Harty: Newcastle performance a double-edged sword?

American Express Community Stadium
American Express Community Stadium

They say the stats don’t lie, more than 70% possession, a goal ruled out for a marginal offside, another one cleared off the line by a Newcastle defender, attractive, exciting football yet at the end of the 90 mins, a 0-0 stalemate and a solitary point.

It’s a funny old game…….

What would fans rather have had, eight or nine men behind the ball, limited possession, very few sorties into the opponent’s penalty area, but for the same one-point return?

For football fans social media is very much the court of public opinion now, and the Albion are no different.

Graham Potter is six league games into his tenure as boss, but with on the face of it difficult next two games, a visit to Chelsea and then a home lunchtime TV date with Spurs the following Saturday, a few fans are already beginning to write Potter and the Albion off. From the outset, I’ve always said that games against the top six, i.e. 12 in total home and away, are effectively a ‘free hit’, we don’t expect to win them, so anything we get is a bonus.

So, there’s a fair chance that after the next 180 minutes, the Albion might themselves below the dreaded ‘Black line’ that separates 17th and 18th place in the Premier League.

And one fan went as far as to say on social media, that once we went in the bottom three, we would stay there all the time Potter was in charge.

A tad harsh?

Injuries are clearly playing a part, but I’m happier at this point of the season than I was for most of last, and that’s not doing Chris Hughton a disservice, Graham Potter plays it differently, Tony Bloom obviously knew this when he went after him.

Even after six games its clear who are in Albion’s mini league.

The goals will come, with them the victories and the all-important points, Chelsea and Spurs, whatever current crisis they are going through, are not teams the Albion need to take points off.

That said Chelsea are still looking for their first home league win under Frank Lampard, and even the most diehard is already using the words ‘season of transition’, I travel to Chelsea’s Kings Road this Saturday, for a day out with two good mates who follow the Blues, expecting nothing more than a great day out, and knowing the Albion will venture into the Chelsea half on more than one occasion.

What more can you ask for, apart from divine intervention? And that might yet happen.

n Sadly, I lost my Dad on Monday morning, and somewhat ironically when the nursing home phoned me, I was at Hove Station looking out at the site of the Goldstone Ground where he took me 46 and a half years ago to watch my first ever Albion game.

April 23 1973, Easter Monday, and so that day trip, started my love affair with the Albion and consigned me to years of frustration and disappointment.

Thanks Dad, if you’d taken me fishing instead, I wouldn’t be writing this column, wouldn’t have been part of the fanzine movement or even had my ‘eventful’ radio career, then again, I probably wouldn’t have grey hair!

Rest in peace old mate.