Are Newcastle replicating Leicester City’s 2015-16 season?

Chris Matthews-Darby Roar Rookie

By , Chris Matthews-Darby is a Roar Rookie

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    Okay, I’m going to start this piece off by saying that I am a diehard Newcastle Jets fan.

    I’ve seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over the past seven finals-less years, and the 18 years that I have supported Newcastle. I say that because I’m going to compare the beginning of Newcastle’s 2017-18 season to Leicester City’s 2015-16.

    Yes, I know this is crazy… but let me show you the similarities.

    At the beginning of the 2015-16 season Leicester were relegation favourites, they had some good players but no big names. Their manager was one of the oldest in Premier League and he had been around a few times.

    In Leicester’s first six matches they won three and drew three. They scored 13 goals and had conceded nine. Their 12 points had them in third position.

    Riyad Mahrez led the way scoring five goals while Jamie Vardy wasn’t far behind with four. Marc Albrighton, Shinji Okazaki, Ritchie De Laet, and Nathan Dyer also contributed to goals.

    Their opposition? Sunderland, West Ham, Tottenham, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, and Stoke City. Their first loss after seven matches came against, the first real challenge (not counting Tottenham) Arsenal. They lost 5-2 that match.

    At the beginning of the 2017-18 not much was expected of Newcastle, they recruited well by seven consecutive seasons without reaching the top six. They have some good players but no real big names.

    Ben Kantarovski Newcaslte Jets

    (AAP Image/Darren Pateman)

    Their manager is the oldest and most experienced in the A-League, Ernie Merrick who won two championships at Melbourne Victory, but Wellington finished ninth on the table twice and he quit in the early stages of the 2016-17 season.

    In Newcastle’s first six matches they have won four matches and have drawn two. They have scored 15 goals and conceded six. Their 14 points has them in first position.

    Roy O’Donovan leads the way on the goal scoring charts with seven goals. Dimitri Petratos isn’t too far behind on three goals. Ben Kantarovski, Andrew Nabbout, and Joe Champness have also contributed to goals.

    Their opposition? Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Western Sydney Wanderers, Wellington Phoenix, and Adelaide United. Their seventh match of the season is against Sydney FC. The A-League record breakers and defending champions. However they are coming off their first defeat in 15 matches.

    Leicester defied all the odds to win the Premier League in 2015-16. They won the league by 10 points, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United all had disappointing seasons, while Liverpool and Chelsea finished further down than they would expect.

    Leicester City English Premier League trophy 2016

    (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Melbourne City have looked strong so far this season, and despite Sydney FC’s slow-ish start to the season, it’s still a lot better than half of the league and as defending champions they can never be counted out.

    However Western Sydney Wanderers have had five draws in six matches, Perth have won two but loss three. Central Coast Mariners, Adelaide United, and Wellington Phoenix all have won victory to their name but it’s hard to see them challenging to the title.

    While Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory seem to be the Liverpool and Chelsea in this scenario. They are both winless after six matches and look like finishing behind the rest of the pack.

    Now this doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. There were a lot of awesome sporting achievements in 2016 not just Leicester City, plus Newcastle can crumble to the ground in true Newcastle fashion, they may not finish first, they may not go on to win the title.

    But there are a lot similarities and if anything, reading this will make sleeping a lot easier for Jets fans like myself.

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