With an impressive start the mood among fans is one of renewed optimism and belief that a good season may be on the cards for Newcastle.
The performances against both Aston Villa and especially Blackburn have gone a long way in enhancing that belief. Although we all know tougher tests are to come the general consensus seems to be one of quiet confidence.
Some still say we have not been really tested yet. I would agree to an extent and believe Wolves and Spurs will prove to be tough opponents in the coming weeks. That said I think there are no easy games in the Premier League any more, newly promoted QPR proved that much.
Despite what peoples opinion may be on the strength of sides we have faced or the standard of some of our performances, the Premier League is a results business. Regardless of whether you play a team off the park or grind one out with backs to the wall, points on the board is what is most important.
So going off that train of thought I wanted to compare our results to last seasons corresponding fixtures to see if our points tally does flatter us somewhat….
Last season 4 – 4
This season 0 – 0
Last season 1 – 1
This season 1 – 0
Last season 0 – 0
This season 2 – 1
No corresponding fixture
Aston Villa (Away)
Last season 0 – 1
This season 1 – 1
Last season 1 – 2
This season 3 – 1
As you can probably see it makes for promising reading. We have not lost points on any opponent from the corresponding fixture last year. In fact we have improved on last seasons result in four of the five games that were comparable.
Some can say we have not been tested yet and if it is a debate on strength of other teams it may be a legitimate argument. Personally I am only concerned with our strength and against the same opposition last season our results were not good, in fact we didn’t win any of those five fixtures.
All in all we are 8 points better off from these fixtures than we were last season. As well as that we have stopped the abysmal record we have at Villa Park, sealed our first win against Blackburn at home for seven years and beaten the Mackems on their own turf.
Hypothetical of course as other results could go the other way yet, but if we had achieved those results last season with the goal difference taken into account we would have finished 8th on 54 points, losing out on 7th position to Everton on goal difference, +6 to +4.
Aside from direct fixture comparison, simply based on league position and points tally after six games last season, we are five points better off, have scored two goals less but have conceded only three goals this time around in comparison to eight meaning that our goal difference stands at plus four instead of plus one.
The obvious conclusion to draw is, to date, we look like we are definitely a better team than we were last season. Results speak for themselves and there is a clear progression there. Although there may be room for improvement and tougher times ahead, we are no doubt heading in the right direction.
Next up is Wolves away and then Spurs at home. Both good sides and personally would not be too disappointed with the same results as last season. Two points from the two games would be acceptable but in saying that the aim for the team should be more.
I think we should and will go out to beat both given our strong performances home and away lately and four to six points would be an extremely good return
What do you think?