Football

Do Newcastle really deserve to break this ugly record?

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'Records were made to be broken' so the saying goes, but records like this one are best left untouched.

The start of the 2015/16 season has not been kind to Newcastle United - not since 1898/99 season have the Magpies started so poorly. After notching up a mere three points from the last eight games, and with harsh words from Alan Shearer, the pressure is mounting on Steve McClaren to turn things around quickly. 

Newcastle's season has kicked off with some of the toughest fixtures in Premier League football, and yet apart from Saturday's 6-1 annihilation to Manchester City, they have dealt with the challenge admirably.

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After flirting with relegation last season, confidence was low and yet this season has seen them hold Manchester United to a draw in Old Trafford, fall to an unlucky own goal to Arsenal and even take a 2-0 lead against reigning champions Chelsea to end with a hard fought draw. In most circumstances, Newcastle would be fairly pleased, but after a single win this season against Northampton, the outlook is one of deepening dissatisfaction.   

Old troubles still plague the side, with an early exit from the Capital One Cup against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday last month. Defensively, Newcastle are still weak as their goal difference will testify, being the worst in the Premier League as Sergio Aguero put five past them last weekend.

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Despite the new signing of promising young Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht for £8.5 million, the goals have still been flooding in, even with the best efforts of Tim Krul. The Sheffield Wednesday defeat brought in a fresh wave of unwelcome unrest amongst the Newcastle faithful, who had been hoping for the cup run which Mike Ashley had promised them after the end of last season.

However, the situation may seem grim for Newcastle now, but there is sign of recovery. No doubt the outstanding performances of the Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat will lift Newcastle hopes greatly. Janmaat is currently the club's top scorer this year with four goals in all competitions and has contributed outstanding defensive efforts throughout the season so far. The Toon Army will also have high hopes for the 21-year-old striker Aleksandar Mitrovic who netted his first for the Magpies to take the lead against Manchester City.

On the flip side, injury woes are already settling into the Newcastle psyche, with rising talisman Jack Colback having missed some big games already with a hamstring strain. Kevin Mbabu, who broke into the first team with a sublime performance against Chelsea will also face some time out after also damaging his hamstring against Manchester City.

Newcastle can take some comfort though with the forthcoming international break as McClaren promises to return stronger than before as they go into a vitally important game against Norwich City on October 18.

It is fairly clear Newcastle have had a rotten start to the 2015/16 season, which arguably they don't deserve having put in some impressive performances against the big clubs. The Magpies will be hoping to put their nightmare start behind them, and bring in some desperately needed points in the coming months before Christmas and the January transfer window.

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Topics:
Premier League
Newcastle United
Football

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