Sunday, 26 April 2015

"Uh-Oh" - Mike Ashley

Definition of uh-oh:

"An expression of alarm, dismay, or realization of a difficulty". This is a quote that likely perfectly sums up Mike Ashley's current mood. His Newcastle club, seemingly so safe on in January when Alan Pardew was finally allowed to leave for London, is now just 5 points out of the relegation places. 

Four fixtures remain. A 5 point cushion.



Now, when Mike Ashley made the decision to appoint John Carver as interim manager until the end of the season, the prospect of relegation from the Premier League was unfathomable, almost impossible, some might say. Newcastle, at the time of Pardew's exit and Carver's appointment, were in 10th place - 7 points off the Champions League places & 10 points clear of the relegation places - and a gentle, sedate, and somewhat boring end to the season seemed to be the most likely future path for Newcastle. 

Calm waters, clear skies.

But those clear skies and calm waters were not to last. Newcastle under John Carver proceeded to take just 9 points from 15 games. 

2 wins, 3 draws and 10 losses. NINE freaking points in what looks very much like a controlled descent toward danger and potential doom.

These are Carver's 15 league games:

Just the 2 wins as mentioned and they came against poor Hull and Aston Villa teams. 

John Carver's detailed numbers from these 15 games:


John Carver's Newcastle aren't a terrible shots team (48.8%) but the shots on target numbers are brutal and no team can expect to pick up points on a consistent basis whilst taking just 38.8% of those on target shots. Injuries are also an issue for Newcastle as is a shitty PDO number (Scoring% + Save%).

Poor processes (SoTR) and some bad luck (injuries and some of the PDO) are a disastrous mix for any club and right now this combination is sinking Newcastle's season and could possibly place the club in some real danger.

Yet Newcastle and Ashley still have that 5 point cushion over the bottom 3. 

5 points, 4 games remain:


Leicester & QPR as the remaining away games? Oh boy. A single win should be enough to secure Newcastle's Premier league status but where would such a miraculous result come from? Home games against West Brom and West Ham would seem to be the most likely and winnable fixtures but this Newcastle team is struggling and the home fans may well be nervous. 

And if I were a Newcastle fan I too would be nervous:

Newcastle are flat, other relegation threatened teams are picking up points.

I am leaning toward Newcastle retaining their Premier league status and why wouldn't I be when Newcastle have that points cushion with so few games left to be played. But this Newcastle team is sinking and their points cushion is being chipped away by the teams below who are picking up points .

Seven consecutive league losses now for Newcastle. Things are starting to get a little too close for comfort as the graph above illustrates.

"Uh-oh" - An expression of alarm, dismay, or realization of difficulty.