Newcastle United finished off the season in the 13th place amongst the twenty teams in the English top tier. The club also made noise off the field too when the potential £300m takeover talks were underway. When the takeover by the Saudi owners looked achievable, the pandemic struck the globe, and the acquisition was put off. This is one of the huge disappointments for the club apart from Joelinton.
On the other hand, the “Toon Army” had a season of ups and downs. The club failed to climb to the upper half of the points table owing to some dismal performances after the league resumed. Here is how the season panned out for Newcastle United with key learnings:
#1) New Managers Don’t Come With Magic Wand
The club appointed Steve Bruce as their new manager after sacking the former Liverpool manager, Rafa Benitez. One can attribute the season to Steve Bruce’s consolidation and settling at St. James Park. Though all of his signings were not the best, the manager promoted a few players who can be potential future stars for the club. Despite sacking their previous manager, Rafa Benitez, the club wasn’t able to change their position and remained on the 13th.
The 2019-20 season was the third successive season for Magpies in the English top-flight after they were promoted in 2017-18. The team showed a few glimpses in the Premier League but couldn’t continue throughout the season and ended with 44 points in their kitty earning from eleven wins and as many draws.
#2) Not All Big Money Signings Work
Steve Bruce signed Joelinton from the German club Hoffenheim for a club-record transfer fee of £40 million which the player didn’t want. However, the signing disappointed the club so much that everyone wished for the Saudi takeover to reinforce the club. The Brazilian centre-forward has just two goals and two assists to his name in 38 appearances across the league who has got 84% of starting eleven. Despite obtaining the support from management, Joelinton largely disappointed the club.
On the other hand, the former Nice player, Allan Saint-Maximin has been the revelation for Steve Bruce. The left-winger arrived for a reported fee of 18 million euros. It seemed to be a bargain buy by Magpies as he scored 8 G/A for his side in just 26 Premier League appearances. The player wasn’t a regular starter for the team and was often cramped for the playing time. Despite the adversaries, he has been one of the best players for Newcastle United. He made the viewers sit on the edge of the seat and sofa whenever he had the ball on the pitch.
#3) Newcastle United Has a Youth Side
Newcastle United’s trust on youngsters yielded a positive result for the side. The manager gave more game time to Sean Longstaff and promoted his sibling, Matthew Longstaff to the first team. It was a dream debut for Matthew Longstaff at Old Trafford when he scored the goal on his debut, silencing the Stretford End. Though Manchester United rattled the Magpies later in the game, it was an unforgettable debut for the youngster. The string of good performances has turned the attention of big guns. It remains interesting if the player is tempted by any of the lucrative offers.
#4) No Fans, No Inspired Performances
The 2019-20 season was a stop-gap season and it affected the clubs’ finances. Moreover, it also affected the performances of the clubs on the pitch. One of the teams which were highly affected were Newcastle United.
Since the restart of the league in June, Newcastle United were able to register only two wins in ten games. Apart from two victories, they were also humbled by the likes of Watford, Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City. The absence of fans against the low-ranked sides affected “Toon Army”‘s performances and the side ended either losing or ending in a stalemate.
#5) What next?
The Saudi takeover failed and the onus is on Mike Ashley. With Eddie Howe leaving AFC Bournemouth, the time has started ticking for Steve Bruce as Howe is known for living up to the reputation. The AFC Bournemouth manager was able to keep his side in top-tier for five seasons before getting relegated.
On the other hand, the club needs multiple reinforcements in the transfer market. If there are multiple Joelinton’s in the same transfer window, there will be no surprise if the Magpies are found fighting for their survival. With Christian Atsu, Yoshinori Muto, Fabian Schar and Matthew Longstaff looking to leave the club or running out of contract, the management has to sign the players in order to compete in the top flight.
If one has to rate their season along with their new manager, it is fairly difficult. Despite the financial backing provided by Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce didn’t take the club to great heights. However, he also didn’t tear up the club into pieces. In a stop-gap season, one can say that Newcastle United had a moderate season.