There has been fantastically buoyant mood amongst NUFC fans for obvious reasons at the start of the 2011-2012 Premier League season.
Despite losing a number of supposedly “key” players since January last year, Newcastle United are yet to be defeated in competitive football this season.
It is an achievement which has given the fans a reason to be proud and the players a major confidence boost, in what was always going to be a defining season, during which many supporters feared the dreaded “second season syndrome” could come into play.
The unbeaten run has been mentioned, but I wanted to take a look at the statistics to see just how significant, and how big an achievement it actually is.
The results of my search actually surprised me, in a very positive way:
Newcastle have now gone a run of 13 games unbeaten, since their last defeat, a 3-0 loss away to Liverpool on May 1st this year.
That run includes 11 Premier League games and two Carling Cup ties.
Of course we keep hearing by many pundits that we are “yet to be truly tested”, while in the same breath we are told, “there are no easy games in the Premier League” – smart bunch aren’t they?
Just for interests sake, that unbeaten run has included playing the likes of Chelsea (away), Arsenal (home), Sunderland (away), Wolves (away), Aston Villa (away), QPR (away) and Spurs (home), as well as two tricky away cup ties, playing some youngsters.
Now if that not being tested yet, it doesn’t say much for the strength of the league these days does it?
Newcastle are one result away from equalling their longest ever run in Premier League history of games without a defeat – that of 12 games undefeated in the 1993-94 season (May 7, 1994 – October 29, 1994 – five months and 22 days) under Kevin Keegan, in which Newcastle finished in 6th place.
It was during that same run that Newcastle had their best unbeaten run in a single season by going 11 games undefeated (August 21 to October 29 – two months and eight days).
The latest unbeaten run began on May 7, 2011, in a 2-1 win over Birmingham City at St James Park. Interestingly, the same day (Saturday, May 7) and Month as the previous unbeaten run.
Victory, or even a result against Wigan on Saturday, will see our record unbeaten run in the Premiership in terms of results equalled, leaving just a tricky cup tie away at Blackburn to set a new record in with regard to both time and results unbeaten.
Adding to that, we are are one of only three teams in the league this year, including Manchester City and United, to have not lost a game in the league so far, and only ourselves and Man United have not last a competitive game to date.
That’s one heck of a “lucky” run, I say extremely tongue in cheek. There is no doubt we’ve had our moments of luck, but if I look back on the moments of luck I’ve seen Manchester United have on the way to winning numerous trophies over the years, I think we’ve had it coming.
Now, while in no way do I see us going on to match the invincibles of Arsenal, who have the longest English league run with 49 games unbeaten, or even get through November, which is an incredibly tough month for us, I will say one thing.
We could not have wished for a better start.
Not bad for a net spent of £500k in the transfer window, not bad for a manager many weren’t happy with on appointment, and dare I say it… not bad for an owner who couldn’t give a s%__ about our club! Eh?
Good on ya Mr Alain Pardeaux and staff, let’s try keep it up for as long as we can!