From Relegation Threatened to Europe all in the Space of a Month

At the beginning of November, it was all doom and gloom on Tyneside.

One glance at the table showed Newcastle with just three points and zero wins in the league but a month later, those who check out the latest football odds will see a completely different picture. 

Rafael Benítez guided his Magpies to three Premier League wins from three and with it came belief, hope, and the manager of the month award for November for head honcho Benitez.

Suddenly, Newcastle were a side on the up and destined for greater things with victories over Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley proof that Newcastle are not as bad as first feared.

So, are Newcastle in with a genuine shot of finishing in the top ten again? Or going potentially further and achieving the Europa League?

Or, were the three wins simply a false dawn and one should not get carried away?

Despite spending most of last season in the relegation mire,late season form propelled the Magpies into a final position of tenth which goes to show that small margins separate the lower half of the Premier League.

After all, Newcastle’s total of 44 points was the same as Bournemouth’s total who ended the campaign in 12th.

Fine margins indeed and one that proves almost anything is possible.

Christmas Fixtures

However, Newcastle fans should be more optimistic than most heading deep into the packed Christmas fixtures.

Whatever the outcome in the Huddersfield game, matches against rock-bottom Fulham, coupled with a chance to do the double over a stuttering Watford means Benitez has a real chance to land some big points over the festive period and launch the Magpies right up the table.

Even the home clash against Manchester United on the day after New Year’s Day is not one to be as feared as in prior seasons.

However, generous fixtures aside.

Does a sale hold the key?

Perhaps the biggest motivation Newcastle need is the potential sale of the club to a consortium led by former Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon.

Current owner Mike Ashley is reportedly holding out for £300 million with roughly a difference of £100 million in club evaluation a sticking point with Kenyon and co only wanting to spend £200 million.

But negotiations appear to be there to be made and of Newcastle can lift themselves into a position of security over Christmas, then the risk of an extra £100 million investment is suddenly secured through the guarantee of Premier League football and perhaps exceeded through the chance of European football for next season.

Christmas could come early and late for Newcastle this season but only if Benitez can once again sprinkle his Magpie magic.

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