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The Race for Top 4 – An Assessment



As we enter the final stretch of the premier league for this season, the race for top 4 is looking mouth watering with Man City now leapfrogging Arsenal in first place while still having a game in hand, Newcastle on the verge of European football once again and Eric Ten Hag looking to secure Champions League football for Man United next season.

With just 4 game weeks left to go, 12 points up for grabs, the league looks set to run right down to the wire which for fans alike, is a dream scenario.

Today, we look at the run in and give our assessment of what we think the teams’ chances are of making top 4 and what they need to do to ensure that.

We have excluded Man City and Arsenal as they both have a 10-point gap already on 3rd.


Newcastle (3rd)

St James Park has been starved of European football for some time now with their last Champions League campaign was in the 2002/2003 season, but with the takeover and the new direction of the club, it is now looking inevitable that they will do it. Having won their last 3 league games and boasting the best defence in the league, there is plenty to suggest that Eddie Howe’s men will snap up third place this season. Eric Ten Hag’s Manchester United are the only problem to that with the Red Devils just two points behind with a game in hand on Newcastle. Having scored 13 goals in their previous 3 matches, Newcastle go into these final fixtures with heaps of much needed momentum to get them over the line.


Man United (4th)

A busy season for United with results being at both ends of the spectrum at times, yet still in The FA Cup having already won The Carabao Cup, Eric Tan Hag will be relying on the momentum and game management of key players to ensure a top 4 finish for United this season. With two games in hand and with favourable fixtures, this one could go right to the very end before we have the answers on who’s going to finish where. With midfield general Casemiro back in the squad after his suspension, that will bring more firepower back for the final stretch. The one thing that could hamper United’s run in is the sheer amount of games they have left to play, with 6 games left to play in the league and an FA Cup Final against Man City, the Red Devils have a lot of games left to play and an injury to a key player or burnout could affect their end to the season.


Liverpool (5th)

Much improved form over the last 5 games have put Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool right back into the race, 4 wins out of their last 5 and draws against Chelsea and Arsenal prior to that is what this Liverpool team have come to expect over the last few years. Injuries and inconsistencies have hampered the reds this year as they haven’t looked themselves this season, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s recent move into midfield in and out of possession seems to have been a masterstroke by Klopp with the narrative being there about Trent for years now. Similarly to what Pep is doing with moving one of his back 4 into the midfield when in possession pushing the back 4 to a back 3, Trent has been flying in this new role and with a big win over Tottenham, they will be going into the remaining games full of confidence and momentum.


Tottenham (6th)

Dropping into 6th shows that the inconsistent results have been Spurs downfall this season having won just 1 out of their previous 5 league games. However, AC Milan beating them in the Champions League in early March means they now only have the league to focus on which is only a benefit for them. Without a manager, they are having to rely on the togetherness of the squad and whilst Hugo Lloris is injured, vice-captain Harry Kane to get them firing and gain momentum going into the final 4 games. However their form over the last 5 games is nothing to get excited about, 3 losses, 1 draw, and 1 win and having conceded 16 goals in that time is a real concern and highlights the problems they are having on the pitch. The match against Liverpool excluding the first 20 minutes actually showed that Spurs can still compete with the leagues heavyweights in a much improved second half. If they can retain that spirit going into the final 4 games, they might be able to climb back up.


Aston Villa (7th)

Unai Emery has completely transformed this Villa side into a real threat as they look to continue their immaculate form into the last 4 games. Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings have been the main men for Villa with Watkins scoring 14 goals this season and Mings being the rock at the back as they have had fantastic defensive displays especially throughout April, 4 clean sheets out of 7. Sitting on equal points to Tottenham on 54, the remaining 4 games for Villa do see them play Tottenham, Liverpool, and Brighton which will be undeniably difficult to navigate but if they can pick up points along the way, they could have a great end to the season.


Brighton (8th)

Brighton have proved many doubters wrong this season, after losing Graham Potter to Chelsea early in the season, many predicted that Brighton would struggle without him and that it would be too much of an ask to retain their form, however De Zerbi has not only managed to prove doubters wrong by keeping Brighton as a real force in the league, but he has also improved them and got them playing with such speed and deadliness. Brighton still have 7 games to go due to postponements with cup ties affecting them the most, 7 games means 21 points is up for grabs however them 7 games are to be played almost back-to-back with games being every 3 or 4 days, and against some tough opposition. With games against Man United, Arsenal, Newcastle, Man City, and Villa, 21 points are available and picking up anything against the heavy hitters of the league can see them elevate higher in the table.


Who do you think will finish in the top 4 and where – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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The fantastic ‘pad’ for seriously ill children and their families, opening in memory of Bradley Lowery



This is the incredible ‘pad’ where sick children can go for a well-deserved break with their families – and it is all in the name of Bradley Lowery.

‘Super Brad’s Pad’ is taking shape and could soon become a haven for people to ‘make memories’.

It will have five bedrooms, play rooms, a hot tub, enclosed garden and lots of other top-notch facilities.

It is all being made possible by the Bradley Lowery Foundation and the fantastic members of the public who are supporting it with donations.
But more help is needed to make sure fundraising targets are hit and here’s your chance to give support.
Bradley’s mum Gemma Lowery, who started the Foundation, said: “Families can spend days, weeks, months in hospital with a seriously ill child and being able to have a short getaway makes the world of difference to all of the families. 

“We want children to have the opportunities Bradley had when he wasn’t in hospital, we want parents to relax and enjoy each others company, away from the day to day life of being in hospital.”

Super Brad’s Pad will cater for up to 10 people per visit, so that ‘grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins can also enjoy being a part of the experience’ said the Foundation.

The aim is for the home to host around 100 families per year.

Fundraising was paused, and the holiday build was put on hold, during the pandemic.

But it is back in full swing and Gemma said the build was ‘coming along nicely’.

She added: “Every donation no matter how big or small means everything to us.”

Bradley touched the hearts of people all over the world. In 2017, he won a Child of Courage trophy at the Best of Wearside Awards.

Bradley lost his fight to neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, in July of 2017.

Gemma founded the Bradley Lowery Foundation and started the charity which became a beacon of hope.

Since it was founded, it has raised more than £3million for dozens of poorly children.

It has also established a dedicated support line for the families of children with cancer, donated huge sums of money to researching childhood cancers and campaigned for new drugs to be introduced in the UK.

Gemma said: “Fundraising is hard for all charities at the moment. We appreciate every penny that is donated, especially because we still have £200,000 to finish the holiday home we are building in Scarborough.”

To found out more about the Foundation, visit

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Karl Darlow set for permanent move away from Newcastle United



After a successful loan spell to Hull City, Karl Darlow is poised for a permanent move away from St. James’.

Hull City manager Liam Rosenior has made it clear he wants to keep a hold of Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Signing for the club in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, he went onto make 100 appearances for the magpies with his debut coming in 2015 under Steve McLaren. His best stint for the club was during the 2020/21 season making 25 appearances. He then saw himself fall out of favour when Martin Dubravka signed for the club and now with Nick Pope cementing the position as his own, Darlow saw himself drop down the pecking order.

Signing for Hull City on loan in January, he has since made 11 appearances keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, with three coming in the last four matches against good opposition in Millwall, Blackburn, and Watford.

“He’s been magnificent since he’s come in,” Rosenior said after Darlow’s clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. “I think he’s massively enjoying working here, I think he’s enjoying the club, he’s settled in with the players really really well.

“What I really like about Karl was as soon as he signed he had his young family come and join him and settle down in the area, and I think that’s helped him. Hopefully we’ll have discussions in the summer about his long-term future.”

Rosenior revealed earlier in the week his intention to keep Darlow at the club, and Hull are believed to be in discussions with Newcastle over making the goalkeeper’s stay at the MKM Stadium permanent – as his loan agreement is believed to have as an option.

Contracted at St. James’ until 2025, it seems as though a permanent move to Hull City would be the best thing for Darlow with his position at Newcastle United seemingly gone.


Where do you think Karl Darlow will be next season – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Our Premier League Team of the Season 2022/2023



With the season drawing to a close, we have put together our Premier League Team of the Season.

In what has been a season that is set to go right down to the very end, it has been yet another spectacular campaign of football with players breaking out on to the scene and some very memorable moments.

Lets have a look at who we have decided is in the starting 11 for the Team of the Season.

The starting 11 was chosen in terms of not only who we think has been the best in those positions, but also who has either exceeded expectations but also who has done exactly what was expected of them in their position.

Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman mean Newcastle United make up 60% of the defence in this team, but for good reason. This season, the magpies are currently bosting the best defence in the league conceding the least amount of goals, 24 to be precise.

William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko make up the remaining two spots in the defence, the Arsenal duo have had a great campaign with the gunners still sat top of the league and looking to get their first league title in nearly 20 years.

A midfield three of Casemiro, Keving De Bruyne, and Martin Odegaard, three players so vital to their clubs and all having a wonderful season, it’s hard to put anyone else in there over them.

Up top, we have a front three of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland as all three players have had goals, influence, and star power in their clubs to push them to the very top this season.

The substitutes include top of the league goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, which seems harsh to leave him out of the starting squad but up against Nick Pope, either could go in and it would be a good decision, but Ramsdale just makes it onto our bench.

Ben Mee has had a cracking season with Brentford seeing them looking set to enjoy a top half finish with him at the heart of defence. Luke Shaw gets on the bench after a solid season under Ten Hag at United.

Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Harry Kane are the remaining players on the bench, all have had a fantastic season but unfortunately only make the bench for this squad.

Roberto De Zerbi is the manager of the season for us, having joined Brighton in September following Graham Potter’s departure, many thought this spelt the end of Brighton’s good fortunes in the Premier League, but not only did De Zerbi do better than expected of him, he has taken a very good Brighton and Hove Albion team and improved them navigating them to a top half finish.

Manchester City only see two players in this team, although they have had a great season, the rotation of the team sees a great team instead of individual players, which is a testament to how Pep Guardiola wants his teams to be.


Premier League 22/23 Team of the Season:

Nick Pope (GK), Kieran Trippier, William Saliba, Sven Botman, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Casemiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland.


Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Mee, Luke Shaw, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexis Mac Allister, Gabriel Martinelli, Harry Kane

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)


Who would you put in your Premier League Team of the Season – Let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –


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