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Opinion

The key 2019 moments for Newcastle United

10 months ago
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There were relegation fears when Newcastle United entered the year 2019.

However, the Magpies once again proved their resilience and maintained their Premier League status, despite spending precious little in the transfer market.

Now we are at the very end of 2019 and even though Rafa Benitez is no longer at the club, Newcastle United are more confident of survival in the top flight for one more season.

The big moments for Newcastle United in 2019:

The victory at the King Power Stadium (12 April 2019):

Losing seven of their nine opening matches, Newcastle looked like a relegation certainty in the early stages of the 2018-19 season.

However, three November wins on the trot restored their confidence and injected new energy into their survival campaign.

Defeats and draws were frequent but the victories also kept cropping up to maintain their spirits.

The victory against Leicester at the King Power all but guaranteed their safety as they moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone. Ayoze Perez’ glancing header was the deciding factor for Newcastle in that match.

Rafa Benitez departure (30 June 2019):

The departure of Rafa Benitez from Newcastle United had long been talked about in the media but when it happened, everyone was shocked.

Benitez was hugely popular among Newcastle fans and their chances of survival looked grim without their veteran manager.

The club wanted Benitez to stay at Tyneside but they failed to convince him. The former Liverpool manager later revealed that the club’s lack of ambition was the primary reason for his departure.

In the summer Newcastle was dealt another blow as the club sold Ayoze Perez to Leicester City for ¬£30 million, saying they were helpless as the forward had a minimum fee release clause (and making no attempt to keep Salomon Rondon)…but they did sign Joelinton for a record-breaking ¬£40 million from Hoffenheim to appease their fans.

Steve Bruce appointed  (17 July 2019):

Newcastle fans adored Rafa Benitez who won them promotion back to the Premier League and then kept them there for two seasons.

Therefore, they were not happy when Steve Bruce was given the role after Benitez’ departure.

Many were not convinced about the capabilities of Bruce who had very little experience of managing in the Premier League in recent seasons, as well as not a great record overall in the English top tier.

In response, Bruce only asked for some time to prove himself and that they not be too hasty in judging him.

Steve Bruce proving his doubters wrong (17 July 2019 – ????):

Steve Bruce came under a lot of criticism after he lost his opening two matches against Arsenal and Norwich City but then he silenced them all with a big victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

Apart from the 5-0 evisceration at Leicester, the Magpies have been very promising in their performances under Bruce.

They registered a big victory against Manchester United at St. James, they dared to deny Pep Guardiola’s City their full points, and also secured full points against Sheffield United, Bournemouth, West Ham, Southampton, and Crystal Palace.

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