Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Worst Start to a Season in the Premier Era Is Stone Cold Fact; Beardsley and Shearer Voiced Their Opinions - but You Can't Put a Positive Spin on Magpies' Sorry Run of Results

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Worst Start to a Season in the Premier Era Is Stone Cold Fact; Beardsley and Shearer Voiced Their Opinions - but You Can't Put a Positive Spin on Magpies' Sorry Run of Results

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER'S MAGPIES ANALYSIS

| Newcastle United conceding a goal |by Wimbledon's Gareth Ainsworth during the Geordies' disastrous start to the 1999/2000 season, where they took eight games to record their first win; the class of 2014 need to beat Leicester on Saturday just to match that record NEWCASTLE UNITED owner Mike Ashley may be paying a London PR guru to paint a positive picture of life at St James' Park.

But by the time the BBC vidiprinter splutters out the final scores around the UK at teatime on Saturday night, no amount of spin will be able to cover up the fact that the Magpies' start to a Premier League season will be the worst EVER since they entered the revamped top flight in 1993.

Little wonder then that Peter Beardsley's recent remarks that fans shouldn't panic because the club has a "great owner and great manager" in Ashley and Alan Pardew managed to irk supporters on social media in the build-up to the clash with Leicester.

Just for the record the last time Newcastle started as poorly as this was back in 1999/2000 when a victory at the eighth attempt resulted in a 8-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Back then Alan Shearer was the hero when he grabbed a FIVE-goal salvo in the rout at St James' Park and it proved to be the launchpad for survival as Newcastle eventually finished 11th.

But that was only after a display of form in the second half of the season akin to teams challenging for a Euro spot.

And in a week when Shearer has been vocal in his views about life at United the contrast between the words of Big Al and one of the club's other iconic figures Beardsley is there for all to see.

Newcastle reach game number eight - against Leicester City on Saturday - searching for that elusive first top-flight win of the campaign. Should they get it, it might haul them out of the bottom three.

United officials aren't happy with some sections of the media and Pardew himself has reacted to comments from some of the pundits in recent weeks.

He "picked out" Robbie Savage after an article that suggested he sounded like a "broken man".

Opinions are one thing. Facts are another.

This isn't just a bad start by Newcastle standards though, it's potentially a bad start by the standards of some of the worst teams in modern top-flight history.

The facts simply don't offer much scope for being positive at this stage.

If the alarm bells aren't sounding on Saturday night for Ashley and he isn't worried about losing the club's Premier League status then perhaps he would be if he took a flick through the top-flight history books.

Failure to beat the Foxes could mean Newcastle have started the season in worse fashion than some of the Premier League's biggest chumps.

Indeed, when Sunderland found themselves branded as the "worst team in Premier League history" back in 2005/6 they'd managed five points after eight games. …

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