an oversight to say the least.

  26. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    “How many points were actually expected from manc/manusa’chelsea?
    If we had been able to put the exact same team out v norwich/swansea/wba we’d probably have seen different results.”

    Clint, I thought that we might get one point somewhere, either against Manchester United or Chelsea at home, but more likely Chelsea if they were still erratic and with the home advantage. Turned out it was Man U and Chelsea got away with a sending off too.

    Ten of the team who started the season was available against WBA, the only players missing were Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye through suspension, and Vuckic was bloody good anyway. Are you saying we have to play exactly the same team for every single game of the season, and if one or two players get injured or suspended, the whole team falls apart? If so that would be unrealistic.

    This was always going to happen. In the Premiership sometimes lesser and middle ranking teams do have good starts but find their true level as the 38 game season progresses, but the wise man prepares for the long term and doesn’t get too carried away.

  27. C’mon Trojan, tell it like it is, dont hold back !

    Yeah you got that right Workey, more than one into the Christmas cheer, already.

    Actually, we have within the next season or two the makings of a decent side, with quality in depth.
    We have in Krul a remarkable young goalie, who has yet to reach his best.

    And up front, who in the PL has a predator like Ba ?

    Cabaye has the making of a playmaker, that any club, including Barcelona would like to have, with the ability to both score, put his foot in and lay on the killer pass.

    Hey, what can we say about Mr. T.that has’nt already been said, tough as nails, runs all day and is improving his passing game, plus picking his shots, instead of sending the opposition into the stands, with every tackle.

    At the back is where we need help.

    Colo is as usual, Mr.consistent and reads the game well,same with Saylor before his injury, who also laid a bit of body on the opposition, i liked that, keeps them honest.

    The jury is still out on Santon, looks good on the ball, likes to come forward like Jose and why not, with Jonas to cover you.

    Beb Arfa we know can play as can Marveaux.

    Obertan has speed to burn and perhaps needs time, he’s still young and with the right coaching, who knows?

    I believe we have good developing youngsters in Sammy, Vuckic and Abeid, but not yet starters.

    Gosling seems to have gone off the rails, but should be given time to prove he can play.

    Have to say Guthrie has been a surprise to me, filling in for Tiote admirably, he’s a keeper as we fishermen say.

    Dont know much about the other kids.

    The Simpson saga has gone on too long and i suspect he may on his way, forced out even ?

    Best and Shola are basically ok, but think if we had a
    partner who is as productive as Ba, hmmm!

    As for Lovenkrands, Smith, Perch, Williamson, Raylor, sorry! they are just not the quality we need.

    So who to bring in ?
    See we have been linked with Onuoha, he,s a decent RB who can bring the ball up, very athletic, IMO a good buy.

    We have also been linked with Sissokho, Vortinghen, both class players and the quality we need.
    But will our guy spring for them, doubt it!
    Wonder what’s the story on Miaga, (apart from what we have heard)strange ?
    Anyway, here’s to some good football in the coming year, and best wishes to everyone who’s comments make this the premier blog, talk to y’all next year !

  28. chuck,

    all the best mate, have a good ‘un bud.

    the biggest set back was/is the loss of the back 4 set up.
    Though, losing Cabaye/Tiote/Guthrie during those later games also seriously did for us. The defense, one could argue lack of depth etc. The loss of midfielders is deeply unfortunate. The team is weaker without that consistency. Not so much because of those coming in, more the constant changes required.
    We bypassed our midfield last game, or it didn’t get it’s foot on the ball like we have been. Vuckic needs more time, he did alright the other night, had some cracking shots & shows promise. He’s a good footballer, not there yet.
    Needs to learn how to join up play a bit more effectively/efficiently.

    All the best mate, have a cool yuletide!

  29. Chuck – good summary – but why have we all forgotten about last season’s player of the future – Shane Ferguson?