I’ve written fairly extensively about Newcastle United and 2015. We were all there and we were all angry. I hope Mike Ashley is angry. Whatever his dubious motives for owning our football clubs, he does not want relegation battles.
Whatever his ambition (or lack of) is for the club, he does not like seeing his money wasted on players and managers.
So good riddance to that awful calendar year from a football perspective. Starting 2016 we have a trip to top of the league side Arsenal, who are in rampant form. This is Newcastle United, and anything can happen, but a defeat here is surely inevitable.
For me the worst three performances of the McClaren era have come in the past two weeks. The performances against
Watford, Leicester, Palace, Man City were all abysmal – but all of those sides are in the top 7 of the Premier League. It doesn’t excuse those results or performances, but there’s the context that sadly, all of those cubs are years away from United at the moment in terms of what they put out onto that pitch.
Villa, Everton and West Brom represented the most important week or so of the season, and we picked up one point out of 9 scoring one goal. Not good enough. There’s no such thing as bad luck after 19 games, there’s no such thing as ‘signs of a corner being turned.’ January won’t save us. The damage is done. Do you back us to beat Bournemouth at home? Do you think we’ll go to Norwich and get a win to stay up? No chance under this manager. Bring in whatever desperate signing you want, the key January acquisition needs to be a manager.
I’m baffled he hasn’t been peddled already. Well I’m not, but I should be. 17 points from 19 games could well be 17 points from 21 games with Arsenal and Man Utd to come next. Then it’s West Ham at home. I think it’s reasonable to believe that if we were to lose the next three games, McClaren would have to be sacked as we would likely find our selves 5-7 points from safety? When any manager gets to that position, that he’s a couple of games away from the sack, why wait.
Anyway Arsenal are top of the league and should really be winning the league this season. Man City drop so many points
they shouldn’t and there are no real other contenders. Their 4-0 defeat to Southampton was a huge aberration but they’re capable of that. They don’t ever lose at home to terrible teams though, so they’ll be comfortable winners here.
Who we play with is irrelevant. Darlow to continue. I don’t think he did that badly. The Dummet/Winjaldum left side has provided zero assists away from home this season, but he won’t change it. Anita’s injury means Tiote comes in.
Sissoko and Janmaat are OK as a partnership and he’ll probably play Perez. I’d play De Jong as Perez is more influential coming from the bench, but really, it doesn’t matter, does it?
PREDICTION: ARSENAL 3 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892