8 Games To Go
By Brad Dixon
Thursday 31 Mar 2011 08:59:00
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I’m sure everyone else is doing exactly what I’ve been doing this week?  What every football fan must go through this time of year now the final run in is in sight?   Eight games to go and the question we are all asking is ‘Just how many more points can we get?’  Mulling over these last games,trying to predict a win here or a draw there is pretty impossible, newspapers work it all out for us and tell us who is winning the league and more importantly who is filling the bottom three, but it never pans out like that and the way the season has gone so far who the hell can say what’s going to happen?  OK forget all that here’s my spin on things but there is a reason why I am going to go through all of this.  I am probably swinging towards the glass is half empty in terms of points we will get from now until the end of the season.   Home first, four games left – Wolves, Man U, Birmingham and West Brom.  I know what that looks like from an outsiders point of view; three out of four winnable games?   Yeah right!  We have only won four at home all season so the stats aren’t exactly in our favour.  Throw in the dreaded 3pm start on a Saturday for a home game and the Wolves game isn’t looking as tasty as it should be.  OK I will get on with it so to start let’s forget Man U.  Yes they have drawn a lot of games away this season but I just can’t see them coming away from St James with anything less than their usual three points.  As for the other three at home?  A win, draw and a defeat looks about right to me if we are running on our previous home form.  In what order I honestly haven’t a clue?  So four Points from four games?  Average at best looking at those fixtures but the reality is we are probably going to struggle to get two more wins at home no matter who we are playing.  So what of the away games?  Villa, Blackpool, Liverpool and Chelsea.  The last two look impossible given the form of the two teams of late, particularly at home.  I just can’t see us getting anything from those games.  As for the other two, well I’d be happy with two draws, but I fear we may only get one.  Villa are way better than what they are showing at present and with Blackpool god knows what’s going to happen with them from week to week?  One point from four tough away games?  Again reality is taking over.  So what does that leave for my final points tally for the season?  Add on only five points from the last eight games and we have a total of 41 points.  Now I’m sure there will be plenty of opinion out there and you will all have your own tally, but there is something that perhaps we can all agree on that may be the key to whether we stay up or not.  Goal difference.  At the moment it is pretty healthy on minus one and in theory this is worth an extra point over the teams occupying the bottom three at present.  If my prediction of one win from eight games is to come true then how we do in the other seven or more importantly how many goals we lose by when we are defeated could be crucial.  If we go down to Stoke like defeats at Liverpool,  Chelsea and any one of our other remaining games left then we will be playing goal difference roulette with the rest of the relegation pack.  Losing games by the odd goal in the coming weeks might not be as bad as it sounds and a strong goal difference may yet help to save our necks from the drop.

~~~

So Andy Carroll got his first goal for England against Ghana and his first goal since leaving us in January.  I have shown my distinct lack of enthusiasm when it comes to England on these pages over the winter months and after another two boring games I am again struggling to hold up my red white and blue flag.  Hearing that our former local hero has scored tonight has left me sick.  I should be proud a Geordie has scored for England and not be at all bitter and resentful just because he is no longer in black and white.   Forget all that.  I refused to do my first goal scorer bet on him which I would have lumped on had he still been a Toon player.  Who said you should never cut off your nose to spite your face?  Gutted.



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