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Toon Good to go down?

In his latest article, Aaron Gales takes a serious look at the possibility of that horrible 'R' word...

Every season there is one team that nobody really expects to go down that surprises everybody and gets relegated. Last year it was Charlton, and in previous seasons it has been clubs like Southampton and Leeds that have suffered this fate. I fear that this season maybe it is Newcastle United`s turn. I sincerely hope that this is not true but all the signs are pointing in that direction; down.

The first, and most worrying statistic is that we haven`t won a game in the Premiership, home or away since the middle of December when a late Joey Barton penalty won us the game at Fulham. That means that statistically we are on the worse run of form in the entire Premier League, along with Derby County.

This sad state of affairs has left us sandwiched between Middlesborough and Sunderland in the league and don`t try and tell me that they have a similar calibre of players in their squad as we do, because quite simply they don`t.

On paper at least we should have the players to get us out of the predicament in which we find ourselves. Players like Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Emre, Steven Taylor and Shay Given would walk into most sides in the league barring the top four.

However the players seem shot of confidence, something that I thought would change with the reappointment of KK, but besides hammering Stoke City at St James we haven`t really seen any change. I thought that maybe, just maybe, the players might have cracked it after the performance they gave in the first half against Aston Villa, but the utter capitulation after Wilfred Bouma equalised suggests otherwise.

What really has me worried though is our next run of games. We play Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool, which could quite easily end in three defeats, and with us currently on 28 points, three losses could see us floating ominously above the relegation zone.

There are three games out of our remaining fixtures that we simply must win. These are against Reading, Sunderland and Fulham and were we to take maximum points from these games and maybe pick up a couple of points elsewhere, possibly in the games against Birmingham and Portsmouth, it should be enough for us to stay in the league and banish any lingering thoughts of relegation.

One man who we cannot attach any blame to for the current malaise is the new manager. He has been left a squad with no confidence and form by the previous manager, who seems to have set us back five years after being in the job just six months.

Keegan needs time to rebuild the squad in his own image and not that of Allardyce. The irony is that it`s Allardyce`s players that will determine whether or not King Kev is rebuilding his squad for the Premier League, or the Championship.

The Journalist

Writer: Ross Molyneux Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 13 2008

Time: 7:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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You're all going on a Championship tour...
Boro 01
Report Abuse
13/02/2008 21:24:00

no such thing as 'too good to go down' is there, whilst you 'could', even if you cannot improve your form that much between now and may i think you will still be ok as others are worse than you lot - dont take this comments the wrong way tho fellas...
Report Abuse
13/02/2008 21:30:00

boro01 ur team has no potential. no hope. ur manager is a shambles and ur chairman is worse. so look at your own team b4 u start tyring to mock. damn discrace u smoggies.
Report Abuse
14/02/2008 00:18:00

I wouldn't start having a go at the Middlesbrough's chairman Toon, say what you like about your rivals, the man in charge of Boro is pretty sweet if you ask me.
Report Abuse
14/02/2008 03:15:00

I doubt we will. Keegan has got the players playing full sided games at SJP to get them used to playing alongside each other. We'll be a different team over the run in with these free cup weekends giving us time to build.
Report Abuse
14/02/2008 13:15:00

cracking article. relegation hadn't really crossed my mind until you just brought it to my attention. the facts certainly point in the direction of possible championship football next year...
Report Abuse
14/02/2008 18:32:00


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