In our series of discussion Saturday, we will analyze various aspects of Newcastle United, one of the most biggest clubs in England in terms of fan following
Dhaka Tribune Sports has decided to discuss last year’s performance, and potential of the teams in the forthcoming English Premier League, scheduled to kick off on September 12, provided the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t cause havoc.
In our series of discussion Saturday, we will analyze various aspects of Newcastle United, one of the most biggest clubs in England in terms of fan following.
Supporting an English football club involves passion, joy, ecstasy and on the other side agony and sometimes sheer bewilderment.
Unfortunately, the devotees of Newcastle, one of the oldest, revered and important clubs have been going through the negative emotions over the last few decades.
At the turn of the century, in 1999, Newcastle were the fifth highest revenue-generating club in the world, and second in England just behind Manchester United.
But the financial musclepower was never transmitted properly as they failed to win any silverware in that time, and gradually descended to such a low that they were relegated twice in the new century albeit to their credit, returned to the top flight in the first time of asking.
Although they remained among the top 20 richest club in the world, the fans never felt the advantage of it as their owner Mike Ashley never really showed much interest on spending big.
However, rumors of Saudi Arabia taking over the club pumped their hope of bringing success like Manchester City and Chelsea, but recently the Middle Eastern country pulled off their interest ending the Magpies’ big dreams.
It was not only the financial power, Newcastle always produced some of the biggest names but even with the presence of Alan Shearer, the most prolific English striker, and Sir Bobby Robson, who also coached the side, the Toon failed to add any league trophy since 1927 when they won their fourth title.
Rafael Benitez, the UCL winning coach, planned big after helping the side return to the EPL in the 2017 season, but lack of spending and other disputes saw him leave the club, and EPL altogether, and with new coach Steve Bruce, an experienced English coach, the side ended 13th with 44 points.
The Geordies always looked like a combative, tough side who may give hard time to the big teams, but they lacked the quality, something present among the big sides, that saw them finish in the bottom half of the table.
However, some of their players made eye-catching performances.
Brazilian Joelinton joined the Tyneside outfit for a record fee of 40m pounds last year, but the 24-year old striker could fetch just one goal in the league that brought criticism from many corners.
However, his contract has been extended and he became the highest earner in the club and it is assumed that he will shine this year.
Portuguese midfielder Miguel Almiron was another big signing and like Joelinton he did not shine enough, but expected to do much better in the forthcoming campaign.
The 31-year old Serbian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was adjudged player of the year for Newcastle in 2019, while the likes of Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin were impressive for the midtable side.
Magpies are heavily linked with Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, who had a brilliant year despite his club getting relegated, but a fee of around 40m pounds may be too much for the Newcastle authority at the moment.
They have been trying to add some fringe players for free or low cost and yet their transfer ambition is not much visible.
All in all, it seems Magpies are set to target another year in the mid-table.