Newcastle Have This Huge Opportunity Before Christmas


Newcastle have won our last seven games in the league and in that time we have beaten some very decent teams – like Norwich. Preston and Brentford who are all in the top half of the table.

Brighton & Hove Albion are also a team in form under Chris Hughton and they have won five of the last six games and remain only 3 points behind Newcastle, but we are now 8 points ahead of 3rd placed Huddersfield – who along with Norwich City have been losing games lately.

We haven’t played too many team who are in the bottom of the table yet and when you look at our schedule through early January we are playing some teams that we should be able to beat, with the emphasis on should.

rafa-benitez-thumbs-up

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager seems confident enough

Here’s our schedule over the next couple of months:

November
Sun 20	13:15	A  Leeds United	 		
Sat 26	15:00	H  Blackburn
Tue 29  17:45   A  Hull - EFL Cup 5th round	 		
December
Fri 02	19:45	A  Nottingham Forest	 			
Sat 10	15:00	H  Birmingham	 		
Wed 14	19:45	A  Wigan Athletic	 		
Sat 17	15:00	A  Burton	FLC			
Mon 26	19:45	H  Sheffield Wed	 			
Fri 30	19:45	H  Nottingham Forest	 			
January
Mon 02	15:00	A  Blackburn

The two most difficult games there – apart from the quarter-final at Hull City – are away at Leeds United and at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Blackburn, Wigan, Nottingham Forest and Burton are all currently in the bottom 7 places in the league.

So that’s six games against teams in the bottom seven and while we don’t want to be over-confident, if our lads turn up for those games we should be able to get more wins and maybe decent ones too to improve our goal difference.

But we must not take anything for granted of course, with Rafa certain to ensure the team is ready for every single game – and the players seem to know they have to turn up if we are to win a game – we cannot be complacent.

The very tough game at bottom club Rotherham will remind them all of that.

But if we can continue to get those wins on the board then by the time the FA Cup 3rd round comes up we could be a lot more than 8 points clear of the 3rd placed team in an automatic promotion place.

We cannot get too far ahead of ourselves but that’s the opportunity we have this year.

If we are in a great position by January it will also help with our recruitment in the transfer window.

Here’s hoping!

Comments welcome.



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16 comments so far

  • BeeGuy

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Build up a big enough cushion and it will be easier to recruit Prem quality players in January and next summer. There are some very good lads in the squad, but more than a few do not have the physical and mental qualities needed in the top tier.

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  • WWSBRD

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #2

    Leeds, Hull and Wed are the only worries in that list

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  • hibbit

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #3

    WWSBRD

    why Hull ??

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  • WWSBRD

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #4

    hibbit
    PL team mate and they have a solid squad if they play the first team

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  • manxpie

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #5

    Birmingham too for me they seem to be a bit of a bogey team
    hull got 2 bad injuries yesterday so that’s their playing squad down to about 13!! I can’t see them taking it too seriously we’ll be playing their reserves

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  • Budge123

    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #6

    The fixtures in February are pretty much all tricky ( as tricky as this league gets anyway ).
    Be great to have a significant gap to second and even more to third place so any hiccup doesn’t lead to panic stations.
    Get a gap get the pressure off and hopefully start going at teams with the freedom that gap will allow.

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  • jayphoto

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #7

    Think we’ll see a couple changes in January! Wouldn’t surprise me to see Armstrong back as his loan ends and he’s shown he can be effective at this level!
    Think we probably need 2 particular outfield players too! A signing like Michael carrick who apparently is out of man utd in jan and wants to come north, he’d be a really good alternative to shelvey who we’re currently relying on a bit too much.
    I think we could probably do with an out an out #10 too! Though wouldn’t surprise me if rafa waited till the summer to spend bigger on this position,
    Despite Gouffrans form I think we could do with another LM too and let Aarons go out on loan.
    Many reports reckon we’d already agreed a deal to sign Judge from Brentford in January, he can play wide left and as a 10 so for me, if we took Judge and Carrick in January that would be huge.
    We shouldn’t be aiming to win this league, we should be aiming for a record points tally!

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  • jayphoto

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #8

    Really interested to see the Leeds game! They look a good team finally this year! Massive club and when I see Hull getting 15,000 a game in the EPL I can’t help hoping that Leeds join us in the prem at the expense of clubs like that! Forest be another that really should be looking at being a premier league team!
    Reckon Leeds away will be our biggest test yet, Monk is a decent manager, they’ve got some really good young players too though if I’m honest I think we look a better side away from home than at home this season. The way rafa sets up is really effective away from home.

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  • martoon

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #9

    I like Gouffran (he always tried even when his form was not so good) but I suspect he may leave in January. I doubt we’ll offer him a new contract and if reports are true that a French club will offer him a 2.5 year contract in January then you really could not blame him for leaving – another 2 years wages and in his home country.
    However that means we will need to bring in a replacement left sided midfielder/winger as I don’t think Aarons can be relied on.

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  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #10

    Current NUFC Strikers:
    Gayle
    Mitrovic
    Murphy
    Perez
    Gouffran
    (Atsu?)
    Armstrong
    Ameobi

    8 off the top of my head and not one of them a top 8 PL Striker.

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  • hibbit

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #11

    Lindisfarne

    how many top 8 PL strikers can you name playing in the championship at the moment ?

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  • Tim the toon

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #12

    Not sure why so many on here think Gouffran will be gone in Jan; Atsu will be at African Cup of Nations, so we’ll already be short of a wide player

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  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #13

    Hibbit

    I take your point, but my main reason for the list was to show that the club would not be too stretched if Mitro went to Napoli on loan.

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  • Tim the toon

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #14

    Think we may see Gayle and Mitro played together in Jan, with Diame away – can’t see Rafa playing Ayoze in every game.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 7, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #15

    The only player I can see leaving in January is Tiote, Rafa said they allowed Gouffran to leave in the summer because at his age he might be able to secure his future. I don’t think they realised how important he’d be so I doubt very much an important player like that would be sacrificed for 1 or 2M pounds. Plus Gouffran will know after a season like this he will be able to negotiate a better deal on a free, I bet Villa or Derby would have him. Under the bean counting of Churnley/ Carr i’d say it was nailed on he’d be gone.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 7, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #16

    hibbitt,
    A look at the fixture list should remind people we are not a top PL side. Rafa said in his interview we will need better players when we get back, I don’t know how many times it has to be said, top PL strikers do not join Championship clubs unless you find an Andy Cole.

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