Will The Magpies feel joy this season? Or will they suffer?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to go from the blue side of Manchester to the red and check out… Newcastle United.
MANAGER: Steve Bruce
CAPTAIN: Jamaal Lascelles
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 750-1 (via Oddschecker)
Another year, another summer of turmoil in Newcastle.
Summer just wouldn’t feel like summer without Mike Ashley unfurling the next stage of his dastardly plan to rustle up the locals on Tyneside.
The Crown Prince of Donnay trainer socks and Lonsdale three-quarters rightfully treats his football club as a business – it’s naive to expect owners to do otherwise in the modern-day game – but barely an owner treats their business and its customers with such contempt.
Rafa Benitez was allowed to walk out the door without visible signs of a fight from the hierarchy to keep him in position.
The Spanish gaffer acted as a sponge between fans and the top brass, absorbing the adulation from one side and doing just enough with his team on the field to protect Ashley & Co. from all-out customer rebellion.
Since Steve Bruce’s controversial appointment, Ashley has, in fact, opened his chequebook, but will the Geordie boss have enough time to make the most of it?
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 15th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 18th (Premier League)
2016-17 – 1st (Championship)
2017-18 – 10th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 13th (Premier League)
Premier League – 13th
FA Cup – Fourth Round
Carabao Cup – Second Round
Top Scorer – League: Ayoze Pérez (11), All: Ayoze Pérez (12)
Joelinton (Hoffenheim – £40m)
Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice – £20m)
Jetro Willems (Eintracht Frankfurt – Loan)
Ayoze Pérez (Leicester City – £30m)
Joselu (Alavés – £1.7m)
Mohamed Diamé (Al Ahli – Free Transfer)
Freddie Woodman (Swansea City – Loan)
GK – Elliott, Dúbravka, Darlow
DF – Clark, Dummett, Schär, Lascelles, Willems, Fernández, Manquillo, Lejeune, Yedlin, Sterry, Lazaar
MD – Ki, Murphy, Shelvey, Ritchie, Hayden, Almirón, Longstaff, Aarons, Colback, Saivet, Scott
FW – Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Muto, Atsu, Gayle
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – JOELINTON
The number nine is a very special number to the Newcastle faithful.
Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and the greatest striker in Premier League history in Alan Shearer have all succeeded wearing the fabled shirt number. And the latest striker brought in to see if he have what it takes to handle the pressure of that number, as well as the passionate Geordie crowd, is the Brazilian Joelinton.
And despite having a good pre-season after his £40m from Bundesliga side from Hoffenheim, pre-season form can sometimes be horribly deceptive.
It’ll be a case of whether he can do it against some of the best defenders in the world when we’ll know if he can handle the pressure on Tyneside.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 165
Won – 53
Drawn – 39
Lost – 73
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
A threat? No. A (sort of) bogey team? Perhaps.
With four wins against The Blues in the last six games at St James’ Park, Newcastle currently has a run of form at home.
At Stamford Bridge, however, with only one win in the last thirty-three years… The Magpies most definitely do not sing away.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Even before the season begins, Newcastle fans know that it would take a miracle to ensure Premier League football stays at St James’ Park. Benitez was a manager who overachieved by big margins in all his time at Newcastle and his successor, Steve Bruce might not be one with the same calibre as the Spaniard.
For a boyhood Toon, it would be nothing short of a fairy tale if Bruce manages to keep Premier League football at St. James Park for another season.
Somehow though, this fairy tale will come true… Just.
Predicted position: 16th
Come back for part 14 as we check out the second newly-promoted side in… Norwich City.
• Part 1 – Arsenal
• Part 2 – Aston Villa
• Part 3 – Bournemouth
• Part 4 – Brighton & Hove Albion
• Part 5 – Burnley
• Part 6 – Chelsea
• Part 7 – Crystal Palace
• Part 8 – Everton
• Part 9 – Leicester City
• Part 10 – Liverpool
• Part 11 – Manchester City
• Part 12 – Manchester United