Survival - a bush tucker trial
TOTT board member Jiggystoon currently supports his team from down under. What better vantage point to give reasoned reflections for the current king of the jungle that is NUFC?
Take it away Jiggy:
Back in early May 2010 Newcastle United defeated QPR 1-0 to pull the curtain down on a dominant season in English Football`s second tier, the Toon had finished the season with a haul of 102 points in the league and were undefeated at St James Park. The Magpies had won the Championship and were heading back up to the promised land of Premiership Football.
Fast forward nearly 12 months and Newcastle are sitting in 12th place in the league on 41 points and barring a meltdown of epic proportions, Newcastle will be playing Premiership Football again next season. The official word coming out of the club all along was that the number one priority this season was SURVIVAL, it would appear that we have achieved this, however, it got me thinking about just what survival meant and what exactly was the survival success rate among promoted teams, I managed to find the following:
Since the 2002/03 season a total of 21 teams have been promoted to the Premiership (I have excluded the current seasons newcomers: Newcastle, West Brom and Blackpool as the current season is still yet to finish).
Of these 21 teams the number of seasons of consecutive top flight football are as follows:
11 clubs have been relegated in their first season up.
3 clubs have been relegated after their second season
clubs have been able to stay up for more than 2 seasons, they are as follows:
Stoke: 3 seasons, 2008/09 til current, Stoke currently sit in 10th place in the league and should stay up.
Sunderland: 4 seasons, 2007/08 till current, the Mackems currently sit in 14th place and despite a massive drop in form look to be safe for another season.
West Ham United: 6 seasons, 2005/06 till current, West Ham currently sit in 20th place in the league and look to be one of the three relegated to the Championship.
Wigan: 6 seasons, 2005/06 till current, Wigan are also in danger of relegation this season, currently sitting in 18th place.
Portsmouth: 7 seasons, 2003/04 till 2009/10.
It should also be noted that two teams have been relegated from the Premiership more than once since 2002/03 and they were: West Brom, who have been relegated 3 times and Sunderland who have failed to beat the drop twice.
All of the above makes for some interesting reading, but what does it all mean for Newcastle? As pointed out above the first season is not surprisingly the toughest for newly promoted teams, Newcastle look to have beaten these "first season blues" and should be safe. Next season will be vital for the club.
Interestingly only 3 teams have gone down after their second season, but clubs that have survived past the second season of top flight football are seemingly managing to consolidate themselves. Survival once again must be the clubs number one priority.
Financial constraints are one factor that severely hamper newly promoted clubs in the Premiership and Newcastle has certainly been no exception, without the funds to attract premiership class players teams are obviously going to struggle to match it with hardened Premiership sides on a consistent basis.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley must find a way to ensure that funds are made available to bring in new players for next season, equally important though is that he must resist the urge to sell the likes of Jose Enrique and Joey Barton to ensure that an already paper thin squad doesn`t get left behind in a league that is constantly getting harder to compete in.
If the club can bring in new signings and hang onto what we already have, the chances of us getting through next season are good, then if the data above is anything to go by, we can then look at consolidating ourselves for the long haul. Over to you Mike Ashley.