After the rather significant trials and tribulations of the last three or four years and especially the last couple of seasons, most Newcastle fans were hoping this season would be a fairly calm one when we would win a lot of games and we would get that automatic promotion back to the Premier League and as soon as possible.
Everything looked like it was going quite well a week ago after we had beaten Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium having also beaten Brighton 2-1 in the previous game at the Amex Stadium.
However, two games later and we only got a draw at Reading – probably the easiest of the three successive away games against top five opposition – and then we played maybe our worst game at St. James’ Park all season yesterday and were well beaten by Fulham 3-1.
A frustrated Rafa Benitez on the touchline yesterday
Newcastle seem to be able to beat teams who we are not expected to beat – but not win against teams we are expected to beat – that’s frustrating to say the least.
We have 9 games to play and five of those games are at home and those are the ones that will worry Newcastle fans, simply because our home form this season is turning out to be our Achilles heel.
That’s almost the polar opposite of last season when it was our away form that was very poor – when we won only two games away form home.
Next up at Newcastle at home are Wigan on April Fools Day – and how many Newcastle fans feel comfortable we can win that game – after losing to Wolves and Blackburn at home already this season?
It should be a home banker – but our players seems to be getting a little nervous these days – at least at home – and that’s got to be very worrying at this late stage of the season.
This season we have played 18 games at home and lost five and drawn two – so we have dropped 19 points in those 18 home games.
It’s a different story away from home and in 19 away games we have lost three and drawn three – so we have dropped 15 points in 19 away games.
We are a better team away from home than at home and lately in our last five home games – all in front of crowds of over 50,000 – we have won just two and drawn two.
So that’s only 8 points from five home games and that’s 7 points dropped in the last five home games and 4 of those points were dropped against QPR and Bristol City – two sides in the lower half of the table with Bristol currently 4th bottom.
It will not be good enough if we continue with this home form.
So our players need to start stepping up to the plate, because with Huddersfield seemingly in terrific form, an automatic promotion place is now in distinct jeopardy.
And knowing our luck these last few years, getting promotion via the playoffs has to be a long-shot at best – not to mention the further shattered and frayed nerves of Newcastle fans everywhere.
It’s not the time to panic, it’s time for our players to man up and deliver promotion for the club – that’s the very least our (very) long-suffering fans deserve.
Did we say supporting Newcastle United was always very difficult and they never do things the easy way?