Understated Achievement

When Will Critics Give Credit?
Another win in the bag and a deserved rest for the troops after capping off the great start to the season this week with two wins.

Even sweeter was the news that we are one of only six clubs in the whole of Europe to still remain unbeaten in their domestic league.

The other five.. our next opponents Manchester City, the superpowers of Portugal in Benfica and Porto, Serie A giants Juventus and current Champions League and Primera Liga holders, the mighty Barcelona.

Just to compare Newcastle with the others in terms of games played and points return, the table below shows how we shape up…

That table is a bit out of date as Barcelona drew last night to go level with us, but even if all sides with games in hand win those games Newcastle would still be equal with Juventus on points, within 3 points of Barcelona, 4 of Benfica and Porto and 6 of Man City.

Not for a second do I think we are suddenly on the same plateau as these sides or anywhere near title contending but it shows exactly how strong our start to the season has been.

Fact is every other side apart from Newcastle that remain unbeaten are genuine title contenders or reigning champions in their given leagues and two of which are also current holders of the two European cups.

On top of that I think it is safe to say that regardless of the critics opinions on the opposition Newcastle have faced to date, the Premier League is the strongest league in Europe. The weaker sides of England provide far more of a test than the bottom half sides of any of the other leagues represented.

As for that supposed weakness or lack of a real test for Newcastle so far, it actually baffles me where this opinion has come from given these so called critics and experts are supposed to be extremely knowledgeable, at the very least do their homework.

Newly promoted QPR aside, six of the other ten teams we have played not only finished above Newcastle last season but all finished in the top half of the table.

Again QPR aside, two of the other three draws we have gotten were against Arsenal and Spurs, two Champions League standard sides. The other, a draw away to Aston Villa, a game which we fully deserved to win and were denied only by a string of top class saves from Shay Given.

Out of the wins we have under our belt, only two would have been looked at before the season began as genuinely winnable games in Wigan and Blackburn. The other five were all games we would have possibly taken a draw from, or been tipped to lose.

Of the other five only two have been at home and were both against sides who have consistently finished in the top half the past few seasons. Those two being Everton and Fulham.

The other three, all away wins. Wolves was touch and go admittedly, but to say that deserved wins in firstly a derby game in enemy territory and secondly a trip to the Brittania, where Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Fulham have all failed to win does not count as an achievement or real test is laughable.

It has become a bit annoying at this stage to say we haven`t faced a real test yet and I’m sure a bit disrespectful to fans of some of the sides we have faced as well as the teams themselves.

Fact is whether it be down to dominance or defensive strength results are what counts and we have achieved some great ones and, this shouldn’t be taken lightly, remain one of only six teams in the whole of Europe to remain unbeaten in their domestic league, with more games played than all but Manchester City.

I fully expect tougher times ahead and a more realistic look at league position come the second week of December, and with that some smug told you so critics having their usual sly digs, but for now we are making a lot of supposed experts who tipped us to really struggle well and truly eat their words.

My original expectations were that we would do well to finish top half and I’d be more than happy with eighth position this season. That remains the realistic aim in my eyes and I’m sure most eyes despite claims Toon fans are getting carried away with themselves.

What has changed is the realistic aim is now seventh or eighth, rather than scraping top ten. For now though we can’t be begrudged living it up and being extremely proud of our teams achievements so far.

Third position in the league, one point off Man Utd and six off the top with nearly a third of the season gone. Who would have thought?!

37 thoughts on “Understated Achievement

  1. Who would of thought this on deadline day? i was sure we were gana struggle but unbeaten in november. didnt expect that at all. nice suprise with the whole squad doing their job. nd pards best manager since sbr


  2. “Out of the wins we have under our belt, only two would have been looked at before the season began as genuinely winnable games in Wigan and Blackburn.”

    Both games we failed to win at home last season.

    “It has become a bit annoying at this stage to say we haven`t faced a real test yet and Iā€™m sure a bit disrespectful to fans of some of the sides we have faced as well as the teams themselves.”

    Agree, but find it curiously satisfying they keep saying the same thing about us on the Sunderland fora, shows what they think of themselves šŸ™‚

    I’m not registered but love to read SMB this year šŸ˜³


  3. Just read that article you posted before Nobby, Raylor comes across very well. He’s right as well, at what point does he stop being a player plugging a gap in the team and become a genuine left back option?

    I’m just happy that when we do hit a rut we still have the big guns to unleash. Most of us would have said that our season depends on how Ben Arfa plays, and he hasn’t even been given a chance! It’s a testament to the team and to Pardew, really impressed with his faith in the players, it seems most games people are suggesting it’s Santon/Marveaux/Ben Arfa time but Pards has resisted and it has paid off.


  4. Teams both Chelsea and us have played this season:

    (Chelsea’s) (Newcastle’s)
    Man Utd Tottenham
    Bolton Wigan
    Swansea Wolves
    Norwich Villa
    West Brom Fulham

    Sorry but I dont understand how it can be claimed we have had easier fixtures, we have played 3 established top 10 teams (Tott/Villa/Fulham) to their one (Man Utd).

    I read a good post earlier that said a team should be judged on the results against the teams they are supposed to be challenging. That’s what annoys me most about all the pundits, treating us as if we are challenging for the top 4 and so havent been tested. Waiting for them to wheel out some delduded fan they have found to shout about us winning the league.


  5. we will never get credit from the southern press,martin tyler did the game on sky on saturday,and i have never heard so much anti newcastle garbage i was shocked,but let the fkas get on with it..


  6. Feck em, who wants praise of pundits who time after time prove how clueless they are? Sorry like but praise off halfwits means nowt to me.


  7. the joke is nobody gives us credit..u jealous tw….ts the media and other people…fu..king n..bs…reading papers this morning..we have only played 3 sides in the top 10…well who have man city played apart from spurs and untied…man u have played all the big teams at home..apart from liverpool..lets get this right why be jealous and give us credit…sorry 2 go on…u have got 2 play these so called big teams anyway..why not 2gether..we have got more point most of the top teams would dream of..anyway we are in a very strong postion and we only need 22 more points 2 get in the top 10 going on points about last year…thats my aim at this moment…the thing we have got the big teams scared its their money and top 4 we are playing in..


  8. Good article Keith by the way, altough you can’t read too much into Barca’s results…..they havn’t played anyone yet šŸ˜†


  9. I watched MOD 2 yesterday and when the programm finished I expected to see another replay of Raylors wonderstrike. How ever what I had to witness was numerous displayes of Liverpool vs. Swansea goal less draw. Hey a cracking game 0-0 so they had use footage Dogleash tapping the Welcome to Anfield sign in the tunnels. That tells you storries that they dont give us any credit as this wind down of the programm is suppost to show the highlights of the weekend. It would great to get a few points out of the next 3 games then that clearly would be like rubbing salt into twounds of the southener press. Well done the toon. The result from Sat makes me even prouder to be a toon supporter. šŸ™‚


  10. Flash…hopefully “Lawro” will tip us to lose those 3 games, a sure sign we’ll be picking up points šŸ˜‰


  11. Match of the day 2 is filmed in manchester now tho!

    I would take 2 or 3 points from the next 3 games.


  12. It says more about the paucity of the self styled “best league in the world” that we have played over half of last seasons top ten and we still havent played anyone yet… šŸ™„

    Fcuk em all


  13. @RICHITOON haahah yeah I freaking hope so. BTW did you not think too after watching QPR giving City a good run for their money that we actualy could get something out of that game. Specialy since City is not the best of home teams? Manure does not look the Manure from previous years too. So I`m very optimistic that we can steal the odd point of those 2 games.Against chelski at home we played well nearly every time which gives me believe to salvage something out of there too. Maybe even 1 point would be enough to say in the top 4 onec those 3 games are behind us.


  14. Flash….there’s never been a game where I’ve thought we can’t get something from it. If both teams play at their best we’d lose but it’s rare to have one team playing to their full potential never mind two, hopefully we’ll be somewhere near our best and that Citeh underestimate us and aren’t anywhere near theirs, then who knows. We deserved something in both games against them last season imo but didn’t have the luck, hopefully this game we will.


  15. toonsy chelsi have only played man u and gooners and lost both of them ,they also have sum hard games coming up šŸ™‚


  16. Even when weve played these teams and we more than likely get the twatting the press are expecting we will be on at least 25 points after the two hardest fixtures of the season after 13 games.

    Look at how many points liverpool have already dropped against the mackems, norwich and swansea at home and losing at stroke where we were immense last week, The press seem to forget that there are more weak sides to play in this division than good ones and its better to beat the teams in and around us than the odd one offs against the big boys like Wolves did last season and ended up escaping relegation because other results went their way… šŸ™„

    fcuk em all


  17. AFter a few games into the season there wasnt a club outside City Man Utd and Chelsea I didnt think we could get a result against. Now after the run we are on I dont see why we couldnt get a result against City Man Utd or Chelsea. I do think we will lose atleast 1 of the next 3 games and would put money on either of the Manc teams but I think Chelsea are there to go after. I also think Pardew will have the tactics spot on for those 3 games and just makes me think we could get 4 points from those games.


  18. CC – It’s not just the press with the knives out though. I fully expect to see some old faces if/when we lose, with “I told you so’s”and dummy spitting. You mark my words on that one! šŸ˜‰


  19. @RICHITOON yeah could not agree more. I have to say its a great feeling to anticipate matches like this rather than dredding them. Its a long since I felt this way about our Team. šŸ™‚ Curious to see what AP will do with the right wing since our wingers out. Do you recon he might put santon on the wing? Or will he play either Jonas or Arfa there?


  20. The Premier League can’t be that good if we still haven’t played anyone yet we still have;

    QPR, Swansea, Norwich, Bolton, Wolves, Sunderland, Westbrom, Stoke and Aston Villa at home to play who ‘pundits’ will say aren’t a big test…


  21. Have a look at Steven Howards column in the Sun today a more negative portrayal i have not seen its quite shocking and shows nothing but hatred for both and nufc and in paticular Pardew i still cant believe what i was reading.


  22. “…a bit disrespectful to some fans and teams we have faced….”

    I would say it has been TOTALLY disrespectful to ALL of the teams and their supporters. Arsenal – Spurs et al – nobodies (which in effect is what is being said) – I know I would be extremely miffed if my team was spoken of in this way.


  23. @ Blacksheep

    I’ve just read it now and its the type of typical southern media rubbish that we have had to put up with for years! They hate the fact all is good at Newcastle at the minute and they have nothing to slag us off for so they try to take apart our good start to the season. Yes we have had some luck along the way but at the end of the day its no more than any of the other teams and we more than deserve to be where we are because we have played well.

    As for supposedly not being tested until now………What a load of S#!T. The premiership is supposed to be the best league in the world! Man City, having bought their way to the top, have only played Man U of the supposed big teams yet they have the sothern media frothing at the gash over their “GREAT” start to the season!

    I’d love it if we were still unbeaten after the next 3 games, just love it. They would still tear us apart though. Even if we loose they can not take it away from us that we have had an amazing start and we deserve to be where we are!


  24. guys we all know the ‘southern media’ have no interest in a settled, succesful (relative term) Newcastle

    I remember a documentary years ago by a Peter Rogan (or Rogen?) , from the national fans association, and he said it was a documented fact that national papers sold more/better when there were sensational/critical problems at teams like newcastle, liverpool and leeds

    They never want us stable, its not in their interest.

    Lets just not feed them anything, Fat Freddie used to be their ticket to mock us. at least MA doesnt talk to them.


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