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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

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #81

    2-0 Smoggies blasted lmao.

    1
  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #82

    OLG 62

    I have ‘Seconds Out’ double live album the 78 European tour ” I think” vinyl , still plays well.

    1
  • chicousa

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #83

    Now that Almiron has received his visa, look forward to seeing him working out with the lads tomorrow! I doubt he will start on Monday, but he will likely get 20-30 minutes…

    2
  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #84

    Some of my earlier live acts I enjoyed at Wigan Casino included R Dean Taylor, a white dude with a great voice, Major Lance, the great Jackie Wilson who was actually briliant dancing as well as singing, Tommy Hunt, Marvelletes, Gloria Jones, Edwin Starr and many more soul artistes. Happy days indeed. 🙂

    3
  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #85

    Almiron will get some time at Wolves for sure. We need him and you don’t break your long standing record and not play him. Rafa’s wanted him for time.
    They’ll be working on him all week, plenty time to figure out the best way to use him.
    He might not be match fit yet but he hasn’t been lazy during his time off, so hell get some time then I reckon hell start against Huddersfield and run them ragged 🙂
    Having watched him play – granted very limited – he can run for fun in bursts and control the ball at the same time. Defenders hate that. Toon fans LOVE IT. 🙂
    On a separate issue, Newport County v Man City will be a cracking game. They just destroyed the Smoggies. Seriously. Battered then. What a cup tie. Really pleased for them, they deserve the money, they nearly went out of business. The City game will set them up for seasons to come. Its what the FA Cup is all
    about innit? A, few more players and we can go for the cups and Rafa wins things. I really hope he stays, he’ll win us something.

    6
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #86

    i’ve got this feeling that Almiron might not come up to some expectations.

    1
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #87

    he might even turn out to be about the same level as Perez.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #88

    Chico have you seen a news article about Almiron getting his visa? Not sure I’ve seen anything concrete though granted I’ve not had my eye on the ball today.

    Would appreciate a link of you have one. I think the USA soccer press is more interested in how Almiron goes even than the Geordie media, though it’s probably close run

    0
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #89

    I think Rafa’s done extremely well in building a group on very little money that has decent depth and quality . Ashley will be delighted with him. But he’s had to battle the owner for every penny, and we still haven’t seen any significant commitments to upgrades to the training facility, Academy and scouting network. Unless Rafa is turning Ashley round behind the scenes, I can’t see how anyone can think he’s happy.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #90

    Jane man don’t come on here being reasonable I’ve told you before it’s either blind optimism or proper doom and gloom nothing in between

    3
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #91

    Bill the other incentive is that Ashley once said he’s here till we win something. Surely that’s all Rafa needs to hear to get him chasing a cup

    0
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #92

    If he’s as good as Perez, plus has pace, we’ll have bought well.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #94

    Good news though – means he can get down to some proper work with the lads

    0
  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #95

    Ritchie is a winger, he’s not an attacking mid. Can’t slip a pass, can’t beat his man, can’t score enough, can’t find space between the lines sufficiently well, from what I’ve seen. Unless we change the system and revert back to playing with wingers, unlikely having signed Almiron and Barreca and let Murphy go, he’s not likely to start unless it’s at left wing back. Perez is a very skilled operator, and in tandem with Almiron, either side in behind Rondon, with Barreca and Yedlin providing the width, you’ve got a good counter-attacking 11, without changing the system.

    1
  • carltoon

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #96

    Under 23s 7 Blythe 2 the Young’uns doing well tonight.

    0
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #97

    what competition is that in?

    0
  • lesh

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #98

    ashleysmate

    I remember seeing The Who at the City Hall and a few hours before, had had some dental treatment that entailed a few injections.

    We’d gone to the Monkey Bar for a couple of pints beforehand. Ah, but, injections wearing off, mouth throbbing and it’s position seemingly a few inches in front if where it actually was – needless to say, pint’s missed the mouth (yes I know …), more drink down my shirt!

    To the Hall, mouth throbbing and sat right next to a bank of speakers positioned in the circle.

    Loud? Sheesh!

    0
  • carltoon

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #99

    Northumberland senior cup.

    0
  • carltoon

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #100

    Lesh seen the Beatles twice at the city hall. The first time Roy Orbison was the top of the bill.

    0
  • chicousa

    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #101

    Rob,
    Sorry took so long to respond. I found out about Almiron’s visa being granted earlier via twitter.

    @NUFC
    #MiguelAlmirón
    #DCSportsPlayer
    #WorAlmirón

    3
  • chicousa

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #102

    jane @86

    Probably not a bad idea to tone down the Almiron expectations a bit. The way some are talking about him, if he isn’t the 2nd coming of Messi right off the bat, then they are bound to be disappointed!

    2
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #103

    Almiron’s goal stats last season
    13 goals in 9 matches including 4 penalties (1 missed penalty)
    Atlanta won all 9 games he scored in
    2 match winning goals.

    0
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #104

    Atlanta scored at least 3 goals in all but 1 of the 9 matches Almiron scored in, 2 in the other.

    0
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #105

    “They were a founding member of the Football League Third Division North in 1921 and are the northernmost team to have played in the Football League.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashington_A.F.C.

    0
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #106

    Perez has 2½ years left on his contract. wonder if/when it will be extended. this summer?

    he doesn’t have an agent according to this, i wonder if that is unusual in the Premier league.

    https://www.transfermarkt.com/ayoze-perez/profil/spieler/246968

    0
  • Dagwoodz

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #107

    Chico, I was thinking the same thing. I’m excited to see what he can bring to the side, certainly. But, I also expect that he’s going to seem somewhat anonymous for long periods of time, with the occasional burst of speed / brilliance. The first few times he plays, there’s going to be quite a bit of adjustment for him to the lack of time he’s given on the ball. Especially with the amount of press that’s been thrown his way.

    Of course, with those anonymous periods, the neggers/WUM’s will come out in droves (catchy comes to mind) saying how much of a crap buy he was and how he was invisible for the majority of the game.

    Hoping for some early brilliance, but definitely not expecting it.

    5
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #108

    from the video i watched of Almiron he seemed an intelligent team player.

    0
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #109

    Almiron’s goals last season
    8 left foot shot
    4 penalties
    1 free kick

    0
  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #110

    Jane you are very adept at getting info from Google and posting links etc. if if wasn’t for your account name I would swear it was Jib.

    7
  • jane

    Feb 5, 2019 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #111

    maybe i have 2 accounts

    3
  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #112

    chico,
    Yes i think his impact wont be as big as some are saying as he gets up to speed with the epl for one.
    don’t think his size will be an issue though when you look at silva or even juhinio when he was at boro .
    but i do think his pace and runs will pull defenders all over the place which is something we haven’t had in some time.
    I am with you in 30 mins at wolves then then a good gap to get him up to speed for his full debut at home.
    hopefully it goes as well as santigo munez 🙂

    4
  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #113

    right ya buggers….. the song to welcome him
    sung to the tune of caravan of love (house martins acapella .. for those to young )

    Every woman every man join the almeron of lurve …stand up STAND UP
    Every woman every man join the almeron of lurve …stand up STAND UP
    And louder….
    Every woman every man join the almeron of lurve …stand up STAND UP

    Repeat until bored or he has bagged a hatrick 🙂

    Before we dismiss it just picture that starting in the strawberry corner and ringing around to the leazes …whole ground annoying the stewards in the way we stand up if we hate sunlun …
    simple one line so not hard to forget the words

    no ? alright i’ll get me coat

    6
  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #114

    OFD,

    I wouldn’t give up the day job……. 😀

    Not that I could do any better

    1
  • Dragon64

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #115

    OFD
    hope ya been drinking if not I would consider it because that is bad and I don’t mean in a good way either lmfao

    0
  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #116

    Dagwoodz
    Aye, I can almost hear the wums telling us all that Almiron is sh!te and Rafa a fool for buying him the first time he loses the ball or a pass goes awry! I guess haters will hate…

    1
  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:43 AM

    Comment #117

    OFD,
    Don’t know what they guys expect, Van Morrison or something? Your song sounds great! Keep on truckin’ mate!

    1
  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #118

    I couldn’t help noticing while looking at Almiron’s video’s how easily Atlanta lost possession but was also alarmed how easily they won it back. A couple of pundits on Talk Sport compared MLS to Championship attacking and League 1 defending. I think it would be wise to let Almiron get used to the Prem by phasing him in gradually

    0
  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:56 AM

    Comment #119

    dig
    I have not watched a lot of MLS “soccer”, but my impression is pretty much the same: that defenses in the MLS are weaker than their offensive play.

    0
  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 12:59 AM

    Comment #120

    Another appeal to Essex Geordie Bill
    Come back Bill! You’ve had a nice break, but we need ya on the late night / graveyard shift!

    2


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