So that is very nearly the end of that then. But first it’s the small matter of a trip to Anfield.
Liverpool have surpassed any pre-season expectations and still maintain a slim chance of picking up the Premier League trophy should West Ham beat Manchester City and the Reds manage to overcome us.
To be perfectly blunt I cant see that last part being an issue for a Liverpool side who are searching for their 100th Premier League goal of the season against a side who has struggled to keep them out at the other end.
It also gives United fans another chance to show their displeasure at how things are going for Newcastle. Momentum seems to be building regarding banners and the like and I’ve already seen a few good ones on Twitter which actually highlight our plight and give an insight as to what our issues are. And our issue is NOT that we aren’t challenging at the top of the league Mr Pardew!
We’re likely to wave goodbye to a few faces today, certainly on the playing staff anyway. Loic Remy is unlikely to be seen in a United shirt as his loan deal ends and as we’re well aware each player has a price so who knows who else could be heading for the exit. I’d be surprised if one of those was the manager though, unfortunately.
Jordan Henderson is available for selection once more after missing the last three games through suspension. Brendan Rodgers has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game. Former Mag Jose Enrique has been out since November with a knee injury.
Papiss Cisse would have been out anyway but the news that he will now miss a few months and is unlikely to be fit for the start of the new season isn’t exactly welcome. Davide Santon also misses out while Adam Armstrong is away on international duty and Hatem Ben Arfa is also unlikely to feature.
Newcastle managed to salvage a draw at home to Liverpool and perhaps could have done even better if they managed to retain eleven men on the pitch. Yohan Cabaye had given United the lead before Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa gave away a penalty and earned himself a red card allowing Steven Gerrard to equalise just before half-time. Paul Dummett restored the lead for the home side before Daniel Sturridge nodded in from close range to ensure the points were shared on the day.
That was a rare bright spot for us against Liverpool. Generally we’re awful against them, certainly in recent years, and who can forget that 0-6 loss at St James’ Park just last season? It’s been twenty years since we last won at Anfield in the league and I can’t see that changing today.
A total of 166 games games have been played between the two sides with Liverpool winning 79 times compared to 47 wins for United meaning that the other 40 meetings have ended in a draw. Of those 166 games, 77 have been at Anfield and United have won just 11 times with Liverpool racking up an impressive 51 victories.
Stats and facts…
Newcastle have only won once away from home on the final day of the Premier League. That was last season against QPR.
United have lost all 13 of their league matches this season when they have been losing at half-time – the worst record in the division.
In 39 Premier League meetings between these sides, there has never been a goalless draw.
Liverpool have scored three goals in four out of the last five times they have played Newcastle at Anfield.
As much as this season has turned sour when it could ave been so different, and as frustrated as I’ve been with, I’m still sad to see the season coming to an end. It’s football, our bread and butter, at the end of the day. Fortunately we have a World Cup to keep us occupied whilst we await the flurry of new signings at St James’ Park over the summer. Ahem…
I look at Liverpool and wonder what could have been. In no way could we have challenged for the title like they have done so admirably, but at one point we were doing rather well and could perhaps have started to look at European qualification.
How things have changed since then though. Starting with the sale of Cabaye and failure to replace the wheels have steadily come off and we are now faced with a squad low on morale and confidence, a manager who has very little backing from the fans, rumours of dressing room bust ups and everything else that we’ve heard about. What could have been eh?
My only hope is that we give it a real good go today. The likelihood is that we’re going to get beat and if you sit off Liverpool they’ll just come back at you and break you down eventually, so why not give it a go first and at least try and attack. We won’t though. I think we can all see what is coming already.
Howay the lads!
Date: Sunday, 11th May, 2014