Major takeaways from Newcastle’s season

(Credit: NUFC/ESPN)

Another season for Newcastle is all over. It was a season filled with drama, injuries, and uncertainty over European Football. But in all a season, fans won’t forget that easily. 


The lack of squad depth was Newcastle’s worst enemy.

(Credit: Sky Sports)

This season, Newcastle faced a formidable challenge in the Champions League, competing against powerhouses like Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint Germain, and AC Milan. This demanding group stage took a toll on the squad, showcasing their resilience and the uphill battle they faced. 

It had a knock-on effect on the league because, at times, they suffered with players coming off with fatigue or with injuries at various points this season. The team was missing key players such as Alexander Isak, Harvey Barnes, Anthony Gordon, Kieran Trippier, and more. 

Sandro Tonali was suspended for gambling on football matches, and there was never any real backup in the midfield, which is the team’s weakest area, along with the left-back. 

It was blatantly evident that Eddie Howe had limited options available. That is because Howe’s team needed to cover more of the critical areas in the summer window; there were some welcome additions, but there was a feeling that more work was required for the missing gaps, such as midfield and defence.  

 Eddie Howe proved he is still the right man for Newcastle 

(Credit: Reuters/Scott Heppell)

Despite everything that has happened for Newcastle, whether the injuries or the Tonali ban, Howe has steered his team up into seventh in the Premier League Table.

European Football is on the cards again, thanks to the effort from Howe and his team. There were many obstacles Howe had to overcome this season, but what we’ve seen from him is a transformed Gordon and a front three that are in sync. Not to mention the work he has done with Tino Livramento, who has blown people away with his performances during the times he has started this season. 

There was a lot of pressure on Howe this season, but he has come out of it alright; it was always going to be one of Newcastle’s most challenging seasons because of the incredible achievement of the season before finishing in the top four. 

But despite everything, he has gotten this current squad to be as one, a togetherness, an environment that has suited the players and gives them the chance to go out. Howe understands the club’s ambitions and the passion of what the fans crave. 

The work he puts in on the training ground is another accolade to give credit for as well because, again this season, we have just seen players go up another level and work hard to deliver every matchday; he’s managed to fight on all three fronts and has the chance again next season to play European Football once again. Howe has also secured back-to-back top-ten finishes in the Premier League since Sir Bobby Robson as manager. 

Howe has earned another season and keeps the doubters quiet about whether he should be there long-term because, right now, no one is better suited to lead the club in its early stages of rising towards the top than Howe. 

 Anthony Gordon is the most improved player 

(Credit: GettyImages/Serena Taylor)

Before the new Premier League season kicked off, Anthony Gordon was competing in the under-21s Euros with England, and a lot of the conversation was about how impressed Gordon was on the right wing. 

Gordon kept that same form all season when he wasn’t injured and quickly recovered from some of his injuries. There were many times this season when Newcastle needed a game-changer. 

Gordon just happened to be that if it was with a simple pass across to Isak or curling one in from a few yards out as he did against Manchester City. He has blown Toon fans away from his consistent performances this season, which have left fans debating about whether he should or should not be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. 

Gordon on the right wing has strengthened Newcastle’s attacking front three in a way that has left every fan excited and wanting more. Gordon’s first full season in black and white has been impressive, but he is only just starting to reach the surface. 

St James’ Park is once again a fortress

(Credit: True Faith)

One match that all Newcastle fans will remember was their first Champions League home game of the season when they hosted Paris Saint Germain and won resoundingly 4-1.

The fans that night were loud, jumping and waving their scarves. Every matchday, some teams find it challenging to break down Newcastle at home because the atmosphere inside the stadium is intense. 

With the club’s newfound ambition, the fans have been excited and happy to be supporters of Newcastle United. In almost every home game, you’ll see a banner made by the fan group Wor Flags and the black and white flags as a display. 

It puts the extra mile on the club who now want to go out there and reward their fans, like the last 25 minutes of the West Ham Game, for the support that they provide and makes it a difficult task for whatever away team is travelling because there is pressure on them due to the home supporters being on their back for all 90 minutes.

As long as Newcastle is on the up and there is a potential stadium expansion, expect the atmosphere at St James’ Park to be like the scenes of the entertainers or the Bobby Robson era. Again, go the extra mile because the fans are happy to see their club showing ambition and a desire to win every game.  

Stricken by FFP 

(Credit: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

Newcastle and many other clubs had to abide by the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, which kept them from making more signings in the transfer window.

The club’s commercial revenue is still low due to the lack of sponsorships from the previous era. Only this season has the club announced many multi-year partnerships, which you hope for their sake can boost their revenue in the long term. 

Finding space with the wage bill can be difficult because some club players earn quite a high wage. 

The club may have had some other players to sign apart from the core three they made, but with how strict FFP is, they wanted to avoid taking a risk and being subject to a points deduction like Everton and Nottingham Forest were this season. 

The current rules are under discussion, with a new spending cap proposed, and to be discussed at the Premier League’s upcoming annual general meeting. However, Newcastle is a question of what-ifs and what they could have done this season to help with the restrictions. 

Should they have sold players such as Miguel Almiron or Paul Dummett? 

There was no harm in trying, but it was finding options for the club to sell them to due to the nature of wages and quality of players listed for transfers.

FPP, for now, will still be an area of struggle because, firstly, there is an argument that they are still holding on to the players due to the sentimental value and work they did, with the other part being how many of them do not want to leave the club.

Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak are essential for the club’s futures

(Credit: BBC Sport) 

Isak scored 40 goals this season, and Guimares has proved how integral he is to the midfield with his ability to compete in midfield battles and, with one pass, can start an attacking movement.

In some instances this season, they have been the game changer in late moments or games when goals or just a chance is needed because, as has been the case this season with the team this season where they’ve needed a bit of Bruno magic or an Isak goal to get them over the edge.

Those two, along with Gordon, are untouchable for the club, and with Tonali coming back next season, there will be a complete Newcastle squad that is packed and filled with more quality than this season.

Having them on the first team can also be an example of how it attracts other high-quality players to Newcastle United’s exciting new era.

The final verdict

(Credit: ESPN/NUFC)

Newcastle has been on an emotional ride, experiencing the glamour of the Champions League, the lows of injuries, and a suspension for their biggest summer signing. It was a challenging season, but it ended with a second consecutive top-ten finish and a chance at European Football.