The Mags in May – Where can Newcastle finish with just three games left to play?

May sees the curtain fall on the 2017/8 Premier League season and Newcastle have three final games to navigate to confirm their final standing in the table. A top ten finish is likely if we can pick up a win in the last three games; a fantastic achievement considering the squad Benitez has had at his disposal.

Here’s a run-down of the games we face as we chase that top half finish.

Watford (A)

On Saturday we make the long trip down south to fellow mid table side Watford. I watched them against Spurs last night and they have some dangerous players but lacked a cutting edge. The likes of Ricarliosn and Denney are a handful at Vicarage Road in particular but the Hornets season is fizzling out. Both sides will say the right things pre kick off but it could be a tight, end of season affair where in reality neither has a lot to play for. Wouldn’t be surprised if it ended in stalemate.

Prediction – 1-1

Danger man:  Richarlison Yedlin never got to grips with him during the 3-0 home defeat earlier in the season.



 Tottenham Hotspur (A)

Next up is then our re-scheduled fixture against Spurs and a chance for Newcastle fans to enjoy a trip to Wembley; though Sky moving it to midweek is yet another example of a lack of thought for travelling fans. We historically do ok against Tottenham but they are a different proposition these days. They will want the win to confirm Champions League football next year and with the likes of Eriksen, Son, Kane and Alli, it is a tough ask for Newcastle.

Prediction – 0-2 (Loss)

Danger man: Harry Kane – The Premier League’s second top scorer. He needs know introduction really.

 

 Chelsea (H)

The season then finishes with the visit of Chelsea, in what could be Antonio Conte’s final game in charge of the club. A lot of this game depends on the context of Chelsea. Technically they could still be chasing a top 4 spot by this game but if they don’t beat Liverpool this weekend their hopes would be over and they then may visit SJP with their flip flops on. They have world class players like Hazard but they will also have one eye on staying fit for the World Cup, so I fancy Newcastle to get something and end the season on a high.

Prediction – 1-1 

Danger man: Eden Hazard – One of the most difficult players to mark in the Premier League. He tore us apart during defeats at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.

So, I’m expecting two more points, which would leave us on a tally of 43 for the season. With Watford, Palace and Bournemouth all on 38 points (and the latter pair each having two winnable fixtures remaining) it would leave us vulnerable to slipping out of the top 10. Win one of our final three and a top 10 finish will almost certainly be ours.

Regardless of the outcome of the games in May, whether we finish 10th or 14th – it has been a fantastic season. Newcastle fans persuaded Rafa to stay two years ago when we hosted Spurs, so let’s do the same when Chelsea come and visit, regardless of the score.

This summer will be massive for the future of the club and keeping Rafa is key to this. As fans we can’t control a potential takeover but we can do our best to keep Rafa here whilst he weighs up signing a new contract.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Simon Riddlesden

Lifelong Newcastle United fan and East Stand season ticket holder. Observations from a supporter who has followed NUFC during Champions League participation and through relegation, taking me from Milan to Scunthorpe.

56 thoughts on “The Mags in May – Where can Newcastle finish with just three games left to play?

  1. I think it depends heavily on the attitude of the players to be honest. Play the last 3 games as they have the previous 2 and we end with our current points tally – wherever that puts us in the league.
    But play as we did before that (the Arsenal game for example) and I see us beating Watford and possibly taking a point from Chelsea.

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  2. I see Andy Carroll has fallen out with Moyes … how long before we are buying him in the summer?! 🤔😂

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  3. Do you think Leicester will get the mooted 21 million now for Slimani? He just failed his Rafa audition. On that subject, I have a feeling the Fatman might go after Marco Silva because Rafa is asking more than he wants to deliver. He would have a revolution on his hands if he appointed another Pardew but I think the fans might be quieted by Silva. Just a hunch.

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  4. Stuart79:
    What’s Silva achieved in the PL, Eric? But he fits Jabba’s MO. Out of work…

    Not much Stuart. I just had a gut feeling Rafa might walk. I hope I am wrong.

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  5. Well in League one Wimbledon are safe after a draw and MK Dons relegated. Good to see that the Ba******* who stole our club still haven’t learned how to manage it.

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  6. Our horse has bolted. If we were going to improve our position in the table, we would have done by now. Losing the last two games, shows where we really are.
    Watford have no cutting edge? Neither do we!
    Tottenham have many points to prove – revenge for our historically being ok against them (they still remember being flogged in the last game two seasons ago) and with champions league football to firm up, they have plenty of motivation, let alone a far better line up – limiting the damage to a 2-0 loss would be quite an achievement for the way the lads are playing at present.
    Chelsea may well have their flip-flops in their kits ready for the final whistle, but our boys seem to have been wearing theirs for the last two games.
    Not much joy for us for the rest of the season, but that shouldn’t over-shadow what has been a remarkable achievement for Rafa and the lads. Even if Palace overtake us, we’ll still be a PL team, so job done.

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  7. Ashley will be saying to Rafa I will back you with loan signing’s and free transfers this summer but you have sell before you can buy because the club is up for sell.

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  8. The club may be up for sale, but it won’t be sold until someone meets Ashley’s asking price.

    Stem – I disagree. The money available this window is profit. Ashley won’t mind Rafa spending other people’s money in strengthening the squad, he just won’t put his own money in.

    Until someone meets his asking price, it’s still his club.

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  9. Sharpy no-one is going to meet Ashley’s demands because he doesn’t want to sell the club but its a great way to get out of buying players. Ashley will be thinking all Rafa needs to do is keep us in the PL at a bare minimum of expense. Still the clubs debt stays the same.

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  10. The way prices have gone then £20m for Kenedy is about right. The amount of games he’s played he will still just get better and better. £20m could be a steal!

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  11. georgio:
    The way prices have gone then £20m for Kenedy is about right. The amount of games he’s played he will still just get better and better.£20m could bea steal!

    Sell Mitro to Fulham and use the funds to buy Kenedy. Rafa doesn’t play Mitro so it is an easy decision. The Fulham owner has plenty of money so they can afford him. Plus Mitro has 11 goals and probably another 4 to play given that Fulham will probably be in the playoffs.

    It is quite funny that Rafa said, tongue in cheek, that he hoped Mitro would score 15-20 at Fulham. It is possible given the way things are shaping up. I still don’t think Rafa would have him back but it will increase his transfer value.

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  12. Aye, he did say 15 Eric, I was thinking the same.
    When you think back in nov/dec we were all living with false hope of the fakeover happening and a bright new start. Though I’m glad we are safe I find myself feeling really deflated for some reason, I guess it’s the hope that kills you. I’m starting to think we will never be shot of him and destined to forever be under achievers and fighting to remain in the pl every season.

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  13. kimtoon:
    Aye, he did say 15 Eric, I was thinking the same.
    When you think back in nov/dec we were all living with false hope of the fakeover happening and a bright new start. Though I’m glad we are safe I find myself feeling really deflated for some reason, I guess it’s the hope that kills you. I’m starting to think we will never be shot of him and destined to forever be under achievers and fighting to remain in the pl every season.

    Kimtoon: I think it is the possibility of 5 straight losses to finish the season. I don’t think it will happen but it is in the back of my mind.

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  14. Eric, nah mate, it’s not that, it’s cause I see the same struggle on the horizon and possibly without Rafa.

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  15. Jamie Carragher has a head that you just want to hit with a cricket bat. And that voice! And the spitting. Get him off TV forever. And take Phil Thomson and Steve McMananamanamaman with you. And Stevie G and Michael Owen.

    Why so many scouse gits? Rooney is next or Joey Barton when he fails at Fleetwood. Peytar Reid.

    The list goes on and on.

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  16. And then there are all the Scottish scousers to deal with (Souness, Dalgliesh, Steve Nichol who is on over here and I am shocked that Yanks understand a word he mumbles) . Please make them all go away.

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  17. Eric, I saw your mate Ugly John this afternoon. He was playing golf with Shearer. He was on the tee while I was fluffing my chip on the green next to them… 😡

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  18. Stuart79:
    Eric, I saw your mate Ugly John this afternoon. He was playing golf with Shearer. He was on the tee while I was fluffing my chip on the green next to them…

    Is he any good? Maybe he can play on the senior tour? He is certainly done with coaching football 🙂

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  19. There are just so many of them. And they all have this high pitched whine – Carra, Tommo, Joey, Stevie G, McManaman. This high pitched whiny voice they all share. I don’t know how you put up with it in the UK. I would probably throw a shoe at the TV out of frustration.

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  20. Stuart79:
    Eric, I saw your mate Ugly John this afternoon. He was playing golf with Shearer. He was on the tee while I was fluffing my chip on the green next to them…

    Did you ask him to take a selfie so you can scare kids on Halloween? They do great business over here on the John Carver masks. Number 1 seller.

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  21. He was lagging behind his mates but there is a picture of him with a trophy in the club house so maybe he isn’t too bad. Didn’t he say “I always think I’m the best golfer in the world when I play golf.” 🙂

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  22. Stuart79:
    He was lagging behind his mates but there is a picture of him with a trophy in the club house so maybe he isn’t too bad. Didn’t he say “I always think I’m the best golfer in the world when I play golf.”

    I think they keep score in golf though so he might realise he is not the best. Then again, he did lose like 8 in a row at NUFC and still thought he was the best manager.

    He was dealt a bad hand though, but he has been so shit everywhere else that I think he would have still managed to lose with Messi, Ronaldo and a 25 year old Shearer.

    The West Brom players are saying that Pards and Carver didn’t really tell them what to do.

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  23. Bloody hell, there is Jamie Redknapp and Collymore as well. Even the Liverpool players who were not that good get TV gigs.

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  24. Oh God. There is also Mick “Legend” Quinn. I am sure I can come up with a few more. They are even on foreign TV. Jon Arne Risse was being interviewed the other night. Hamman, Jan Molby, I have seen recently as well.

    They are like bloody cockroaches. Switch on the TV lights and thousands of them come out.

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  25. So, I have heard that after a nuclear holocaust that the only creatures left alive will be cockroaches and ex-Liverpool/Scousers on Sky Sports and writing columns for the papers.

    (yeah I know that is a bit illogical but they could operate the cameras for each other and post internet blogs with each other).

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  26. I have also heard that if you lay the ex-Liverpool/Scousers on TV end to end they would stretch around the world 3 times. Bellamy, Hansen, Lawro,

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  27. Allegedly Rafa wants written assurances in a contract over power and budgets. Like that would matter to Jabba.

    I’ll say it again, Rafa’s ambitions and Jabba’s don’t tally. I find it impossible to believe he will sign a new contract. I’d certainly be waiting to see how this summer pans out first.

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  28. Danny Murphy. There’s another one. I was just on a football website and what they do now is open up a window with a discussion of pundits now. It was Bellamy and Murphy. It is all Liverpool all of the time with a bit of Man U thrown in.

    They are all admitted homers as well. Saying they support their ex-club. How can you have an unbiased discussion when they all support the same teams?

    Just because you were a good player doesn’t make you articulate, funny, knowledgeable or right! And playing for Liverpool (or Man U for a few) shouldn’t give you a golden ticket into punditry.

    They all sing from the same hymn sheet and it was written in Shankley Cathedral.

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  29. Stuart79:
    Allegedly Rafa wants written assurances in a contract over power and budgets. Like that would matter to Jabba.

    I’ll say it again, Rafa’s ambitions and Jabba’s don’t tally. I find it impossible to believe he will sign a new contract. I’d certainly be waiting to see how this summer pans out first.

    Stu – I think Rafa would be crazy not to get it in writing wouldn’t he?!.
    That basically him saying that he’ll sign a new contract, providing they agree to meet his ‘demands’ – which he would then have in writing.
    Go against that though and it’s a quick and easy compensation process when he walks.

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  30. With Slimani banned and his loan effectively over now as he can’t play in our final 3 games – should Rafa include Armstrong in the squad when he returns from loan?

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  31. Sharpy17:
    With Slimani banned and his loan effectively over now as he can’t play in our final 3 games – should Rafa include Armstrong in the squad when he returns from loan?

    not good enough for PL mate imo

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  32. I’d like to see changes Saturday. Murphy, Clark, Manquillo, Joselu, Hayden and Atsu to start for me.

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  33. icedog: not good enough for PL mate imo

    Ice – I don’t mean long term mate, but he’ll be back with us for the Spurs & Chelsea game.
    Maybe a place on the bench (now Slimani won’t be there) with the last 15-20mins run out.
    It would let Rafa see where he’s at but it might also wet Armstrong’s whistle, coz it must be demoralising going out on loan all the time.

    The alternative is we still with Gayle and Joselu – but neither seem to have a future with us, so I just think it would be a missed opportunity to take a look at a youngster in a proper competitive fixture.

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  34. Chelsea have said they want £10m for Marco van Ginkel.
    I’d take him for that price. He’s 25yrs and has score 29 goals in 55 appearances while he’s been on loan with PSV.

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  35. Stuart79:
    I’d like to see changes Saturday. Murphy, Clark, Manquillo, Joselu, Hayden and Atsu to start for me.

    Stuart: we have 3 tough games and it would be a good chance to see Murphy in the PL so he should play all 3 games. Maybe try Moreno as a number 10 as a few on here have suggested. I also think you are right that Manquillo should play at right back to see if he is PL quality or if we need someone else.

    Rafa has said some players are playing for their futures so he should play them.

    We will also find out if he has made up his mind on MBemba. If we don’t see him for the next 3 games that is Rafa essentially saying MBemba doesn’t have a future at NUFC.

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  36. Mark Douglas‏Verified account @MsiDouglas

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    Interesting line from @SimonBird_
    this morning.

    “#nufc promised Rafa £70m over three transfer windows….”

    oh dear

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  37. kimtoon:
    Mark Douglas‏Verified account @MsiDouglas

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    Interesting line from @SimonBird_
    this morning.

    “#nufc promised Rafa £70m over three transfer windows….”

    oh dear

    That was over a year ago mate

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  38. Has Kenedy really done enough for us to warrant interest from Bayern Munich? I think he has done OK and probably would end up as one of top 3 players if we bought him, but Bayern?!! They bought Ribery and Robben when they were a lot younger and were dominating in their national teams, so Kenedy. He hardly got a minute at Chelsea.

    Then there is a stupid report of Arsenal or Liverpool signing him. Chelsea will be wanting to get back to the Champions League so why would they sell to a rival for that?

    At the moment, us, Everton, Palace or Leicester are probably Kenedy’s level. It would be the same if Chelsea want to sell Loftus Cheek. Why would they risk another de Bruyne or Salah situation by selling direct to a rival. I know they took circuitous routes to their present clubs but Chelsea must be wary of making similar mistakes.

    I know I am a broken record but I don’t know where the journalists come up with this crap

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  39. Olly: in your list of NUFC stars who would be glad they moved you missed the obvious one. Milner has won 2 league titles, a league cup and has a decent chance of a Champions League.

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  40. I know Milner was a while ago but he now has the most assists ever in the CL. Yes, EVER. And Klopp was playing him as a fullback last year and he was sort of switched to midfield as a stopgap and a backup.

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  41. If Rafa was promised £70m over three years he’s a mug! That’s a terrible budget. Essentially we’re syaing he’s only about £25m this summer. Oh ok then… I’ll sign a contract extension so I can keep buying Manquillo’s and Joselu’s.

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  42. On the subject of players leaving clubs, how about Henderson and Pickford leaving the Mackems 🙂 Henderson is actually playing quite well in a limited role. I didn’t think he had it in him and it probably has a lot to do with the opposition being scared of Mane, Fermino and Salah. But still, he deserves credit.

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  43. Stuart79:
    If Rafa was promised £70m over three years he’s a mug! That’s a terrible budget. Essentially we’re syaing he’s only about £25m this summer. Oh ok then… I’ll sign a contract extension so I can keep buying Manquillo’s and Joselu’s.

    Supposedly 3 windows which is 18 months. I am not defending Ashley, but his position was that Rafa could have the money NUFC generates and most of that was TV money which I believe comes in chunks/stages over the season.

    Remember we had essentially a PL wage bill in The Championship so a lot of the gate and commercial money would have gone to that first.

    Where I disagree with the Fatman is him paying cash when everybody else pays in installments and him not arranging an overdraft to buy players. He didn’t have to put up his own money but he certainly has the wherewithal to guarantee a 20 or 30 million pound loan to the club. I think that would have made a huge difference in Rafa getting his 1st or 2nd choice players rather than his 4th or 5th like Joselu and Slimani.

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  44. Eric Sykes:
    Olly: in your list of NUFC stars who would be glad they moved you missed the obvious one. Milner has won 2 league titles, a league cup and has a decent chance of a Champions League.

    In fairness mate it wasn’t really a list of all the players who’ve done well after NUFC, just reacting to the fact Gini and Thauvin are in European finals just two years after leaving.

    Agree re. Milner – had a very good career since leaving

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