Newcastle conceded 68 goals last season, and that’s the most we have ever conceded in the Premier League, and there was one game when we let in seven goals, one game when we conceded six goals (at home too), and two games when we let in four goals, and if we concede 68 goals or near that total again this season, it’s a good bet that we will have been fighting relegation or even be relegated – with a big emphasis on if.
Newcastle defense breached – Peter Odemwingie scores on Saturday
Newcastle have already shown too many defensive frailties this season, and conceded four goals in our very first game and three goals each in those defeats against Hull at home and Everton.
So far this season we have four clean sheets, but since we are talking about the league – we have two clean sheets so far against West Ham in the 0-0 draw, and against Fulham in the next game when Ben Arfa got us that wonder goal after 87 minutes in the 1-0 win.
So a decent measure of success this season could be how we are doing as far as our weak link goes – the defense.
One measurement is of course the total goals conceded, and another measurement would be how many clean sheets we can keep.
So far it’s two in seven games, but in those other five games we still managed to concede 12 goals.
The goals conceded this season will determine whether Newcastle can have a good season or not, because it certainly seems with Loic Remy now in the side – we should be able to get enough goals.
There have already been too many times when we have given the game away with bad defending this term – at Manchester City in the first game, at home to Hull City and the last howler at Everton in that disastrous first half, when we conceded three goals.
So Alan Pardew’s biggest test is to get a back four together that doesn’t leak goals like we did last season, and what we’ve already done in too many games this season.
The next five games – Liverpool (h), Sunderland (a), Manchester City (h – Capital One Cup), Chelsea (h) and Tottenham (a) – give the Newcastle team a big test, and especially our defense.
The number of goals we concede in those games will determine whether we are well positioned in the league, and in the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup come November 10th, which is our game at Tottenham and the last of a tough five game run.
It’s probably as simple as that.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org