West Ham v Fulham: the psychology and the predictions

This has not been a good year for West Ham – indeed it was not a good end to the old year either.

Among the low points there was the end of the year defeat to Burnley, the FA Cup trauma against AFC Wimbledon, and now five games without a win.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United L 2-0
02 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Brighton and Hove Albion D 2-2
05 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Birmingham City FAC W 2-0
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal W 1-0
19 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United L 2-0
26 Jan 2019 AFC Wimbledon v West Ham United FAC L 4-2
29 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United L 3-0
04 Feb 2019 West Ham United v Liverpool D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v West Ham United D 1-1

Normally comparing Fulham with any other team, Fulham come off worst, but not in this case…

29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2
12 Jan 2019 Burnley v Fulham L 2-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur L 1-2
29 Jan 2019 Fulham v Brighton and Hove Albion W 4-2
02 Feb 2019 Crystal Palace v Fulham L 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Fulham v Manchester United L 0-3

Fulham across the same period also have two wins – beating Huddersfield (who seem to find it impossible to beat anyone) and Brighton (which was more of a surprise).  But otherwise it is defeats all the way.

Fulham of course are still relegation favourites however while West Ham are solidly mid-table.  It would take a continuing collapse in confidence for West Ham to slip below 12th position – but a defeat in this game could well give them that dark feeling.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
10 West Ham United 26 9 6 11 32 39 -7 33
11 AFC Bournemouth 26 10 3 13 37 47 -10 33
12 Leicester City 26 9 5 12 31 34 -3 32
13 Crystal Palace 26 7 6 13 27 34 -7 27
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 26 7 6 13 28 39 -11 27
15 Burnley 26 7 6 13 29 47 -18 27
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

Looking at the home only games West Ham are not that impressive

Home games only

11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17
14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15

Five wins and five defeats at home and a goal difference at the “London Stadium” of minus one is not impressive for a club that seem to start each season with the owners suggesting they have major aspirations.

But they are playing Fulham, a team whose away record is beyond catastrophic

Away games only

17 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

No wins, two draws.  The Fulham team psychologist will have to perform miracles in order to get the players of Fulham to believe that they can get their first away win.  They will need luck, and a collapse in belief by WHU.  It could happen, but a 2-0 win to WHU seems more likely.

Cardiff City v Watford: the psychology and the predictions

Cardiff City are moderately placed in the home games league table

Home matches only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25
7 AFC Bournemouth 13 7 3 3 25 17 8 24
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 6 3 5 20 19 1 21
9 Everton 14 6 3 5 21 21 0 21
10 Watford 13 6 2 5 17 18 -1 20
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17

But they have lost more game at home than they have won, and their goal difference is particularly poor for a home team.

Watford away from home look more convincing and at this stage of the season that certainly can affect the psychology of the team.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26
5 Chelsea 13 7 1 5 19 20 -1 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Arsenal 13 5 3 5 25 26 -1 18
8 Leicester City 14 5 3 6 18 21 -3 18
9 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17

A positive goal difference (ok just +1 but still better than Cardiff at home) and a balance of wins and losses – four of each.

From the start of the year Cardiff have not had the best of times – there has of course been the terrible trauma of their attempted transfer which ended in a tragic plane crash – and on the pitch things have been difficult…

01 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-3
05 Jan 2019 Gillingham v Cardiff City FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City L 3-0
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City W 1-2

Watford on the other hand have had a much better run

02 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Watford D 3-3
06 Jan 2019 Woking v Watford FAC W 0-2
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford W 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Watford FAC W 0-2
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford D 0-0
09 Feb 2019 Watford v Everton W 1-0
15 Feb 2019 Queens Park Rangers v Watford FAC W 0-1

Only one defeat in this run since the start of the new year, and that against high-flying Tottenham – otherwise it is progress both in the league and the cup.

True, the FA Cup run might well disrupt their focus a little, now that they are in the sixth round, but it should be noted that they are very much in the habit of not losing.  Cardiff on the other hand have lost four league matches and won just two.

But those two wins were the last two games played by Cardiff, beating Bournemouth and Southampton.  That will help Cardiff’s morale.

I suspect the best Cardiff can expect is a draw, and that they will be happy with that.  Cardiff have lost their last two games against Watford (one in the Championship, one in the Premier League) and so a draw will be an improvement.

Overall Cardiff are still possibles for relegation, so every point they can get could help – and with Southampton away to Arsenal (who have a very strong home record) it could help them pull one further point away from the bottom three.

Home and away

Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

I’ll go for a draw because of the boost of recent Cardiff results, but a decent Watford game could give them the victory by 1-2, as they must be feeling able to beat any team lower than them in the league.  The only thing that could disturb their psychology, is thoughts of the FA Cup.

Arsenal v Southampton: the predictions, the form and the psychology

It was a defeat away to Southampton that started Arsenal on a downward turn earlier in the season after a very long unbeaten run.  But Arsenal’s away form is nothing like their home form, and so they should feel confident.

However Southampton will enter the game knowing that they did give Arsenal a rough time of it at their home ground.  So who will come out on top?

Arsenal’s home form remains very positive

Home games only…

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25

Whereas Southampton’s away form is anything but positive…

Away games only

15 Southampton 13 3 3 7 13 23 -10 12
16 AFC Bournemouth 13 3 0 10 12 30 -18 9
17 Brighton and Hove 13 2 2 9 12 24 -12 8
18 Cardiff City 13 2 2 9 9 24 -15 8
19 Huddersfield Town 12 1 3 8 8 26 -18 6
20 Fulham 13 0 2 11 8 32 -24 2

The goal difference of the two clubs looks significant as well: Arsenal have scored 28 and conceded 11 at home, while Southampton have scored 13 and conceded 23 away.   Just on average scores Arsenal should win 2-1, but if we take into account that Arsenal do have a powerful forward line who can exploit the situation against lower positioned clubs, it would be foolish to bank against Arsenal getting three or four.  One might also look out for a couple of goals coming in the last ten minutes of the game as Southampton wilt.

Of course, Arsenal’s form this year has not been what was hoped for by Arsenal fans…

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City W 2-1
03 Feb 2019 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-1
09 Feb 2019 Huddersfield Town v Arsenal W 1-2
14 Feb 2019 FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal Europa L 1-0

But although the figures for this year read five wins and four defeats, only one of those defeats was at Arsenal Stadium.

Southampton from the start of the year…

02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0
05 Jan 2019 Derby County v Southampton FAC D 2-2
12 Jan 2019 Leicester City v Southampton W 1-2
16 Jan 2019 Southampton v Derby County FAC L 2-2 (3-5)
19 Jan 2019 Southampton v Everton W 2-1
30 Jan 2019 Southampton v Crystal Palace D 1-1
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City L 1-2

Of the eight matches, four were away from home, resulting in one win, three draws and no defeats.   And this is where Southampton will start to find confidence.  Their last away defeat was back on 8 December, away to Cardiff, and for them a draw would be a victory.

But looking at the January scores Southampton have never scored more than two goals in a match, and although Arsenal’s defence is widely noted to be not of the best, Southampton probably recognise that knocking in two past Arsenal in London is going to be tough.

It can happen that a team will put two or more past Arsenal on their own patch – but it is rare…

Date Match Res Score Competition
12 Aug 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-2 Premier League
20 Sep 2018 Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava W 4-2 Europa League
02 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 4-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2 League Cup
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United L 1-3 FA Cup

It has happened five times this season that teams have scored two or more goals against Arsenal at the Arsenal Stadium.  Of those five Arsenal still won the match twice.  The other three games were against top six clubs, which suggests Southampton are going to have to have a wonderful day, while Arsenal will have very much an off day for Southampton to get anything from the game…

And Arsenal have another incentive as the league table shows

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 27 21 2 4 74 20 54 65
2 Liverpool 26 20 5 1 59 15 44 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur 26 20 0 6 54 25 29 60
4 Manchester United 26 15 6 5 52 35 17 51
5 Arsenal 26 15 5 6 53 37 16 50
6 Chelsea 26 15 5 6 45 29 16 50

Three clubs are chasing fourth position in the league, and there is only one point and one goal between them.  No one wants to slip up, and extra goals really could count at the end of the season.

Burnley v Tottenham: the predictions and the psychology

Tottenham Hotspur may be third in the league, with only the most optimistic of their supporters thinking they might overtake both of the clubs above them to win the league in colour (as their manager suggested the other day), but when it comes to away form, they are supreme.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26

Over two goals a game away from home scored, and only two matches all season that they have not won.  It is quite a remarkable record.

This form hasn’t come completely out of the blue (they were second in the away league last season) but it is an improvement.  Last season they had four away draws and five away defeats by the end of the season.

Burnley at home however are in the lower part of the league

Home games only

14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15
15 Leicester City 12 4 2 6 13 13 0 14
16 Burnley 12 4 2 6 15 22 -7 14
17 Crystal Palace 13 3 4 6 9 12 -3 13
18 Newcastle United 13 4 1 8 12 18 -6 13
19 Southampton 13 2 6 5 15 21 -6 12
20 Huddersfield Town 14 1 2 11 6 22 -16 5

15 goals scored at home and 22 conceded.   On the basis of home and away form this looks very much like Tottenham’s game.

The only thing that might work in Burnley’s favour is Tottenham’s champions league game (this preview being written before that is played).  But other than that there is not too much to unsettle the team.  There have been three defeats in the last seven games, which is unusual, but the last three have been won.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham H v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham H  FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Tottenham H v Newcastle United W 1-0
10 Feb 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City W 3-1

Burnley however are having a tougher time of it

19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC L 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Burnley D 2-2
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley W 1-3

The draw with Manchester United game them some hope but otherwise it looks like Tottenham all the way.  I can’t see any psychological factor that will be likely to get in the way.

Manchester City v Chelsea: the predictions and the psychology

Having a long winning streak can give a big boost to players, but ending a winning streak with a poor defeat can really knock a team back.

In the space of five days Manchester City lost to Crystal Palace at home and Leicester City away in December while Liverpool went on a winning run and extended their league at the top.

22 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Crystal Palace L 2-3
26 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Manchester City L 2-1
30 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester City W 1-3
03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool W 2-1
14 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 3-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City W 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City L 2-1
03 Feb 2019 Manchester City v Arsenal W 3-1
06 Feb 2019 Everton v Manchester City W 0-2

The defeat against Newcastle suggested more wobbles but the two recent wins, combined with wobbles by Liverpool has given them a real boost.

Chelsea on the other hand have had more wobbles still…

02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0 Premier League
12 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Newcastle United W 2-1 Premier League
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea L 2-0 Premier League
30 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea L 4-0 Premier League
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Premier League

Just two wins in five games this year, and both those against very beatable opponents.   5-0 against Huddersfield won’t wipe out the memories of the defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea and this fact alone makes a Manchester City win look very likely indeed.

Chelsea away are doing ok… seven wins in 12 games is a good return, although their overall goal difference is only five goals.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
5 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22

But when we compare this to Manchester City’s home form we find that the chances of a Chelsea win are seriously diminished, not least by the fact that Manchester City score over three goals a game on average and concede only one, when at home.

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 13 12 0 1 43 11 32 36
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28

With Chelsea’s recent wobble and Manchester City’s revival – plus their home form – I can’t see this as anything other than a Manchester City win.

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal: how Town can get a point – or maybe three.

This ought to be a simple walkover, what with Huddersfield being at the bottom of the league and looking certain to go back down to the Championship…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Southampton 25 5 9 11 27 42 -15 24
17 Burnley 25 6 6 13 26 46 -20 24
18 Cardiff City 25 6 4 15 22 46 -24 22
19 Fulham 25 4 5 16 25 55 -30 17
20 Huddersfield Town 25 2 5 18 13 46 -33 11

So what makes us pause even for a second?

The answer of course is Arsenal’s away form…

Away games only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
5 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
8 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal needed to up their away form this season if they were going to improve on their sixth placed finish last season, but have so far only won 4 away games, and having a goal difference of -2.  So when we come to the psychology, this is where worries might start to occur.

But even with Arsenal’s poor form, they have managed 23 goals away from home, almost double Huddersfield’s entire home and away total.

However the psychology twists back the other way as the Town players contemplate their current run of form…

01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove L 1-2
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1
22 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Southampton L 1-3
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town L 3-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley L 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Bristol City v Huddersfield Town FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City L 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Everton L 0-1
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town L 5-0

That is 13 games and all they have to show for it is a single point with an away goalless draw against Cardiff.

Of course a draw would be a great result for the club at the moment and if Arsenal fail to score early on they certainly could begin to get the nerves in the second half.   But Arsenal are the fifth highest scoring away team in the league.  Indeed if we look at the away form table on goals scored we find…

Away games only, by goals scored

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal have scored only one goal fewer than Liverpool and Manchester Utd away, and only two fewer than Manchester City.  A single goal from them on Saturday will mean Huddersfield will have to open up in order to attack.  And here is Arsenal’s hope.  Only three teams in the league have a worse away form in defence than Arsenal: Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Fulham.

If they can hold their nerve, Huddersfield ought to attack Arsenal, aim to get an early goal, and then try and hold on.  It is going to be tough, but it might just unnerve Arsenal and get Huddersfield an unlikely point.  Or three.

Tottenham v Newcastle: the psychology, the predictions

If you haven’t been following the home/away form this season this might come as a shock to you, but Tottenham are not that good at home.   In fact the predictions made to the effect that they would fail to make good in their new home have not yet been tested because of building delays.  But the poor form that was predicted has been shown to be as valid in their temporary home of Wembley

Home form only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25
6 AFC Bournemouth 13 7 3 3 25 17 8 24
7 Tottenham Hotspur 11 7 0 4 20 11 9 21

What this means is that if the normal pattern applies – whiich shows that virtually every team runs into trouble when moving from one stadium to another – Tottenham are going to suffer a double blow.  A poor run at Wembley and a poor run at New White Hart Lane.

The one thing that can save them in this match is Newcastle’s away form

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 12 7 2 3 23 9 14 23
4 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
7 Watford 12 4 4 4 17 16 1 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 4 3 4 11 13 -2 15
10 Crystal Palace 13 4 2 7 18 22 -4 14
11 West Ham United 12 4 2 6 13 19 -6 14
12 Everton 12 3 3 6 15 17 -2 12
13 Newcastle United 11 2 5 4 9 14 -5 11

Newcastle have only won twice away and have only scored nine away goals all season.  Tottenham have scored 20 at “home”.

But there is always a but, and here it is.  Let’s look at Tottenham’s last three home league games

29 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-3
13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United L 0-1
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1

Two defeats in three.  Indeed if we look at their last five games we find three defeats.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur Lge Cup L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1

What we are seeing is a club that is desperate to win something to stop the very long trophy drought, startting to get nerves.   In the space of three days the two competitioins that they had the most realistic chance of winning were lost to them (FA Cup and League Cup).

Are these nerves enough to give Tottenham another defeat?  Newcastle’s last four games suggest that maybe they are

15 Jan 2019 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United FAC W 2-4
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City W 3-0
26 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Watford FAC L 0-2
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City W 2-1

Yes Newcastle went down to Watford, but they then followed that up with a stunning win against Man City.  This could another Newcastle day, and another occasion on which Tottenham wished that they hadn’t chose this particuar route to getting a new stadium.