It is easy to chart success in the first season after promotion.

Few would disagree with the assessment of the mid-table consolidation that has been achieved, under uncertain circumstances, as a job well done.

But what next?

What should Newcastle United realistically be aiming for in their second season back in the top division?

That question is an important one, regardless of whether Ashley stays, or hopefully sells in the summer.

The cliche of โ€˜second season syndromeโ€™ is often a result of uncertainty about what direction a team chooses once their primary goal of survival is achieved.

The Newcastle United hierarchy need to avoid being too conservative with their ambitions.

Our relegation in 2016 was brought on by consecutive seasons of aimless attempts to avoid the bottom three. With each narrow escape never built on.

The same mistakes continued to be made despite (or more likely because of) churning through three average managers and countless discount signings.

Transfer dealings from this point onwards should focus on players that can take Newcastle United comfortably into the top half of the table or beyond.

The top six may now be populated by international franchises with obscene resources but Rafa is a manager able to ruffle their feathers with the right support.

We are currently on course for a similar finish to the 46 points that brought us safety in our previous return to the Premier League in 2010/11.

The season after, saw quality players scouted and signed including Cabaye and Ba to improve the side. As a result, we ended the campaign 5th, still our only impressive finish under Ashley.

The same should be aimed for now and, more importantly, it needs to be sustained in later years too.

And even if European places are realistically still out of reach, we should be aiming for top eight.

Everton have almost monopolised that area of the table for the past decade and there is little to suggest that they would be better than Newcastle if, for once, the pieces of the jigsaw at St James Park start to fit together.

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  • Weyhhadaway

    The new club motto is “ac deinceps exortis et in Latus” that sounds really clever but is onwards and sideways. Despite Rafa’s help.

  • Leazes.

    Which team do you support Stephen?

    • Coach Clagnut

      ouch!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Another Dope who thinks the Pie Man will waver from his set in stone policy
    Survive on the least possible expenditure.
    I`m nutting the wall !!!!
    ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ 

    • Leazes.

      You beat me to it…. but I was long winded.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        I can`t take anymore of this

        • Leazes.

          I think if we were to kidnap Mark Jensen and lock him in a cupboard under the stairs half of these writers would disappear in an instant.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

          • Rich Lawson

            Nobody’s going to pay the ransom !

    • kingfisher

      Aye Moose it’s quite worrying that some people still think that Del Boy will spend money.If he’s still here when the new season kicks off, then it will be another season of the same ****.

  • Paul Patterson

    It takes only ten home games won (basic maths) to get 30 points. Add away points of that and the top half should not be hard to achieve with a modest spend. A European attempt depends on luck and how much extra money is available. We aren’t that far off this season and we’ve been poor for long periods. The players and manager have played their part. It’s time for the money man to play his.

  • Ba ba.

    Safety gained as early as possible and a shot at the cups…..

    • Paul Patterson

      I’d hope the previous policy of scrapping the cups would be binned off.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        well it was binned this year, was it

        • Paul Patterson

          I this this season and last were forgivable.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            there`s always a reason and has been for a decade

    • Alex

      In other words…..a squad that’s good enough to have 27 points by Christmas.

      Won’t hold my breath on that one as long as Fatty is still around.

  • Andy Mac

    Expectation from the fans – Competitive, challenging for top six, Cup run and a final top half finish
    Expectation from the Fat Oaf – 17th place or better

  • Coach Clagnut

    Fatty’s wet dream scenario is escaping relegation on the last game of the season. Try and emulate the “sixinarows” and if we drop, so what. He makes more in the Premier than in the Championship, but when relegation cannot be avoided, he’ll still be minting it.
    He has no romantic attached to anything N.U.F.C. so there’s nothing here for him other than wealth accumulation. Firefighting Football, cheap as chips.
    Hope I’m wrong and Rafa’s happy with the funding he can access but, well, we’ve all been here before haven’t we.

  • Rttt

    Newcastle finished 10th in 2014 and were 9th when Pardew left the following season.

    Why do writers constantly feel the need to lie on this site?

  • East Durham Mag

    I fully expect bargain basement buys and panic loan players. No communication, no ambition, a load of hot air and lies from Fatty and more of his sychopantic chums on Sky and other media outlets bigging him up. In short business as usual.

  • Weyhhadaway

    He will gamble as he always does on spending as little as possible. If the gamble fails and we are relegated the sale of a couple of the best players will make up for the drop in TV money. We always show up and buy our shirts so why should he care if we are happy. I would love it if I was proven wrong, come on Mike, a top 6 finish puts another 100M on the price tag.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Ashley has the resources at his disposal to easily have us challenging the top six. He chooses not to that’s all.