Newcastle United are comfortably sitting 13th in the table, but wasted chances in four specific games kept them out of the top ten.
Like every other club in England, Newcastle United are patiently waiting and hoping for the 2019-20 Premier League campaign to start up again. As frustrating as it is for us fans, too, this long break does give us time to reflect on how the Magpies have performed through 29 games.
With the departure of Rafa Benitez last summer, it was expected that Newcastle United would experience some inconsistency. The Magpies surprisingly woke up against top teams, but fell asleep at the wheel against mediocre and inferior opposition.
That being said, there are a few games Newcastle United would take back if they could. The list could be longer, but the four home games analyzed below have kept Steve Bruce’s men out of the top ten.
- Newcastle United 1-1 Watford
- Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton
- Newcastle United 0-0 Norwich City
- Newcastle United 0-0 Burnley
Newcastle United only managed to score one goal and claim a mere four points against teams they should have defeated at home. Taking the maximum number of points in these clashes, 12, would have the Magpies two points above Tottenham and level on points with seventh-placed Sheffield United.
Winning three of those four games would have been enough to push Newcastle United into 10th with 40 points. Being in that kind of position would have changed the narrative surrounding the club, as well as the mindset of the players in the final stretch of the season.
Had the Magpies handled business at home against the aforementioned clubs they would have had a real chance at fighting for a place in Europe, especially since Manchester City’s suspension opened up an extra slot.
Going forward, Steve Bruce needs to find ways to motivate his players against teams that are struggling. Both Watford and Norwich City were in last place when they claimed a point at St. James’ Park, which is not acceptable.
There is no such thing as an easy game in the Premier League, but the Magpies cannot let weaker opponents experience a resurgence at their ground. Newcastle United’s inability to dominate in midfield and score some goals in these four games had a major impact on their potential to reach new heights in the top flight.