Reasons to be positive at Newcastle United

It’s been a tough season so far for Newcastle United. But, considering the circumstances and the challenges we’ve faced on a weekly basis, there’s plenty of reasons to be positive.

Firstly, I look at the Premier League form. Yes, that 5-1 win over Aston Villa on the opening day was followed by three-straight defeats (to tough opposition in Man City, Liverpool and Brighton), but it feels like some have forgotten how impressively we responded to that.

In the next seven league games, we won five, kept five clean sheets, drew twice (both 2-2 draw at West Ham and Wolves) and scored 20 goals in the process, enjoying an 8-0 win over Sheffield United, battering Crystal Palace 4-0 and seeing off Arsenal 1-0 to inflict their first defeat of the season. Yes, this was followed with that 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth, yet we remain just six points away from the top four and a point away from the Europa League places.

It’s been a sobering few weeks in the Champions League, where back-to-back defeats to Dortmund have left us in a tough position, but we aren’t out of it yet. Even if we do crash out, this is just the start, with that 4-1 win over PSG a magical night that proved we are good enough at this level when everyone is fit and firing. Replicate that performance next week and we might just cause an upset in Paris.

It’s also fair to say injuries and fatigue have played a key role in our recent blip. We were missing an entire team of players in our last game, have lost £90m-worth of summer signings to one freak injury and an unforeseen suspension, but we’ll soon be boosted by the return of Harvey Barnes, who is close to resuming full contact training. As for the gap Tonali has left, the January transfer window is just around the corner and it’s likely to club back Eddie Howe.

In the short term, it’s believed we’ll have Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron back for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea, while there’s hope Sven Botman will not require surgery on…

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Author : Olly Hawkins

Publish date : 2023-11-21 18:15:56

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