You only have to look at the struggles going on at the top of the English Premier League this season, to realize getting into that top four is a lot more difficult than it used to be.
John Carver with Bobby Robson
With the coming of Manchester City and their new owners, the Al-Nahyan family, giving out over £400M for new players since September of 2008, and Chelsea’s millions with Roman Abramovich, it will be very difficult for Newcastle United to overcome these clubs.
The Football Fair Play Rules start coming into effect next season, and are supposed to level the playing field, so to speak, but we’ll soon find out how the big spending clubs wiggle around the rules – which we expect them to do – somehow.
There’s no doubt if Newcastle can keep their best players and bring in some top players in the summer, the Magpies should have a top-half of the table side next season, but that’s a long way from being in the top four in the Premier League – a very long way.
But Shola Ameobi, who played for Bobby Robson when Newcastle were last in the Champions League, thinks it’s possible.
Talking to the local Newcastle press corps, the former England U21 international said this:
“There’s no better feeling then hearing the Champions League music and lining up in a black and white shirt – why not strive for the top? As a player you want to play in the biggest competitions.”
“Playing top teams in Europe is something you cherish. Being a young lad at the time I took it for granted that we would be in it every year after that, which you just can’t do. But you can strive to get back to it and strive to be better as a player and a club.”
“If you aren’t striving to get back to the top then why are you here? As hard as it might be, we have to think positive, and one day in the not too distant future we can get back.”
And the jury is still out on Alan Pardew, and we just don’t know if he’s good enough to take Newcastle into the top four in the Premier League in the next few seasons, and certainly he’s never done anything near that in his management career so far.
Probably the best Newcastle fans can hope for in the next few seasons is getting into the Europa Cup, because after all, Birmingham made that this season by winning the Carling Cup.
But Birmingham are hardly one of the best seven teams in England at the moment, so one way into the Europa Cup next season is to field our top side in the Carling Cup games, which is not what Chris Hughton did this season.
But we shouldn’t hold out breath on qualifying for the Champions League anytime soon, unless Newcastle make four or five top signings in the summer, and can keep the good players they already have at the club.
What do you think?