A Season In Review: Newcastle United

Newcastle celebrate scoring against Tottenham in Premier League matchweek 13

In this series of 20 articles, we take a look back at the Premier League season, focusing on each team individually. We take a look at transfer window activity, managerial changes, and key points throughout the season.

Check out the last edition here, where I focused on Man United!

Transfer Windows

Newcastle had the added bonus this season of a new board, meaning they could spend big money on players to help them fulfil their ambitions of Champions League football.

In terms of outgoings, Newcastle barely let anyone go. Jonjo Shelvey made a move to Nottingham Forest, and Chris Wood was soon to follow. The only other departure was a shock loan move for Dubravka, who found himself at Man United.

Newcastle made a trio of signings from the English leagues. Nick Pope arrived from newly relegated side Burnley, with Matt Target joining from Villa, and Anthony Gordon moving from a relegation-threatened Everton.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Karius arrived at the club as a free agent, thanks to Nick Pope’s suspension partway through the season. Sven Botman made the move from LOSC Lille, and there was a lot to be excited about with Newcastle’s new striker, as Isak joined from Real Sociedad.

It was a good transfer window for Newcastle. They strengthened in areas that were previously struggling or had players ageing in. They beefed up their defence, and added a brilliant addition in Nick Pope in the net, all whilst losing no first-team players. A top transfer window from them.

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Key Games

I think there were two games really, where Newcastle’s season defined itself, and they both came quite early on in the season. After a stuttering start of 5 draws in 7 games, Newcastle faced difficult back-to-back fixtures, first away against Fulham, before welcoming Brentford the game after.

The performances were there in Newcastle’s first few games, but the results were not going their way. They could not get past the final hurdle, and pick up 3 points on a consistent basis.

As their game against Fulham kicked off, Newcastle were gifted the best possible start. After just 8 minutes, Chalobah got sent off for the hosts, leaving Fulham to play with 10 men for the remaining 82 minutes.

Callum Wilson made that numerical advantage count just 3 minutes later, giving Newcastle the lead before Almiron and Longstaff added to that advantage before halftime. Almiron made sure of the result just after halftime, making it 40, before Decordova-Reid made the score line more respectable, at 4-1.

It was a great result for Newcastle and one that certainly provided them with some belief going forward. Their next game, against a difficult Brentford side, was going to be much tougher.

But it was not. Guimaraes and Murphy gave Newcastle a 2-0 lead in the opening half an hour. An Ivan Toney penalty reduced the deficit after 54 minutes, but Guimaraes scored his second 2 minutes later, restoring Newcastle’s 2-goal lead.

A late flurry from Almiron and an Ethan Pinnock own goal gave Newcastle a tremendous 5-1 win and showed the rest of the league that they were not here to play, they were here to win.

A shoutout must be given to Newcastle’s 6-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur. As football games go, that was one of the best of the season, especially in Newcastle’s case. 3-0 up within 10 minutes, and 5-0 up before half time, against a top 6 rival. It really helped push Newcastle over the finish line.

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Cup Competitions

Carabao Cup

Newcastle began their Carabao Cup adventure with an away game against League Two side Tranmere Rovers. The League Two side took the lead through Nevitt after 21 minutes, but a much-changed Newcastle side came back from behind, courtesy of goals from Lascelles and Chris Wood, giving them a slender 2-1 win.

In the third round, a home game against Premier League opposition, Crystal Palace, awaited them. After a largely uneventful game, it went to penalties. Botman and Guimaraes both missed theirs, but as did Ebiowei and Mateta, meaning after 2 penalties each, the score remained 0-0. Joelinton, Trippier and Wood all scored theirs, as Ward and Hughes netted theirs for Palace, but Milivojevic missed his, sending Newcastle through 5-4 on pens.

A fourth-round home tie against Bournemouth was their reward, and it was another game that was largely uneventful. The game did settle itself without the need for penalties, however, as Adam Smith put through his own net in the second half, handing Newcastle the win.

A place in the quarter-finals was theirs, and a struggling Leicester awaited them there. Newcastle made sure there was nothing to cheer about for the travelling fans, as second-half goals from Dan Burn and Joelinton saw Newcastle through to the semi-finals.

A two-legged fixture against Southampton stood between Newcastle and a trip to Wembley for the final. Newcastle dominated the first leg at St Mary’s, and they ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of a Joelinton goal. Caleta-Car made sure Southampton would not get back into the game as he received his second yellow card of the game two minutes before full-time.

In the second leg, Longstaff scored a first-half brace to ensure Newcastle could live comfortably throughout the rest of the game, but Che Adams pulled one back just before the half-hour mark. Southampton could not build on this, and even the sending off of Guimaraes 8 minutes before full-time did not help, as Newcastle eased into the final.

Their opponents, Man United, were looking for their first silverware of the season, and with Nick Pope being suspended for the final, it was always going to be a tough ask for Newcastle. Despite this, Newcastle dominated the opening stages and should have been a goal or two in front by the half-hour mark.

The game swung at this stage, as Casemiro and Rashford both found the back of the net before halftime. Man United hung on in the second half, restricting Newcastle as much as they possibly could, as they recorded a 2-0 win, condemning Newcastle to defeat in the final.

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FA Cup

Newcastle’s FA Cup campaign was a complete contrast to their Carabao Cup one. Whilst they almost tasted glory in one, they were absolutely humiliated in the other.

Newcastle United were drawn away against Sheffield Wednesday, of League One, in the third round. Despite a strong team being fielded, it was not meant to be for The Magpies.

After an uneventful first half, Josh Windass scored a second-half brace, and despite Guimaraes finding the back of the net, it was enough to hand the League One side the win, knocking Newcastle out at the first time of asking.

Season Overall

Overall, Newcastle had a brilliant season. To finish in the top 4, and to make a cup final appearance is a very good season for them, and a much better side than some of the usual big 6 had.

They were precise in the transfer market. They knew what they wanted, and who they wanted, and they made sure they got those players in. Their football throughout the season was entertaining, and for the majority of the season, it was defensively solid.

It was a pleasure to watch Newcastle at times throughout the season, especially in those big games against Tottenham Hotspur. If they can build on their current team, and keep their star performers, then who knows how far this Newcastle side could go.

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