Newcastle: Clock is ticking for the Magpies
Less than two months ago, the city of Newcastle came to a standstill as thousands of supporters gathered on the streets to celebrate what they believed was a new era.
After years of merely surviving in the Premier League, the Magpies' fans believed, and still do, that their £305million Saudi Arabia-backed takeover would be the start of a whirlwind few years.
But football has a unique way of bringing even the most optimistic fans down to earth, and it looks like the current coaching staff had barely even scratched the surface when it comes to overcoming their problems.
Transfer window the least of Newcastle's worries
Some of football's biggest names have been linked with a move to St James' Park, while Steve Bruce lasted less than two weeks before he agreed to move on after a tough time at his boyhood club.
Eddie Howe was the man that the new Newcastle board trusted to lead them away from trouble, but things have been far from easy.
Newcastle are yet to win this season, and they are already seven points away from climbing out of the bottom three.
That could get worse, with other teams around them having the advantage of a game in hand.
It might be December, but Newcastle played their first six-pointer of the season on Tuesday, and they failed to beat Norwich, who are now three points above them.
But that's the thing, while news outlets and fans have been discussing the next blockbuster signing at Newcastle, the Magpies have been flapping against the wind, and they are slowly losing ground on their rivals.
Time for passionate Magpies to wake up
Newcastle's supporters feel like the previous owner was holding them back, and relief was the main feeling in the northeast back in October.
While their form has improved of late thanks to three draws in four games, they are still struggling to get some wins under their belt.
Howe's arrival should mean their football is easier to watch, but the former Bournemouth coach is not known for his defensive tactics.
The recent evidence suggests his break from management has not helped that area of the game, with Newcastle already conceding six goals in his three games at the helm.
Four of those goals have come against Brentford and Norwich - two sides who were expected to be fighting relegation this season.
If the Newcastle faithful think everything will be rosy once they get to January, they better lower their expectations and quickly.
They've picked up seven points from 14 games, and the fixture list suggests that might not improve anytime soon.
Howe's men will welcome Burnley to St James' Park on Saturday, and if they lose to the Clarets, they will be five points off their rivals, who also have a game in hand over them.
Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United come next, while they face Everton and Southampton at the turn of the year.
"Not only do they have to buck the trend of winless matches, but also that of sides going this far without a victory staying in the Premier League - as current record holders Sheffield United will vouch for!"
Newcastle need key duo to step up
The form of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin is crucial to Newcastle's chances, but what's to say they will not pick up an injury when the games mount up during the Christmas period?
If Newcastle want to attract Premier League talent, they cannot be out of the picture come Christmas.
Their financial situation will make contract talks run smoother, but there's a realistic chance that they could be playing in the second tier in less than 12 months.
Norwich's recent upturn in fortunes will only add to Newcastle's woes, and they face a make or break five weeks.
If they can pick up a surprise win or two against some of the biggest teams, Howe has something to work with when improving his squad in January.
Anything less, and it could be time to tear up their current plans and prepare for a season in the Championship.
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