How much will Newcastle have to improve to avoid relegation?

Posted on January 24th, 2022 | 30 Comments |

Eddie Howe and Steve Bruce
There’s much to think about for Eddie Howe.
Despite all the tales of future world class signings, future Champions League competition and all the rest, it has been a frankly awful season for Newcastle United so far which has seen them rooted within the bottom three. A nightmare December run of games against Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City and finally, Manchester United certainly didn’t help, but as the games get ever more crucial, what lies in store in the next few games for Newcastle and our basement rivals in the race for survival?

Whilst the things should get easier for the Magpies after a dreadful December, a point against Watford and a win against Leeds has made for a better January, though the break has robbed the Magpies of the chance to grab another 3 points in January, as it might have made the club look more secure to any transfer targets as the transfer window closes. The series of more realistic fixtures continues though with an Everton in transition after the sacking of Rafa Benitez, followed by Aston Villa, West Ham and Brentford.

One bad thing is that both teams beneath us have games in hand, one for Watford and three for Burnley, though Toon fans can cling to the hope that two of those three Burnley games are against Manchester United and Liverpool and the recent form of both teams has been even more dire than Newcastle’s. Watford have only won one point in their last five games, and Burnley, two.

On the other hand, we do have one game in hand over the team above us, Norwich, though they have won their last two games. Looking at the odds via OlyBet Sports, despite their two wins, Norwich are still the favourites for the drop, followed by Watford and Burnley, with the Magpies tipped to just escape the drop as things stand.

One thing that’s for sure is that things are still unsure. Newcastle will have to be more than twice as good as they have been so far, or to put it another way, they will have to win more than double the amount of points per game than they have so far to get over those magical 40 points everyone who supports a struggling club talks about at the end of a season. If we carry on the way we are, we will get 27. This means that we will have to play like a mid table side who would normally expect to win 55 points in a season.

In recent years, Newcastle have often done better in the second half of seasons, or the last 17 games as it is now. Looking back, we gained 23 points in the last 17 games last season, only 19 in 2019-20, but 27 in 2018-19 and finally, 25 points in our return to the Premier League in 2018-19 so considering that we should have a slightly better squad than we did before, it is highly achievable but of course, nothing is ever predictable at St James’ Park!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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30 Responses

  1. In reply to your other message, Chuck, let’s examine the evidence for your hypothesis that clubs are trying to get to squeeze huge transfer fees out of ‘nouveau riche’ Newcastle. Firstly, the clubs have every right to do that, it is their job to get the best price they possibly can. Secondly, the club put in a £30 million bid for Diego Carlos, a player who was rated as being worth £40 million+, the club say 50 million euros but that isn’t crazy, it’s £40-41 million. Kieron Trippier, 31 admittedly but still one of the best right backs in England was £12 million. Burnley didn’t want to sell Chris Woods at all, but Newcastle forced them by meeting the £25 million selling clause. Not only did they grab him for themselves, but they have also removed a key player from one of their main relegation rivals.

    You seem to have this idea that Newcastle have the right to demand that other clubs sell their best players cheaply just because they’re rich?

  2. Now it’s ‘Stealth Omicron.’ They’re really trying to make these covid variant names sound scary now. The next one will probably be called the ‘hunter killer’ variant or something like that.

  3. There’s a lack of consistency naming the Covid variants. We named them after the countries they were discovered in first, but I think Trump’s insistence on calling it the “China Virus” to have a dig at China put paid to that. A few country-named variants followed, though, such as the South African variant.

    Then we had Delta and I’m presuming Alpha, Beta and Gamma are the renamed country variants that preceded it. But then we jumped to Omicron.

    This is unfair to Epsilon through to Xi, which have a right to infect us as much as any other Greek letter.

    Then again, I’m guessing Trump would have loved a variant called Xi.

  4. Hugh, don’t forget the first of them all, the good old ‘Kent’ variant! Another world first that Britain can be proud of, like Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. They were probably just improvising with the names at the start and then settled into a system later. Like yourself, I couldn’t figure out why they went first Greek letter, last letter, then a somewhere in the middle letter though.

  5. Apparently, Burnley are in talks about signing Wolfsburg goal machine, Wout Weghorst, to replace Chris Wood. It made me wonder why Newcastle United didn’t just go for Weghorst? He’s much better than Wood and he can’t be that dear if Burnley are in for him. Weghorst is also a real target man of the kind they always seem to go after too. He scored 25 goals for Wolfsburg last season.

  6. It’s looking like we might get the deal for Guimaraes done before the transfer window ends, but I’m not sure who else, if anyone. There might be some last minute madness of course.

  7. Medical today for the Guimaraes.

    Introducing a few good players is great, but going too far and trying to reshape the whole team in the middle of relegation battle with 17 games left can be dangerous if everythiing doesn’t gel straight away.

    The pursuit of Lingard has ended according to the media, Newcastle offered a £2.5 million loan fee until the end of the season, but Man United wanted Newcastle to pay an extra £12 million bonus on top of that if Newcastle survived. That would be £15 million, the same as Alan Shearer for 15 games or so by the time everything is sorted and he’s out of contract at the end of the season too.

  8. Hugh

    I don’t think of this blog as something serious, being it’s a footballing blog and there possibly may be more reasons for you and Worky to criticize me, for not being in line with the so called facts .
    Being sometimes I can’t remember particular names or transfers or other mostly boring facts and prefer look upon it as a joke and don’t have to read the absolute truth and facts surrounding things I use for humors sake.
    Where-as both of you guys go right to the fact sheet, and explaining as to why I am wrong again.
    Though on occasional , I may come up with things that could happen in future times, such as the introduction of a Super League
    for all the European sides, which happened recently and there is a left over sense of rancor, which still surround’s it.
    And of course I will go against the grain, from time to time, because this blog may be more interesting than the .com version, where people usually present short massages to one and other, which is dumb being no one (else) is particularly interested
    Look try and make this blog both funnier or just a bit of humor, is that too much to ask, being I’m not particularly interested in late
    facts , or as Joe Friday the Hollywood tv detective asked , just gimme the facts SIR/MAM.
    As this is not exactly an examination paper or the Courts latest decisions, which it’s monitors would have us believe, no!
    A lighter hand and something odd you may have noticed is all that’s needed, just forget the Joe Friday line’s, OK ?




  9. Looks like we have our complete defensive grouping in place , not that we can’t get rid of any of them within the next couple years or more, dunno if we have our six foot seven Geordie defender yet or not.
    As for goalscoring forwards no real sign, however I liked the big center forward @ the Arsenal, young, precise scorer , that could possibly last well into the present decade.
    But who knows as it appears the decision on midfielders and forwards is to be reviewed and decided by the summer signings, now I don’t know for sure all of the players we are looking at, but hopefully we can have a good judge of players and the possibility of getting a Club over-all manager who can connect with our coach’
    That’s of course a both a political and a serious position for the owners to understand, but in to-days world, a big buck’s and a serious presence needed.
    So don’t get too worried about relegation, where we can find out what kinda side we have, along with the entertainment we can expect, there’s still plenty to play for and insure we are able to
    earn a bit of silverware, where it matters less (except we may lose players, though everyone contacted so far fully understands the situation) involved, and as far as I know we still belong to the richest clubs in the world., not that bad a position

  10. Over £90 million spent by my calculations, including panic buys just to get through the relegation dogfight. Somehow, I don’t think that Chris Wood will be the first name on the teamsheet once Haaland and Mbappe arrive, or even when Wilson gets better, though he really does have a lousy record when it comes to staying on the pitch without getting injured now.

    Burnley certainly had the last laugh after they were forced to sell Wood as they have replaced him with a better striker for half the money. Weghorst for £12 million was a absolute bargain.

  11. Well here we are, already cleared the winter window and are attempting to either justify the choices involved, or not !
    I guess I’m not that a knowledgeable a fan @ that, being I really can’t figure out a real, who’s who, in regard to who arrived is worth the money and why.
    Sure there are some I am aware of (mostly former PL side players)
    But it really matters little, the club have signed some decent defenders, however who is going to do the scoring, hopefully not the 6′-7″Geordie, who i believe was a gift to his local fans, but never a PL player, which we will find out soon enough if I am right or not.
    Yeah I understand the winter window is nothing to do with it’s
    Summer opposite, and whether by chance or whatever we spent buying one half of the projected transfers (defensive players).
    Though these guys were mostly quite close to the dreaded retirement age of 30, but what the hell we still got a bunch of pound notes to chuck around come summer, with rumors of a possible move for Arry Kane, which in my opinion would be a poor representative of the asking price (around 130 mill.) or if we do lets bring in a decent youngster to fill is shoes, as there are still some good buys who could fill those shoes and not all of them so called super strikers.
    It’s also nice to see the club buying from South America, as this would have been impossible @ one time, the continental sides having a majority of scouting and signing deals.
    The really big money will be spent during the next window which if the Saudi’s want a winner, they should (line em up now), not await until we have a big money man to take care of the buying and selling intricacies, if they are worried about getting ripped off.
    Hey defenders are just that, what the fans really enjoy are a side which resembles the entertainers and as a thought why was there never an attempt to re-hire Our manager from that era ?
    And I suppose the fans will buy out the remaining ticketed seats left available by this new fortune we have been handed, however the reason the Saudi’s bought us in the first place has yet to be disclosed, that and an unsatisfied curiosity still remain.
    But think about it the new owners have saved us a trip in a relegation struggle and here we are with the richest ownership on the Continent and still awaiting a further shot @ a hopefully decent
    sale that we know we can underwrite, to establish a new member of the top ten sides, but would we then vote in favor of the suggested
    ‘Super League’, of course the first time I mentioned such a league I was told in no mannerly way to fugedaboudit, though if things in football (possibly the most unusualal way of spending money)
    continue as if nothing has changed and if you don’t believe me just look @ how much dosh is owed by each individual club,
    Hey I find it cool to be a fan of the richest club in the world and hope to continue regardless, plus a bit of silverware, for the closet.

  12. I noticed that Everton have got rid of the Spanish manager, who has been fired I believe including from a Chinese side.
    Unfortunately the fans at St, James’,loved this guy, someone who talked a good game that’s why .
    But when the money was on the line turned out he was all talk.
    Yeah his rap did nothing for his idea of taking over the club from the
    new kids to the league side.
    However there was a certain owner there who wanted to do everything from siphoning off dosh from punters via the clubs take. and Benitez obviously didn’t get it.
    His record is not overwhelming and from Liverpool onward , who by the way were soh! lucky to win the then European championship game in the dying minutes of the game.
    I hear he has been fired now, by Everton, soh ! please don’t let this guy get anywhere near NUFC, or even think of doing any business with him, just remember the term, bullshit baffles brains !

  13. ‘His record is not overwhelming and from Liverpool onward’

    Chuck, he’s certainly having a rocky patch but that simply isn’t true. Since Liverpool, Benitez has won the World Club Cup and the Italian Super Cup with Inter Milan, the Europa League with Chelsea and the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup with Napoli. Most managers would be happy if that’s all they won in their whole career, not just a part of it.

    As I’ve said before, unlike the earlier days of Chelsea, Man City etc Newcastle’s spending is restricted by fair play regulations. They’ve had a bit of breathing space because Ashley was such a skinflint but that will only go so far.

  14. I’ve just been waching the Geordie giant training, he certainly is a big lad! With the possible exception of goalkeepers, can a player be too big though? Sprinters usually are once they go above the optimum height of 6’2″ – 6’4″, though Usain Bolt was an very rare exception as he’s 6’5″ but has a very low centre of gravity for someone his height. That hardly ever happens though.

  15. Useful for getting on the end of headers, I’d have thought.

    The pick of the new guys might be Bruno Guimaraes. He might be a longer term proposition for the club as opposed to merely helping us avoid relegation.

  16. Lindgard, and the rest of those easy to impress guys, I think we have had enough of them and the fact they no longer of any interest is a relief.
    As for the guys signed, ugh!!!!!!
    Everyone appears satisfied, hopefully not ?
    As I am certainly not and I would like to know who was behind these choices, especially with the amounts of dosh available.
    After all this is the inheritors of one of, if not the hugest amounts of dosh allocated by a super rich country.
    But who is actually responsible for the poor showing in the transfer market ?
    As even Shearer might have done a better job.than the time he took over for the last eight games.
    I suppose no one wants to take the responsibility, ah well.
    And is it necessary to have signed height, with two guys “mediocrities” over six foot tall., after all this is not basketball. I mean it should be based on football imo
    Sure I understand the idea of remaining within the Premier League has on various
    players who don’t want to appear either greedy or have a special relationship to the club and prepare not to play in a less than top league, it reduces your value as a player, no?
    And I don’t recall anything like this taking place when Citeh was taken over.
    And I am sure we will probably never see half of them again, after they have filled their obligation, by keeping the side within the top league for another while, being it would reflect on the Saudi’s. following their late provision of a general Manager or whatever title is named , too handle money matters and have a knowledge of the business at hand.
    Who by the way, recently announced they were interviewing a Money man or club director and with the business of rebuilding could take another two to three years to finalize.
    Yep, it’s early days still and one becomes aware of the lack of professionalism, known as feet dragging and see how events turn out for our owners and being it’s their money get them into a co-operative unit, and stop this charade of signing no better than we would, had we never signed anyone
    Yes sir ! it could take forever soh! why not follow the plans elected by Citeh
    who imo have used their money to hire professionals, whereas we appear to be using our former owners approach which was one top management man (himself)
    to take care of everything and a seat-mate at St, James Park, who carried the paperwork from one club to the other known as the general manager, who couldn’t
    it appears handle anything.
    Yeah I understand some may take it as an insult, my opinion of the takeover
    however a bit of pressure never hurts and face it no one is immune to a bit of pressure.
    Soh ! what next, a get to-gether meeting with everyone included with the take-over
    crowd and get an organized plan and put it into effect.
    As we the fans demand a winning side within two years, or possibly a bit more.
    Unless you don’t care about watching a loosing team for the next dozen year or more and the Newcastle fans have been fed a crap side that long with, managers
    who should remain unstated, being they came cheap and never asked questions.
    Time for a change I say and fugedaboud people who don’t know what they are doing. fire them !

    hearer could have done better, I hope, though he wasn’t too clever when he did the eight games to avoid relegation

  17. Chuck, regarding the last transfer window, it’s half and half. Guimaraes and Trippier are the kind of players you’d expect a top six club, or a nouveau riche club with ambitions in that direction to be signing. On the other hand, Wood and Burn (the Geordie Giant) seem to be stopgaps and Targett was a loan so he’s even more likely to be a stopgap.

    Re Man City, memory tends to compress time. As I’ve already mentioned, they came tenth at the end of their first season under their new moneybags owners and their manager was Mark Hughes. I’m not defending the current owners, I still think they are contemptible, but I think that your dreams of relegation dogfight to world domination within months are somewhat overambitious.

  18. I thought that an Everton side in disarray and between managers might be good opponents for a vital 3 points on Tuesday, but now the resurgent Toffees under new manager, Frank Lampard, have just beaten Brentford 4-1 in the FA Cup.

  19. soh!
    Looks like the club have reached the end of the time limit of the transfer window, Yeah the first signing was decent and so was the Brazilian defender, however the rest were imo average .
    And why. ?
    The excuse of any decent players, not wanting to join the side is ridicules , giving a
    year in the second league may lose any chance of either playing for ones country or
    who’s market value has been reduced, whether one believes that or not we still won’t have a side that rates among the top teams .
    Plus the fact who ever went looking for replacements while sitting in nineteenth place in their league standing and expect others to jump, especially after receiving the title of The Worlds richest club.
    The owners were I believe more surprised with the sudden decision than anyone and unfortunately just didn’t have the time to organize the dumping of a poor side and replacement with a side that could remain in the Premier League, plus the attempted European sponsored Super -League, did little to retain a sense of unity among the member clubs within the Premier League, and resulted in a sense of
    disorganization possibly inspired by the Europeans between most clubs, especially amongst the recent additions and less wealthy clubs, seems like part of the European clubs attempt was based on the fact they were all falling behind due to a lack of money, being prices for players have gone through the roof and most European side including English sides, are fairly deep in dept.
    The point is the big continental side are a day late in using which has been used by English clubs for over a decade and are possibly the wealthiest of those involved. using tv revenues instead of what was the norm, “bums in Seats”.
    which is a system that has the rights to produce tv dominated live games and charge others for that purpose, on a world-wide basis.
    Take for instance the recent disputes between The Saudis and the Emirate’s Quatar
    which was about money, and broadcasting ,so are most things in life.
    The continental sides are in deep trouble, therefor the attempt to create a super League, and they do make an interesting scenario, which I doubt will be realised, but there are always two side to any deal, As things stand most have cash flow problems and the multi-rich manufacturing organizations are not that content to supply the money any longer.
    Well I suppose it may take a while before we can expect a joint agreement between
    our Saudi owners, but now hope the second and more important window can get it to-gether now which is not that far off, without re evaluation of the players involved.
    And I don’t believe our upper management can meet our demands and certainly not either our present manager or the feet dragging Saudi’s , who now have chosen a money man, but a day late and a dollar short.
    Ah well!


  20. Chuck, the Brazilian is a ‘box to box’ midfielder who can link the defence and the attack, something that has been lacking at times with Newcastle. He might be a very good signing, even though he wasn’t cheap. In the defence there’s on loan Matt Targett (left back), Kieran Trippier (right back), and there’s the Geordie giant, Burn, who usually plays in the middle of defence. They’ve covered most positions and they really should escape relegation with that but anything is possible in the crazy world of Newcastle United I suppose. Elsewhere, it was 0-0 for Burnley vs Watford the other evening so that keeps them both from getting too far away

  21. Nah ! the problem is the lack of a Technical Director has ended up as a distraction belonging to mainly ownership,
    Sure we would like to see some players arrive with prior success, but just look at the situation of other top sides in football, with most top names already picked for the summer season and then the money games and players and their agents playing games about the money they can generate, confusion and double dealing I’m afraid.
    However the feet dragging incident is due to a lack of understanding and why the youngest of such a group, with no real experience in this the international field. which includes a certain
    knowledge of your opponent/s and the add ons involved when star players announce that it’s just a preference, a minor part of a deal that could ruin the whole procedure, not a game for newcomers.
    same with the managers role, I’m sure we will get rid of Hope and a number of signings soon enough it’s just a fact that top priced managers are not inclined to start not unlike Man Citeh and looked upon as people who expect to be successful without doing the heavy lifting, which is taking place hopefully as we speak.
    But fact is not everyone is happy ,contrary to a general thank goodness we are rid of Ashley feeling and of course we are the richest side in the world, apparently that’s why we managed to sign or midfield star who bought the full story, which is still a possibility.
    Talkig about our Brazilian midfielder, too bad he couldn’t convince a few more of the national side, I mean apart from snow on high ground, who was signed as a goal-scorer and until recently discovered is actually a midfielder , which in itself is a major f/up.
    however the fact the Saudis have bought interest’s in as many as five other European clubs sez, What ?
    Yes it would be interesting if we had gone through the proper way to
    introduce the Saudi’s and had we not been left to them from our cheap-ass prior owner, a skeleton of a once decent club.
    Who are still struggling and sure we bought some replacements but not that much better than those we sold, or do we expect to now walk all over Everton, I think not soh ! if we can’t beat Everton, whats the point.
    Nah ! it’s been an interesting few weeks of the open transfer market, but certainly not my choice of players incoming, though as far as the rest are concerned hell sell em all.


  22. Well, Nostradamus, they did walk over Everton and they’re out of the relegation zone now. Trippier looks like an excellent addition to the side and he scored an excellent free kick. Guimaraes got a chance to run on and run off again.

  23. Yep, the first half was fairly even, but we took it away from them in the second half. It’s the best I’ve seen us play all season. Great free kick from Trippier,

  24. Watched the game against the number two club in Liverpool, well the second half actually, where a comfortable win was recorded .
    Not that a win over Everton @ this time is something unexpected, however it did expose Newcastle as the better of the two sides.
    Which is nice to see, though I don’t have the run in period I reckon we are pretty safe, being some clubs are tiring and slowly slipping down the league. but a lot depends on how well we have used the transfer window, apart from Everton, who have probably spent as much as we have this season.
    And I reckon we will succeed in avoiding relegation, which more or less means we could do most of the final signings during the summer transfer period, which in turn could be some serious business, a good run in the 2300 season and a good finish to our preparation and we are ready to compete with the top clubs in the EPL.
    So don’t worry fellow fans , as we can expect a bit of respect and
    no more bullshit like most clubs have given us so far, meaning lotsa
    wins and perhaps some silverware in our future .
    At least we can expect to be the representative of Saudi-Arabia, a club with plenty of dosh, which we can take care of looking at how we have done so far.
    Who knows what or where we would be without them and what about the other clubs at present becoming attached to the Saudi’s.
    Unfortunately things looked really bad for a while, until we were fortunate enough to become possibly a reflection of the country
    and a viable representative and for what reason ?
    I suppose we will come aware of that in due time, but I am sure its something more than having a decent side, as the Saudi’s have the availability to use just about any epl club as a supplier of good will.
    Yes sir the old first division has changed radically into a league that consists of mainly Billionaire ownership and please no more cheap-ass millionaires and the continental sides are very much aware of it, just look @ where Ronaldo and Messi are playing now and take butchers hook @ how much is owed by those clubs, it’s becoming a game of money with the worlds lucky owners who are for the most part billionaires, meaning can we expect the up and coming China to be involved in the future ?
    Who knows ? though see there will now become a rush for tickets
    the recent game against Everton holding a full house, those fans having had to sit through endless numbers of games played by Bruces sides, which were purely defensive without much hope of a tie even, now translating into a club that can actually win games and perhaps some silverware.
    Bout time , I say.