Newcastle United

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Season Guide
2019/2020

Newcastle United

In


Joelinton (att) Hoffenheim; Allan Saint-Maximin (mid) Nice; Jetro Willems (def) Eintracht Frankfurt – on loan; Kyle Scott (mid) Chelsea U23; Henri Saivet (mid) Bursaspor – end of loan; Dwight Gayle (att) WBA – end of loan;

Out


Mohamed Diame (r) (mid) Al Ahli; Ayoze Perez (r) (att) Leicester; Salomon Rondon (r) (att) WBA – end of loan; Joselu (sp) (att) Alaves; Kenedy (sp) (mid) Chelsea – end of loan; Antonio Barreca (def) Monaco – end of loan; Freddie Woodman (gk) Swansea – on loan;

After defying the odds in 2 consecutive seasons, coach Rafa Benitez got tired of all the issues at the club and left in the summer. The Spaniard who was adored by the fans had had enough of it. Vastly experienced Steve Bruce took charge recently, but on all his experience he is seen as a bit of an old-fashioned coach whose last job at this level was with Hull City the season they got relegated. They have already lost 3 regulars this transfer window, including the 2 main strikers that in 2018/19 were directly involved in 68% of Newcastle’s league goals. The departures of Perez and Rondon are likely to be felt, but if nothing else owner Ashley opened the coffers, and Newcastle broke their transfer-record to bring to the squad Joelinton from the Bundesliga. The Brazilian is expected to carry the burden of the attack on his shoulders. So far there are no indications that the 5-3-2 shape used a lot by Benitez will be changed, but after adjusting last spring, the big winter signing Almiron must have a much better campaign now if Newcastle are to survive. Longstaff is another player that started appearing for the senior squad a lot last term, and with departure of Diame, now it seems that the youngster will be given a regular role in the heart of the midfield. Another player hoping to have a much better second year at the club is versatile forward Muto, who has been a prolific goalscorer in Japan and Germany, but was sparsely used last season.

Target


Survival is the only thing on the agenda, but the departure of fan-favourite Benitez is likely to destabilise the club, and a season of great struggle to avoid the drop looks inevitable.

Season Review
2019/2020

№13: Newcastle United

Newcastle showed great defensive organisation and a stubborn ability to withstand long periods of heavy pressure. In the end this not only brought safety early, but allowed the Magpies to achieve a very respectable finish. Probably crucial for the comfortable end to the season were the results achieved in November and early December (W4 D2 L1). Undoubtedly the defensive stability of the team was their main strength with their 10 clean sheets the best tally amongst the teams in the bottom half of the table. Goalkeeper Dubravka deserves huge praise for his many saves, with captain Lascelles and left-back Willems (at least up until his serious injury in late January) also very influential. The big issues were going forward with the record summer-signing Joelinton scoring only 2 league goals all campaign. Almiron and Saint-Maximan also struggled for goals and nearly 40% of their goals this season were scored by defenders, emphasising the attacking problem. Coach Bruce deserves praise for achieving survival early, especially considering the many injury issues once the season resumed in June. None of the strikers deserve much credit though, all of the forwards underperformed. Off-the-field issues remain a major concern with the ownership saga unfolding in Newcastle for over 18 months now. Only if this farce is finally over and a new owner is found can the Magpies hope to have a better season next term. If not, they will be struggling to survive once more.


Player of the Season: Martin Dubravka

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