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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Next Three Games Are Crucial For Newcastle

9:13 am, Monday, September 7th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 10 Comments

There are some things that have happened over the first four games that will give Newcastle fans a lot of hope for this season, and there are other things that remind us of what happened under John Carver last season, nothing of which was positive.

steve mcclaren

Steve McClaren – has to get some wins under his belt

John’s role as interim head coach was nothing other than an unmitigated disaster for the club, and maybe the only bright spot was when we actually won our last game of the season against West Ham, and that was our first win in 11 games, after losing 9 of them.

It’s difficult to get a worse record than that.

One poor aspect under John Carver was the indiscipline in the side, and that hasn’t improved too much with  players being sent off in two of the first four league games.

On the positive side, Newcastle try to play good football, and seem to be very well organized under Steve McClaren, with each player knowing exactly what is expected of them.

Newcastle still find it difficult to score goals, even through we have brought in Aleksandar Mitrovic from Anderlecht as a striker, and we have a fit again Papiss Cisse.

We also signed creative midfielder Gini Wijnaldum from PSV – The Dutch Player of the Season last season – and he can score some goals.

We conceded four goals in the first two games, with our defense having been a weakness for too many seasons.

But in the last two league games at Manchester United and at home to Arsenal,  the defense looked solid, and played very well and conceded only the single goal.

So there is some hope there that our defense will be better this season.

But we still don’t score enough goals, and one very poor stat we have is our total shots on or off target – with 17 being the lowest in the Premier League, so if you don’t shoot you don’t score – although we suppose we can always hope for an own goal.

Papiss Cisse will probably be our loan striker in the next two league games at West Ham and at home to newly promoted Watford.

Two wins in those games would significantly calm the nerves of Newcastle supporters.

Here are the next five games we have before we have the next International break:

Mon 14	20:00	A  West Ham United		
Sat 19	15:00	H  Watford			
Wed 23	19:45	H  Sheffield Wed - League Cup			
Sat 26	17:30	H  Chelsea				
Sat 03	15:00	A  Manchester City	

The two games we can win there are the next two – West Ham and Watford – although we have beaten Chelsea three times in a row in the home fixture (2-1 last season, 2-0 and 3-2 back in 2013).

If we can win our next two games and get through to the fourth round of League Cup by beating Sheffield Wednesday at home, we will be in decent shape.

Even if we lose against Chelsea and Manchester City, we’ll still have 8 points from the first 8 games, which is not too bad, given we will have played the four top four sides from last season.

But if we cannot get a win in those games we will be in a similar position in the table as last year, and that will not be good.

The next three games are crucial to Newcastle, and it would be good if we can win them all.

Comments welcome.

Note: A number of Newcastle fans organized by Callum Taylor are raising funds for the Refugees forced to leave war-torn countries like Syria. They will have some banners at the West Ham game.

See if you can support them at their pledge page here – thanks.

Tags: Capital One Cup · Coaching · League Cup · Newcastle News · Premier League · Transfer News and Rumours

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    The conundrum for the next 3 PL games IS the striker .

    I presume Ed meant lone striker and not loan striker.

    For me , start Ayoze Perez (for his effort and his team contribution) and when the young’un is burnt out , bring Cissé on as an impact player.

  • 2 stuart no9 // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    ED. —- like what ??? All I’ve seen is a team that have Defended for their life . A team that can’t score goals ,our new star player who is just a liability . A team who are joint bottom of the league , and s team who will struggle against Anyone .. Where is the hope in that .

  • 3 beermonkey // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:23 AM


    whats the deal michu had a great first season he was cheap yet you cant seem to flog him
    he doesn’t play under monk and I have read your looking to releasing him early from his contract

  • 4 Tinman // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Agree, start Ayoze.

    Hope Kolarov and Ivanovic have a little chat with Mitro whilst they are away

  • 5 Jib // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    From this mornings – Premier League news and rumours

    Swansea City want to release striker Michu who hasn’t played for the club since April 2014. He barely got any game time during a season-long loan at Napoli last term and has been linked with a return to Spain. Swansea will need to pay him off before he will leave.

  • 6 beermonkey // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:34 AM


    I wanna know why he had a great first season then it just seemed to go wrong at Swansea
    he looked a good player
    did he fall out with monk got an attitude prob bad trainer
    there has to be a reason just wondered as welsh is a swan fan if he knew

    also jib
    433 for hammers
    sissoko anita gini
    perez cisse thauvin

    like us there slow at the back get at them and we should get a result

  • 7 martoon // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    stuart no9 @2 – Nothing like a bit of positivity to start the week off 😀

  • 8 WWSBRD // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    That 433 puts a lot onto Anita though the height in midfield would be a bonus but overall in CM Sissoko has been very poor for us as for Gini I don’t know what he’s like in CM though he dips in and out of games further up the pitch, hard to tell if that’s just him or our inability to get out of our half

  • 9 beermonkey // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:52 AM


    I know sissoko does ok in that pos for france
    gini I am so sure about in that role

    we have to beat west ham and 4231 isn’t working on an attack front

  • 10 Jib // Sep 7, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    It sounds like another striker who can’t accept the march of time plus an interfering agent (there’s a shock !)

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