The 2018-19 Premier League campaign is now behind us, but what did we learn about Newcastle United from August to May?
Supporters are divided when it comes down to handing a final verdict regarding the overall performance of Newcastle United this season. Some supporters rate the Magpies’ performances as mediocre at best, while others are more sympathetic to the financial circumstances at the club. My opinion is a mix of both, however, I do think Newcastle could have done more in some games and at least hit the 50-point mark.
Regardless of public opinion, though, Newcastle did meet their primary objective of avoiding relegation, and they did so, mathematically, with three games remaining on their schedule. Last season, the Toon managed to earn a top ten finish with 44 points, but this time around finishing tenth in the standings would have required 52 points, so it goes to show that the competition has improved.
Still, knowing that Newcastle were winless in their first ten games of the season, a time period which spans three months, and they still managed to finish in 13th place with 45 points truly is impressive. The Magpies played like a top eight side from January to May, especially at St. James’ Park, and this enabled the team to comfortably stay out of the relegation zone.
Now that the season is over, all eyes will be on Rafa Benitez and at least five key players who might be leaving Tyneside. Benitez is set to meet with Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley this week and the Spaniard’s decision to stay or leave will also impact what actions some players will take. Before we start looking forward, though, let us analyze what we learned about Newcastle this season.