All posts by TJR

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Bournemouth – 05/03/16

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A traditional 3pm Saturday kick off sees Newcastle United playing host to Bournemouth in the latest instalment of the 15/16 Premier League season. This is the second meeting of the two sides this season, the previous being a 1-0 win for the then visitors at the Vitality Stadium down on the South Coast back in November. Ayoze Perez got the goal that day, though it is probably fair to say Bournemouth were unlucky not to have got anything from that game, largely down to some fantastic goalkeeping from Rob Elliot.

The 1-0 win at Bournemouth in November was the Magpies’ first victory on the road this campaign. Fast forward to March and we’re now up to two away wins, in fact Newcastle have played 14 away games so far this season, winning two, drawing one and losing 11. Seven points from a possible 42, scoring just seven goals and conceding 32 in the process. As shocking as those statistics are Steve McClaren will be thankful that this fixture is at St James’ Park and not away from home.

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs West Ham Utd – 16/01/16

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Friends Steve McClaren and Slaven Bilić face each other for only the second time since Croatia beat England 3-2 at Wembley to qualify for the European Championships at England’s expense, costing Steve McClaren his job. The other head to head was the reverse fixture of today’s game, earlier in the season. Dimitri Payet ran the show that day and scored both goals in a 2-0 win for the Hammers. Today Payet is once again expected to be the main threat to our defence.

West Ham signed Payet from Olympique de Marseille in a £10.7m deal at the start of the season. Payet has hit the ground running in the Premier League proving to be an integral part of West Hams success. The Hammers have won 57.1% of matches he’s played while they’ve only won 14.3% of games he’s missed. Payet is without doubt a strong contender for Premier League signing of the season.

Payet’s former team-mate Thauvin also swapped Marseille for the Premier League at the start of the season. Newcastle signed him in a deal worth £12m + Remy Cabella on loan with a view to a permanent deal. Thauvin’s start to Premier League life has been the complete opposite to Payet’s. Thauvin has struggled to adapt and has failed to break into the Newcastle team with rumours of a return to France for him in this transfer window.

If Payet is a strong contender for signing of the season, Thauvin is without a doubt strong contender for flop of the season. Graham Carr and Lee Charnley definitely signed the wrong Marseille man.

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Aston Villa – 19/12/15

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We come into the festive period on the back of two very good wins. We now have the opportunity to make the festivities in Geordieland all the more joyful with three points against a club many of the Newcastle fan base dislike. Ruining or at least putting a damper on the Christmas of Villa fans would be a very good feeling indeed. If we win today and results go our way between now and the 7th of May we’ll have not only the opportunity to leave their Christmas turkey tasting sour but we could also possibly have the honour of relegating them at Villa Park. Oh how I would love that to happen. I wonder what the banners at Villa Park would read that day?

Earlier in the season Villa disposed of ‘Tactics Tim’ for the well dressed Frenchmen Rémi Garde. Rémi’s revival however has been pretty much non-existent thanks to the continuation of poor form. The Midlands club have lost 10 of their last 12 Premier League matches and will be bottom of the Premier League table on Christmas day regardless of today’s result.

How far cut adrift they are is what today’s game will determine. Best case scenario for Aston Villa is they win and Sunderland, Norwich and Swansea lose. Putting Villa 3 points behind 19th placed Sunderland and 5 points behind safety. Worst case scenario for Villa is they lose and their immediate relegation rivals all win putting them 11 points away from safety.

Our last two somewhat unexpected wins have left things looking a lot more rosier for us. Best case scenario for us position wise heading into Christmas is if we win and Bournemouth lose, moving us up to 14th. If the bottom three lose as well as us winning we can tuck into to our turkey roasts safe in the knowledge we are 5 points above the relegation zone. Worst case scenario is of course a defeat, which will drag us right back into the relegation battle.

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Preview: Crystal Palace vs Newcastle Utd – 28/11/15

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We travel to South London looking for only our 3rd win in 14 attempts this season. Last time out we put in a dismal display at home to Leicester with the majority of the team doing their best to look like overpaid, uninterested, and spineless. Steve McClaren has supposedly had a dressing room inquest during the week and told the players that sort of performance is unacceptable. He claims he’s seen a reaction in training and is expecting one today.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have had a good start to the season though it has fizzled out recently. Monday night was probably the lowest point of their season to date and they will be looking for a reaction themselves. They lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland. Though they still sit high, by Crystal Palace standards, in 10th place with 6 wins under their belt. They also have 6 defeats and 1 draw.

In contrast we have just the 2 wins, as well as 4 draws and 7 defeats. That means the Premier League table isn’t pleasant viewing for Newcastle fans. Best case scenario we get 3 points, Norwich lose and we end up finishing the weekend in 16th on 13 points. A place up from our current position. How exciting. Worst case, we lose and slip into the relegation zone if one of Sunderland or Bournemouth win. If both win and we lose we drop to second bottom.

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Norwich City – 18/10/15

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Today we welcome another relegation rival to Gallowgate. Watford’s visit to St James’ Park last month was the last time we had a ‘must win’ game. We lost that day. Hopefully we’ll do better this time out though I must say I’m expecting the worst.

Having lost 6-1 last time out we head into this game thinking “can it possibly get any worse?” With this squad it probably can. Any sort of defeat today would be worse. Hopefully though it’ll be ninth time lucky and we’ll get our first win of the season.

The Premier League table isn’t pleasant viewing. We are rooted firmly to the bottom and even a win today would see us remain in the bottom three. That’s how far adrift we are already.

Before the season started Norwich were one of the favourites for relegation however they’ve had a fairly good start and are one of the teams pulling away from us, the mackems and Villa. We are five points behind Bournemouth who are 17th, and six points behind today’s opponents Norwich in 15th. Even at this early stage in the season this game is shaping up to be a relegation six-pointer. It’s vital we win, especially since we are at home. Hopefully we can shake off the losing culture that seems to be instilled in the club and actually win a game of football.

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