It’s been all change at Newcastle since the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City back on the 29th September, and after that defeat we had played seven league games – had only 3 points – and were joint bottom of the league with Burnley.
Alan Pardew – taking training at Benton
So in a short 44 days, just over six weeks – Newcastle have risen 11 places in the league table with 13 points from our last five games, and we also won 2-0 in the Capital One Cup at Manchester City – our first ever win at the Etihad Stadium – and are in the quarter finals of that competition.
Newcastle are now only 2 points behind 4th placed West Ham in the league, and we play at West Ham after our next game – at home to QPR a week on Saturday.
When we are near the bottom of the league the talk was all about possible relegation, and now we are in 8th place, there is talk of getting back into Europe again, but that could be dangerous given the size of our current squad.
Alan Pardew has been asked about a possible European qualification this season:
“We’ve been very simple in what we’ve done in terms of our goals, and where we think we should be.” “We’ve kept them realistic, even after our difficult start.”
“We were looking at stats, and they weren’t suggesting we were in the position we should have been in.”
“It’s difficult to say that when you’re under the pressure, and the fans are almost revolting, but we were confident that we could get the results at the end of the day.”
“It’s been a phenomenal run, and that is all credit to the players.” “I don’t know where we’ll finish up – it depends on how these young players cope with the pressure and everything else that comes, and the difficult days.”
“Everything is going our way at the moment as well, and that’s good.” “But it won’t always continue like that.”
“We have QPR at home after the international break, and a real chance to push ourselves right up the league, and we’ll be really looking forward to that.”
Playing in the Europa League doesn’t give Newcastle much – other than prestige, certainly not much cash – and when we participated two years ago, after finishing 5th top, we struggled with relegation, because of our small squad.
The squad is still too small, so if by some chance we do qualify for the Europa League next season we must strengthen the squad in the summer – something we didn’t do two years ago after finishing 5th top.
But Tottenham, who spend a lot more money than Newcastle on their players, have shown this season that it’s difficult to do well in the league when the club is also participating in Europe.
But there again, if we want to become a big club again, playing in Europe is a must – and therefore we have to make the squad a lot bigger.
But whether Mike Ashley would do that in the summer is an open question – he certainlyhe was averse to spending big money two years ago – and we suffered a season seriously fighting against relegation because of that.
But it’s far too early to talk about Europe – even after winning our last five games.
Maybe should wait and see how we do in the next five games?
What do you think?
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