Fixtures: beat Liverpool, Newcastle, Swansea to lead Premier by Aug 27

Not such a tall oder then. Having grabbed nine points from an easy start to the 2011-12 season, we would need only to hold our own until the final, title-clinching game at home to Manchester United on May 13. The heavies of the Football Data Co stand between Salut! Sunderland and publication of the full list, but we can say it should be taken with a sizeable pinch of salt.. As Pete Sixsmith points out, the first two games are already prime targets for switching …

Liverpool away, Newcastle at home. The old fixture computer has certainly given us a couple of beauties to start the season with. Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll followed by whatever ragtag bunch of nonentities Pardew has managed to throw together over the summer. And we have three weeks to clean up the mess that the overweight sweaty ones invariably leave behind.

Unfortunately, I can’t see either of these two starting at 3pm on a Saturday. The media’s long running love affair with all things Anfield and Dalglish, plus the expected involvement of Jordan, will have Sky and ESPN going weak at the knees on an opening day which has no real standout game.

Trying to second-guess the TV moguls is an art I have not yet mastered, but I would imagine that ours, Manchester City v Swansea, West Brom v Manchester United and the Mags v Arsenal are the ones they will be fighting for. In the interest of the pubs of Liverpool, let’s have a 5.30 on a Saturday, please.

A week later, we “welcome” our dear friends from the banks of the coaly Tyne. It could be a game where both are looking for their first points of the season, but, equally, both will be optimistic. No doubt they will be reminding us of the debacle in October but we did finish two places above them, so let’s make sure we remind them loud and long about that.

We get the 349-mile trek to South Wales out of the way early. They have an interesting start, with a trip to City first and an inaugural PL home game against Wigan and Roberto Martinez, not of Aston Villa. Martinez is widely credited with setting the style of play that Swansea and Wigan adopt, so by the time we roll into the city of Dylan Thomas they will no longer be fearing that dark night of the Premier League.

In fact, the whole list looks pretty well balanced, apart from two London games in a row in December. Spurs on a Saturday, QPR on a Tuesday – moreover, a Tuesday night a week before Christmas – but for the retired folk who follow the team, it’s not a bad one. All day drinkies in Shepherd’s Bush! Bring it on!!

The other London games are reasonably well spread out, with a lovely trip to Craven Cottage on the 39th anniversary of Stokoe’s Superstars and the almost traditional trip to the Emirates in early autumn.

Home games to look forward to are the arrival of Aston Villa with their disgruntled fans and Darr£n B£nt in late October and a decent run before Christmas as Fulham, Wigan and Blackburn come calling.

The now traditional post Christmas slump should start with in February, when our three games that month consist of a visit to Stoke (where last season’s began), a home game against Arsenal and a trip to the Hawthorns, where we have played like drains on our last two visits.

The last game is a real mouth waterer – Manchester United at home, as both teams go head to head for the Premier League title. By that time, I confidently expect that we will need a single point to clinch it; Darron Gibson to score the title winning goal in the 89th minute, perhaps?

8 thoughts on “Fixtures: beat Liverpool, Newcastle, Swansea to lead Premier by Aug 27”

  1. I keep reading about marquee signings. The first time I saw it I thought it was a misprint for “marque” as in brand name, but I have seen it in the nationals now as well! Is this a mistake that has begun to be accepted or am I missing something?

    Or are they players managers go for when under in tents pressure?

  2. No abuse Tommyy, just some good natured ribbing, which will continue all the way up to and past the 20th. August. Your new players will realise what an area they have moved to when they walk down that tunnel and see the massed red and white ranks. “Why did we not wait a bit and sign for Sunderland” will be their thoughts.
    Like you, when a club like Liverpool come knocking on a young prospects door, it is difficult to resist. Jordan will do well there. He is a level headed young man and as long as he stays away from pony tailed centre forwards, he will have few problems. I have already told him that the finest places in Liverpool for a pint are The Globe, The Caernarvon Castle and The Roscoe Head. I believe he has joined CAMRA.
    As for the season – well, Steve Bruce has to show the owner that he can make real progress. He has a realistic set of targets in the likes of Larsen, Westwood and Gibson. None are “marquee” signings, but they are steady pros who should help to eliminate the post Christmas hiccups that we have had for the last 3 seasons. If we can get Meyler and Turner fit for the start of the campaign that will be a real plus.
    As for you lot; I can only see relegation looming as you fail to get double figures pointswise.
    Seriously, it looks like you have accepted that Ashley is at SJP for the long run and Pardew makes the right noises. You should be ok. 10th and 12th again, I think; you can have the tenth and we’ll have 6 points from you. Should lead to some interesting discussions in a years time.

  3. Evening gentlemen! Newcastle fan here (cue the abuse). Interesting start to our respective campaigns wouldn’t you agree? Very much looking forward to trouncing you lot in the second week, which leads me on to my point of tantalising debate; what are your expectations for the transfer window? Having lost your child prodigy to the bin dippers for extortionate money as we did, I’m sure you guys are equally salivating over whom will be bought with your now vast transfer kitty. Also what are your thoughts on Gyan – reckon he will bow out aswell? Of course we have lost Nolan already which, whilst not a worry, is still a shame as he was a good leader.
    I must disagree with the ‘non – entities’ comment. I believe we will slowly but surely build a European standard first team this summer, however it remains to be seen whether or not this will extent to the rest of the squad, which is severely lacking and cost us a better position last season.
    I think it will be a very interesting summer for the North East and I sincerely hope we can both be fighting to climb the table next year, as long as we come out on top of course!

  4. three games in November, six in December ,when we’ve got nothing else to spend our money on….and the Spurs/QPR double header as Pete mentions. Add that to Norwich at SAFC on a Tuesday and yet another mid-season FA Cup FInal, and the lunacy of those who compile the fixtures and run the premier league is confirmed once again. See, it doesn’t start for two months and I’m off on a rant already…ain’t football great?

  5. Man on the Tyne Bridge’s comment appeared briefly but was nonsensical and therefore removed. He, Geordie Legend (mindless abuse) and Wayne (childish), will have to raise their standards of literacy and/or humour to gain/regain entry.

    Opposing fans, including some who support Newcastle, do often post thoughtful comments and these are welcome. You can be as robust as you wish provided you observe ordinary rules of decency and defame no one. All first-time posters are subject to delay for moderation (usually to block spam but I am also determined not to let the debate descend into the gutter).

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