Football Season Review

№10: Newcastle United

Newcastle finish the season far away from relegation trouble and in the middle of the table which is a big improvement to a year ago, when they were in relegation danger until the closing stages. However, there is little reason to celebrate as the team basically forfeited most of their games in the second half of the season and refused to mount a proper challenge for the European places. There was a lot of grumbling among the Toon fans at the start of the season with the team not spending any money at all in order to bolster a short squad. But the one signing made, that of Loic Remy on loan from QPR, proved a real coup and the Frenchman would prove easily the best player in the team over the course of the season. A hammering at the hands of Manchester City on the opening weekend turned the mood even sourer but Alan Pardew eventually started to sort the team out and they got some decent results. They actually hit top form around November when a 2:0 win over Chelsea kicked off a run of four wins in a row and also seven in nine. Remy and Shola Ameobi were working superb,y up front but the real metronome of the side was Yohan Cabaye. The playmaker was making things click with his authoritative presence and incisive passing. But Cabaye would not remain at Tyneside for too long as the club owners decided to accept a lucrative offer from PSG at the end of January. By then, Newcastle were sliding again and the owners basically decided that going for a top-four finish was unrealistic and they did not want to get into the Europa League again. That was a symbolic moment in the entire season and the levels of discontent among the locals rose to new levels after that. A completely shambolic display at home to bitter rivals Sunderland, which saw a 3:0 loss, signalled the decline in fortunes just days after Cabaye’s departure. The motivation among the players was on very low levels after that and the team actually won just one of their last eight games, staying comfortably in mid-table due to their strong period earlier in the season. Thus, the season ends with the promise of new investment to replenish the squad and with Pardew staying on despite fans discontent aimed towards to him as well. Generally, Newcastle look like a club that is going nowhere at the moment under the current ownership and little is going to change next season.

Player of the Season: Loic Remy