Printer Friendly

Against Mr Ordinaries Toon have been plainly average.


OK, all right, the period of licking wounds cannot go on indefinitely. A revival attempt has to be launched. Maybe Steve McClaren and his minions have saddled themselves with the disastrous record of Newcastle's worst start to a season in well over 100 years but it is time to turn thoughts to a first victory.

The Premier League fixtures coming up after the international break provide some sort of hope...Norwich (h), Sunderland (a), Stoke City (h), and Bournemouth (a).

Yes there are points to be harvested there. Twelve of them. Enough food for a glutton.

However, I feel I must throw in a note of caution lest we get carried away and it is this: United have this sorry season turned out to be abject flops against the average.

Let's examine their eight-match run of disaster.

They have picked up a solitary point from four games when victory has looked possible each time and two points from 12 against the heavyweights.

Look at Southampton, Swansea, West Ham and Watford.

Only a draw with Saints and three defeats.

Meanwhile, Newcastle managed to draw with Manchester United and Chelsea while losing to Arsenal (by only a single goal) and Manchester City.

It is a shocking record all round but more shocking when Geordies had a right to expect a victory parade.

United attempt to battle strongly against the top boys, even at City in the first-half, but when meeting those of limited danger they resort to an indifference and eventually tame surrender that is a red rag to their faithful.

Remember when Newcastle drew on the opening day up here it sparked a Saints run of eight matches with only one victory while the Hammers had not won at home until the arrival of Tyneside's easy beats.

How many of the dozen points on offer do you think the Mags will take? They ought to be capable of getting something out of all four games but will they? It must be a better return than the one point taken from the Mr Ordinaries so far, that is for certain, or relegation will be a constant companion until the drop is officially taken.

Theoretically you can make a case for decent teams gathering close to all 12 points because the matches, looked at one at a time, are winnable.

All four teams are in the bottom half of the table - two (Norwich and Bournemouth) were in the Championship last season - and Sunderland are habitual relegation fighters with not a solitary victory like United. That leaves Stoke who have won two out of eight.

We have had many a warning, of course. Most unheeded. Watford were like Norwich and Bournemouth, newlypromoted, but they came up here and smacked backsides.

What lies in front of us is both a terrific opportunity to release pressure and concern and a terrifying prospect because if United fail the test in any shape or form then they are on the road to hell. Certainly we are going to learn an awful lot without McClaren banging on about "we are getting there," his other favourite "we have learned from defeat and are moving on," and the classic "there will be highs and lows along the way." Where are the highs mate? United's head coach also forwarded the misconception he has faced virtually all top clubs whereas it is four-four between heavyweights and lightweights. Selective thinking which seems to be an essential defence for under pressure bosses. There have been small positive signs, of course there have, but can these be converted into something lasting.

That is the key to everything and I still cling to an admittedly weakening belief Newcastle have too much to go down.

However is that borne out of desire and little else.

I asked which face of United would we see at Manchester City last time out - Jekyll or Hyde. We saw both, one in each half. That is how frail United are mentally. They can collapse at any time.

Which comes next against Norwich... the good doctor or the dastardly villain? It is their choice.

| BIRTLEY'S Pat McCormack has sadly |crashed out of the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Doha.

And it was his jinx opponent who again put an end to a dream. Russian Vitaliy Dunaytsev, who defeated Pat in the European light welterweight final, was a unanimous points winner once more after a sluggish start to move into the last 16.

McCormack had defeated Dmitri Galagot of Moldova in his opening bout.

The North East's other participant, Josh Kelly of Houghton and District ABC, like McCormack won his initial outing seeing off an occasionally wild Australian Nathan Webber in his 69kg preliminary to go through to a clash with New Zealander Joshua Nyika. While McCormack will be disappointed with his route to the Rio Olympics now blocked he is a fine young boxer with a massive future who hopefully will be destined to make a lasting impression on the global scene.


Newcastle United must make sure they emerge from the next four games with as |close to 12 points as possible
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 10, 2015
Previous Article:Cassidy delight at Euro success.
Next Article:Michael deserves all the plaudits.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters