The Newcastle United fans have been in fine spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week since their side recorded a huge 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium to move within 2 points of the magic 40-point mark.
Plenty has been made of the 40-point mark throughout the Premier League era and, it has become widely accepted that this tally ensures survival in the top-flight of English football. Based on the current table at this moment in time, it seems that notion will prove to be the case once again this year.
Much to the delight of the Toon Army propping up our bar in the tavern, Newcastle are agonisingly close to that total and, they have a great opportunity to take the final step over the finishing line against Arsenal at St James’ Park this weekend. Rafa Benitez’s side have already proven they have the mentality to record victory over a top-six side, as they battled to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United back in February.
The Magpies will need to emulate the quality and spirit they demonstrated against United that weekend and, one player who could single-handedly make the difference on Sunday afternoon is Ayoze Perez (valued at £7.2 million by Transfermarkt). Perez has been heavily criticised by Newcastle supporters this season for his lack of quality and composure in the final-third, but he has slowly begun to silence his doubters in recent weeks.
The technical Spaniard scored a priceless winning goal against Huddersfield at St James’ almost a fortnight ago before scoring and assisting during Newcastle’s victory over Leicester last weekend. His work-rate and determination for the cause has never been in doubt, as the quality of his end-product has been the main concern for the supporters this season.
However, his contribution in Newcastle’s most recent fixtures perhaps suggests he has turned a corner in his development and, if he continue to perform in the same vein this weekend then he might just ensure his side breach the 40-point mark with 5 fixtures left to spare.
Perez is not blessed with blistering pace, but he is agile, creative, and skilful on the ball, so if he utilises these skills around Arsenal’s penalty-area on Sunday then there’s no doubt he will have opportunities to fire Newcastle to victory.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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