How would this current Newcastle United have performed if in the Premier League this season?

Sky Sports asked one of their experts the question…but he wasn’t available, so they asked David Prutton!

Quite remarkably, Prutton says that he thinks Newcastle would have stayed up and that with Rafa Benitez ‘would be in a good place in the Premier League.

The Sky Sports expert adding that Newcastle would have won ‘plenty of games against the teams around them’ in the lower half of the Premier League.

I say ‘quite remarkably’ above because in his weekly predictions, David Putton has predicted Newcastle to win only three of the last nine games he has given a forecast for, including tipping NUFC to lose their last two matches against Brighton and Huddersfield, as well as saying they would fail to beat Brentford, QPR, Derby and Wolves!

Sky Sports:

‘Rafa Benitez’s men are currently top of the second tier on 76 points, five clear of Chris Hughton’s second-placed side from the south coast.

But how do Newcastle and Brighton (ED: Prutton predicted that this current Brighton team would have been deep in a relegation fight) compare to teams towards the bottom end of the Premier League?

And what changes would both clubs need to make to best prepare themselves for top flight football in 2016/17, should they go up?

We asked Sky Sports’ Football League expert David Prutton for his view…

Newcastle United:

How would they have done in the Premier League this season?

David Prutton:

“I think this Newcastle side would’ve stayed up this season in the Premier League and finished in the bottom half.

“From a character point of view, Newcastle, with Rafa Benitez in their corner, would be in a good place in the Premier League. They’d win plenty of games against teams around them.

“The question marks come from their ability to defend as a unit at that level, especially at full-back as Paul Dummett and DeAndre Yedlin like to get forward.”

What do they need to add next season if they go up?

David Prutton:

“Jamaal Lascelles is going to be a fantastic player but he could do with a bit of experience around him to guide him along next season.

“Jonjo Shelvey is a Premier League player but it’s all about whether he can affect players around him to get the best out of them. To have another midfielder alongside Shelvey who can score goals would be ideal, but they don’t exactly grow on trees.

“They’d need to improve the spine of that team to compete above the relegation places.

Newcastle will be able to attract the same level of players that the likes of Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion will be in the market for.

“From a player’s perspective he’d be looking to play for Newcastle because of the perceived size of the club, but longevity could play a part as Stoke and West Brom are proven mid-table teams at the top level while Newcastle would have it to prove.

“You get the feeling that Benitez wants another crack at the Premier League and to do it on his own terms.”

You have to wonder that despite being an ‘expert’, just how much has David Prutton watched of Newcastle this season?

There are question marks against Paul Dummett at the top level but I don’t think anybody thinks he likes to get forward too much!! Quite the opposite.

As for Jamaal Lascelles needing a new partner…whether the former Forest player is in the team next year or not, it would be quite incredible if he was chosen ahead of Ciaran Clark, a player who is easily my player of the season and somebody who already has great experience both in the Premier League and for his country.

As for improving the spine, yes that area will need strengthening just like every other area of the team, BUT in Darlow, Clark, Shelvey and Gayle we have a cracking quartet of players to make a start with.

Most fans seeing left-back and left-wing as the most pressing position to be strengthened then another striker, central midfield player and so on.

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  • Scottpaige

    Im sick of hearing Prutton’s name.

  • Leazesl Ender

    Don’t get obsessed with this guy Vladimir Prutton like you were about the Villa fans, the opening subtitle is quite right, Ashley will not compete with the breakaway elite group and we will be left scraping the barrel…. that’s why Rafa has just said he wants to meet with Fatso in May….. to be told he has a teeny budget which Charnley will look after….

    … He’ll be gone….

    • hetonmag

      Just when we are all feeling great up pops the green man to put a dampener on things, never mind he might join the Rafalution one day, we live in hope.

      • TheNutJob

        the problem is he`s right

      • Leazesl Ender

        I want Rafa to join the Rafalution as well…. then it might just work…. he has to make some demands, the first being the control of squad building and not Charnley.

        • hetonmag

          Agreed about the 3 stooges.

    • fenhammag

      think £80mil with tv and promotion money would be the bare minimum he would want, even 80 mill is only going to get about 4 above average players next season with all the money thats going around.

  • Martin

    I wish Ian Holloway was still the go to guy with regards to Championship predictions.

  • Jimblag23

    Pathetic, smug nause pretending to know what he’s talking about.

  • Alex

    The article is about who Prutton thinks we’d attract, not his predictions. In this regard, he’s spot on. The bottom line is that NUFC has to re-establish itself, and the clubs he mentions are our direct competitiors for players. As yet, the likes of Southampton and Everton are probably more attractive propositions for players.

    There’s no doubt that Newcastle is big enough to punch its correct weight in the EPL, but it’s not going to happen next season, and the big question is, does Ashley have the desire to give it a go?

  • 1957

    We would have been battling against relegation with this team, it is a team built around a promotion bid with maybe 10 or 11 players who will make the transition, a few who could do a job as a squad player and the squad filled out with players who have already been found wanting at the top level in Dummett, Mitrovich, Gouffran, Diame and Colback.

    My core group next season would be Elliot, Darlow, Woodman or Krul – Clark, Mbemba (although Benitez clearly doesn’t rate him), Lascelles, Yedlin – Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Atsu – Gayle.

    IMO we need at a minimum of a LB, a CB, an attacking CM if Rafa persists with 1 forward, 1 wide player and a proven top level striker.

    A big ask given what the right level of player might cost might cost.

  • fenhammag

    he’s been proven wrong so many times this season, must be a closet mackem