The famous Geordie chant ‘who’s that team we call United’ is a great song to sing on the terraces of St James’ Park or even away from home, but these days it ironically and in some ways sadly, sums up the way the Newcastle faithful see their team. A hollow representation of a once great club being slowly run into the ground by an owner with anything but the best intentions for Newcastle United.
That was until the Toon embarked on a three-game winning streak after an anxious 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. Watford, Bournemouth, and now, of course, Burnley have been swept aside by a resurgent Toon side that are doing their utmost to focus on matters on the pitch and not the dire situation off it. One would have to say, it is working as the feeling of doom and gloom subsides ever so slightly.
— Salomón Rondón (@salorondon23) November 27, 2018
In actual fact, Newcastle have now gone four games unbeaten and a look back at the fixture at Old Trafford where the Toon surrendered a two-goal lead, only to eventually lose 3-2, is now in hindsight, a good indication that the team were beginning to get it right. Newcastle are only ten points off sixth thanks to this mini-run but it is all about perspective in many ways, as the Toon are a mere four points off the relegation zone.
Realistically, you would have to say that Newcastle’s fight is still very much at the bottom of the table but they are now going in the right direction, despite relegation still being touted at an uncomfortable 6/1. With any luck, the predictions for the next Premier League season will have the Toon towards the top of the table fighting for the top six.
The one definite at the moment though is that focus is being shifted back onto footballing matters as the St James’ faithful get behind Rafa Benitez. Every now and then, you get a glimpse into what it would be like without Mike Ashley as Benitez performs his miracles and the atmosphere changes for a brief second.
There really is no substitute for winning football games and some would argue there is no better time to begin doing it than the festive season. If Benitez’ troops keep on winning, it could well be the most wonderful time of the year for Newcastle.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 26, 2018
A strong showing over Christmas will undoubtedly take the pressure off the second half of the season and will stop Newcastle having to look over their shoulders whilst coming down the final stretch in April.
Who’s that team we call United? Right now, they are the side beginning to find their range and take huge strides up the league table after an indifferent start. It’s not perfect – far from it – but it is encouraging and is giving the faithful something positive to sing about, so with only one of their six fixtures in December against a top-four club, you can be fairly certain there will be a decent amount of festive cheer on the Tyne this Christmas.