In the 2022-23 season, Newcastle United is on track to secure a birth into the Champions League, a feat they have not accomplished since the 2002-03 season.
During that season, just like the current one, the club placed third in the Premier League as one of the top teams to be reckoned with.
But, can the team repeat history for the first time in 21 years?
Newcastle United entered the 2002-03 season with high expectations, as the season prior the team narrowly missed out on a Champions League spot after placing fourth.
The high expectations from the public were met with instant results as the Magpies started their season with three big wins. Unfortunately, that was short lasted as the team, led by former Manager Bobby Robson, fell into a slump early in the year.
After winning their three opening games, they proceeded to lose four of the next five, questioning whether or not the team would be able to be a legitimate threat to other opponents.
However, just when doubts began, they were instantly silenced as the Magpies went on a 13-game winning streak.
When the win streak came to a close the team settled into consistent play as they returned to normal form.
Outside of their win steak, the Magpies’ best part of the season came during the spring, just like in the 2022-23 season. Through February the team won six of seven games, pushing themselves to third in the Premier League. During that time they also took down Manchester United in a sweeping 2-1 victory.
While having some hot and cold spells to finish the season, they ultimately placed third, just ahead of Premier League powerhouse Chelsea, who sat in fourth.
Just like the 2002-03 season, the Magpies have had their fair share of ups and downs, with extreme highs and drastic lows.
With three games remaining in the 2022-23 season, the Magpies may be able to repeat history, 21 years since the last time they placed in third. In those 21 years, the closest they came to the top three was placing fifth in the 2003-04 and 2011-12 seasons.
If Newcastle wants to end the Champions League drought, finishing the season on a high note will be important.
The Magpies take on Brighton and Chelsea, two competitive sides, and Leicester City, who is on the brink of relegation.
In the 2002-03 season, they took down Chelsea 2-1, who out of those three were the only team in the Premier League at the time. It would be story-book-like if the Magpies were to place top three, take down Chelsea and secure a spot in the Champions League.
But, in order to get there the team will need to be locked in.
To finish the 2002-03 season they took down two opponents and tied two others. The wins came up against Sunderland and Birmingham City, with the draws coming against Aston Villa and West Bromwich. Simply, Newcastle dominated through the final four games, capping off an impressive season.
As the campaign dwindles to a close, the club will have an opportunity to do what they did so many years ago, but can they do it?
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