It was January 1922 the last time Newcastle United completed three consecutive wins against Manchester United.
All those victories were in the league, with an aggregate score of ten goals to three. Forgotten scores from a bygone age.
That third win in a row lifted NUFC to eleventh in the league table, whilst Man U remained rock bottom and would later be relegated, winning only eight of their forty-two match campaign.
Five years later, Newcastle United were league champions, although we did suffer the ignominy of losing at Old Trafford en route to the title, Manchester United having been promoted back to the top flight.
This Saturday, we can win a third consecutive game against the Salfords for the first time in over a century. Let that sink in for a moment because it is a quite staggering statistic.
After that trio of wins in the early 1920s, we had our best run of form against this lot, winning twelve and losing five from seventeen fixtures, before a hat-trick of losses between September 1935 and August 1937 ended that purple patch.
Over the course of my lifetime, we have only won three times at Old Trafford and that is the crux of it, because St James’ Park has at least witnessed some fantastic wins against the red devils in recent years, although I’d be the first to admit there haven’t been nearly as many as I would have wished.
I was privileged to see the latest of those extremely rare victories at Old Trafford at the beginning of November and wrote about me and the lad’s exploits for The Mag. What an evening we had, despite the obstacles that Highways England put in our way.
We go into Saturday’s fixture on the back of hammering Chelsea and a truly inspirational performance at the Parc de Princes where we were denied a famous victory by a disgraceful decision from the VAR officials and the referee, who hadn’t the nerve to stick with his original decision when sent to the monitor.
I sincerely hope our exploits in the French capital won’t adversely affect our performance this Saturday. Whilst it seems like we’re running on empty with limited options from the bench, we at least have an additional day to recover, with Man United playing in Instanbul the night after our game in Paris.
Manchester United somehow, inexplicably, sit above us in the Premier League table. Let’s face it, they have been quite rubbish, and for all the money they’ve spent, almost as embarrassing as Chelsea. Whilst they have won eight of their thirteen league encounters so far, on closer examination, the explanation as to why they’re in such an elevated position falls into place.
Put simply, their eight wins have been at the expense of teams in the bottom half of the table. In the process they’ve scored fourteen and conceded four. How on earth they managed to overcome an Everton team on Sunday who should have been out of sight by half time, goodness only knows (well, actually we do know, Everton are even worse).
As for games against those in the top half of the table, a very different story emerges. Played four, goals scored two, goals against eleven.
To underline just how poor this lot are when up against decent opponents, you can add to those four league defeats, three losses in Europe where they’ve leaked eleven goals whilst falling apart in Munich and Copenhagen, as well as at home to Galatasaray.
Then there was our three-nil rout in the Carabao Cup and for anyone that is keeping tabs, they also lost at home to Palace in the league, who aren’t even in the top half of the table.
In writing this, I sincerely hope I’m not jinxing anything, but depleted squad or not, I just cannot see us not breaking that one hundred year hoodoo come Saturday evening. HTL.