The revealing stats that show why Newcastle United may have to wait to secure Premier League status
Newcastle United will undoubtedly be keen to secure their Premier League status at the earliest opportunity when the season resumes - but they may be required to wait.
It will be exactly 100 days since the last Premier League match was played when the first set of fixtures take to our TV screens on June 17.
The three-month break for Steve Bruce’s men means they are practically undergoing another pre-season ahead of their remaining nine fixtures, though without those crucial warm-up matches.
And as Newcastle fans are only too aware of, their team isn’t exactly notorious for bursting out the traps at the beginning of a new season - which is what this restart feels like.
We’ve crunched the numbers from the Magpies’ previous FIVE top-flight seasons - including 2019-20 - and delved deeper into United’s sluggish starts.
THE FIRST 10 MATCHES
In the opening 10 matches, United average a record of two wins, three draws and five defeats, forming a points total of nine. However, those points don’t tend to arrive in the early weeks.
The Magpies, on average, under Steve Bruce, Rafa Benitez, Steve McClaren and Alan Pardew, have taken up until the seventh game (6.8 precisely) to secure that elusive first win.
Newcastle managed to claim their first three points this season in the third match away to Tottenham Hotspur, a huge improvement on last season, when it took until the 11th.
And while Benitez was able to earn United’s first win back following promotion to the top-flight in the third match - a 3-0 win over West Ham in 2017 - that did nothing to cancel out previous showings.
In 2014/15, Pardew & Co had to wait until matchday eight, though McClaren outdid his countryman a year later with his first win arriving on game nine.
Furthermore, Newcastle haven’t won inside the two opening matches since 2012-13 - and that includes the Championship title-winning campaign in 2016-17.
THE NUMBERS IN FULL
2014-15 (opening 10 games): Manchester City H (0-2 L), Aston Villa A (0-0 D), Crystal Palace H (3-3 D), Southampton A (4-0 L), Hull H (2-2 D), Stoke A (1-0 L), Swansea A (2-2 D), Leicester H (1-0 W), Tottenham A (1-2 W), Liverpool H (1-0 W).
2015-16 (opening 10 games): Southampton H (2-2 D), Swansea A (2-0 L), Manchester United A (0-0 D), Arsenal H (0-1 L) West Ham A (2-0 L), Watford H (1-2 L), Chelsea H (2-2 D), Manchester City A (6-1 L), Norwich H (6-2 W), Sunderland A (3-0 L).
2017-18 (opening 10 games): Tottenham H (0-2 L), Huddersfield A (1-0 L), West Ham H (3-0 W), Swansea A (1-0 W), Stoke H (2-1 W), Brighton A (1-0 L), Liverpool H (1-1 D), Southampton A (2-2 D), Crystal Palace H (1-0 W) Burnley A (1-0 L).
2018-19 (opening 10 games): Tottenham H (1-2 L), Cardiff A (0-0 D), Chelsea H (1-2 L), Manchester City A (2-1 L), Arsenal H (1-2 L), Crystal Palace A (0-0 D), Leicester H (0-2 L), Manchester United A (3-2 L), Brighton H (0-1 L), Southampton A (0-0 D).
2019-20 (opening 10 games): Arsenal H (0-1 L), Norwich A (3-1 L), Tottenham A (0-1 W), Watford H (1-1 D), Liverpool A (3-1 L), Brighton H (0-0 D), Leicester A (5-0 L), Manchester United H (1-0 W), Chelsea A (1-0 L), Wolves H (1-1 D).
APPLYING TO THE CURRENT PICTURE
While the numbers aren’t the most encouraging, it doesn’t spell disaster if you apply to United’s current position in the Premier League.
Bruce’s side sit 13th in the table on 35 points and eight points above the relegation zone.
If you add the average nine points to that total, Newcastle will exceed the ‘magic 40 points’ and finish the campaign on an estimated 44 points - the same total the club accumulated in 2017-18 to finish 10th.
That said, the pressure is on to collect points early, especially given United face Aston Villa, Bournemouth and West Ham – all teams around them in the table – within the first four games of the restart.
Should the Magpies leave it any later, they risk needing points when they play Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Newcastle never do make things easy for themselves and their supporters, so I’m sure you won’t be too surprised if Bruce’s men make fans sweat.