Newcastle United are in trouble. There's absolutely no secret there, but this past weekend John Carver's side managed to avoid a ninth straight defeat, picking up a point at home to Tony Pulis' West Brom.
The Baggies had the more clear opportunities in the first half after hitting the post early on to fire a warning shot. Newcastle had a big chance of their own with Moussa Sissoko having a shot cleared off the line by the ever alert Joleon Lescott. This proved to be costly for Newcastle because moments later, Victor Anichebe nodded in a free-kick with Newcaste's inability to defend set pieces still a huge problem for them.
Newcastle did manage to equalise three minutes before half time with Ayoze Perez volleying the ball into the bottom corner in fine style on the swivel to make it one all. That is somehow the way it stayed at St James' Park with both teams pushing hard for a second goal.
Chris Brunt hit the crossbar for the Baggies and Moussa Sissoko had a late shot pushed away by Boaz Myhill. Sammy Ameobi came off the bench much to the frustration of the Geordie faithful, but nearly forced the fans to eat humble pie with an acrobatic strike that curled just wide of the post.
They needed all three
Ultimately, although I thought the Magpies played well enough to warrant the three points, they didn't get them and this could prove to be a massive slip up. They stopped the rot and managed to avoid a ninth consecutive loss but with results elsewhere once again going against them, they slipped even further down the table to 17th - just one place and two points above the drop zone.
Newcastle play Queens Park Rangers next week and hopefully they will carry a bit of momentum into the game after picking up their first point since February, especially with the Hoops having been emphatically beaten by Manchester City at the Etihad yesterday afternoon. All that we know for certain is that Newcastle have to pick up points in that game next week if they're going to survive.
If Newcastle are to stay up this season, then a major overhaul is needed at the club: a new manager is a must, a new defence is needed and replacements for the inevitable departure of players such as Moussa Sissoko are going to be a major priority.
It goes without saying that if this kind of form continues into next season, Newcastle will find themselves fighting for Premier League survival for the whole of the 2015/16 campaign. A club like Newcastle, with the fans they have, deserve so much more than that. They are a sleeping giant in every sense of the phrase, but I'm afraid that they might never wake up.
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