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Newcastle In Same Predicament As Leicester Were A Year Ago

8:04 pm, Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 49 Comments

After 29 games played last season Leicester City were on 19 points from 29 games and they then won two in a row so after 31 games played they had 25 points.

That’s exactly the same points total as Newcastle have at the moment after 31 games and we are second bottom whereas last year at this time Leicester were rock bottom.

They were 3 points from safety from 4th bottom Hull City  who were on 28 points with Hull having played one more game.

Leicester’s goal difference of -19 technically meant they were really 4 points from safety with Hull have a goal difference of -16 after 32 games played.


Nigel Pearson – 22 points in final 9 games last season

Leicester went on to take 16 points from their remaining 7 games – 5 wins, a draw and a defeat to Chelsea – to survive on 41 points.

If Newcastle can replicate that effort we would end up safe on 41 points – 2 points more than last season – so it’s something the players should be aware of – all is not lost.

And of course Leicester are amazingly now 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League with only 6 games to play and every chance of winning it for the first time ever.


But we have to get a win as soon as possible under Rafa, and with that the players will gain a lot of confidence.

We still have four home games to play – and given a sold-out St. James’ Park we could still get four wins – it’s certainly possible if our players are up for each of those games against Swansea, Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

That’s what it’s going to take if we are to survive this season and certainly Rafa Benitez is thinking only of that and nothing else.

That’s certainly the right way to look at things.

Maybe if we can get both Fabricio Coloccini and Paul Dummett back in defense for Saturday we could be a lot more solid and start Aleksandar Mitrovic up front.

We can start winning these games, but only if our defense tightens up significantly after Saturday’s below-par performance at Carrow Road.

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Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League

49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SPRINGY // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    would’nt say the circumstances are the same though ed….they had a decent run of games going in to the last 7 of the season

  • 2 JP...from The Rock // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Ed stop hoping we’re doomed the sooner you accept it the easier it is to take.

  • 3 Essex Geordie Bill // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    And there goes another flock of pigs flying over the Town Moore.

  • 4 Essex Geordie Bill // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    Thinking back to all of the injuries we’ve had it has me wondering if some of the constantly injured ones are actually Zombies.

    This would certainly explain why certain players seem to shamble around on the pitch, makes sense to me.

  • 5 Thump // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    so it’s something the players should be aware of – all is not lost.

    In which case, we should hope that they aren’t regular readers of your writing, Ed.

  • 6 Bobbybee // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    Although it does look like relegation is a certainty, the truth is, it’s not. As unlikely as it seems, we could still escape. Until the maths tell me different, I’ll keep clinging on to an ever decreasing hope! 😉 Ed’s right insomuch that if we get some good news on the injury front and the players finally take in what Rafa is telling them, a last minute surge could save us. I’m a realist though and accept it’s unlikely, but where there’s life there’s hope.

  • 7 Bobbybee // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Mmm, you might be onto something there Bill 😉

  • 8 Lindisfarne // Apr 5, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    What are the pros & cons of NOT changing the side too much?

    Unless it is mind games, Rafa has told the press that he will not be changing things about too much in order to keep things simple, not confuse the players and maintain the the teams concentration on making the right decisions. Philosophically all well and good, but what about responsibility?

    The players are regularly under performing and have had all season to get things right and bind together as a team. No amount of TLC, finger pointing, positive spin or disappointment has seen any improvement, so how about move aside and give a player that is hungry for a chance a go?

    If the likes of de Jong, Aarons, Saivet and Doumbia have not been given an opportunity and one or two of them just maybe the galvenising force that is needed to motivate the team to perform to their true capabilities. The likes of de Jong who has played at the highest level in Europe, Captained a title winning side and generally been their and done it should be able to lead the way on the pitch. Even if there is a slight lack of pace, just like Teddy Sheringham in his latter years, there is still the potential for a decisive contribution around which the team can build some sort of momentum.

    There maybe a lack of evidence that on the training pitch that such a role could materialise, through his own lack of confidence or the other players lack of belief. But then again there is little else going for them and I think the fans deserve a little more explanation as to why these players are deliberately not being used.

  • 9 Bobbybee // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:08 PM

    I don’t think Rafa saw it as we did. We were convinced these last two matches gone were crucial because it made sense to us. I think he had a different idea from his interviews. I think he sees it that getting his message across will take time – time we don’t have, but that’s not his fault – and that the wins we need will come in the last games. We’ve witnessed ourselves that when they click, they can be a delight to watch and a match for anyone. He believes these players can do it and there are signs, but it’s probably too late. I think he’d written off the first few games as giving him time to make the difference. Let’s hope he’s right. He still believes he can do it and he knows what he’s seeing in training. I personally think we’re down, but what is life without hope? One win could completely change everything. If anyone can, Rafa can, but we’re still left with silk purses and sows ears. I’ll do my bit for sure. I wish the players had one percent of the fans passion – they’d run through brick walls to win! 😉

  • 10 Mag52 // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:08 PM

    I agree Lindisfarne.
    The regulars have been through the mangle week after week, loss after loss, criticism heaped upon them match after match.
    Now while a lot of this is down to themselves, they haven’t exactly had the ‘rub of the green’ with decisions, injuries etc. They have to be a very dispirited group.
    It would make perfect sense to freshen up the squad where possible with a bunch of players who have hardly featured so far this season and who could be busting a gut to show what they are capable of. Players like De Jong, Aarons(but not in defence), Saivet, Obertan, Rivière.

  • 11 SPRINGY // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    could you imagine the stick rafa would get on here if he brought back obertan,sdj and the likes and dropped gini,sissoko and whoever?…he brought back taylor and cisse last games and heads were spinning like scene from the exorcist!lol

  • 12 Bobbybee // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:20 PM


  • 13 SPRINGY // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:27 PM

    it looks like we will have a feew more players back for the swansea game, so we will see if he makes changes or thinks the players we have seen all season are the best we have available….i dont think there will be many changes in starting line ups from what we have already seen….mitro will get his starting place back and probably a left back coming in instead of a midfielder,dummet or haidara,.. but cant see many changes…could be wrong though just have to wait and see.

  • 14 SPRINGY // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    feew=few….gorilla fingers

  • 15 Bri // Apr 5, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    No doubt about it, gini needs dropping for Saturday.
    The bloke has been garbage and with the likes of him playing against Saints we will definitely lose.

  • 16 lochinvar // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Tavernier scores winning goal that gets Rangers promoted in Scotland.
    Where there’s news there’s always a link with Newcastle.

  • 17 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    Derby 4 – Hull 0

    Hull now closer to 7th than 2nd.

    Steve Bruce one-step closer to NUFC.

  • 18 Munster Mag // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Springy, and what did rafa achieve bringing back taylor for lascalles and cisse for nitro?? Or can a fan like me not critisise rafa?

  • 19 Munster Mag // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    Hail we might be glad to have bruce if we go down

  • 20 Munster Mag // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what playing on the left wing has done for sissoko? Im still waiting to see this ploy work in any way shape or form.

  • 21 JamesToon // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Rangers back in spl.

    Would defo take Warburton as manager for the championship in the summer…

  • 22 JAMSHA // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    at start of the season i had said mostly we will finish 15th and by jan if we are in bottom 3 wer are goin down, an thats comeing true

  • 23 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Well done, Jamsha.

  • 24 Blackley and Brownlie // Apr 5, 2016 at 10:58 PM

    Yes, I think Ed was far too harsh on Carver. After being top spenders in Europe, NUFC has still struggled no matter which manager is in charge. With the benefit of hindsight, Ed should reappraise Carver’s tenure and cut him some slack. It’s not as if Alan Pardew wasn’t known for going on similar poor runs.

  • 25 welshgeordie9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Just read an article about certain players wants to leave if we get relegated, I’ve got 5 words to say to that.


    So Basically what they trying to say is that they can’t be bothered to put the effort in, we going down, why bother, we win because we just go to another club.

  • 26 stevie101182 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Anyone wanna be depressed. Sky sports 1 Newcastle Liverpool game getting the mnf treatment haha.

  • 27 stuart no9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    stuart no9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    3, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    sorry to have to post this again , but im going to post it on every topic untill we are relegated.

    ,,,stuart no9 // Apr 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    ED . how to you know Raffa is leaving at the end of the season ? has he told you ? untill he makes a statement saying hes leaving – hes staying .
    Ok its not looking great this morning , however by the law of averages we are due a win , A draw at saints next week is not going to be a decider but we MUST take all 3 against swansea, 1 point against M city, zilch against liverpool, 3 against palace, 3 against villa and 3 against spurs coz the title will be won by the time we play i can see 14 points that are acheivable . 14 plus 25 =39 . enough to stay up this season . thats it we are safe. benitez stays and we kick on next season

  • 28 welshgeordie9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    Why would any team pick our players that wants to leave, when they have been so crap and haven’t put the effort in, one player i feel sorry for is mitrovic, he’s wears his heart on his sleeve, you could see that when he went down on his knees after the whistle went at Norwich, other players can kiss my arse.

  • 29 Yo-yo // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Well I would rate Pardew as a 15th place manager, and Carver a 18th place manager – we only survived because of what we already had in the bag. Rafa is a top 4 manager.

    I can’t understand folks moaning about 4-2-3-1. It is what Rafa plays, live with it. Dunno if he’s doing zonal defensive marking for set plays – if so the lads are just not good enough, or not listening – but we all know how bad our back 4 are collectively. I’d cut Carver and Pardew some slack for our back 4 as they suffered too, but they are both in a class well below Rafa. I still think he can save us, but only if the lads turn up. Fr’ instance how come Wini, a supposedly class international is so inconsistent for us ?

  • 30 welshgeordie9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    Previous comment


  • 31 Yo-yo // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:20 PM


    Dilemma ain’t it that your stepping stone players – the ones looking for upward moves cluc-wise are the guys not turning up. With you on Mitro – he’s giving all he can. Two goals a game till the end of the season from Mitro might be enough….

  • 32 Yo-yo // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    cluc = club

  • 33 Lindisfarne // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Mag52 – at least one and if not, why not?

  • 34 jimmysmith // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    Ed can join a long line of those who might want to reassess their harsh assessments of recent Newcastle managers. Charnley, Carr, Ashley and the players are likely just as or more, possibly much more culpable, but the manager is the easy target, perversely and most generally falsely.

    Rafa was only ever going to stay if Newcastle was the best offer on the table, but come the close season, he was always going to be hard to keep.

    It’s a tragedy because obviously Newcastle would have been forced to bend over backwards to keep him, but they can’t hope to offer him a competitive package in the Championship.

    It’s ironic because we are here as a result of not giving the manager the correct levers and tools for the job for 8 long tough years under Ashley.

  • 35 welshgeordie9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    If we do go down and Benitez leaves then this is going be the most busiest time ever in the clubs history.

    New Manager
    New Back Room Staff
    Hopefully replace Charnley and Carr
    Players leaving
    Signing new players

    Last thing that would be great as well, Ashley selling up, although that should be the first thing on the agenda.

  • 36 welshgeordie9 // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:28 PM


    he’s my favourite player, feel so sorry for the lad trying to do everything himself, hope he stays if we are in the championship, i think he will.

  • 37 jimmysmith // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    I think Ashley views Newcastle as very much part and parcel of his Mash Empire, for better or worse. He’s not selling unless the fans openly revolt.

  • 38 jimmysmith // Apr 5, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    I think Rafa is very surprised at just how f@cked up the players are. We are a very different side on paper to on the pitch.

  • 39 Dagga // Apr 6, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    If as expected we go down the playing squad and backroom staff need to be completely gutted. We need a fresh young manager who will build a young committed team and provide a viable route for the youth players to progress to the first team. Someone like Tim Sherwood may be a good idea. People like Steve Bruce should get no where near the managers post, we will end up with a team of almost hasbeens and even if we did get back up would be subjected to the same level of dreary dross suffered over the past 4-5 years.

  • 40 ilovetoon8788 // Apr 6, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    We will be in the championship for a long long while…. We may never be able to watch premiership football with Newcastle in our lifetime

  • 41 jimmysmith // Apr 6, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    Newcastle are far too big a club for the Championship, and it’s little use to the very wealthy owner to have us there. We would be back within a year or two, but then what, quite possibly up and down even more frequently.

  • 42 jimmysmith // Apr 6, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    Taylor played on the right, his natural position, Mbemba the left. It was effectively Mbemba for Lascelles, and next week, you’d think Colo for Mbemba, and Mbemba for Taylor, our best pairing in their natural positions.

    Cisse for Mitro, made sense before kick off because of his experience and conversion ratio.

  • 43 Derek // Apr 6, 2016 at 1:15 AM

    Ashley’s comments about there being no money left says to me he’s not going to buy the players we need to improve the squad in summer. Therefore we likely won’t gain promotion back to the EPL if we are relegated this season, or we won’t improve our position if we somehow stay up.

    My thinking is that Ashley already knows that is going to make fans furious and it will create a lot of negative media attention directed at him and at Sports Direct (as what happened with the Ashley Out protests previously).

    Part of me thinks appointing Rafa is Ashley’s plan to not only try and stay up, but also to keep the more gullible fans convinced that Rafa can single-handedly improve the club without the need to spend big in the upcoming window.

    Hopefully the majority of fans can realise that even with Rafa, if we do not see quality players arriving this summer, we are destined to be stuck in the Championship for a long time. I say bring back the protests and make it known far and wide that Ashley is destroying this club.

  • 44 Magpie Season // Apr 6, 2016 at 1:35 AM

    I don’t think you can compare our situation with Leicester. Last season, there were a number of teams going for the drop, including us, Villa, Hull, Burnley, QPR & Sunderland. Now it is just 3 teams.

    As Ed’s post already mentions Leicester had a game in hand over Hull & they were only 3 points ahead. Why would our situation be similar? It is much worse which is why if we pull through it will be the greatest survival battle in Premier League history.

  • 45 FMTOON30 // Apr 6, 2016 at 2:03 AM

    I actually have a feeling that we will beat Southampton. From what I saw during Maccas time and the few games Benitez has looked after, we are much better but have not had the luck. I believe Using Saivet and De Jong in the starting lineup would bring a different element to the squad. It usually takes a Manager 1-3 games to really get moving, plus Benitez has not had any luck with Injuries at the wrong time. There is a good chance Dummett and Colo are back and Mitro will start for sure. There is something in the air and no I aint chewing on jamaican brownies either!

  • 46 Magpie Season // Apr 6, 2016 at 2:37 AM


    I had the same feeling before the Stoke, Bournemouth, Sunderland & Norwich games.

    If Leicester got 5 wins last season to stay up, & Ed thinking we will need 5, we have to win this game game since 3/7 of our remaining fixtures are against Man City, Liverpool & Tottenham.

  • 47 SPRINGY // Apr 6, 2016 at 4:06 AM

    you like myself are intitled to our opinion no doubt,i just thought that after the game against norwich the reaction to the managers changes was a little over the top,the blokes been in for three matches,the league leaders,local and relegation rivals,2 of them 3 games away from home, and considering we the fans dont get to see what goes on in training found it a bit over critical thats all..i would of preferred to see lascelles and mitro start myself but mitro had’nt trained as much as cisse due to being late back from international duty apparently,dont no why taylor started tbh,im assuming there was a reason…injury,illness or just a poor week or two training….like i said just seemed a little bit over top by some considering the length of time he has been here.

  • 48 firebug666 // Apr 6, 2016 at 6:45 AM

    Whilst it is more than likely we will get relegated this season, it is not yet a certainty, I live in hope.

    However this team do not fill me with confidence, we are still only turning up for 20-30 minutes of a match, and by then it is to late.

    If we are going to have any chance to survive the team are going to have to play attacking football for the full 90+ minutes.

    It may be a case of to little to late for us now, and while I do cling to that tiny bit of hope, I have started to look for alternative things to occupy my Saturdays instead of watching the dross.

  • 49 Magpie Season // Apr 6, 2016 at 6:50 AM

    This Saturday will be the first time every Newcastle United supporter will be cheering for Alan Pardew.

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