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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

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #121


    here….here…..I miss talking to Bill on the graveyard shift

  • Dragon64

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #122

    He will need time to adjust to the PL but let’s hope the lad gets off to a Flyer then everyone will be happy, hope he can handle the expectations of us all

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #123

    The Chronicle have a prediction app for the remaining games. Mine came out Newcastle in 13 place on 49 points? didn’t think I was being that biased. Can anyone else do it and see what results they get. I got Fulham Huddersfield and Cardiff to go down.

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:11 AM

    Comment #124

    just staying up would do me at the minute. Hope all the fans give Almiron time to settle in.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:23 AM

    Comment #125


    I saw that in the chronicle today (didn’t try it, but, I have in the past) – problem I have with these, is that I don’t trust myself to be objective

    Last year I tried to come up with a more (shall we say mathematical approach)…
    I took the previous 5 years EPL results……if you add up the number of points for all 20 league teams and plot it against the minimum required to stay up (ie. 18th placed team + 1 point)
    There was a really strong correlation (more than 90% correlation coefficient)
    You can take that and extrapolate / predict what points are required to survive – obviously it changes every week, but at least for last season it was spot on – probably won’t work this season though 🙁

    Sad, I know…….but hey, keeps me busy 😀

  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:25 AM

    Comment #126

    Carltoon, I did the prediction app and also had us in 13 place on 51 points. Tried to be biased with us also losing a few games. Had Huds, Cardiff and Fulham also to go down.

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:27 AM

    Comment #127

    Ooh your too clever for me. Ha ha I thought I was being realistic in my predictions. I would be overjoyed getting to 40 points.

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #128

    OP well I hope we’re at least going to stay up

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #129

    Anyway, forget about that maths guff -I think we’ll get 42 points 😀

  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #130

    I did the predictor app and came up with NUFC finishing 13th with 43 points. BTW My prediction in martoon’s poll was for us to finish 14th…

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #131

    Well then we can’t all be wrong. So hopefully we’ll stay up easily. NY Mag how many points do you think will be needed to stay up this season.

  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #132

    I’ll bet most of us running the predictor app come up with the same bottom three:
    Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield!

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #133

    I just hope we play well against the teams we should be beating.at least winning at home.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #134


    I’ll have to plug the numbers into the model…..I’ll let you know tomorrow……..
    But, i think it will be a higher number than normal, at a guess, maybe 39

  • carltoon

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:44 AM

    Comment #135

    Oh really because I thought this year some people saying as low as 32. But please let us know when do your maths thingy. I love reading your post. I don’t always understand them. But very interesting anyways.

  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #136

    ny chico

    was 12 pm midday so alcohol cant be blamed ….guess i wont be troubling the grammys anytime soon but its no worse than nanaannaaa get miggy wid it 🙂
    that’s up there with the zico martin ditty

  • Optimistic Magpie

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #137

    I honestly think and I’m praying I’m right that Migs will be a star for us, freeing up our attack more and teams will be looking at us and saying, where did this fcuking team come from.

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #138


    Thanks……I think. 😀

    (Only joking) it’s always a pleasure talking to you

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #139


    Fair comment…..I did say that I couldn’t do better…….and to be fair it was better than a lot that I’ve seen (no names, of course)

  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:54 AM

    Comment #140

    carltoon @21
    staying up is good with me …but we do it early as i don’t think i can do another last game down to the wire nonsense .
    get us safe
    get us sold
    and lets never mention the fat tw@t again .

  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #141

    At least from what i have seen of his Denis wise files miggy wont worry about a bit of north east wind with a sprinkling of ice after his stint in Atlanta.A few snow covered pitches there which would have most South Americans on the treatment table or demanding a balaclava and gloves .

  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #142

    Did you see the videos of Almiron getting off the helicopter in Newcastle? I thought the look in his eyes screamed, “fcuk it’s cold!”. In looking at the average temperatures in Paraguay, it would appear that he is used to warm, humid climates. And in Atlanta he played in an indoor stadium. To be honest, I think the “lovely” Newcastle weather will be a major shock to miggy’s system! 😛

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:10 AM

    Comment #143


    At least he’ll have to run around to keep warm 😀

  • chicousa

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:12 AM

    Comment #144

    NY Mag,
    Yeah he may even “up” his per game energy output levels!

  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:12 AM

    Comment #145

    Think it was more “is this seriously where we train ‘ lol
    think jib put up a link to the atlanta set up the other day …would be up there with man city by the look of it .
    Saw a few iced up pitches he was on .
    They still use ‘astro’ turf over there or they all grass these days ?

  • NY Mag

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:14 AM

    Comment #146

    In all seriousness…..I cannot wait to see the lad in action, I think he’ll do well.

  • one fine day

    Feb 6, 2019 at 2:18 AM

    Comment #147

    Was just thinking back to when QPR were playing on it and we were all being told that withing 5 years grass would be history ….
    Who remembers this 5.5 and threw away a 4 goal lead on the carpet ?

  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 6, 2019 at 4:55 AM

    Comment #148

    Re last night’s game, I see 18-year-old Yannick Toure scored a 16-minute hat-trick for U23s inside the first 23 minutes, what a talent, and defo one for the near future.

  • cyprus

    Feb 6, 2019 at 5:10 AM

    Comment #149

    Love the optimism. 4 wins… 2 draws!

    Good stuff. Anyone below City would bite your hand off for that!

    I’d be thrilled with that, because it would mean we’re all but safe with 6 games to play. It’s been a few years since that has happened. It won’t happen this year, I think. Those 4-5 teams will fight it out to the bitter end. I’m hoping a ‘safe’ team, like Brighton, will also be pulled into it.

    Now begins the business end.

    I’d be happy with 30+ points, with 6 games to play. Ie. Two wins, a draw or two… If I were to bet on it, it’ll most likely be a bunch of draws.

    We usually take a while till we stumble past the 3 digit. We get stuck on 29 a couple weeks.

    With a point haul of, say 31, we’ll likely be ok to fight another year in the pl. And, as always, then we can dream. Europe, CL, cups! You know what I mean. You and I have been there before 😉

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 6, 2019 at 7:31 AM

    Comment #150

    Last six games for the bottom 8 could be interesting –
    The TOON have 1 team Liverpool to play and 3 in the bottom 8
    Brighton 4 – Wolves, Spuds Arsenal and City along with us
    Burnley 3 – Chelsea City and Arsenal
    Palace 2 – Man City, Arsenal along with us
    Southampton – 2 Liverpool and Wolves along with us
    Cardiff 3 – City, Liverpool and Man Utd plus Chelsea 7th last game
    Fulham 1 – Wolves and us last game
    Huddersfield 3 – Spuds Liverpool and Man Utd

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 6, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #151

    It’s been rare since the league was reduced to 20 teams to need more than 36 points to stay up. That’s only 12 points or 3 wins. No doubt in my mind we’ll stay up

  • TyneMouth

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #152

    RobLeeino @ #151

    …*That’s only 12 points or 3 wins. No doubt in my mind we’ll stay up*

    4 points for a win!…

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #153

    Tyne Mouth lol put it down to an early start…

    4 wins required. Still confident


  • Mindshaft

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #154

    Think 37 points will be enough this season , going for us to finish 15th although with teams below us being Brighton , Burnley, Fulham, Cardiff, Huddersfield

  • Shot Bru

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #155

    one fine day

    What a blast from the past.

    I was living in deepest darkest Afrika, listening to a shocking reception on BBC world service waiting for the scores.

    Couldn’t believe micklewhite and wicks scores at the death to sneak the draw.

    Must’ve been 83 or 84 ish

  • TyneMouth

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #156


    Ha Ha, an early morning ‘optimistic’ mistake is preferable to some of the doom and gloom dirge we have had to wade through in the last few months!

    We are currently on 24 points after 25 games, marginally under 1 point a game, if we were to continue that ‘form’ for the rest of the season we should accumulate 37 points, which should be ‘just’ enough.

    13 games left, 13 points based on this season’s form equals 37 points, or 3 wins and a draw!

    (hope I got that right! Ha Ha…)

  • lesh

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #157


    ‘That’s only 12 points or 3 wins. No doubt in my mind we’ll stay up’

    Limbering up for a meeting with your FD are you?


  • TyneMouth

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #158

    Just fooling around, 4 (four) wins plus a draw…

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #159

    Just wow. A team that finished tenth last season currently listed as the 19th richest in the world out of hundreds of thousands of teams with a wotld class mansger has it’s fans discussing whether 36 points will ensure it’s owner will be be guaranteed another 135M next season.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 6, 2019 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #160

    It’s worth factoring in we took only two points from our first 9 games, coinciding with the tough start and Rondon’s absence, and so 22 from the next 16, and that we have now played all but two of our 12 fixtures against the senior sides.

    Rondon must stay fit of course, for us to do well, and if the two new boys can add a bit to us in attack too, which we might expect seeing as they are exactly the type of players we most need in the two positions of most need, then we can reasonably hope for another 20 points, perhaps more, from our remaining 13 games.


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