Newcastle’s surprise relegation from the Premier League shocked the footballing world, however there are many encouraging signs for Toon fans which suggest that they won’t be plying their trade in the Championship for long. Apart from their sparkling squad, brimming with Premier League quality players, there are many other things to consider as to why the club may stand out from the other promotion hopefuls next season.
It’s happened before
When Shearer led them to relegation in the 2008/09 season, The Magpies wasted no time in returning to England’s top flight, with Chris Hughton ensuring that promotion swiftly followed, along with the Championship title, and a cool 102 points. This all happened more than 5 years ago now, and without their talisman from that season, yes, Andy Carroll, this past feat will most likely have no effect at all on the current Newcastle side, however it does prove that a quick fire promotion is certainly not beyond them.
The 12th Man
Supporters have, and always will have, a significant impact on the result of a football match, and when it comes to loyalty, you will not find a better set of fans than the Newcastle faithful, and there are absolutely no doubts that they’ll spur on their side from the first to the last kick of the season. The Geordies are widely known across England for their passion for football, and they, unquestionably, won’t let their team down, no matter what league their beloved Newcastle are in. With 52,000 seats to fill, the supporters will be in full voice during the 2016/17 season.
56 year old Rafa Benitez has already become a fan favourite at Newcastle, despite only taking charge towards the rear end of the season. Many still find it unbelievable that the former Liverpool coach is managing Championship side Newcastle, whilst remaining the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Spaniard is clearly a tactical genius at the highest level, and Newcastle can count themselves lucky to have such a talent as their manager leading into the new campaign, a man who will give their fans monumental belief.
Losing the leadership qualities of Fabricio Coloccini at the back and the pace of Andros Townsend on the wing is a big setback for The Magpies, however they have acted quickly in the transfer market to ensure that they have the firepower in their squad for the season ahead. They have added the Championship experience of Matt Ritchie, who has enjoyed a successful spell at Bournemouth, even scoring 16 goals in their promotion clinching campaign of 2014/15. He is a player who will surely become a fan favourite for his determination and ability on the wing.
More experience from the second division comes in the shape of centre forward Dwight Gayle, who attracted much attention when playing for Peterborough in the 2013/14 Championship season. He comes at a high price of £10 million, however there is high quality on offer, and looks to be a great coup for the relegated side.
Although the Serbian has not been the brightest of sparks in the glamour of the Premier League, it is clear to see the physical side of his game, picking 7 yellow cards, and 2 red, for club and country last season. Quite a challenge for a centre forward.
A battler, his rash decision making on the pitch has earned him much discontent among football fans, however it could be a useful trait in the tough life of the Championship. A long, drawn out campaign stretching over 46 matches needs strong-willed characters like Mitrovic to ‘get on with it’, and he could prove a key player in Newcastle’s promotion challenge