Top four achievable?

Reach for the stars…
Last week, Alan Pardew, in his interview to BBC’s Football Focus show before his sides trip to Anfield, gave the indication that he believes that his current team can aim to finish in the top four.

With those comments in mind, is this a side that can build on the success that they generated last season?

Opposing sides seem to have sussed the Toon out more than last season and key players such as Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse have had a hard time showing their ability on the whole. Expectations on the Tyne have raised considerably this year and rightly so. The team that performed to bring European football back to St James’ Park is one that should be playing well, especially when you consider this is a side that has had relatively little disruption over the summer.

Results have been mixed, performances have differed between from half to half let alone from match to match and the sheer amount of games to be played seem to be taking a toll on the side in one way or another, whether it be from tiredness or a lack of continuity born out of trying to avoid the former.

A rhythm has yet to be found this season by manager Alan Pardew, one needs to be found quickly to allow the team to push on further than they did last year. Part of Newcastle’s success last year was building unbeaten runs to create a solid foundation of points, this season there has been none of that.

Injuries have hampered the squad considerably, with a fully fit team at his disposal, Alan Pardew will have a very strong side to compete with.

There is no reason why this current Newcastle team can’t push on higher than they did last season. Look at our next five league games – West Ham (h), Swansea (h), Southampton (a), Stoke (a) and Wigan (h) – and you will see there is opportunity to progress up the table.

Of course it is always hard to consolidate or push on in every season but this year it may be harder than ever due to how open the Premier League looks again. Those fixtures may look easier on paper but the Premier League rarely works out like that.

Should the team be looking to aim for a top four finish?

37 thoughts on “Top four achievable?

  1. We should always aim to finish as high as we can. I would have been very confident of picking up plenty of points in the coming matches, but now that Colo is out even mediocre sides can trouble our defence, and our whole side will likely revert to hoofball hampering our midfield and attack.

    Do I think we’ll finish 4th? No. We could be disappointed if we finish lower, but angry would be a bit of an overreaction imo.

    Still, had we invested say 15mil I think we’d have had a real chance of challenging Arsenal/Spurs for the spot.

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  2. Start a winning streak and keep it going until the new year and yes but if not no.

    Luck is with us at the moment and with just a tad more and playing well could surprise again

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  3. Starting to think I’m a bit warped.
    I’ve actually grown MORE optimistic as the season has progressed.
    We are perceived by the majority of us and the media, to have started averagely without putting in many good performances.
    On the other side Everton and West Brom have been hailed for their football and early season form.
    3 points seperate us.
    We’ve played 5 of last seasons top 8 already, and 5 of this seasons current top 6 in our first ten games.
    If we can be this in touch, while playing poorly, without key players due to injury/suspension/poor form, and with a difficult fixture list, then I see no reason why we can’t challenge (though I doubt we will get it as I expect Arsenal to once again come good)
    Would be feeling extremely optimistic had Colo not got that red card, no unfortunately I’m just “cautiously optimistic”. With or without Colo, we have a team that should be winning the next two home games, it’s easy and often justified to blame Ashley, but the team we put out should be capable anyway.

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  4. It would be incredibly tough for us to finish in 4th this season if I’m being honest.

    We would need to be competing with Spurs, Arsenal, Everton and a slight possibility Liverpool for that last CL spot.

    I can’t personally see it happening, but if we played for the rest of the season like we know we can, strengthen key areas in January…then there is hope I guess.

    Top 8 would still do me mind.

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  5. Good read Zoe – hope you’re settling in 5under1and πŸ˜‰

    Personally I don’t believe we should start a season even considering where we will finish it. So much happens over the course of a season that is out of Pardews control – injury/illness/suspension/qualification to the Cup of Nations, that he has no grounds to predict a top 4 finish.
    In my opinion it puts added pressure on him and the team by making these comments public. Let him talk like this to his coaches and players, but saying this now gives Ashley the opportunity in Jan to say ‘why should I spend when you reckon we can finish 4th?’
    I’m in favour of focusing on the next 3-4 games and working through a season that way. You can influence the next 3-4 games and accumulate points as we go. Come March – April time we can then consider our finishing position.

    I agree with Newkie though, we need Β£15m plus investment in Jan to achieve our goal. Ideally 3 in FB, CB and RWF.

    Next 3 games WH, Swans and S’ton I’d be looking worst case scenario 6-7 points.

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  6. Had we beaten the bin dippers on sunday, then I would be saying yes.
    As it is, tho I think we will be more likely 8th – 10th.
    If we can have a good euro run, say 1/4’s or even semi’s, then I will be happy with that. I dont think we will win the euro cup, but a good run will be good experience for the Lads.
    Agree that we need a decent investment in Jan. Particularly in defence. And if so I think we could maybe push for 6-8th.
    I dont see us finishing any higher than 6th this season tho.

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  7. Sharpy – 6-7 points from next 3 league games. 😯
    I like your optimism mate, but I have us only getting 3-4 points max.
    I reckon wet spam are gonna batter us on sunday. carroll and nolan to add injury to insult. πŸ‘Ώ

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  8. Boots – I think 2 wins from our next 3 games should be perfectly achievable in all honesty.
    I agree that the west ham game will be the most difficult of the 3, and I mean no disrespect to these teams. But if Pardew genuinely believes we are a top 4 side then I think 6-7 points from the next 3 games is a must.

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  9. πŸ˜† Good read Zoe and a good laugh from Pards I really can’t see us getting a top 4 finish, The way things stand atm I would say we’ll be lucky to get in the top 8.
    BB I like your optimism about decent investment in Jan or is that just wishful thinking ❓

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  10. “If I stayed there I knew I would be in the team”

    Yeah, good one Nolan. Seems the London air has sent you mad πŸ˜†

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  11. Are we a top 4 team? No I’m afraid not. Who would we displace from the top 4 as it stands now? Obviously Everton would be the most likely candidate but I think Wenger will spend in January and he will bring his team up in the standings again. For us it seems most likely to finish between 7th and ninth with a slight possibility of 6th or 10th as the league is quite unpredictable this year. Will we spend in January? Possibly if we stay at 10th or even slip lower in the standings but not enough to really push us up the table too much. Too many games, not enough quality players, too many injuries and suspensions add up to a mid-table or slightly higher finish but definitely not top 4.

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  12. I don’t know which ones are the best as I’m watching Real v Borussia on Spanish TV……makes a change from a stream :mrgreen:

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  13. If i were at home, I’d watch it on TV, but still at work, so I have to use a stream and keep it going on my second monitor while work on the other…

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  14. [email protected] ,And who says men can’t multitask πŸ˜†

    Zoe ,Great read ,hope your studies are going well in Blunderland πŸ˜€ With regard to us getting 4th spot ,it’s a big fat no from me I’m sorry to say. If we strengthen significantly in jan with a CB, FB and new forward then we might be in with a shout.As it stands we our beset with injuries and suspensions yet again and for me we havn’t found our passing game and total team spirit yet,with the exception of the Scum and a small part of the Liverpool game . There is certainly the talent in our squad but in reality it’s far too small to maintain any real challenge on top 4 ,especially with the Euro and cup games to consider as well.

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  15. Jesus, rank awful ref in the Citeh game ,Ballotelli pulled to the floor and no pen given even though ref looking straight at it ,then he blows for full time πŸ™„ Citeh NOT happy.

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  16. Fucking hell, city were unlucky not to get a penalty like. Good game, recorded Real v Dortmund to watch later 😎 .

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  17. Before the season started I predicted that three clubs would run away from the rest. They are.

    I felt that we would be in the next group chasing 4th. But where who knows.

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  18. STUART79 Anita not only got into this Ajax side he made them tick , honestly he was their best player . Their is a lot more too come from the lad , it might just take a bit of time .

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  19. Yeah, City should have had two pens to be fair, Toure got tripped right at the start too. Ajax might be technical, but they’re pretty dirty too like πŸ˜†

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  20. Axel , I agree I think he just needs time to adjust to the PL ,he could do with beefing up a little as I noticed on sunday he got knocked off the ball very easily, but he’ll learn . πŸ˜‰

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  21. Stuart

    Anita is a very good player. He is just taking a little while to adjust to the league. Although, I thought he was superb against Liverpool at both RB and CM.

    He just looked a bit nervous before. His first touch and passing was poor, but anyone who has seen him knows that those two aspects of his game are among his strongest. I would love a midfield of Cabaye, Tiote and Anita.

    …Something tells me Tiote will be offloaded though as Pardew tries to follow the continental approach of no out-and-out DM. I am still 90% confident Moussa Sissoko will sign as a cheap alternative to the Ivorian. Maybe Debuchy too as Simpson’s future here is up in the air.

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  22. Big D @ 9. Deffo wishful thinking. as always with this regime.
    I never learn and fall for the same old patter every year. 😳
    Never watched any football tonight. Went to cinema to see Skyfall.
    Really good Bond film. Highly recommended. Plus only Β£4 each on a tuesday πŸ˜†
    Bloody pop-corn cost more than the tkt πŸ‘Ώ
    wtf ❓

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  23. Its going to be hard for Anita, as he has to put up with our hoof ball donkeys, who dont know how to pass the ball and bring it out of defence.
    I also dont think our coaches are doing a very good job. I have to include Pardew amongst them too. He promised us ‘passing’ football, but has failed to deliver consistently.
    Sometimes we dont even look like a PL team. So top 4 is still a pipe dream. For now at least.

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  24. (THIS IS A GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING. THIS POSTER IS LIABLE TO DISAGREE WITH YOUR POINT OF VIEW. ONLY ENGAGE IF YOU AREN’T SENSITIVE AND DON’T TAKE HISSY FITS)

    Woo hoo hoo hoo πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    4th!!! πŸ˜†

    If Pards pulled that off then they should build a statue of him.

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  25. There will be statues of Pards all over the place soon enough, when he takes the England job and wins the world cup πŸ˜†

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  26. (THIS IS A GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING. THIS POSTER IS LIABLE TO DISAGREE WITH YOUR POINT OF VIEW. ONLY ENGAGE IF YOU AREN’T SENSITIVE AND DON’T TAKE HISSY FITS)

    @Newkie
    You can’t win a World Cup with statues though. πŸ˜‰

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  27. don’t kid yourself – Anita has done nowt so far, putting in poor performances. He has to prove himself. As for him being the footballer and the rest not being to his standard … it has been the reverse so far. I really don’t know what people are watching.

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  28. We probably would have done it last season if it wasnt for the fuck ups against wolves and west brom at SJP and if Pardew had put more faith in Ben Arfa early doors, Instead of fucking around with Obertan and Raylor playing wide right for 3 quarters of the season.

    We have a better squad this year imho and if the club decides to twist in january and we get a player or two who can impact on our season like Cisse did last year then stranger things have happened…

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  29. For me it’s far too early to be aiming for anything but nowt wrong in trying.

    Is it really such an outlandish statement though? I mean we’re three points off 4th now and have only lost twice in the league this season. Granted we aren’t playing well, but then is anybody else really for us to be so close to 4th without playing well?

    What people seem to be missing is that we are a very hard team to beat which is a good thing and is something we’ve missed in the past. If we can keep that and just tinker with being able to pose a more sustained threat (I’d argue with Cisse back on form we’d be more of a threat naturally anyway) then we become a team that is hard to beat and can hurt teams in attack.

    So again, are we really that far off anyway?

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