I actually remember Newcastle hater and sexist tosser Andy Gray saying at the beginning of the season that he ‘worried for Newcastle.’ He said he thought the club would struggle because they hadn’t spent much money on new players and have come back up with many of the players who took the club down in the first place.
To be fair Gray also predicted that West Brom would have the strongest season out the 3 promoted clubs. Well the Midlands Club find themselves in a rather unhealthy position in the league and are very much flirting with relegation currently. Got that one wrong eh Andy? But this isn’t about WBA or Andy Gray, It’s very much about Newcastle’s current position.
Europe has been a word on the lips of a few people as of late. Why not eh? The team seems to be pulling in the right direction on the field and on our day give anyone a game. But if we approach the situation with a bit of realism we all know survival is the first port of call. It was the target set for the season, before a ball was kicked the aim was 17th place and anything better would be a pleasant bonus.
We sit 9th on 36 points which isn’t bad going at all. They say the magic number is 40 to ensure safety, although I’ve heard a couple of players mention 42 as the total they believe to the number to aim for. Let’s just say 42 is the number to (probably) keep us up then we are only 2 wins away with 10 games still to play.
We have heard Jose Enrique say he wants to ensure safety before he is willing to discuss a new contract and now suggestions that Joey Barton now wants to wait until the summer as well. I think cementing our place in this league for next season will be a huge weight off everyone’s mind. That’s an obvious statement, but so very true. It feels the lads have done 99% percent of the job and now we just have finish it off in the next few weeks if possible.
Whether or not the players mentioned above have any real intention of staying, who knows? But what I do know is top flight football will be a necessity as a bare minimum to both. I think we are safe to be honest, but the sooner we can get to 40-42 points I’ll feel even better.
I try not to dwell on the negatives but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about how it would have been if we held on against Spurs and Sunderland. Of course we conceded injury time equalisers in both games which consequently cost us 4 more points. Which would have had us on 40 points at this stage and seen us in 6th place, but let’s face it when do Newcastle ever do it the easy way?
This season has provided many highs, some excellent results, brilliant performances and it looks as if we can get a top half finish should we be able to duplicate some of our best form. Top 7 would be a dream but I haven’t forgotten how I said I would be delighted with survival alone, I’m not a fickle man and I stand by that statement.
Everton at St James’ is next up, a team who we beat in their yard earlier in the season with a memorable Ben Arfa goal being the difference between the two sides that day. Three points against The Toffees would be a very welcome step closer to Premier League survival. As I keep saying the sooner we hit 40 the better in my opinion.
What do you think? How high can we finish? « 10 man Newcastle miss chance to go 7th. | Can Tiote be our future captain? »