How do we compare against our closest rivals?

We’re at the quarter mark now more or less and sitting third in the division. It’s time to take a look at our club and the best of our competitors based on results so far:

Huddersfield: sitting in first place with 25 points including 8 wins, 2 losses and a draw. This must be the surprise team of the season to date. They specialize In winning the close ones, and with a goal difference of +6 from 11 they have gotten the maximum from the team they have. Manager David Wagner has done a tremendous job so far but will it continue?

Norwich: still in second place despite losing to us recently. A very good team at this level with loads of Premiership experience. Clearly they are a team which will remain in the hunt for promotion throughout the season. They are getting surprisingly good service from Cameron Jerome who already has 5 goals this season. Dorrans, Jarvis and Hoolahan are other veterans who are leading this club to an excellent season. Clear contenders to win the division.

Newcastle: Well here we are, sitting in third place with 7 wins. 3 losses, and a draw, on 22 points. Some surprises both good and bad this season. A huge transition year at the club with manager Rafa Benitez having an immediate impact on every aspect of the club. Numerous player outgoings and incomings have resulted in a start that was less than anticipated with two losses to begin. Since then the club has settled well and has some clear positives and negatives. Players such as Ritchie, Gayle, Shelvey, Gouffran, and Hayden have clearly made their mark. Others such as Perez and Mitrovic have started poorly and will need to improve drastically to play major roles.

Brighton, Bristol City, Birmingham: I’m going to lump the three B clubs together. They currently occupy the third to sixth positions in the table and all three clubs could finish the season in the top six. Murray and Knockaert are the top finishers for Brighton, while Bristol have the prolific teen Tammy Abraham, and Birmingham have their scoring spread throughout the forwards and midfield.



So the question is how will we finish up against this lot and potentially others as well? I see the season being a very hard fought affair with no one dominant team such as we were  several seasons ago under Chris Houghton. I predict we will make promotion by finishing either first or second with about 90 points.

About GeordieTwo

Long suffering Newcastle United supporter living in Canada. Retired a few years back. Living in beautiful British Columbia. Suffered through this dismal season and had lost hope until Rafa came along. Now looking forward to a quick return to the Prem!

55 thoughts on “How do we compare against our closest rivals?

  1. Thanks Geordie.

    I’ve always maintained Huddersfield wouldn’t be able to maintain such form over the course of the season, but then again, I said that about Leicester last season. Could they be this year’s Championship Leicester?

    I honestly don’t care as long as we nick 2nd spot.

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  2. good one G2, i think the winter games will be a game changer when injurys kick in we have a bigger squad to fall back on, smaller clubs will struggle to cope imo ,the bigger lads like Murphy Mitro should cope better on heavy grounds along with Hanley in defence is going to be interesting time

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  3. A cold, muddy pirelli stadium in December should be Mitro’s time to shine!

    icedog:
    good one G2, i think the winter games will be a game changer when injurys kick in we have a bigger squad to fall back on, smaller clubs will struggle to copeimo ,the bigger lads like Murphy Mitro should cope better on heavy grounds along with Hanley in defence is going to be interesting time

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  4. Eric. You are of course correct to say Rooney has been a good player although I think he always struggled against top class defenders. The fault lies with England management in picking players on past reputation. You mention Gerrard. I think you could also have mentioned Lampard. Going back some years I would add Billy Wright. All good players in their prime but stayed on too long. I also have a gripe with players being selected on the basis of which team they play for. Would a George Cohen or Ramon Wilson get a look in today? I doubt it.

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  5. I think Rafa has planned well for the second half of the season lads. He’s got some big brutes to play up front in Mitro and Murphy and we have decent depth all over the pitch. The next 12 will be interesting to take us to the half mark. I’m going to predict 8 wins and 2 draws from the next dozen. That would be 48 points from 23 matches. Slightly over 2 points a match and right on target to get into the 90 point range by the end.

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  6. I see Aaron’s has been locked up this week for fighting in Newcastle.
    Can’t see Rafa putting up with crap like that like.

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  7. Is it true Aarons has been arrested after a brawl at Bar Livello? Is he another Nile Ranger? Frustrating for the club. I wonder how Rafa will respond to this?

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  8. Re the article.

    We know it’s going to be tight all the way. We were never going to walk it. I think we are close to having a good squad, nothing that can’t be fixed with a couple of deals in January.

    I would be very surprised if we finished out of the play-offs. Ithe top two is a big ask. I think we will do it, but it’s no foregone conclusion.

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  9. So Aarons was arrested but already out on bail. Apparently a group of lads started filming his aunt on the dance floor and he took exception. Is she that bad a dancer?

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  10. As much as I’m not really all that interested in England, I do think all this media assassination of Rooney is a disgrace – and I think Shearer saying he should retire is a bit uncalled for.
    Good on his missus for speaking up for him.

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  11. Aarons is no Ranger. He got upset about the filming of his aunt and the craic surrounding it is what I heard.

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  12. If Aaron’s has gone over to the lad who was filming his Aunty and asked him to stop & the lads got busy with him then fair play to Aaron’s I say. He was defending his family & he & his aunty have as much right to enjoy themselves as any other punter.
    Worst thing they ever did putting cameras in these photos IMO.

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  13. Listening to five live the other day, they were all saying that the focus should stop being on Wayne Rooney all the time. Not appreciating the irony of the fact them DISCUSSING him for over an hour was doing exactly that.

    Sharpy17:
    As much as I’m not really all that interested in England, I do think all this media assassination of Rooney is a disgrace – and I think Shearer saying he should retire is a bit uncalled for.
    Good on his missus for speaking up for him.

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  14. P.S. will get a new thread up this week once this hellish international break is over and done with.

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  15. Andy The Magpie:
    Listening to five live the other day, they were all saying that the focus should stop being on Wayne Rooney all the time. Not appreciating the irony of the fact them DISCUSSING him for over an hour was doing exactly that.

    Andy – he’s just being used as a scapegoat IMO. Like him or loath him, his record is what it is and he is far from the only England player under performing.

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  16. The Rooney problem is a simple one. Was a good player once, now on the wane, pardon the pun. Him being selected is preventing the natural progression of younger players. It doesn’t need to be a witch hunt but he hardly helps himself stating he’ll retire after Russia. That just makes it look like he assumes he’ll be automatically taken there. He can’t seriously be considered as the best option up front anymore and is no great shakes in midfield either. He was outshone by the mediocre Henderson on Saturday which says everything really.

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  17. He not a scapegoat at all. Rooney should have been dropped after the last world cup where he was terrible. Saying other players are also terrible does not mean Rooney should keep his place or that people are out of place criticising him. That is a false equivalency and he got off easy in my opinion.

    Rooney became a target because he has been the (ugly) face of the England team for so long and has not merited his place for a couple of years. As Kimtoon says he had the arrogance to assume he will be in Russia in 2 years time. He also demanded Mr. Roy play him in midfield and then Toad of Toad Hall said Wayne does whatever he wants.

    The most annoying thing about all of this was him being defended by the ex-pros and most other pundits until very recently. We could see he was not the player he was but they kept telling us he was still great and could play in the Pirlo role. Until yesterday when they all did a massive U-turn and said it is best for Wayne if he sits out a few games. A bigger bunch of sycophantic hypocrites you could not find anywhere. The Mail had a panel of their experts yesterday discuss Rooney being dropped. I think it was Redknapp, Keown and Carra. It was so strange to see them all saying how this was best for everybody when they were saying the exact opposite only last week.

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  18. The defense from the ex-pros whenever anybody questions their opinion is that they know best because none of us have played the game professionally. Here then, I will leave it to Clough and Mourinnho to say it for me. This is taken from an article in the Guardian and has Clough dismissing Rooney’s new party piece since he lost his pace (in reference to another player but the point is the same) and Mourinho setting the scene to drop Wayne:

    “Rooney’s speciality became the sprayed cross‑field pass out to the wings. He played that one beautifully sometimes and on each occasion, it would get a round of applause. But it was a deception.

    John Robertson used to love those passes before Brian Clough converted him from a mediocre central midfielder into a double European Cup winner on Nottingham Forest’s left wing. “I got great pleasure pinging the ball from left-half to outside-right and right-half to outside-left,” Robertson recalls in his autobiography. “If I knocked it 40 to 50 yards to feet I used to get a lot of personal satisfaction, but Cloughie summed up passes like that in one dismissive word – ‘decoration’.”

    José Mourinho does not seem too keen, either. “With me, he will never be a No6, playing 50 metres from goal,” he said of Rooney in his first press conference as United manager. “Yes, his passing is amazing but mine is also amazing without pressure.” Mourinho could hardly have been more emphatic that he will never use Rooney as a midfielder.”

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  19. Hopefully the Aarons situation gets sorted out quickly and cooler heads prevail. I still think he has great talent although his injury record is already dismal. It would be very disappointing if he can’t get healthy and put pressure on other forwards to perform well and even possibly take somebody’s place.

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  20. Rooney was never a top tournament player that I can remember. I just don’t see where he fits in the England setup going forward if he’s not playing just behind a big front man. He’s a decent tackler at times but clearly would not want to become a DM. His pace is gone so he can’t play on the wing. Pushed forward he still would have some usefulness but only as a sub now for me.

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  21. Hang on though, Rooney doesn’t select himself!!.
    If the England manager rings him do people honestly expect him to say he’s not going?.

    I don’t disagree that he’s not performing as well as he once did. I’m also not disputing there are better options. But the same could be said about numerous selections for the England squads in recent years and beyond.
    Rooney being selected & played out of position is also not down to him and it’s also not the sole reason why England are shite.

    As for saying he’ll retire after Russia, I don’t see the problem with that. I don’t see that meaning he assumes he’ll be an automatic pick or that he’ll even go – it’s just means that’s when he’s hanging his international boots up. Lots of pros set a deadline – Pique has just done it with Spain this week as well I believe.

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  22. so Southgate says Rooney will remain captain even though hes not playing,what a load of crap,so whos running this team ffs

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  23. icedog:
    so Southgate says Rooney will remain captain even though hes not playing,what a load of crap,so whos running this teamffs

    Ice – that’s exactly my point mate. It’s not Rooney its piss weak management – the FA selecting men who bottle the tough calls

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  24. Sharpy17: Ice – that’s exactly my point mate.It’s not Rooney its piss weak management – the FA selecting men who bottle the tough calls

    true mate very true

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  25. Sharpy17: Ice – that’s exactly my point mate.It’s not Rooney its piss weak management – the FA selecting men who bottle the tough calls

    the football game infested with crooks,i heard the FA are going to do a re-make of a well known movie starring Big sam and H Redknapp its called Swindling List

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  26. icedog: the football game infested with crooks,i heard the FA are going to do a re-make of a well known movie starring Big sam and H Redknapp its called Swindling List

    😂

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  27. Sharpy: my point was that Rooney had too much power. Fat Sam said he played where he wanted, he decided he was going to take corners (the correct decision, by the way) instead of Kane and did not consult Mr. Roy. Rooney decided he was a midfielder and Mr. Roy went along. If Mourinho hadn’t have dropped Rooney I bet Southgate would have kept him in the team. If you have watched any Man U matches in the past couple of years you will see that he slowed the game down and was often out of position because he would come back and collect the ball. Their fans have been moaning about this for ages. He would show the occasional glimpse of what he once was but mostly he was shyte. Same for England, so he was not a scapegoat, he was shyte and it was long overdue that he should be dropped, HOPEFULLY PERMANENTLY.

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  28. With or without Rooney England seem like they will struggle. 3 managers in 6 months doesn’t help and Southgate finished bottom of the U21 Euro group. He chose Lingard to start who is lucky to get in the Man U team and Wolcott was so out of form that he wasn’t even taken to the Euros. Sturridge isn’t a current starter for Liverpool so the whole front line have issues.

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  29. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: my point was that Rooney had too much power. Fat Sam said he played where he wanted, he decided he was going to take corners (the correct decision, by the way) instead of Kane and did not consult Mr. Roy. Rooney decided he was a midfielder and Mr. Roy went along. If Mourinho hadn’t have dropped Rooney I bet Southgate would have kept him in the team. If you have watched any Man U matches in the past couple of years you will see that he slowed the game down and was often out of position because he would come back and collect the ball. Their fans have been moaning about this for ages. He would show the occasional glimpse of what he once was but mostly he was shyte. Same for England, so he was not a scapegoat, he was shyte and it was long overdue that he should be dropped, HOPEFULLY PERMANENTLY.

    Eric – I don’t disagree he’s been poor, but the kid hasn’t had a gun to people’s heads or kidnapped their kids demanding to play has he?.
    If he hasn’t been good enough then it’s the fault of those that select him.
    The fact is that nobody else has really shown themselves to be better – Ali has now, but before him the likes of Barkley, Sterling and Whilshire were/are gash. Up front the likes of Sturridge is injured all to often and Harry Kane has hardly be outstanding either IMO. The likes of Walcott, Welbeck and AOC have made no progress at all really.
    The likes of Lallana & Milner work hard for England but rarely come up with any real attacking quality.
    In short, most of the players in England’s attacking 3rd fall well short, yet other than Sterling maybe, it seems to be only Rooney who gets the stick for it.

    That’s probably why he’s not arsed about being dropped to be honest – it will highlight how shite the others are!!.

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  30. Let’s be honest, of course all the crack is about Rooney because the rest of the England team are absolutely minging.

    Just watched a painful first half from England in Slovenia, and listening to the inane Glen Hoddle trying to make sense of this garbage is ridiculous. England are absolutely useless…

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  31. Kimtoon, dead right mate.

    tHE SAD THING IS THAT WE HAVE TO PUT THE lEAGUE FOOTBALL AND cHAMPIONSHIP ON HOLD to let these diddy’s play international games.
    I’m so looking forward to seeing those black and white stripes back in action, maybe it’s a tactic to have more dreary international games to keep the interest high in the league… people are so relieved to get there club games back after the “Internationals” continue to disrupt the regular season…

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  32. I’ve got absolutey zero interest watching England, has always been like that, just can’t get interested. I love watching Germany and other top international sides, but England, no way jose !! England, crap team, crap media fawning over average players…

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  33. Munich Mag:
    I’ve got absolutey zero interest watching England, has always been like that, just can’t get interested. I love watching Germany and other top international sides, but England, no way jose !! England, crap team, crap media fawning over average players…

    Spot on mate,the drivel they dish up is not worth watching would prefer to watch the Heed if I had a choice

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  34. Townsend looked the most dangerous player for England from the second he came on.
    Vardy (although he didn’t get on tonight) always looks dangerous when he plays – but Vardy & Townsend aren’t ever going to be first choices like.

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  35. Sharpy17:
    Townsend looked the most dangerous player for England from the second he came on.
    Vardy (although he didn’t get on tonight) always looks dangerous when he plays – but Vardy & Townsend aren’t ever going to be first choices like.

    It’s the same old problem mate, you have to play for the top clubs to get regular starts for England .

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  36. Munich Mag I have to agree with you about Germany. A really good side to watch and the best team in the world at the moment. England are minging.

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  37. Sharpy it was only Malta. Townsend basically looked good against a weak side. Sorry but Malta defended really well in the second half. Fair play to them. They didn’t have a hope in hell’s chance against England. I’d like to see England beat a team like Germany, Brazil, Italy or even Spain not a team like Malta. The trouble is England wouldn’t be able to get in the world cup that way. England are minging

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  38. Terry: England beat Germany in a friendly recently and play Spain soon.

    Sharpy, mate, I do not totally disagree with you. It just seemed that Rooney had way too much influence over the national team and the fawning over him by pundits was annoying. It is as clear as the nose on Phil Thompson’s face that he is past it.

    I only watched the 1st half of today’s game and it literally sent me to sleep. It is so strange how players who are playing well in the PL suddenly cannot trap a ball or make a 10 yard pass when they pull on an England shirt (except Rooney, who cannot do that for Man U either). You can’t tell me that Slovenia have better players than they face every week in the PL and yet these “star” players froze again and this wasn’t even a tournament.

    Part of me doesn’t want England to do well at the moment as we will then end up with Southgate who has a less than mediocre managerial record. We know there are major problems and it will take a better manager than him to fix them, if indeed they are fixable. I might just take the hint from Icedog and just not watch this pile of dogsh!t any more.

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  39. TERRY:
    Sharpy it was only Malta.Townsend basically looked good against a weak side.Sorry but Malta defended really well in the second half.Fair play to them.They didn’t have a hope in hell’s chance against England.I’d like to see England beat a team like Germany, Brazil, Italy or even Spain not a team like Malta.The trouble is England wouldn’t be able to get in the world cup that way.England are minging

    Terry – Malta was last week mate, it was Slovakia last night. But my point wasn’t about the quality of opposition, it was about the urgency and attacking quality of the other (more regularly selected) England players.

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  40. Sharpy: you are correct about the quality of performance being just as bad with or without Rooney although the Man U performances did pick up. Thank God this international break is over. I can’t really believe how bad England have been against very low quality opposition. What the hell were Cahill, Stones and Dier just passing the ball to the opposition and what was Sturridge up to being so selfish?

    Sharpy: it was Slovenia last night and Slovakia last month 🙂

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  41. England have the same problem lots of teams have including NUFC – no playmaker. They seem to have disappeared from the game in this country. Silva, Coutinho, Erickson – the last one we had was Beardsley.

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  42. Eric I don’t mean friendly’s mate. I mean group stages or knock out rounds. Last time that happened Kevin Keegan was manager, long time ago. Sven even beat Germany 5-1 but that was a very long time ago when we still had Beckham.

    Sharpy didn’t watch last nights game because qualifiers are just boring imo. Chuck a top team in the group to make things more interesting. I give England the same odds as Steve Davies winning next years world snooker championship. If he comes out of retirement and makes a comeback.

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