Newcastle are now almost in the same place they were, back when Bobby Robson was sacked in late August of 2004.
Graham Carr – helped bring in some top players
At that time Newcastle had been positioned 4th, 3rd and 5th in successive seasons, and Newcastle are now back in the Europa League, after finishing in 5th place last season.
And it’s a million miles away from where we were in the summer of 2009, after just being relegated, and that was a really difficult summer for Newcastle fans – in fact a terrible summer for Newcastle fans.
And the media didn’t help either, suggesting Newcastle were a shot force, and would likely be relegated to League One, much like Leeds United had been a few years earlier.
But Chris Hughton didn’t listen too much to those stories, and we followed our relegation season of just 7 wins in 38 games, with 30 wins in 46 games in the Championship, and Newcastle won the league by a full 11 points from West Brom, with an incredible 102 points.
Newcastle will get the chance to thank Chris Hughton (and Colin Calderwood) for all they did for Newcastle when they return to St. James’ Park with Norwich City on September 22nd.
Of course there have been a few bumps along the way, since that terrible summer of 2009, after all this is Newcastle, and most of the big names left the club that summer.
And Mike Ashley again tried to sell the club but was not successful, and Newcastle then sold Andy Carroll on January 31st of 2010 to Liverpool for £35M, which was met with real anger by Newcastle fans.
But that turned out to be a good deal for Newcastle in retrospect, but then Chris Hughton was surprisingly fired in early December of 2010, and that was also met with disdain and anger by the Newcastle faithful.
But that too has turned out to be okay for Newcastle too, with Alan Pardew performing miracles on Tyneside, in his first 18 months at the club.
And Chris has done well too, signing on at relegated Birmingham last summer and getting them into the play-offs even though he lost his best players last summer.
And Chris this summer replaced Paul Lambert at Norwich City, a wonderful club in East Anglia with great fan support – and it reminds us of how the great Bobby Robson spent 13 years in charge of Ipswich Town from 1969 through 1982, Norwich’s great rivals.
One of the big reasons for Newcastle’s success has been their work in the transfer market, with Graham Carr and his high caliber team doing the scouting, and they’ve managed to bring in players like Cheick Tiote, Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Dan Gosling, Demba Ba, Davide Santon, Papiss Cisse – all seven players for around £25M – which is simply astonishing value for money.
So it’s been quite an amazing come-back by Newcastle, and if the club can get Mathieu Debuchy, Luuk de Jong and Vurnon Anita on Tyneside this summer, we should continue to do well next season.
But there’s no doubt the club has come back a million miles over the last three years, and the very good name of Newcastle United has been restored, there’s little doubt about that.
Howay The Lads!!