Surveying the wreckage of last season for Newcastle United, Gini Wijnaldum has no doubt what should be happening.
Instead of being relegated, Wijnaldum believes Newcastle should have been at least 10 places higher and competing within the top eight of the Premier League. This fits in with Premier League finances, which have seen Newcastle generating more revenue than all but half a dozen clubs, yet have only one top six PL finish under Mike Ashley.
The former PSV Captain believes ‘everything is possible’ at St James Park with the stadium and the fans, especially if Rafa Benitez can be convinced to stay.
Wijnaldum points to what Leicester have achieved and how nobody expected that.
Before Newcastle can think of emulating Ranieri and his players’ success, promotion from the Championship has to be achieved first, though we still wait to see whether either Rafa Benitez and/or Gini Wijnaldum will still be on Tyneside to try and make that happen.
Newcastle’s top goalscorer last season with 11 goals, Wijnaldum believes Benitez made a difference when he came in but doesn’t know if other factors also helped to change a relegation form team into one that almost survived.
The last six games undefeated and 12 points from the final 18, only for lessons to be learnt too late according to the Newcastle player, the positive results arriving just too late.
“Everything is possible…you see Leicester are champions of the league and who expected that?
“Everything can happen and you see the stadium and the fans, even after we were relegated the stadium was full.
“This is a club that has to play (in the Premier League) for the first six, seven or eight places – this (18th and relegation) was way below the standard that the club must have.
“He (Rafa Benitez) made a big impact on the team and made us perform better, I don’t know if it was only the new manager, I really don’t know – it’s difficult to say…in my opinion, we learned too late from the things that had happened before.
“That is why in the last couple of games we did better than before, it was too late but we had good results.”