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If Newcastle United repeat pre-World Cup form – This is where could … – The Mag

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Newcastle United are back in Premier League action next Monday.
By then, we will have enjoyed Bournemouth in the League Cup AND spending (enduring?) Christmas with our families.
I obviously hope Newcastle United get into the last eight of the League / Carabao Cup BUT I can’t help but already be thinking about that Leicester match.
Go back to early afternoon on Saturday 1 October 2022, if I had told you what would would happen next you wouldn’t have believed me.
In the space of six weeks, Newcastle United played eight Premier League matches and won seven of them, it would have been eight out of eight if not for the denial of the most obvious penalty since…the last outrageous decision we didn’t get (Callum Wilson taken out as he ran inside the penalty area, yet somehow the referee AND VAR didn’t see this as a spot-kick, unbelievable).
Anyway, 22 points out of a possible 24 wasn’t bad, for that Premier League run of games that covered the period between the September international break and then this World Cup one.
Imagine though if we repeated that form?
If Newcastle United picked up 22 points from the next possible 24?
Impossible I hear you say…well, not really.
Unlikely maybe, but not impossible.
Exactly ten days after that win over Chelsea completed Newcastle’s remarkable Autumn form, Argentina took the lead against Saudi Arabia in their opening World Cup match and then ended up losing 2-1.
Argentina had a scare then against Australia in the last sixteen, before having to rely on penalties to win two of their final three matches…before winning the World Cup!
The thing is, I don’t need to rely on Argentina, or indeed the actual pre-World Cup Newcastle United form, to suggest it (NUFC’s last eight games form) could be repeated.
Earlier in 2022, we saw Eddie Howe pick Newcastle United up off the floor and between 15 January and 10 March, NUFC picked up 20 points (six wins and two draws) from a possible 24 points in an eight game PL run.
Then between 8 April and 22 May it was 18 points (six wins and two defeats) from a possible 24 that rounded off the season.
Neither were quite matching the 22 points from 24 before this World Cup BUT they weren’t far off.
Newcastle United under Eddie Howe are proving themselves remarkably consistent and resilient, as well as no small level of ability.
A bit like the Argentina players under their manager, the Newcastle squad also believe in both Eddie Howe and themselves.
Before the Qatar World Cup, Newcastle United got these results:

Won against Brentford, Everton, Aston Villa and Chelsea
Won against Fulham, Tottenham and Southampton, drew at Man Utd.
This leaves the current Premier League table looking like this:
The next eight Newcastle United matches are:
Leeds, Fulham, West Ham, Liverpool
Leicester, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth
Newcastle United getting 22 points from these eight games is unlikely, as I say above, but also not impossible.
If Eddie Howe and his players did achieve this, I think it would then see Newcastle United clear at the top of the Premier League after beating Liverpool on Saturday 18 February 2023 at St James’ Park.
What Leicester did back in 2015/16 wasn’t a dream, well it was for them, but you know what I mean. It did actually happen. After a nightmare start to the 2014/15 season they looked like certain relegation candidates, before then outstanding late season form (22 points from a possible 27) saved them. They then went on and won the Premier League title the next season, losing only three of 38 PL games that season.
The parallels with Newcastle United are uncanny, although our form in the second half of last season was far better than Leicester’s back in 2015. Eddie Howe and his team with the third best form in the PL over the entire second-half of the 2021/22 campaign.
Leicester then lost only three of 38 in 2015/16 and currently Newcastle United have lost only one of 15 (one of 17 in all competitions) in the Premier League so far.
So much of winning in football is about believing you can do it, under Eddie Howe I think that clearly exists at Newcastle United.
Arsenal are seven points clear of Newcastle United and have a game in hand, this is their crunch time though. They have just lost Gabriel Jesus, maybe for the rest of the season, and in their next eight games, Arsenal play five of the six other clubs currently in the top seven.
Yes I am daydreaming but if you can’t do it when your team is on a run of seven wins and a draw in their last eight (eight wins and a  draw in last nine in all competitions), when can you do it?
If (IF!) Newcastle United do pick up 22 points in their next eight PL matches, they would be on 52 points from 23 games, with 15 left to play.
Eddie Howe I’m sure, will be telling his players that anything is possible, especially in this strange season with a break to accommodate a World Cup.
Join me and dare to dream.
Newcastle United next eight Premier League matches:
Monday 26 December 2022 – Leicester v Newcastle (3pm) Amazon Prime
Saturday 31 December 2022 – Newcastle v Leeds (3pm)
Tuesday 3 January 2023 – Arsenal v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports
Sunday 15 January 2023 – Newcastle v Fulham (2pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 21 January 2023 – Crystal Palace v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 4 February 2023 – Newcastle v West Ham (5.30pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 11 February 2023 – Bournemouth v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 18 February 2023 – Newcastle v Liverpool (5.30pm) Sky Sports

Jack Watt

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