Will Newcastle United survive? This time last year they were on the verge of a Champions League spot!
The difference is stark, but until seeing just how emphatic it is with a look at the Premier League table of this season and the corresponding point last season, you may not realise how desperate it has got at Newcastle.
Here is where they were after 35 games last season:
And after 35 games this season:
They’ve played the same number of games as this time last year and yet the difference in accumulated points is staggering!
Demba Ba left and moved to Chelsea but that’s not the cause of this. If anything, it’s possible that he was privy to more than us and saw the writing on the wall. In saying that, I remember watching the game against Chelsea where new signing, Moussa Sissoko, scored not only the equaliser but the winner too, and it was a dazzling performance.
He scored again in the 4-2 win against Southampton and then he, like most of his colleagues, disappeared. Since that little spell and for the most part of this current campaign they have been truly awful.
Directionless, fearful and disorganised are three adjectives I can easily pluck from the air to describe this team, there are many more but let’s not go down that road.
Then there was the recent resurgence of Sunderland – the revolution that began under Di Canio claimed Newcastle as its first scalp, 3-0 at St James’s Park – too much to bear for the home support, compounding the frustration felt by the fans as they watch this team throw caution to the wind and sail far too close to relegation.
And that’s where they are now, 3 games to go and as it stands they need 8 points of the 9 available to guarantee safety. Of course that’s assuming that Wigan pick up 12 points from their last 4 games and then they are sharing their current points tally with their fierce rivals, Sunderland, and also the team that put a massive dent in Di Canio’s revolution – the extremely impressive and youthful Aston Villa, what a boost they had on Monday evening.
So it’s all to play for but one thing is for sure, the fans of Newcastle United expected so much more this season and to say they have been let down is a massive understatement, the next couple of weeks are critical.
Will Newcastle survive? Will the gap over Wigan be enough?
image: © mickyb59