Throughout the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading about how NUFC have not really been tested this season. I really find this surprising, not to say absolutely ridiculous.
On the back of a chaotic pre-season, dominated by visa issues, mediocre results and the general frustration of our board failing to sign a world class striker, we had a schedule of games laid in front of us that most fans regarded as being a really tough start to the new season. Having to play Arsenal on the opening day before heading into the derby away from home wasn’t exactly how most of us would have planned it ourselves had we had any say in that matter.
After those two matches we went up against Fulham who, in the past, we’ve had a rather poor record against. Then came Queens Park Rangers, who despite just having been promoted, were in a similar position as us – having a lot of new players that individually had a fair share of quality, but were untested as a team.
Then came the game at Aston Villa – another fixture where traditionally we have been picking up very few results. Then Blackburn, a poor team on paper, but nevertheless a side we had lost at home to five seasons in a row. A game against Wolves on their turf, is a fixture so many teams are dreading, as their home record in the last couple of seasons has been very solid.
That list of fixtures has in my opinion been very challenging indeed.
What really baffles me is that all of the sudden people appear to be taking for granted that we get something out of these types of games. True, apart from Arsenal (who have been very poor ever since, but on opening day were regarded as a top 4 side), we haven’t played the absolute top teams, but to say that we haven’t really been tested is absolute nonsense to me.
The phrase ”let’s not get carried away just yet” has been uttered by a number of regular posters on here, but aren’t we doing exactly that, by stating that the seven games until now haven’t been a real challenge?
”Let’s not get carried away just yet” makes sense, if we are talking about not letting ourselves dream of European football after just seven games. But the phrase becomes highly contradicting, if we in the same breath say that we should be beating all other teams outside the top 6. That would mean that we don’t regard any of the other teams as being of any significance, and that we actually believe that 7th spot is ours to lose.
That to me is ”getting carried away”, and it really doesn’t add up, considering that the majority of posters on here repeatedly say that they would regard everything above 11th and a good Cup run as a real achievement.
Say we would have lost at home on opening day, and Sunderland had beaten the crap out of us, or that some of the desperate goal line clearances along the way hadn’t been made – what would people have said about the following fixtures? Something like ”it’s going to be a tough game against a strong Fulham side” or ”let’s just hope we can manage a draw at Villa” I suspect ..
Alan Pardew has repeatedly stated that every game in this division is a tough one, and even though that could be regarded as media spin, I firmly believe that he is right in saying so. We should, as the team appears to be, be taking it one game at a time, and not getting carried away thinking that our team is superior to all teams outside the top 6.
Even though I appreciate that every single one of you, myself included, is over the moon about our impressive start to the season, I urge you not to think less of the teams we have beaten or drawn against, just because we haven’t played the Manchester clubs, Livepool, Tottenham or Chelsea yet.
We are doing very well, but every win we get, regardless of the opposition, should not yet be taken for granted but instead be celebrated equally.
Let’s not get carried away just yet!
A big thank-you to Funkness for sending thus in for us to debate. Do you agree? Is it unfair to say that we’ve not been tested? On the other hand, do you believe that we’ve not been tested? Let us know your thoughts.