Before the three tough game against the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, most of those expert pundits thought Newcastle had very little chance of picking up any points.
An anxious looking Alan Pardew last Saturday
And despite performing well in all three of those games, the lads came away with just a single point from Old Trafford, but then came a right cropper on Saturday afternoon against Norwich City, without the three first choice center-backs.
Newcastle went down 4-2 at Carrow Road, and Danny Simpson and James Perch showed why they have hardly ever played in central defense in their careers.
And those same pundits are now saying Newcastle and their surprise good run at the beginning of the season, is over and indeed the bubble has burst.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew disagrees with that assessment of his team, which he says is rather harsh:
“We went down to 10 men and we were still in the game, so it would be very harsh to suggest that the bubble has burst,”
“Every game is a big one for us. We are in a situation where we have got a nice points tally, but we have come into a run against the top teams and lost players to injury.”
“We are just having one of those little injury runs and that is affecting us.”
Three of the Norwich goals came from free headers in the penalty area from crosses, with Simpson and Perch, both on the small side, hardly ever winning a header in the box all afternoon long.
But that’s only one game – thank goodness – and hopefully the last time we will see Perch and Simpson together at center-back for Newcastle, and we hope and pray that captain Coloccini can return on Saturday.
The next two games are at home against Swansea and WBA, and it will be bad news if Newcastle cannot take all six points from those two sides, who are much lower in the league than Newcastle.
If we are to finish in the top half of the table, which is this season’s gaol, or even higher than that as a stretch goal, then these are the games Newcastle must win.