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These Next Six Games Through Mid-March Critical For Newcastle And Rafa’s Future

It was about this time last year that Newcastle started to win some games, and we pulled away and were helped by winning four games in in a row from early March through mid-April.

We beat Southampton, Huddersfield, Leicester, and Arsenal before losing our next four games to Everton, West Brom, Watford, and Tottenham.

You talk about up and down results.

We finished off the season in the next game with a terrific 3-0 win at home to Chelsea to end the season on a high note in 10th place in the league and 123M from the Premier League.

Things are starting to look similar this year with Dummett, Ki, Diame, and Shelvey all expected back from injury soon, and Muto returning from Asian Cup duty with Japan – so we should be able to field a stronger side.

And Newcastle have two new signings – Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca – who will get playing time from Rafa almost immediately – maybe at Wolves next Monday night.

Federico Fernandez and new boy Antonio Barreca in training last week

We have six games to play through the mid-March and then a 16 day break before we play Arsenal at the Emirates.

Here are the next seven fixtures and the games through mid-March will be so defining for our season.

Mon 11 Feb   Wolves vs Newcastle            8:00pm
Sat 23 Feb   Newcastle vs Huddersfield      3:00pm
Wed 27 Feb   Newcastle vs Burnley           8:00pm
Sat 02 Mar   West Ham vs Newcastle          5:30pm
Sat 09 Mar   Newcastle vs Everton           3:00pm
Sat 16 Mar   Bournemouth  vs Newcastle      3:00pm 
Mon 01 Apr   Arsenal vs Newcastle           8:00pm

They will also be critical to Rafa signing a new deal at the club, and he will only do that when it’s clear we will be a Premier League club next season.

So of the seven games above how many do you think Newcastle can win?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

162 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 5, 2019 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #1

    It would be the most Newcastle thing to struggle to beat Burnley and Huddersfield but end up beating Everton and Bournemouth…..

    Personally can see us getting 4 wins and maybe a draw out of those fixtures

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #2

    What a shame we are holding Everton in such high regard, they are, imo on exactly the same level as us as a football club despite their more recent success in the eighties.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #3

    From the last post….

    I think if we are playing a back 5 with wingbacks, then we don’t need to really use wingers. I also really like Yedlin in that role and think he is more than good enough for the premier league.

    I’d like to see us get another couple of guys who can play centrally or drift out wide (in the same role as Christian Eriksen, Delli Ali, etc), which gives us options either play them in the middle or out wide depending upon formation.

    Before anyone says, I don’t expect that level of quality given our budget, just players who can do multiple roles.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #4

    I’d fancy us against Everton. They are very poor, picked up some wins early in the season but there form in the last 15 or so games is appalling.

    They are a perfect example of why a club needs structure. Regardless of whether you spend like us or like Everton (300 million in a couple seasons), if you don’t have direction, then money can easily be wasted and you’ll be no better off.

    Jail – I think there’s vindication for you who criticised their manager when people here (myself included) thought he’d be good for is. Heard a stat the other day where with all 3 clubs in England he’s hard a good start then massively dropped off.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #5

    Plus Everton fans are actual fannies !! In a similar bracket to the Mackem’s !!

    Have the cheek to call us deluded they have hounded every manager out for the last 6 years!!

    On paper they do have a good team Silva could be sacked by the time we play them mind you so they could be a totally different outfit !

  • Just a fan

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #6

    I don’t like Everton
    Only reason I can think of is they have never had the misery of being relegated.

  • norfolknhope

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #7

    In all honesty, none of those fixtures have massive fear factor, don’t get me wrong, we can try our best and loose them, but all these teams, wolves and arsenal included are so inconsistent, and can be as poor as us on more than one occasion this season, it’ll he keep it tight and push on counter, smash and grab football, wolves like to pass about from deep, our back line will just soak it up and stop the game dead, playing quick breaks. Quite simple, we will not loose to Huddersfield, at worst 1 point. That’s a game where we alwant a shelvey to unlock there deep line, as they will just sit and sit, so we need to create chances, Burnley rely on balls into the box, so play wingbacks that want to defend, but not concede silly fouls, as all they want are set pieces to toss the ball in, another 3 points. West ham at home, who knows toilets be honest, could be last night’s hammers or the team that looks like 10 kenedys against Cardiff. Home to Everton and arsenal, treat the same, so so so slow at the back and push wide defenders way to far up the pitch, these are the games suited for almeron, so quick out the blocks, shelvey hopefully pinging it. For almeron to lady on to, invite fouls or do better, possibly Kennedy too. Just play direct, quick balls over the top. And not have gone on isolated. We can and should beat 1 or both, also right now Everton have no centre back combo that’s working, they look really shakey, arsenal too look static at the back. And their keeper terrified with crosses. And as for Bournemouth, another inconsistent team, they like to pass and play, but our defence can handle that. They draw in fouls so being dissaplined is key, they like the penalty.
    I say we get min 10 points before the arsenal game, and also I can see us now getting opposition players sent off. Opposition to have 2 red cards in next 7bgames also

  • barkel

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #8


    Sounds like we need someone like Gini back in the middle.

    All 7 are winnable games, predictions will be mad though with everyone involved being crazily inconsistent!

  • Mindshaft

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #9

    Wolves will be tough and I’d be happy with a point, expecting nothing from the emirates but all other games are winnable

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #10

    It will be touch and go whether we end up in the relegation places again after the Wolves match. Fulham will get a hiding from Manu and Hudds from Arsenal so they will stay 19th and 20th.

    Cardiff is the key match for us. They are away to Southampton and so should lose on current form but then they beat Bournemouth last weekend and Southampton could only hold Burnley to a draw. Only a win away at St. Mary’s will see Cardiff leapfrog us – if we lose to Wolves.

    Of course, if we win we could stay 15th. and even a draw should see us at 16th. provided Burnley don’t beat Brighton.

    Probably best if we just win.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #11

    Transfer Sage,
    Acknowledgement for your sympathy but I don’t seek vindication, I’m mostly right on a lot of subjects regarding NUFC!!!

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #12


    I know you don’t need it, but never hurts to admit where I was wrong. I thought he was much better than he actually has turned out.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #13


    don’t say that. you’ll sound like catchy.

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #14

    We’ll be rolling in cash come the summer now that poor Mike has missed out on HMV

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #15

    Norfolk hope,
    Welcome to the blog, excellent footballing post but if you want to become a regular keep them a bit shorter for now is my advice as the gen pop 😀 don’t seem to read long posts and especially not RobLeenios 🙂

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #16

    Can we get Rafa to sort out a midweek friendly?

    We can use the excuse it’s match fitness for Almiron but really I’m bored and can’t be arsed to wait 6 days to watch us again.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #17

    Did you say Mikey never got HIV? What a shame I was looking forward to him being occupied by breaking new records 🙁

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #18

    Tongue in cheek mixed with a slight bit of arrogance 😮

  • Optimistic Panda

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #19


    I didn’t know he was in for HIV also, risky business that one.

  • kc2012

    Feb 5, 2019 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #20

    I’d be happy if we picked up 10/11 points from those games which is realistic enough. Wouldn’t think we’d need too much more than that to stay up either tbh.

    Cardiff and Fulham have some tricky runs coming up and have to play most of the big boys again and Huddersfield seem abit too far behind to catch up now but anything can happen.

    Recently we’ve looked better than the teams around us anyway and even though it’s taken a while, we seem to have abit more of a threat on the pitch.

    I agree with disliking Everton aswell, just because of their fans. They are majorly deluded and every season want their manager out regardless of their situation.

  • Mag52

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #21


  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Pain in the Blog.
    Last year I went through a stint of putting a fiver on the five best results for us, while we were near the top of the league it didn’t work out well, however one day away to Leicester I put a fiver on us to win in a bookies just outside of Leicester, Bmouth and Palace to draw, Brighton and ‘udders to draw, Burnley to beat Watford and Spurs to beat Stoke, it came in at £738, i would suggest doing s similar bet starting with this weekend.

  • Mag52

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #23

    Doubt if Ashley has ever bothered to get the Chinese lettering on the practise bibs looked at.
    Roughly translated : “Fcukee off Honolable Chairman Mike sometime in 2019”.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #24

    I also put £100 on us to win that day at 5/2, I could have got 3/1 In Ladbrokes. Hindsight eh Jiblets?

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #25


    That is some accumulator! I try the Sky Super 6 most weeks and never get close so I think I’ll leave it to the likes of you and spend my money on beer.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #26

    4 wins wolves hudds Burnley Bournemouth

    2 draws West ham Everton

    1 loss arsenal



  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #27

    Eh??? Wolves win???

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #28

    I’ve never liked Everton. They’ve had some ‘orrible players over the years and the pundits always seem to be up their backsides for no good reason.

    I think they suffer from their association with Andy Gray a bit. Don’t like him, don’t like his club

    I don’t like villa either. Coincidence?

  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #29

    Jail from earlier
    Ashley’s spent £30million on the Training Ground ?
    Did I miss something ?
    I don’t recall Benton getting more than a lick of paint and a new tea urn.
    Brighton splashed £38m on a new state of the art NASA style purpose build site.
    Benton is last it’s sell by date, Ashley needs to do a deal alongside the Falcons to build a sporting complex at Bullocksteads and allow the Universities to have Benton as it’s more accessible for the students.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #30

    *past it’s sell by date

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #31

    Jail yep it’s not beyond us and we have our tails up. Hopefully two full debuts to look forward to also.

    I also said we’d beat Citeh

    I also said we’d beat the Spuds but we’ll good over that.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #32

    *gloss over that

  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2019 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #33

    Just a Fan and Rob
    Everton are rather like a bad character in a TV Soap. Pretending to be legit but in fact dodgy as hell. Scruffy goals, debatable antics and hackers define their team. Rooney did nothing to improve matters.
    Just seem a grim club with a chip on their shoulder called Liverpool.
    Spending £550million on a new stadium is not going to enable them to become part of a big four on Merseyside and Manchester, even if that’s what Sky wants for them.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #34

    Pain, I do super six mate. Last season I finished 98th out of nearly a million players. Doubt I’ll ever get that again though 🙂
    I pick my scores then do a fiver acca on the results. You can almost guarantee you’ll get it right at least two or three times a season.
    I won 760 890 and 430 last season.
    Been crap this season, but still won 300 on one which covers my seasons bets and the season ain’t over yet. Any win now is a bonus.
    Well worth taking a fiver acca out on your SS and if you get them right you can always, cash out any time if you don’t fancy letting it run.
    When I won the 890 I had all six right with 40 minutes left. Our lass and my brother were begging me to cash out but I thought I’ve only lost a fiver so let it run. Never sweated so much in my life!!!
    Never bet big, fiver acca does me. Had three quid on us to beat City too and won 45 quid lol.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #35

    I’m not one to have a flutter myself but if I did an accumulator seems like a sound option. Even a couple of quid can give you a massive return without hurting if you lose and it gives you an interest in a whole bunch of games you might not otherwise care too much about.

    The potential upsides are huge so where’s the harm? As you say Bobby, you only need one to come in per season and you’ve more than covered the rest of the stakes.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #36

    lochinvar, your first sentence above made me chuckle.

    It’s funny which teams you like and which you don’t. It’s generally some random reason or other. I quite like Leeds but know I shouldn’t. I think it was their Champions League campaign with Kewell, Woodgate, Viduka, Bridges and the rest. They were a good team to watch and everyone knew they were well over-exposed financially so it was a bit like watching Evel Kneivel flying gracefully through the air and waiting for the splat when he landed.

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #37

    always had a soft spot for Leeds since the Bremner days……those teams could run through brick walls

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #38

    On Everton, hate their stadium. Got no right charging people to watch when certain seats you can’t see a thing. Disgusting. Liverpool also. Stinking toilets as well. It’s stuck in the sixties and needs pulling down ASAP. Dunno how they’ll fill a 60k stadium when they can’t fill their current one, but maybe the novelty will help. Their fans are arrogant as well, they forget we’ve been in the CL more than any other club outside the top four or five. Mind, they all do. 🙂 We might not have won anything but we’ve been close more than most. We know what we are, we don’t need reminding. Everton fans get a weird kick out of winding us up. Not like they’re super successful is it?

  • Oldgit1

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #39

    Bobby,I was once asked if I would put £1 on NUFC to win 2-1 and speed to score first goal. I forgot to put the bet on as I was running late. Cost me £32. That will teach me, and from that date has never placed a bet.

  • martoon

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #40

    Jail – earlier re Keegan scrapping the reserves I think it was something to do with having to play a certain proportion of games at SJP and Keegan didn’t want that so just scrapped them. A load of promising players on the scrap heap because of this – one good thing Daglish did was reform them.

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