You can’t rule out Newcastle United getting points from any other club this season, apart from Manchester City.

Likewise, impossible to say for sure NUFC will get points from any particular team, apart from Cardiff.

Those look the extremes from watching football in the flesh and on TV so far, Man City once again looking imperious, whilst Cardiff look relegation fodder.

Last weekend’s match had a little bit of everything apart from goals and quality football.

That needs to change on Sunday.

Newcastle are capable of getting points from any of 18 other clubs but not if they play as they did against Cardiff.

Last season, Rafa managed to pick up points against four of the eventual top six, 10 points from a possible 18 at home (zero from 18 away against that top six).

Fortress St James Park was a long time in coming with victories over Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in those final three and a bit months.

Slow starters last summer, defeats to Spurs and Huddersfield left Newcastle playing catch up, exactly a year to the day before Chelsea on Sunday, Rafa’s players beat West Ham convincingly to get the season up and running. Wins over Swansea and Stoke immediately followed, a foundation to build from.

A year before that, defeats to Fulham and Huddersfield were followed by a 4-1 win over Reading, setting in motion a five game winning run, setting a foundation for promotion as champions.

Can it prove a third time on the bounce for Newcastle to set the season in motion at the third time of asking?

Chelsea have a team/squad full of quality players, who if they play as they are capable of, could leave Newcastle with no chance. Arguably, nobody but Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle’s outfield players would have a chance of making a Chelsea first OR second choice team.

However, football doesn’t always work out purely on ability and price tags.

The players did ok in the second half against Tottenham but you get the feeling that fans, manager and players will all have to pull together if there is to be a positive result against Chelsea.

Pre-match entertainment once again consists of protests (at 1pm) outside the Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct, though no chance of seeing our absent landlord at either Newcastle’s SD or SJP on Sunday.

At The Mag we are fully supportive of the protests against the appalling ownership of our club, but nice if we could finally also have the conversation once again about some positivity on the pitch this weekend.

None of us expect it to be easy to follow Newcastle United but surely the sun can shine sometime at St James Park.



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Jim Robertson