The biggest criticism that the team should receive this season is centered around their inconsistent level of urgency. There were times this season when Newcastle were hyped up and ready to take on elite teams, but there were several occasions where the Toon let mediocre, bottom-half clubs run all over them.
That being said, the expectation was not for Newcastle to win every game against opponents of equal or less quality, but they were expected to compete in all those games. In the second half of the season when Newcastle hosted several bottom-half sides at St. James’ Park they did handle business by earning crucial wins against teams like Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Burnley and Southampton, to name a few.
If only the Toon had the same level of urgency in the following games:
- Cardiff City 0-0 Newcastle
- Newcastle 0-3 West Ham
- West Ham 2-0 Newcastle
- Newcastle 0-0 Fulham
- Southampton 0-0 Newcastle
- Newcastle 0-1 Brighton
There were a few other games in which Newcastle could have done more, but these six stand out like a sore thumb. An occasional slip-up is normal and expected for any team in the Premier League, but Newcastle need better mental preparation in the 2019-20 campaign when they face mid-table sides.