Newcastle United – Consistently Inconsistent
No chance of winning a predictions league if you’re a Toon fan. Same players, same formation but different results - Newcastle are becoming the kings of inconsistency.
November 7th, 2013
Those working on football pools coupons and in the betting industry must struggle with the Toon. Right now, it’s nigh on impossible to predict which team will turn up. We’re winning games we were expected to get nothing from, and losing to the likes of Sunderland. Newcastle don’t make their job easy.
Alan Pardew believes that over the last month or so, Newcastle’s performance level has been pretty good. In that time, the lads beat Cardiff and Chelsea, drew against Liverpool, and lost to Sunderland and Manchester City (in the Capital One Cup). Each game has its own set of twists and turns – but in general it is hard to argue against the assertion that Newcastle “turned up” for patches in games.
In the wins against Cardiff and Chelsea, the Magpies enjoyed a strong 45 minutes on the attacking front, and defended resolutely when needed be. In the draw against Liverpool, we saw real battling spirit from a team twice in the lead, holding on for a point with ten men. In the defeat against Manchester City, the Toon players pretty much held their own for 90+ minutes, before losing it in extra time. The game which annoyed fans the most (understandably) was the derby defeat – and questions about the performance levels on that afternoon are being asked until this very day.
Since the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, Pardew has spoken about an overreaction of sorts, adding that Newcastle played well but just didn’t get the break. It’s an interesting point, but one which has once again made the gaffer an easy target for the Pardew Out brigade. The thing with derby games is that turning up in the way Newcastle have this season (a good half here and there) was never going to be good enough. Pardew is right in saying that after Mathieu Debuchy scored the equaliser, his team looked in control and it seemed like they would go on and win it. Sadly, that wasn’t to be the case – but tellingly Newcastle hardly tested Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood in that second half. All I can remember were efforts from Shola Ameobi and Yohan Cabaye; both wide of the mark.
In my view, what Pardew means by his performance level comments is that Newcastle have by and large tried to attack teams in recent games. The set-up and formation has been spot on and we’ve actually passed the ball instead of lumping it up field; the thinking being that if you’re playing well enough and creating chances, results will eventually follow. That’s what Pardew said after the Chelsea game and that’s the message he’ll give to his team ahead of this weekend’s trip to White Hart Lane.
There is no reason why Newcastle can’t go to North London on Sunday and get a result. Then again, there is as much of a chance of the lads putting in a dispirited, heartless and gutless performance to come away with northing. We just don’t know which Newcastle team will turn up. Even the fans are confused. Before the Chelsea game, I felt like I didn’t care anymore. After the Chelsea win, with the spirit on show and the unity in the team – the belief has returned once again. I’ll be at White Hart Lane cheering on the lads on Sunday – hoping and praying that they do us proud again. A good result and performance would mean that, barring the Sunderland result, Newcastle would have come out of this recent tough patch of fixtures reasonably well.
Fingers crossed for the Toon. Howay NUFC.
Umar Farooq, Editor – NUFCfans.co.uk