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Newcastle are TERRIBLE Away From Home

4 minute read Published April 4, 2024

After finishing fourth last season, Newcastle and their new Saudi owners looked like they were really onto something. When Eddie Howe took over as coach in November of 2021, Steve Bruce had the club at 19th in the Premier League. In combination with a winter transfer window that saw both Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier join, the team looked completely different in the spring.

That season, they clawed their way back from the drop zone and eventually finished in 11th place. A big leap. Last season, Howe's first full season in charge at Newcastle, was another triumph. 

It started off with a club record spending spree of over €185 million. Transfers included Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and a permanent deal for Matt Targett. Although their form got worse towards the end of the season and they lost third place to Manchester United, thanks to Liverpool and Brighton also dropping off, Newcastle finished fourth and clinched the last Champions League spot.

Expectations for this season, therefore, were rightfully very high. The summer transfer window saw the addition of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento, transfers that seemed very reasonable. It also meant the end of possibly the most entertaining player's tenure in the league, Allan Saint-Maximin, who went to Al Ahli.

Unavailable Players

After a convincing 5-1 win in the season opener, Newcastle lost three in a row, albeit against Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton. But the Magpies were able to turn it around. Come October, Newcastle were close to the European spots, just one point off Tottenham in fifth.

But that’s when the trouble started. First of all, in October, Sandro Tonali who’d been under investigation for breaches against the gambling regulations for professional footballers got his sentence – a ten month suspension.

Secondly, in a game against Manchester United in the beginning of December, starting goalkeeper Nick Pope got a shoulder injury and had to be taken off. The injury was bad enough for him to need surgery. He was first expected to return in March but made his return to first team training just a few days ago.

Lastly, one of Howe’s biggest successes with players as coach, Joelinton, the striker turned centre mid, also sustained an injury in January and is expected to be out for 22 games. That’s two centre mids out.

Those are just the major absences. As of right now, these are the players missing:

  Games Missed
Nick Pope 23
Joelinton 22
Sven Botman 10
Jmaal Lascelles 10
Tino Livramento 9
Callum Wilson 8
Kieran Trippier 8
Miguel Almiron 7
Lewis Miley 7

Away Record

But that doesn’t explain the away record being so bad, only why Newcastle might be underachieving in general. Of course, most teams have a home advantage and Newcastle is no different. It’s the size of the difference that’s remarkable.

Back in 21/22 when they ultimately finished 11th their away points per game (PPG) was 1.00. Last season when they finished fourth, they got on average 1.68 points per away game. In the table below, you can see the difference between home and away records. The difference from the past two seasons is huge.

What makes it even more interesting is that their home points per game is better than it’s ever been, even better than last season. 

Season Home Form Away Form Difference
21/22 1.58 1.00 0.58
22/23 2.05 1.68 0.37
23/24 2.06 0.79 1.27

In the away table, Newcastle has only one point more than Luton, Nottingham Forest and Burnley. 

Home record

Maybe then it’s not a case of Newcastle being that bad away. It’s a case of them being incredible at home. The team right now is missing some of their most important players. With those absences any team would struggle. 

The Saudis have had three windows to strengthen the team and the starting XI is now a lot better than it used to be. But they’re still lacking depth and it shows when there are this many injuries and suspensions. Maybe another season focusing on only the league and adding some depth will be what Newcastle need. Assuming FFP allows it.

At home at St James’ Park there’s a strong mentality, they’re absolute fighters. Just take the West Ham game where they were 1-3 down after 77 minutes and fought back to make it 4-3. And they equalised in the final minutes of the game against both Bournemouth and Luton Town.

Maybe it’s a case of Eddie Howe doing a great job getting those points at home. He’s using the incredible support from the Toon Army, the noise from the steep stands and the long trip for the opposing team to create the fifth best home record in the league with a limited squad.

With eight games to go and 13 points to the European spots, they’re unlikely to get top five, let alone four, this season. At least as long as they don’t fix their away form. 

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