Newcastle are unlikely to snatch the Premier League crown away from Chelsea this season, but as we gear up for this weekend’s clash with Wigan, could we be about to steal their crown as the kings of inconsistency?
After the tame opening game defeat at Manchester United, Chris Hughton got us up and running with a stunning 6-0 win over Aston Villa and a creditable draw away to Wolves. However, since then results have been very up and down.
Fantastic away victories at Everton and Chelsea, sandwiched by disappointing home defeats to Blackpool and Stoke, have seen us fail to find any rhythm upon our return to the top flight. So can we get our season back on track against Wigan on Saturday?
That all depends on which Jekyll and Hyde side turns up at St James’ Park. The Latics opened their campaign with heavy successive defeats to Blackpool and Chelsea, before avenging last season’s 9-0 humiliation at Tottenham with a gutsy 1-0 win. Since then Roberto Martinez’s men have dispatched Wolves 2-0 and picked up draws against Sunderland and Blackburn, but like us, have been unable to put together a run of results.
Wigan are the only team in the Premier League who haven’t conceded a goal on their travels this season, but given the form (or lack of it) of both sides, I don’t think facts will count for much here. This game could just as easily be a five goal thriller as a dull 0-0 draw and will no doubt ruin a few accumulators come Saturday afternoon.
Our performance at Manchester City last time out was promising and although Nigel De Jong’s tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa dominated the headlines, the game turned on two debatable penalty decisions that went against us. Two weeks on and we have a defensive selection headache with Sol Campbell, Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson all vying for starts, while Danny Guthrie, Danny Simpson and Leon Best are also nearing a return to action.
Hughton will probably stick with his 4-4-1-1 formation with either Andy Carroll or Shola Ameobi leading the line, but if we can take the game to Wigan and not sit back if we take the lead (like against Stoke) there’s no reason why we can’t pick up three points come Saturday. Howay the lads!