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Opinion

Newcastle United – What could / should have been last season

3 weeks ago
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So that’s it then, another season over and an unbelievable one even by usual Newcastle United standards.

An abysmal start to the season and a tremendous turnaround in the second half of the season, thanks to the takeover, Eddie Howe and his coaching staff, the players and fans.

A respectable eleventh place finish with 49 points.

Where could Newcastle United have finished up though without the individual mistakes and lack of fitness that blighted the squad during Steve Bruce’s time at the beginning of the season?

A quick look back – the blame game.

West Ham home 2-4

Ashley / Bruce. Total lack of fitness contributed to this defeat, after going in 2-1 ahead at the break. While West Ham have undoubtedly improved during the last couple of seasons under Moyes, this is the sort of team we should be beating comfortably in future. Points lost three.

Aston Villa away 0-2

See West Ham above. Points lost three.

Southampton home 2-2

A 96th minute penalty awarded after a foul by Lascelles. Points dropped two.

Man Utd away 1-4

Predictable result.

Freddie Woodman to blame for two of the goals but by no means all his fault. Points dropped three.

Leeds home 1-1

Did well to get a point but dubious positioning by Darlow for the Leeds goal. Points lost two.

Watford away 1-1

A game we should have won at a canter.

Finishing let us down with one particularly bad miss from Murphy and Longstaff missing an open goal, although he did score a belter. Points dropped two.

Wolves away 1-2

Poor positioning from Darlow for the first goal.

Made a change from our usual 1-1 scoreline against them. Points lost three.

Tottenham home 2-3

Shelvey managed to get himself sent off and a poor defensive display all round. Kane scored an offside “goal” for the second season running but of course golden boy can do no wrong. Points lost three.

This game was thankfully the last for Bruce, with the other Steves on his “coaching staff” following him out of the door.

At the end of the day, we finished nine points behind the wonderful Man Utd who finished sixth. Just totting up the points from the individual errors and the football under Steve Bruce in those opening eight games, shows that Newcastle United could have comfortably finished above them.

Hopefully this transfer window, helped by the appointment of Dan Ashworth, will see us sign some more of the kind of quality players that are required to start our rise up the league, getting Newcastle United into the position this club and our supporters deserve.

Let the transfer speculation begin.

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