Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Things Aren't about to Get Any Easier for the Magpies

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Things Aren't about to Get Any Easier for the Magpies

Article excerpt

IT WAS said during the warm summer weeks when the football fixtures were released that the computer had been kind to us Geordies.

However, having experienced much disappointment in black-and-white down countless years, I warned that United must make it a rich haul of points from their opening eight Premier League encounters before the autumn testers which lay ahead brought crushing reality.

After a tough opener against champions Manchester City, the Magpies were handed Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Hull City, Stoke City, Swansea and Leicester.

If it wasn't quite a Magnificent Seven after an initial teeth clencher it was a genuine opportunity with 21 winnable points up for auction.

However, United harvested a mere seven of them to find themselves locked in the relegation bottom three. A terrible and unacceptable return.

Now comes the inevitable fixtures of much sterner opposition on paper which means that Alan Pardew and his troops may have to pay an awful price.

We start with Spurs away come Sunday and then Liverpool at home with Chelsea (h), Arsenal (a) and the dreaded derby against Sunderland (h) back to back in December. Dreaded derby because Pardew's record when playing the Mackems is shocking.

Tottenham actually aren't as formidable as in previous recent seasons, but then neither are Newcastle of course.

Spurs have lost two of four at White Hart Lane as new manager Mauricio Pechettino struggles to impose his Southampton work ethic and style upon more pampered stars.

Remember, too, when Newcastle were in the Europa League Pardew regularly trotted out the excuse that having played on a Thursday returning to the PL three days later was a huge disadvantage.

Well, that's the disadvantage Spurs now have!

United, meanwhile, have been even more disappointing. …

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