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Opinion

Newcastle United – 2020 was a year that promised much but ultimately delivered so little

4 months ago
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There is no doubt that 2020 was a very strange year for football, one that saw the 2019-20 season severely interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Newcastle United, it was a year that promised much but ultimately delivered very little.

The prospect of Mike Ashley finally selling the club after 13, mostly miserable, years in charge, edged tantalisingly closer with confirmation of a bid from a Saudi consortium led by Amanda Staveley.

However, after months of little information, it ultimately wasn’t to be, the consortium pinning the blame firmly at the door of the Premier League for their decision to pull out of the proposed deal.

On the pitch it was a similar story of hopes of success raised, only to be dashed when there was a sniff of glory.

There was a first FA Cup quarter-final since 2006, which was lost, unsurprisingly, to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Far more disappointing was the defeat to Brentford, with a place in the semi-final of the League Cup at stake. To lose to Championship opposition, who rested half of their first team, was embarrassing in the extreme and was the absolute final straw for many with Steve Bruce.

Mike Ashley finally opened the purse strings to sign a proven Premier League striker in the form of Callum Wilson, who was purchased from recently relegated Bournemouth for a fee of around £20 million. Unsurprisingly, signing a striker who had previously scored goals at the top level was a good idea, with Wilson scoring eight goals and bagging three assists in his first 14 Premier League games for the club. The former Bournemouth man was a much needed signing with Miguel Almiron our top scorer in 2020 with nine goals across all competitions.

Our biggest victory came away at Morecambe in the League Cup, with Joelinton managing to find the back of the next twice in a 7-0 win. While the heaviest Newcastle United defeat was our now annual thrashing to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in July, losing 5-0.

Ultimately, avoiding the threat of relegation in 2019-20 and 2020-21 (so far at least) has hinged on the outstanding performances of two goalkeepers. Martin Dubravka was outstanding in 2019-20, playing every match and being voted the club’s player of the season.

When it was announced he had suffered a serious injury before this current season began, most Newcastle fans felt their hearts sink. However, that was without anticipating the outstanding form of Karl Darlow, who is playing the best football of his career to make the number one shirt his own amid talks of an England call-up. Dubravka will have a job on his hands to get his place back.

However, the biggest story of the year was undoubtedly the Covid-19 pandemic, wreaking havoc across the world and forcing the suspension of the 2019-20 season in March. Since then all of Newcastle’s fixtures have been played behind closed doors, including the final 15 home matches of 2020 at St James Park.

Who knows when we’ll all be hallowed to make the return to the hallowed turf of St James Park but let’s hope 2021 can be a better year, on and off the pitch.

You can subscribe to Aaron’s new YouTube channel Black and White Daft for future videos here and this below is his first video illustrating the 2020 Newcastle United info set out above:

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