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BBC Sport main man reflects on his September 2020 prediction for 2020/21 Newcastle season

5 months ago

Back in September (2020), BBC Sport were looking forward to the new 2020/21 Premier League season.

Phil McNulty is the chief football writer at BBC Sport and he gave his considered opinion on the 20 clubs contesting the 2020/21 campaign.

Always interesting to read outside opinions, stepping outside our own endless internal debates within the NUFC fanbase.

After having predicted Newcastle United would finish rock bottom 20th the previous season (2019/20), Phil McNulty was in a more positive frame of mind eight months ago.

The BBC Sport main man predicting that Newcastle United would finish a significant eight places higher than his 2019/20 prediction for Steve Bruce and NUFC..

This was how BBC Sport chief football writer’s predicted the 2020/21 final table back in September 2020:

Whilst for Newcastle United, this was his predicted narrative for the 2020/21 season:

“12th Newcastle United (Finished last season – 13th)

Steve Bruce was hardly a welcome arrival as replacement for Rafael Benitez but silenced his critics with a decent first season of consolidation on Tyneside.

“I can see this being another solid campaign for the Magpies.

“Bruce has done some very decent work in the markets, particularly with the added threat of Bournemouth duo Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.

“Jeff Hendrick is a very solid addition on a free transfer from Burnley while Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis will add more quality.

“Not expecting earth-shattering results but not expecting a struggle either – although this is Newcastle United remember.”

This is how the final Premier League table for 2020/21 looks, after yesterday’s final matches:

Well, the BBC Sport main man has been ‘proved’ right, although it was anything but a clear and obvious run to end up in that twelfth position, relying on wins in the final two matches against two clubs that had been relegated some time ago.

This is what Phil McNulty of BBC Sport has had to say about his successful NUFC prediction:

‘Newcastle United – 12th

Steve Bruce continues to fight an uphill battle to win any friends on Tyneside but the bottom line is this is a solid finishing place for the Magpies.

The criticism Bruce received was justified when they slipped out of the Carabao Cup horribly at Brentford and lost away to Sheffield United and particularly at Brighton in March, when it looked like they could go down after a 3-0 loss, but 12th is surely par for the course.

Newcastle’s fans are right to expect more but this centres more on owner Mike Ashley than Bruce and in his defence they looked a much more purposeful side when Callum Wilson and Alain Saint-Maximin were fit.

McNulty’s pre-season prediction: 12th’


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