In May of 2012 Newcastle finished the league in 5th position – the highest since Sir Bobby Robson was sacked for only finishing in 5th place in 2004 and missing out on a Champions League position.
How standards have dropped at Newcastle over the years.
In fact almost four years ago we have a very decent chance of finishing in 4th place and a Champions League place but we lost our last two games of the season at home to Manchester City (2-0) and at Everton (3-1).
Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley run Newcastle
We had a decent transfer window in 2011 when we brought in Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Davide Santon and they were all regulars for Newcastle that season and in addition we brought in Papiss Cisse in January of 2012 and he hit 13 goals in 14 games for us to propel us forward.
We also lost former stalwarts Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton that summer of 2011.
And we even had the Managing Director Derek LLambias say the five year plan of Mike Ashley’s had actually worked because we finished 5th in Mike’s fifth season in charge.
That was after we had been relegated in 2009 but came straight back up under the guidance of Chris Hughton and in retrospect that promotion was one of the successful moments of the last nine years under Mike Ashley.
That’s saying something.
So why didn’t we push on after finishing 5th top and Alan Pardew won two Manger of the Season awards?
Well the first mistake was not to bring in more players that summer to strengthen the side and increase the size of it – and the only senior player we brought in was Vurnon Anita from Ajax.
And then we found out that those extra Europa League games were hitting us hard because of our small squad – and yes – of course – we picked up a lot of injuries – as usual.
In the January of that year we were struggling against relegation and so we brought in five Frenchmen and we survived the drop while reaching the quarter finals of the Europe League.
We were much better at the start of the next season (2013-2014) but it started out by Yohan Cabaye going on strike when Arsenal bid for him and Newcastle refused to sell.
The club then made another stupid mistake when they told Yohan he could leave in January if the club got a decent offer for him then.
So his agent gets in touch with some interested clubs to tell them of this agreement and lo and behold in came PSG with a £20M bid and he was gone.
Lee Charnley said at the time – well he wanted to leave the club.
That really showed our players they were secondary to the almighty dollar – and in interviews that Steve McClaren conducted in the summer a number of our players said they felt they were hung out to dry the second half of that 2013-2014 season.
Alan Pardew also managed to get himself banned for headbutting a Hull City player and that shamed the club with news of it going around the world.
And to cut a long story short – we lost seven of the last eight games of that season.
In 2014 we started the season with 4 points from seven games – but then recovered by winning six games in a row and then Alan Pardew walked out after the home win over Everton – the last game of 2014 – and it was probably after hearing no players would be brought in that January.
In came the inexperienced and rather naive John Carver to take over and we lost nine of the last eleven games of that season and just avoided relegation on the very last day of last season with a 2-0 win over West Ham.
In came Steve McClaren last summer after he had been fired by Championship club Derby County – and we started the season with three draws and five defeats in the first eight games.
We have been in the bottom four nearly all season long and at the moment are in a relegation place in 3rd bottom place with 24 points after 26 games played and with time starting to run out.
So let’s pause here – that’s the way things have gone at Newcastle over the last nearly four years since we were 5th top of the Premier League.
Mick Quinn used a great word to describe how Newcastle fans feel at the moment in his column in the Chronicle.
Here’s some of the definitions of the word numb:
- Deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move
- Incapable of action or of feeling emotion
- Lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling
- Unable to think, feel, or react normally because of something that shocks or upsets you
Yes – that’s a great definition of how Newcastle fans feel at the moment – and when you read again what’s happened over these last four years at Newcastle it’s small wonder.
But let’s finish this article by looking on the bright side of things – the good news is that things can only improve from now on.
That’s right isn’t it?