How does the final third of Newcastle’s season look?

Posted on February 21st, 2012 | 19 Comments |

Newcastle United's fixtures for the final third of the 2011/2012 season.
How does the run-in look?
With two-thirds of the Premier League season now complete, this author looks at what the final third might have in store for Newcastle United.

We’re now into the home stretch – the final third of the 2011/2012 Premier League season. We have no Cup distractions so our only aim is to finish as high as possible in the league and I thought I’d take a look at the run-in and see what I think we can achieve.

I’ve take a cautious – even pessimistic – view I think. The attitude of the pessimist is often derided but I reckon if you set your expectations on the lower side of realistic there’s a greater chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised when those expectations are exceeded.

Anyway, enough of the philosophy, let’s see how the the remaining 13 games look.

February

There’s just one match left this month and that’s at home against Wolves. They’re currently without a manager but they have said they expect one to be in place by the time they play us next weekend. Alan Curbishley has apparently ruled himself out of the running and Agent Bruce is now touted as the favourite in most areas of the press. Whatever happens in terms of their manager, I expect us to pick up all three points.

So for February I have us getting: 3/3 points.

March

The month begins with a visit from the Mackems, who seem to be somewhat recharged since appointing Martin O’Neill. Nevertheless, our recent record against them is good and I’m going to throw caution to the wind and say we’ll get 3 points from this.

After that we’re away to Arsenal and our record against the bigger sides – a home 3-0 win over Manchester United notwithstanding – is poor and I can’t see us taking any points at The Emirates.

Then it’s home to Norwich and away to West Brom. I reckon Norwich could give us a hard time and I’ll plump for a point from that one but West Brom’s home record is dreadful – they’ve won two and drawn two – so I reckon that’s 3 points for us.

March: 7/12 points.

April

April begins with a visit from Liverpool, who I’ve found hard to predict this season, so I’ll err on the side of caution and put us down for a point from that. Then we’re away at Swansea and they’re pretty decent at home having only lost 2 games there all season. I think we’ll lose that game.

Next up is a visit from Bolton and although they’ve turned us over unexpectedly a few times in recent years I think we’ll get all 3 points against them. After that we’re off to Stamford Bridge and I really can’t see us getting any points there. I’m also a bit pessimistic about the following week’s visit from Stoke and will only put us down for a home draw and 1 point.

Finally in April we’re away to Wigan who have only won one home game all season and I reckon that’s 3 points for us.

April: 8/18

May

Our penultimate game is at home to Man City and I really can’t see us getting any points from that. I can see this year’s title going down to the last game and I reckon City will be both too motivated and too strong for us.

For the last game of the season we’re away at Goodison and Everton seem to be doing their usual thing, which is to get into their stride just as the season reaches its conclusion. I just can’t see us getting points at Goodison at that stage of the season, which leaves us with no points at all from the last two games.

May: 0/6

Conclusion

So for the final third of the season I have us getting 18 points from a possible 39. Where that will leave us depends on what other teams do of course but I reckon 7th or 8th is most likely with a chance of 6th. I can’t see us finishing above that though but, then again, what do I know?

What do you think?

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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19 Responses

  1. i like the projected total. its the bare minimum possible and anything on top is a bonus. though we can never rule out wins against arsenal and chelsea only to succumb to stoke and WBA…

  2. I’m cautiously optimistic Hugh.

    FEBRUARY
    Win against Wolves (very close as they will want to bounce back from their humiliation)

    MARCH
    Draw against Sunderland (the O’Neill factor prevails, sadly)

    Win at Arsenal (they will be all nerves as a Champions League spot is looking increasingly beyond them and Van Persie looks like he’s off to Spain)

    Win against Norwich (as Delia’s pies have unforeseen gastric repercusions on the team)

    Defeat against West Brom (we don’t play well against them)

    APRIL
    Win against Liverpool (because I don’t like them!)

    Defeat against Swansea (they will be safe and deservedly so and will play well)

    Win against Bolton (they will be fighting relegation and be full of mistakes)

    Defeat against Chelsea (they might be all nerves or totally laid back having secured a top four spot but will be too good for us)

    Win against Stoke (they are not the same away from home and have nothing to play for and towels will have been banned by Mike Ashley as per new Health & Safety Rules)

    Draw against Wigan (they have nothing to play for as they are already relegated and therefore play well, for once – major shock)

    MAY
    Win against ManC (they might be all nerves or totally laid back having secured top spot but we will pull out all the stops for our fans – major shock)

    Defeat against Everton (same as you, usual last minute big push by the Toffees – no shock)

    23 Points and a place in Europe possibly helped by Liverpool winning the Carling Cup.

  3. Personally, and this was done at the beginning of the season and haven’t altered it one bit to date
    Wolves = 3 points they are piss poor
    West Brom = 1 point we will hammer em to a 0-0 draw
    Bin Dippers = 1 point for all sky’s hype this will be a crap match

    Scum = 3 points not withstanding the O’Neil factor we are better
    Arse= 1 point Arsenal are a one player team now, and perhaps with a manager on his last legs
    Norwich = 1 point, Al will go there for a point and we will nick one from Colo
    Swans = 1 point, like wise al is setting us up for draws or winning on the break
    Bolton = 3 points we hammer them to relegation like they deserve
    Chelsea = 1 point Chelsea throw it away in a blatant attempt to get AVB sacked
    Stoke= 3 points we finally put them to the sword at home
    Wigan = 3 points like wise
    Man City = 0 point they bury us in our own back yard
    Everton= 0 nothing to play for the toffees again do a number on us
    21 points not enough for champs league but Channel 5 here we come

  4. It was definitely those first eleven (unbeaten) games which have made our season so far – In those we made an average of 2.27 points per game.

    In the 14 games since then it has been an average of 1.21 points per game.

  5. Hugh, you are usually there or thereabouts in the Prediction competition (currently third) and you have you just given away at least some of your secrets for the rest of the season. Unless of course it is all just a cunning plot involving feeding disinformation to the enemy? :-)

  6. Just to add to my comment at 5 – Going on our last 14 games, our form has been exactly the same as it was last season, ie it would equate to 46 points for a season and a position somewhere between 11th and 13th.

  7. Seems reasonable. Chances to add more are Norwich, Swansea, Stoke and Everton. Minimum points total to expect should be 60 and 6th has to be the aim.

  8. 18 more points I think for a final total of 60, which would be quite an achievement for us. Europe ? – depends on the winners of the 2 cups.

    Next season? Big disappointment I fear ! Not enough investment.

    Look at Arsenal – we could overtake them, but they have scrapped their wage limit and will now go up to £100,000+ with £50m+ made available for players.

    That’s the difference between a top team & the rest.

    We will not compete at that level and we stay with the rest.

  9. supermac,

    arse have been ‘saving’ that money & therefore losing pace for a few seasons, haven’t they?

    They had to pay off their new stadium.

  10. Clint, add up the transfer fees recieved since relegation, comes to more than £50m+ !

    The point is that no matter what the source of the funds Manu, Manc, Chelski, Spurs, Arsenal & Liverpool are prepared to buy big & pay big wages and the rest either will not or can not compete.
    The 4 Champions League places will be fought over by those 6 for the foreseable future – each year a lower team will compete with the other 2 for a euro place, and this year it’s our turn.

    To get another chance next year we will have to run to stand still, to break into the top group will will need to invest in 3 top players at £10m+ plus each – which is not likely.

    Last year we should have ended 8th.
    This year we should end 6th – 8th.
    Next year we will be competing for 8th.

    We have peaked, we are now finding our level & stabilising around upper mid table, which is where NUFC has existed (or averaged) for most of its history.

    Normal service has been resumed – I see nothing to suggest otherwise.

  11. supermac,

    not necessarily mate, but if you like caning yourself mate, carry on, i guess.

    We are currently proving that massive fees & wages aren’t obligatory, aren’t we?

    Loads said we were fuc*ed before we even kicked off this season, didn’t they.
    Are we?
    So now loads will move on to how we’re gonna be fuc*ed next season instead, i’m guessing (wild stab in the dark there).
    I tend to live in the present for the now.

    Not saying that you’re wrong mate, just asking is it worth worrying about.
    No point trying to predict a roller coaster or a scary movie, imv.
    It’s all part of the fun, ain’t it?

    :)

  12. Clint – It’s all part of the fun, ain’t it? – yes mate, it’s the whole point.
    “We are currently proving that massive fees & wages aren’t obligatory, aren’t we?” – they are to get to the top. We are investing average to be average.

    My point is simply that in the 50 years I have followed NUCF we average about 6-8th – and in the next few years we will average 6-8th.
    The only success I have known in that time (bar several promotions) are a couple of cups – won before most on this blog were born.
    I conclude that we are by nature an upper average club and we are back in our confort zone – a fairly well run club like Everton or Villa who have had success but are unlikely without the aide of an Oil Skeik to compete at the top again.
    I will be delighted to be proved wrong – that we will develop & buy a winning team and not sell our best players for big money !

    HWTL

  13. 14! well, 7-8th was only a rosey memory! or perhaps our average since WW2?
    A good site Statto.com, thanks for the link – a quick browse shows the current PL on form and we are 5th !

    Supprised to see clubs like chelsea & spurs well down in the all time rankings.

  14. Aye Supermac, I’ve seen these “all time” things before where we’ve been nestling around 7th or 8th, around other clubs such as Aston Villa, but that was a few years back and perhaps they took other trophies such as FA Cups into account?

    As I mentioned yesterday, take that 11 game run at the beginning of the season out of the equation and we’re in exactly the same form as last season, ie 46 points over 38 games and a position of around 11th-13th.

  15. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    “Loads said we were fuc*ed before we even kicked off this season, didn’t they.
    Are we?
    So now loads will move on to how we’re gonna be fuc*ed next season instead, i’m guessing (wild stab in the dark there).
    I tend to live in the present for the now.”

    4% according to our poll Clint. That’s just a common deception perpetuated by Ashley lovers.

    Most (60%) thought we would be “mid table battlers” like last season, and 21% even thought we would make the Europa League or the Champion’s League.

    This is what comes from just living “in the now” and having no memory Clint, you deceive yourself. ;-)

    If you just live in the now you can’t see any context, or indeed where we may be going in the future. Supermac will know all about that one in his profession.

  16. In the final 13 games, i can only see us dropping points to chelsea, man city and arsenal. All of them being draws. I can see us squeezing a top 4 finish and with our rapid youth development, and if we keep our top players and bring in a few star players in summer, NUFC are looking like a top 4 side again. Praise pardew!

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