Just like Everton, Newcastle also find themselves doing pretty well in this season’s Premiership table. The difference is that with Newcastle I get the feeling that the vultures, Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley are circling and waiting for him to fail.
It will be interesting to see how much money is made available to Alan Pardew to reinforce what could be a push for European football next year. Loic Remy and Yohan Cabaye along with Ben Arfa have been the difference between this season’s Newcastle and last year’s.
Newcastle has four wins and only one defeat in their last six games, and although Stoke City has accumulated only two points less than their opponents in the same amount of games the stretch they are about to go on does not fill me with confidence.
After this game they then face Tottenham Hotspur away before hosting Everton at home, all in the space of six days. Then it is an FA Cup game before hosting Liverpool in the second week of January.
By the time they face Sunderland and Crystal Palace toward the end of January they may be closer to the relegation endangered teams than they’d ideally like.
Mark Hughes‘ men are undefeated in December, though, including that win at home to Chelsea, so who knows; maybe he has a team who will relish this challenging Christmas and New Years schedule. Hughes the player would never shy away from a challenge, so let’s hope his players are from the same mold.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sport. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook.