NUFC set for unbelievable run of fixtures between now & Christmas – This will decide our season

Two months into the season and and we sit second bottom, with just two points on the board after six defeats and two draws across our opening eight games.

It’s been a worrying start – with so few positives to take – however there were signs of life for the first time this season during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

It was a devastating defeat in the end, but there were several positives to take – and this could be key heading into what is an incredibly generous run of fixtures; starting with Brighton at St James’ Park next Saturday.

After facing FIVE top six sides in our opening EIGHT games, we are due a ‘winnable’ run of fixtures and we’ve got exactly that from next week onwards – with us playing no top 6 team and just three sides in the current top half in our next 10 games between now and Christmas:

There’s no easy game in the Premier League when you’re struggling, but this is about as generous as fixtures are going to get.

Brighton at home a week on Saturday is followed by an away trip to fellow strugglers Southampton, with us then facing back to back home games against Watford and Bournemouth over the first two weekends of November.

Then it’s Burnley away (a team that look a shadow of the side that finished 7th last season), followed by a run of West Ham at home, Everton away and Wolves at home – with those three fixtures perhaps representing the toughest run we’ll have between now and Boxing day.

Finally, in the build up to Christmas we play bottom of the table Huddersfield and then host Fulham at St James’ Park on the 22nd December – a side that have conceded more goals than anyone else so far this season.

Our fate isn’t realistically decided by Christmas, but with 30 games left and around 10 wins (or more) needed to get to that 40 point mark, these next 10 games are going to be absolutely pivotal.

This point is emphasised when you see the fixtures we have from December 26th onwards. I don’t expect us to pick up a great deal of points given these are the fixtures after the Fulham game on December 22nd:

Aside from Cardiff at home, you can’t see us getting a great deal of points from these eight fixtures, emphasising the importance of us getting our season underway with a win against Brighton and kicking on while the fixtures are generous over these next few months.

Finally, here’s our fixtures for the final few months of the season after the away trip to Wolves on February 9th.

A generous run, with us only facing TWO of the league’s top six in our final 12 games, however the damage may be done by then if we can’t get points on the board in the next few months.

The Brighton game is massive next Saturday. Win and we’ll be heading into games with Southampton and Watford full of confidence, but lose and our fragile confidence levels would be in tatters.

If your average fan were to make any football tips today, they’d struggle to see past us going down given our start to the season, however things could change very quickly IF we finally click ahead of this winnable run of games – starting with Brighton next Saturday.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

136 thoughts on “NUFC set for unbelievable run of fixtures between now & Christmas – This will decide our season

  1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but our supposed nightmare first 8 fixtures were that on paper. In reality, we were actually gifted good times to play Spurs, Arsenal and Man U. Let’s have a look:

    Spurs: half their team were knackered after the WC and we were at home.

    Cardiff: Favourites for relegation.

    Chelsea: new Manager and completely new system. Good team, but we just sat back and let them tickle our tummy.

    Man City – should have beat them 5-0 🙂 A throwaway.

    Arsenal: hadn’t totally hit their stride yet and the Uruguayan hobbit was not in their team yet (I said it before the start of the season but he will be the best signing).

    Palace: beatable. On par with us.

    Leicester: I think they are a good team but they had 3 losses coming in to us and we just rolled over again and gave them the game.

    Man U: in turmoil. Should have been beat 3-0 by Valencia. Jose on the brink. We collapsed in 20 minutes.

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  2. Looked upon together the start was a nightmare but looked upon with 2 new managers (Emery and Sarri) a knackered Spurs and Jose looking like he just wanted to be paid off, then we should have done better.

    Is 2 points and no goals a satisfactory return from Palace, Leicester and Cardiff?

    I am sick of people making excuses because that is what is happening at this point.

    OUR START WAS NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS IT LOOKED ON PAPER.

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  3. To be sure, we played 5 of last year’s top six but last year:

    We beat Man U.

    We beat Arsenal

    Spurs were lucky home and away against us.

    Man City, Yeah I know, they always beat us.

    We beat Chelsea with their same squad.

    EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES.

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  4. I am still behind Rafa all the way but feel he has done a terrible job so far this season. Here are my grades:

    Entertainment: F

    Away Form: C

    Home Form: is there a grade less than F?

    Transfers: D+. Mitro and Gayle for Rondon a Muto, the jury is out. At least Gayle and Mitro are fit and can speak English.

    Actual Point Total Against Expected Return: F (I expected 6)

    Dealing with the Fatman: F

    Convincing 99% of fans he has no fault in this bad start: A+++++++++

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  5. So I see Saudi Arabia are in the headlines for allegedly topping someone in a Turkish embassy. Bad headlines and doesn’t look good. It’s a knocking bet that they’ll buy NUFC and then there’ll be sanctions on Saudi Arabia…

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  6. I know I have been on a bit of a rant about Rafa but that was because everybody seemed to be turning a blind eye to our team’s and his failings this year. And Ashley’s actions seemed very strange turning up again and not meeting with Rafa when he had every chance to do so, except for a pizza party where there must have been 40 other people there.

    Now The Mirror are reporting that we are lining up BRodge f ithings don’t turn around. Obviously, this would cause a further rift with the fans but as I said on the last thread, maybe this impasse with Rafa and Ashley has filtered through to the players and even Rafa has subconsciously switched off.

    It’s funny I went on a long, long rant on the last thread about fans giving Rafa a pass and then it appears he is not as safe as we all thought – according to The Mirror.

    I think Rodgers would jump at the chance of another PL job and he has had a team promoted in the past, even if it was in the playoffs. I also speculated that Ashley was setting us up financially for relegation even though he desperately wants to stay in the PL.

    Ashley doesn’t care what the fans think and Rafa has one foot out the door anyway, if things don’t change.

    He wouldn’t want another relegation on his CV so might not be that bothered about leaving a club that he must know by now has a crazy owner that will never fully back him and goes back on what he says.

    Keegan was right!!!!!

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  7. Here is The Mirror article. I am skeptical because I have never heard of this reporter and they do have a NE correspondent. The main flaw in the thinking is that Rodgers is contracted through 2021 and I doubt Fatty would pay compensation.

    The gist, that he is looking at other options, would tie in with Ashley’s recent behavior as he makes a last gasp attempt to get Rafa to sign a new contract and to see what is going on in our current seeming death spiral.

    Brighton seems like a must win. I doubt Rafa would be sacked but I think there may be a turnaround in unwavering support which he has had up until now.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/brendan-rodgers-lined-up-newcastle-13408546

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  8. Stuart79:
    So I see Saudi Arabia are in the headlines for allegedly topping someone in a Turkish embassy.Bad headlines and doesn’t look good. It’s a knocking bet that they’ll buy NUFC and then there’ll be sanctions on Saudi Arabia…

    Aye, can see that all day mate. NUFC LUCK .

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  9. I believe Rafa will get 10-15pts from the next 10 games which will get us back in the mix and the Rogers links will be a distance memory anyway.

    On another note. Has anyone watched The True Geordie interview with Nile Ranger on YouTube?.
    It’s on for about 2hrs but it’s quite good actually. I mean he’s a complete tw@t but it good to see how all the fame and fortune can destroy a kid.

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  10. georgio:
    KIm – there’s been nowt going on all season. 2pts!

    Aye, well it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. That’s what happens when an owner doesn’t invest and players know the gaffers leaving. Both Ritchie and Hayden wanted away pre season and Gayle seemed happy to go and has been saying he wants to stay at the Baggies. Ashley has helped create the perfect storm for the club and yet again we will drop out the PL and to be honest I don’t really care anymore.

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  11. kimtoon: he’sgot less personality than Steve mate.

    Kim – they were both good coaches under top manager (Mc under Fergie & Rogers under Jose)
    Mc gained a reputation after a little success with Boro – as did Rogers with Lpool. Both went off and had success – Mc with Twente and Rogers with Celtic.
    Both have absolute belief in themselves, yet massively flatter to deceive.

    You look at what Rogers did at Wigan, Liverpool and Celtic and you should think – aye I’d take him.

    But actually, look at it deeper and Rogers inherited a good Wigan side from Martinez, Lpool has some world class players, and Celtic have gone through a period being totally unchallenged whilst Rogers has been there. So it’s impossible to really say how good he is or not – credit for the unbeaten run mind.

    It would be Roberto Martinez I would want if Rafa left.

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  12. I would go for Simon Weaver when Rafa is gone.
    He might be managing a non league club but he would be £millions cheaper than Rafa and probably a lot better.

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  13. 4 reasons why the Mirror story isn’t true:

    1) They won’t pay him £6m
    2) Rodgers really is no guarantee of staying up
    3) They know in their hearts it’s due to a lack of investment as the reason for the struggles when they see every other club moving forward – we haven’t.
    4) They know sacking Rafa would almost certainly result in relegation due to fan unrest.

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  14. Stuart79:
    4 reasons why the Mirror story isn’t true:

    1) They won’t pay him £6m
    2) Rodgers really is no guarantee of staying up
    3) They know in their hearts it’s due to a lack of investment as the reason for the struggles when they see every other club moving forward – we haven’t.
    4) They know sacking Rafa would almost certainly result in relegation due to fan unrest.

    Stu – the no.5 to that list is also, when have you ever known an owner take the manager & playing staff out for pizza just before sacking him?! … hell the Leicester lads had to win the league to earn their pizza if I remember correctly.

    It’s a typical international break story.

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  15. Wasn’t Rodgers at Swansea? Can’t remember him at Wigan but Martinez was there. They won’t sack Rafa but he will walk in the end.

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  16. georgio:
    Wasn’t Rodgers at Swansea? Can’t remember him at Wigan but Martinez was there. They won’t sack Rafa but he will walk in the end.

    Georgio – congratulations mate, you spotted the deliberate mistake there ?

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  17. Sharpy17:
    I believe Rafa will get 10-15pts from the next 10 games which will get us back in the mix and the Rogers links will be a distance memory anyway.

    On another note.Has anyone watched The True Geordie interview with Nile Ranger on YouTube?.
    It’s on for about 2hrs but it’s quite good actually.I mean he’s a complete tw@t but it good to see how all the fame and fortune can destroy a kid.

    Sharpy: think that one though mate. Your best case scenario has us on 17 points going into Liverpool, Watford and Man U where we will be lucky to pick up any points. We might fluke a win, so that will be 17-20 from 21 games and therefore 17 remaining. We will be in the mix but it will be the relegation mix and that is your best cast scenario.

    I have thought about it and you are probably right with the 10-15 point range. Either way we re in trouble.

    Chris Waugh is saying that Ashley will only “spend big” if we are in trouble. What is BIG? I have speculated 30 million, but that is pure speculation just like Waugh’s opinion is only his opinion – no facts, no contacts.

    The problem with even getting us to those meagre totals of points is who is going to score the goals?

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  18. Sharpy17: Georgio – congratulations mate, you spotted the deliberate mistake there

    I think Rodgers got Swans promoted via the playoff? Or was it Southampton?

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  19. I am sure we will pick apart our next game against Brighton so I will move on to the next three. We have taken these teams lightly in the past and sometimes they have played us off the park on the day. I doubt we will do that this time but Watford and Bournemouth are no pushovers and have better squads than us. Southampton used to be a bogey team, but hopefully Ings and Austin wont be fit.

    This, with Brighton, is an easier run of fixtures but it is not easy.

    I can see us getting 6 points but unfortunately I can also see us getting 2. We have to hope that Rondon and Mutu are fit and hit their stride and that Kenedy really is back to last season’s form. Big ifs.

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  20. We have to hope that Rondon and Muto can be runners for Shelvey. We are a different team when he can ping passes about and I think that is what Rafa envisaged when he bought/loaned them. You would have had to be mad to rely totally on the defense with Dummet’s dodgy hamstrings and Yedlin’s inconsistency.

    I might be stating the obvious but I think the next 4 games are pivotal to our season, nevermind the next 10.

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  21. I know I have been a bit negative in the last few days but that is what the International break will do to you.

    But I really do think there is a chance we will pick up. Here’s why:

    I think Rondon and Muto look like good players and as they gain fitness and form we will get better. Hopefully Rafa can play them in the same team.

    Shelvey’s recovery from injury and hopefully Kenedy gaining confidence.

    If we play on the front foot Ayoze looks twice the player. He loses the ball too much when asked to “defend from the front”.

    Lejeune will probably be back for the second half of the season. Fernadez has done well but I think Lachelles need Lejeune. We can also play 3/5 at the back.

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  22. There is no doubt that we will be in trouble in January and if that pushes Ashley to spend where would we find players:

    1. We cannot loan any PL players as we have our full quota.

    2. Will PL teams sell to us knowing they have to play us? We got lucky with Shelvey and Andros and still got relegated.

    3. Wages. After spending so much time getting deadweight and wages off the books will Ashley just add back wages? He has required Rafa to prune the squad in preparation for possible relegation.

    4. Loans to buy from abroad, but who? We know Rafa’s priorities were a leftback and number 10 but would that significantly improve us?

    5. Purchases from abroad. To significantly improve us we are probably looking at players from teams knocked out of the CL and Europa League. They would probably double their asking price if they get a call from us.

    6. Maybe Graham Carr should pass on the number of the Mondial Sports Agency as we had relative success there before. They are not just in France but also Belgium.

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  23. We are going down Eric imo.
    Fans have the power to change things but they don’t have the stomach for it. Empty stadium and nothing bought that lines his pockets. Keep up the SD protest, extend it to his other businesses and anyone on SD board too. Make his life a misery, keep that spot light on him and his finances and how he operates , It’s the only way.

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  24. There’s plenty moaning about the quality of football so it shouldn’t be that hard to stay away in the short term if it brings long term gain.

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  25. If Rafa Goes We Go‏ @IfRafaGoesWeGo

    Follow Follow @IfRafaGoesWeGo

     More

    Very interesting from @SonsofStruth & @spiritofshankly

    Talking about targeting SD & telling the “top 5 shareholders that they were the next target for protests. If 2 or 3 of them sold their shares, price would plummet”

    Ashley’s wealth is directly linked to the SD share price

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  26. The big question is where are the goals going to come from? We got 39 last year but 12 of those came in 4 games, where we admittedly picked up 12 points but it left 27 goals over 34 games, or less than 1 goal a game. How we got to 43 points, I have no idea. But, as Stuart stresses that is unlikely to be repeated because every other team strengthened and we stood still.

    So where are the goals going to come from…

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  27. Who do we have to score the goals and what is their record? Screw Joselu. That leaves us with Rondon, Muto and Ayoze as our forwards. And Rafa is very unlikely to play all 3 together. Let’s look at their records.

    Rondon: 24 in 108 at WBA so 1 in 4.

    Muto: 20 in 66 for Mainz but 2 in 24 for Japan. Let’s be generous and say he might also get 1 in 4 in the PL.

    Ayoze: 30 in 150 for NUFC, but 8 in 36 last year so again being generous 1 in 4.

    That gets you about 20 from the strikers and our midfield doesn’t score.

    Unless trends are bucked or we unearth a Ruud van Nistlerooy it doesn’t look good.

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  28. Eric Sykes: Sharpy: think that one though mate. Your best case scenario has us on 17 points going into Liverpool, Watford and Man U where we will be lucky to pick up any points. We might fluke a win, so that will be 17-20 from 21 games and therefore 17 remaining. We will be in the mix but it will be the relegation mix and that is your best cast scenario.

    I have thought about it and you are probably right with the 10-15 point range. Either way we re in trouble.

    Chris Waugh is saying that Ashley will only “spend big” if we are in trouble. What is BIG? I have speculated 30 million, but that is pure speculation just like Waugh’s opinion is only his opinion – no facts, no contacts.

    The problem with even getting us to those meagre totals of points is who is going to score the goals?

    Eric – it puts us in pretty much the same place that time last season. It would get us back in the mix with the teams I’d expect us to be with.
    It would then be whether Rafa could get players in in Jan that could have the type of influence Kenedy and Dubravka had. They were key in us picking up the points we did in the 2nd part of the season, and we’d need the same again I reckon.

    However, that’s how Sunderland operated and got away with scrapping survival 2 or 3 seasons in a row – before ending up where they are now, so I’m certainly not in favour of the approach.

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  29. Sharpy: I tried to be a bit optimistic above with players coming back from injury/bad form and others getting settled. I think we need a striker to go on a good run or Rafa to find somebody (probably not Jorgensen who he wanted to get for 18 million last January and looked pretty crap at the WC to me). But if Glenn Murray can be near the top of the scoring charts then anything is possible.

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  30. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: I tried to be a bit optimistic above with players coming back from injury/bad form and others getting settled. I think we need a striker to go on a good run or Rafa to find somebody (probably not Jorgensen who he wanted to get for 18 million last January and looked pretty crap at the WC to me). But if Glenn Murray can be near the top of the scoring charts then anything is possible.

    Eric – I think Perez got 8 last season, Gayle 6 and Joselu 4 – so we don’t need a goal every other game forward to secure a mid table finish. It would be great to have that type of forward that once graced the black n white shirt, but we ain’t getting one under Ashley.
    I think Rondon & Muto could start scoring if we keep playing like we did in that first half at Man Utd.
    I get some of the fixtures so far we’ve had to go more defensive – but now these next 10 should allow us to be a bit more brave and go at teams. But if players are injured and we are depending on Joselu, then I fear we are ****ed

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  31. I had never heard of this boxer Ritzen until the row over the training gear. Then when I saw that he wears a NUFC top into the ring I thought – that’s him jinxed, the way we are going this year. I promise that was my first thought even though I didn’t say it on here.

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  32. Just read Supermac’s comment that in the next 10 games we could either be clear of relegation or right in the fight. I don’t understand his logic. Even if we win 6 and lose 4, probably the most optimistic view, that gives us 20 points from 18 games and a nightmare Christmas and 2 months beyond. Hardly safe. I think that being around the Chronicle writers for too long has addled his brain.

    What the hell does he think, we will win 8 of those 10?!!!!

    I’m with Sharpy that it will probably be 10 to 15 points and more likely closer to 10.

    We are in a relegation dogfight and I am fully expecting to be in the bottom 3 on January 3rd (that’s 13 games from now with the Man U game having been moved to January 2nd).

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  33. Just read a column by Uncle Ed and he says Ashley will withhold money if we are safe in January. Is there some sort of brainwashing going on? Have him, Waugh and McDonald all been to some hypnotist Ashley hired to ignore the reality of what we have to do to be safe by January? We have 2 points from 8 games FFS. We have lost our 1st 4 home games. None of our next 10 games are easy and on current form some are bloody hard like Watford, Bournemouth, Everton and Wolves.

    I would like some of what those 3 are smoking.

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  34. And when people point out that we have played 5 of the top 6 they ignore a simple fact that 3 of them were at home and City still have to come to SJP. What chance of getting anything at Spurs, Chelsea or Arsenal or City at home?

    Yeah we got some tough games out of the way, but they were at home and we lost them. Last year we lost away to Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal and at home to City.

    I just do not understand the logic of some writers and pundits sometimes. They cannot see the woods for the trees through their rose tinted glasses.

    If Ashley does NOT spend in January it will be more likely because he thinks we are already relegated and NOT relatively safe. Our best hope is that we are not cast adrift with Cardiff and Huddersfield and he thinks it’s worth a bet.

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  35. Eric – I understand your concerns but I’ve just done a points tally for last season and we were 26pts by the end of February – so if we can achieve your optimistic tally of 20pts, that’s only 2 wins off last season. I know 6pts is a lot in a relegation battle and can be the difference of 5 or 6 places in the league – but it’s not drastic.

    My early prediction is that Cardiff and Huddersfield will take 2 of those relegation slots – the 3rd is up for grabs.

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  36. I agree Sharpy – it’s us Southampton or Brighton and somebody always plummets as the season goes on. Nobody predicted Stoke last year. Interesting but definitely not a good season. More crap again.

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  37. Sharpy17:
    Eric – I understand your concerns but I’ve just done a points tally for last season and we were 26pts by the end of February – so if we can achieve your optimistic tally of 20pts, that’s only 2 wins off last season.I know 6pts is a lot in a relegation battle and can be the difference of 5 or 6 places in the league – but it’s not drastic.

    My early prediction is that Cardiff and Huddersfield will take 2 of those relegation slots – the 3rd is up for grabs.

    I was being wildly optimistic with 6 wins from the next 10 games to show how pie in the sky Waugh’s, McDonald’s and Ed’s writings are. I am much more behind your prediction as I have said and nearer the 10 points than the 15. I have seen nothing so far to think otherwise but I live in hope. A bit of luck might help.

    They were all saying we might be able to steer clear of the relegation battle by January because of our “easy” run of fixtures. Look at the fixture list above in Olly’s main article. We have 13 games until the Transfer Window opens and we start on 2 points. I would give us about a 1% chance of being outside the bottom 5 and a zero % chance of being in the top half. It is totally stupid to say we could be in a safe place by January and these people should know better.

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  38. For Waugh’s, McDonald’s and Ed’s scenario to come true we would have to hit Champions League form for 13 games and that ain’t gonna happen.

    I know they put in some caveats and different outcomes but to even suggest it as a possibility for Ashley withholding transfer funds is just plain stupid.

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  39. georgio:
    I agree Sharpy – it’s us Southampton or Brighton and somebody always plummets as the season goes on. Nobody predicted Stoke last year. Interesting but definitely not a good season. More crap again.

    Georgio – Fulham are leaking goals mate. They may have Mitrovic scoring, but he’s gonna have to finish top scorer in the league if they don’t tighten up at the back.
    I think Palace won’t be far away coz without Zaha they are hopeless as well – I think that final spot could be between as many as 6-7 teams (but we will be one of them for sure).

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  40. Eric Sykes: I was being wildly optimistic with 6 wins from the next 10 games to show howpie in the sky Waugh’s, McDonald’s and Ed’s writings are. I am much more behind your prediction as I have said and nearer the 10points than the 15. I have seen nothing so far to think otherwise but I live in hope. A bit of luck might help.

    They were all saying we might be able to steer clear of the relegation battle by January because of our “easy” run of fixtures. Look at the fixture list above in Olly’s main article. We have 13 games until the Transfer Window opens and we start on 2 points. I would give us about a 1% chance of being outside the bottom 5 and a zero % chance of being in the top half. It is totally stupid to say we could be in a safe place by January and these people should know better.

    Eric – yeah 6 wins from the next 10 games is highly unlikely. But I’m saying we had 26pts by the end of Feb last season – I’m on about 6-8 wins in the next 4.5 months worth of fixtures to be on par with where we were last season – that is certainly achievable.

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  41. Eric Sykes: I was being wildly optimistic with 6 wins from the next 10 games to show howpie in the sky Waugh’s, McDonald’s and Ed’s writings are. I am much more behind your prediction as I have said and nearer the 10points than the 15. I have seen nothing so far to think otherwise but I live in hope. A bit of luck might help.

    They were all saying we might be able to steer clear of the relegation battle by January because of our “easy” run of fixtures. Look at the fixture list above in Olly’s main article. We have 13 games until the Transfer Window opens and we start on 2 points. I would give us about a 1% chance of being outside the bottom 5 and a zero % chance of being in the top half. It is totally stupid to say we could be in a safe place by January and these people should know better.

    Eric – just to confirm my position on this mate. Even if we get 20-25pts between now and the end of February, I’m not saying we will be safe or OK. We were in the relegation danger zone at that point last season, but it clearly kept us in the mix and gave us the chance to get out of it. I think we need that again this season coz if we find ourselves cut adrift by say 6-8pts going into March, it may be too much to get the kind of run that saw us finish 10th in the end.

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  42. Some stories now doing the rounds of a “huge” bid coming from Saudi Arabia…. ? ??????????

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  43. Sharpy: I am not arguing with you, I am arguing with pundits who are putting up a straw man that we might be in a good position at the end of these next 10 games and that Ashley will use that as a reason to stand pat. Just not happening with a starting point of 2 points.

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  44. 6 wins out of 10 would be quite staggering considering we haven’t won yet. In fact 3 wins would be far fetched given our results and performances apart from last week.

    We’ve got a poor side – simple as that. If Jabba doesn’t spend and allow Rafa to buy a striker then we’re down.

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  45. Stuart79:
    6 wins out of 10 would be quite staggering considering we haven’t won yet. In fact 3 wins would be far fetched given our results and performances apart from last week.

    We’ve got a poor side – simple as that. If Jabba doesn’t spend and allow Rafa to buy a striker then we’re down.

    Stu – Rafa has said he doesn’t want a striker mate ?. Or should I say there are other positions that would take priority.

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  46. I’d give Muto a run of games. Certainly against Brighton because although Rondon may be decent in the air those two at the back for Brighton take some getting past. Quick little Muto may do it. Perez and Kenedy key again.

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  47. Had a look at The Chronicle and they have totally run out of ideas for stories. Waugh runs with 5 areas that Rafa wants to strengthen, which Rafa pointed to 6 about bloody months ago. Said we need a proven striker but makes no suggestion. Then there are quotes from Simon Jordan.

    You could lament the state of NE journalism but then all you need to do is watch Sunday Supplement to see that most tabloid style journos are just self-obsessed and self aggrandizing ****s.

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  48. I fear we are stuck with the strikers we have, but we don’t really know what we have got. Rafa has given Muto few chances for whatever reason and Rondon has either been lacking fitness (for some unfathomable reason) or injured most of the time – it is like Slimani revisited. The Chronic have pictures of him training indoors alone, which suggests to me he will be on the bench at best. We have to play Muto because Shelvey needs a runner to open up space for Kenedy, Ritchie and Ayoze.

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  49. Now onto the striker we are supposedly after in January. Who can we get? The Chronic make no suggestions. The only one in England I can think of is maybe Llorente at Spurs. He scored goals for Swansea and has been a total bench warmer at Spurs. I think he is 33 but Ashley would sanction it as there are few alternatives and it is not the time to “buy for the future”. It would be just one more piece of assembling an ex-Swansea team – Shelvey, Ki and Fernandez. Has to be better than Joselu as a 3rd option/holdup player.

    Where do you get a “proven goalscorer” in the PL. We are out of loans which is a problem. None of the bottom half will sell us one, if they even have one.

    Luuk de Jong was on the bench for Holland against Germany so that shows the quality there.

    Anybody have any ideas?

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  50. The 2 moves for strikers last January were Lucas Moura and Cenk Tosun for 25 million and 27 million respectively. But they wouldn’t have come to us and certainly not if we were where I think we will be in January. So it will be hit and hope, bargain, 3rd tier again. Does Glenn Murray have a brother?

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  51. We are actually worse off than last year if that is possible because we don’t have the PL loan spots. We really need to beat Brighton to lift my mood because this international break has given me too much time to think.

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  52. I had a look at The Championship top scorers to see who we could get from there:

    Neal Maupay, Brentford – 10
    Dwight Gayle – 8
    Jay Rod -7
    Jon Dadi Bolvarsson, Reading – 7
    Billy Sharp, Sheff Utd – 7

    Looks like Dwight is doing what we all thought he would and firing WBA back up to the PL – possibly at our expense 🙁

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  53. Lazaar to Genoa the BIG news today 🙂

    Mick Quinn in his Chronic Q&A today said we need a “proven PL striker” but made no suggestions of who that might be.

    The only other one I can think of, apart from Llorente, is Sturridge. 3 massive stumbling blocks though: injuries (remember West Brom), cannot be a loan, and wages.

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  54. I read the Mick Quinn Q&A today and The Chronic lobbed “The Legend” some readers’ softball questions on his favourite subject: HIMSELF.

    I really don’t mind Quinn and he often makes sense but his column always relates a current NUFC situation to him in his playing days. He only has about 5 anecdotes but he shoehorns one of them into every column, with his debut and Keegan not fancying him pretzeled into most.

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  55. The biggest problem there is Klopp keeps playing him. And paying him.
    No decent striker will want to come in January so it’s probably loan from abroad or nothing and hope Rondon and Muto come good with improved supply from other ‘signings’.

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  56. Welbeck? Another injury prone striker on high wages but he is out of contract in the summer. Could be pacy winger or striker? Better than giving Jermaine Defoe 130k a week?

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  57. georgio:
    The biggest problem there is Klopp keeps playing him. And paying him.
    No decent striker will want to come in January so it’s probably loan from abroad or nothing and hope Rondon and Muto come good with improved supply from other ‘signings’.

    I know I am clutching at straws but the phrase “proven PL striker” keeps coming up and they just aren’t available. I think Llorente is our best bet if we go that route.

    Giroud is out of contract in the summer.

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  58. Harry Winks playing for England tonight. I realized I don’t even know what he looks like. Spurs are the new Man U and Liverpool where if you play for them you automatically get into the England team.

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  59. I didn’t know what Jadon Sanchez looked like either but he is only 18 and plays in Germany.

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  60. WOW: the Spanish crowd are whistling like mad at God Save the Queen. If that happened at Wembley to another country’s National Anthem everybody would say it was a disgrace. I wonder how this will be reported?

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