Newsflash! Newcastle United has only lost 1 game since the 11th of February. It feels like this is a whole new team. Re-energized with talent from this January’s transfer window, Newcastle looks to end the season in winning fashion. And I thought it would be interesting to look back at last year to see how well we’ve improved over last year. I wasn’t expecting anything drastic, just a few more points in the standings. But what I found shattered my fragile hold on reality. Newcastle United, despite all the improvements made since the end of January, have the exact same record at this very same point in the season last year!
The EXACT same: 9 wins, 8 draws and 14 loses for a total of 35 points. If anyone knows a math teacher, could you get them to run the numbers and tell me the odds of that happening? Because it feels astronomical! Not only that, but the last 5 games of both seasons are also exactly the same, with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. This is getting into some Twilight Zone levels of creepy. But surely, that’s where the similarities end, right? We’ve changed the roster enough since last March that only the records are similar, right? Oh if only, friend, if only.
Even though Newcastle has brought in new offensive players since last year, namely Rondon and Almiron, the goal differential between this season and last season up to this point are almost exactly the same! Last year, Newcastle allowed 40 goals and scored 30 for a -10 Goal Differential (GD). This season, we have allowed 40 goals and scored 31 for a -9 GD. How? How? How is it possible, after retooling the offense with Rondon and Almiron that we have practically the exact same GD from last year? I am afraid of how deep this conspiracy runs. Next you’ll tell me that Mike Ashley paid officials and opposing teams to keep Newcastle in the middle of the table to ensure long term financial stability. Or that Ayoze Perez is in the Illuminati!
As for the last 7 games of the season, last year Newcastle went 3-0-4 on the home stretch, despite scoring 8 goals and allowing only 7. This season sees Newcastle play only 2 teams from last year’s final 7: Arsenal and Leicester, both of whom Newcastle beat 2-1 in the last 7 matches of last year. So there is hope Newcastle can ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.
Am I overreacting? Yeah, probably. Is it fascinating that after two transfer windows, after acquiring leading goal scorer Solomon Rondon and the Perfect Paraguyan Prince Miguel Almiron that we are in the exact same spot we were in last year? Absolutely! Also we’re in the middle of an international break, what else is there to talk about?