Should Newcastle be aiming higher than just survival?

The Newcastle squad.
Can this lot go a lot further?
Well, should we? Dare we have ideas above our station? Should a newly promoted team dare to believe that a top half finish, or even a European place, should be within our grasp?

Now I know that sounds a little bit deluded, maybe a even quite a bit deluded, but we are only one point off seventh place in the table, and five points off of sixth place in the table, with a game in hand over two of the three teams above us.

It could have been even better had Asamoah Gyan not fluked his equaliser deep into stoppage time yesterday and we could of woke up this morning to find ourselves sitting in seventh place in the table, two points behind sixth place with a game in hand. Ah well, if’s and but’s.

I understand that we should make sure we are safe first before trying to do anything else in the league, but with the way the season is shaping up, and with the way the table is panning out, why not aim a bit higher? If we can get ourselves on a good run of form then we could be in with a shout of finishing surprisingly high up the league.

In my opinion we are at a crossroads in our season. Now is the time to decide in which direction we are heading as, realistically, we could head down aswell as up. We have a home game against Tottenham next, followed by a trip to Fulham, Arsenal at home, Blackburn and Birmingham away and Bolton and Everton at home. If we can get 12 points or so from those games then we could push on as safety would be all but assured. On the other hand, a low haul of three or so points would mean that the rest of the season would be geared towards avoiding relegation, probably.

Alan Pardew has been in charge for six league matches now, and he has won three of those matches and drawn another. That is not a bad start to life, but it has been helped by the fact that the players seem to be willing to work with him, which was my biggest concern after the sacking of Chris Hughton.

I’ve been thinking about it recently, and we aren’t a million miles away from having a very good, young side. The squad may be thin, but the starting XI, and maybe even a couple of players beyond that, are good enough to give anyone a match, as we have proven this season. It makes me wonder how much of a difference Hatem Ben Arfa would have made if we had him available for more games?

That late equaliser yesterday was definitely a kick in the teeth, but on reflection it is the performance we should be looking at. We played well yesterday and stifled Sunderland. I don’t care what Dame Bruce says about them not being a long ball team (although the two meetings against us would suggest otherwise), the fact is that we made them into a long ball team yesterday as we shut out virtually every other avenue of attack they had. Darren who?

If we can keep doing that until the end of the season then who knows? I’d have been delighted with just surviving this season, and I still will be. But with the way things are going, and with the way the league is going, why not look up?

As ever though, it’s safety first!

78 thoughts on “Should Newcastle be aiming higher than just survival?

  1. What would AP say if you asked him if he was “pushing on”? The only question that really remains is will management decide to “play the kids” once survival is assured, or take the chance to grab for Europe. The answer may be determined before the Mags get to that point, with European positions locked up by others, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

    Assuring Europe to me would require NUFC to be able to win a game either by keeping it on the deck or thumping it up to Carroll. Right now, neither is possible. By February 1, we will have an answer.


  2. I might have to write an article for you Toonsy, I leave a comment early morning China time about us may be now needing to aim for 6th and I check back to find a whole post on it!! 😆

    I really do think if we look at all the teams around us and the way they have played this season, then look at some of the stuff we’ve played and some of the discipline we’ve shown in some games, then nobody stands out as much as us from that group. Or is that me being a bit biased. 😀

    Now, we’ve just gotta kick on. A result against Spurs would be a huge step in that direction but that could be a step too far, would love it though!! 😎


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